Category Archives: Working in Lebanon

Want to work (legally) as a freelancer in Lebanon?

For starters, you will need to get your tax identification number to avoid a 7.5% fee on your earnings (if the company you are working for takes their accounting seriously). Yes, you do have options to do things under the table (this is Lebanon after all!), but if you are serious about being able to grow your services into a full-fledged business (like me), you will need to do things the right way.

I recently went to get my tax identification number so that I can start doing some contract work in my field of Web Development and Agile Consulting. I worked as a consultant for 3 years in the US as part of a small consultancy called OpenSource Connections, before starting work on Jogabo (you can take a look at my past experiences here). But now that I am in Lebanon, I am starting to give workshops (eg. Best Practices Workshop) and trying to get some consulting work done.

So, as a freelancer or contractor what do you have to do to be able to bill for your work, legally? I asked a couple of friends who are in the same field as I am to get an idea what I’m up against. These two friends are people who have already gone through the process themselves. So theoretically they should have valid and valuable information.

Friend number 1 had done this outside of Beirut, since that’s where his residence is, so when I asked him he said the following:

  1. Go to the Ministry of Finance office in DT
  2. Take take a copy of your ID
  3. Take a copy of your diploma
  4. Take a “tasemo7″ signed by your father saying he gives you permission to use the apartment he is renting as your location of work. And that this could not get us in trouble with the landlord and that we would not be evicted (important, since we still have an old lease)
  5. Fill 2 forms they will give you there, it will only cost you LL2,000 the cost of a stamp

Friend number 2 had done this in order to become part of the Engineering Syndicate in Lebanon, he told me the following:

  1. Go the Ministry of Finance office next to Jiser el Naher, after Mat7af, next to el 3adliyeh (Ministry of Justice), the one in DT is actually the office of the minister. According to your profession, they will tell you what to paperwork you need

So I called my father asking him to prepare the paper for the lease. He objected saying that this would cause us big trouble with the landlord and that he would ask a Moukhtar (local notary) friend of ours about this. My dad then called back saying he had talked to another friend who works at the Ministry of Finance and that he got the required documents.

I decided to have my father come with me, just in case we were asked about some paperwork related to the lease or whatnot, he’d be there ready to answer. We gathered all paperwork we thought we might need, according to 3 different sources. Of course, the third source had told us that we had to go the ministry’s offices on Bechara El Khoury (neither one of the other locations I was told about by my friends). Here’s what I had with me:

  1. My ID and a photocopy
  2. My father’s ID and a photocopy
  3. A photocopy of my diploma notarized by a notary public in Virginia (where I got my diploma)
  4. A photocopy of my diploma notarized by a notary public, signed by the Virginia Commonwealth and the Ministry of Interior of the US government
  5. A recent lease agreement in my father’s name, with a photocopy
  6. A signed “tasemo7″, nautorized by the Moukhtar
  7. Myself and my father

We were taking no prisoners :P

We get there. Again, the offices on Bechara El Khoury, before Sodeco, the building on the island separating the two ways going to and coming from the Downtown. Go up to the first floor. Enter the first office on the right. “Saba7o”, “Ahla”. “Mishein el ra2em el meleh”, “eh hon, tfaddal”. Great! We were in the right spot. That’s achievement number 1. We get our turn, we ask what we need to do. The guy asks me immediately: are you an Engineer (“Mhandis”), or a Doctor? Limited choices, right? My father immediately answers “Engineer,” proudly, before I get to give my answer. The guy immediately said that I have to be part of the Syndicate of Engineers to apply for the my tax number. Now, my dad gave the correct answer, but not the appropriate answer. See, I do have a computer engineering degree. Except that my 4 year degree from the US, no matter how much more advanced it might be, is still only a 4 year degree and does not qualify me to be part of the syndicate, since their requirements are a 5 year degree (because that’s how long it takes at the Lebanese University). So I cut in and said that I want to work as a Web Developer, not as an Engineer. That seemed to solve everything.

So, we asked again, what do we need? He got 2 forms for us: the M10 and the M11. Told us that we need to fill them out. Have a copy of my ID. Then he asked what’s our living situation, do we own or rent and is the rent old or new. When we said we rent and it’s an old rent, he told us that all we need is a copy of the receipt of a recent tax payment on the rental and a copy of the rental agreement. That was it! BUT… that was the one thing we didn’t bring! Oh, the irony!

M10 form

M10 form

M11 form

M11 form

No problem. We filled out the forms. Went back home. Got the proper paper. Came back. Gave it to the guy who we talked to. He circled some things, signed the papers and told us to go have the papers signed by another guy in the same office. That person then looked over the papers, circled something else, signed them and then told us to go to the window outside the office and give them the paperwork. We went there, gave the women the paperwork, she typed the data into her computer and then passed the papers to the guy sitting next to her. I just did a simple slide to the right (now clap your hands!), that guy also signed some things, filed something in this HUGE book he had in front of him, gave us a paper which was the equivalent of a receipt saying the paperwork was filed and told us to come back in 2 days for pick up.

Application Receipt

Application Receipt

Typical Lebanese procedures. You ask 3 different people what needs to be done, you get 3 different answers. In fact, when we got there, we saw signs all over the wall saying that a “tasemo7″ will not be accepted for a lease, only from the owner of the apartment. At that point we thought we were screwed. But even one of the employees was on the phone talking to her boss asking about this policy to check. Of course I did try to look for information on the ministry’s website but it had no relevant information. Your best bet is always to go there, put on a good smile with a nice “saba7o”, maybe even wear bright colors (I was wearing an orange UVA hoodie) and hope the person you’re dealing with had his chill pill :)

But in case you were wondering, and you want to be a web development freelancer, here’s what I had to have:

  1. A copy of my ID
  2. A copy of the lease
  3. A copy of a recent tax receipt on the payment of the lease
  4. Forms M10 and M11 (very basic, name and address and signature) that you get from there

Four business days later (they said two, but I gave them a grace period), I went back to same place for the pickup. I brought the application receipt they had given me on the first day, a copy of my ID and a 1,000L.L. stamp, and I received my company registration certificate:

Company Registration Certificate

Company Registration Certificate

That’s it! It seems like a complicated process, it may deter many from even trying, yet it’s very simple and straight forward. Surprising for a bureaucratic country like Lebanon, right?

BONUS 1: the process is the same if you’re a business consultant (or marketing, or designer, etc)
BONUS 2: if you own the house or apartment, you only need a copy of the deed, even if it’s owned by one of your parents, and you do not need an authorization paper (“tasemo7″)

N.B.: bring all orignal documents with you for authenticity verification purposes (you’ll only submit the copy though)

As for foreigners, my understanding is that for you to work in Lebanon, you have to have a work permit and that work permit has to be sponsored by your employer. But for freelancing gigs, you will be forced to take the 7.5% deduction since you will not be paying taxes in Lebanon, instead you’ll be paying your taxes back in your home country.

- Youssef

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Filed under Working in Lebanon

5 emerging careers to look out for in Lebanon

I’ve been living in Lebanon for around a year and a half now..and during that time, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve met a few people, experienced a few things, and asked a ton of questions. You know, cause I’m curious like that. And after the positive feedback I received from my tips on finding a job in Lebanon, I decided to take it one step further and come up with a list of what I consider to be the top 5 emerging careers in Lebanon.

This is one of my longer post..but still, well worth the read.

So without further ado, here it goes:

#5. Alternative Medicine/Natural Health Practitioner – I’m a firm believer in Alternative Medicine and Natural Health Care. Probably because I come from a family of advocates who place Alternative Medicine/Natural Health Care Practioners above Traditional Doctors. I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about it at first..we’re talking about naturopathy, herbalism, chinese medicine, Ayurveda, meditation, reiki, biofeedback, hypnosis, homeopathy, acupuncture, and nutritional-based therapies here. But after seeing what Alternative Medicine has done for me, my Mom, and especially my brother (who was born with the unfortunate allergy to both corn and eggs), you could call me a believer! Even the makeup I wear is plant based..but hey, that’s a discussion for another time. Back to the point.

Perhaps the most appealing thing about Alternative Medicine/Natural Health Care, is that it’s rooted in “preventative care” and is more about finding solutions to problems than creating temporary (and oftentimes addictive) fixes. (It’s these temporary fixes that keep Traditional Doctors and Pharmaceutical Companies in business afterall..they aren’t interested in curing anybody).

Now from what I know of Lebanese society, the majority of people are over-reliant on their pharmacist/family doctor, and have spent their lives popping pills for even the slightest problem. In addition to that, many people place great emphasis on looking good..even if they go about achieving it in the wrong way (starving themselves, taking diet pills, plastic surgery..etc etc). That being said, I think that slowly but surely people in Lebanon are becoming more aware of the benefits of leading a natural, healthy lifestyle..and eventually, they will begin seeking out (professionally trained) Alternative Medicine/Natural Health Care practicioners as they become frustrated with the shortcomings of traditional, western medicine.  In conjunction with this, I think that dietitians and nutritionists like Paty M of Paty M’s Nutrition World, will begin to be in a lot higher demand,.. and schools and workplaces may even start to offer courses in nutrition..as healthy students/employees = more productive students/employees (ok maybe this last part is a bit of a pipe dream.)

Alternative Medicine

Acupuncture

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#4. Visual Merchandiser – For a society as obsessed with looks and appearances as Lebanese society, I’m really surprised that local businesses don’t take designing their stores and store fronts more seriously! I’ve seen some pretty bad examples of visual merchandising from very well known brands in Lebanon, and to me..this is just unacceptable! Designing a display window and store that is visually appealing is a HUGE part of owning a business..especially a retail business! Shopping is SUCH a visual experience, hence why visual merchandising is so important.

Wikipedia defines visual merchandising as,  “the activity of promoting the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets. This includes combining products, environments, and spaces into a stimulating and engaging display to encourage the sale of a product or service. It has become such an important element in retailing that a team effort involving senior management, architects, merchandising managers, buyers, the visual merchandising director, industrial designers, and staff is needed.”

Visual merchandising

A great example of visual merchandising for retail..

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Visual merchandising

Another fantastic example of visual merchandising in a home store..

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Visual merchandising

Visual merchandising for a Lanvin window display..

Visual merchandising

and..you can't talk about visual merchandising without mentioning Louis Vuitton!

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Many other elements are a part of the visual merchandising process. These include color, lighting, space, product information, sensory inputs (such as smell, touch, and sound), as well as technologies such as digital displays and interactive installations. (source)

Before opening a store, or with the arrival of a new collection business owners/store managers really need to work with their team to map out the customer journey in their store. Visual merchandising, when done correctly, can really impact sales and encourage repeat business.

I know a lot of very talented people in Lebanon who are into fashion, architecture and interior architecture, and design. I really think that visual merchandising could be a very viable career option for these type of creative/artistic people..even if on a freelance or consultancy basis. I mean let’s say you have 5 retail clients who come out with three different collections every year.. that could translate into a lot of work (and $$!). Not to mention how dynamic, interesting, and fun this field must be to work in. When I used to work in retail, it was always the visual merchandisers who inspired the most awe..I really wish I had what it takes to do this job!

#3. Human Resource Manager – In Lebanon, Human Resources consists of  scolding people when they’re late, and sending out a company wide email to let everyone know when someone has a sick/vacation day off. Unless you work for a multi-national company, HR doesn’t really exist..and if it does, the people in the position of HR Manager are not qualified (most of the time).

Human Resours

lol!

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There is no such thing as organizational design and development, employee motivation (key performance indicators), morale building, employee retention efforts, or career planning. (Career planning is the kicker for me. If you can’t show someone how they are going to grow within your organization..or if you don’t reward someone for showing initiative, what reason do they have to remain within your company? NONE!) In my opinion, this is why there is such a high rate of turnover in Lebanese companies -because people (especially young people) just move from company to company for as little as a couple hundred dollars pay increase..when they likely would have stayed had they been given more recognition for a job well done, and perhaps a roadmap of when they could expect to receive their next raise. Offering somebody a raise and a title change after they’ve decided to put in their notice, is just not the right way to do things..yet, I hear stories like this all too often!!

The reason that Lebanese companies have neglected investing in/developing a Human Resource department is likely for the following few reasons:

  • Financial – maybe the company doesn’t have the means necessary to hire a Human Resources professional (or maybe they’re just cheap, and don’t understand the value of an HR Manager). If that is the case, someone within the company needs to take charge of all of the key HR functions to ensure a happy, productive employee base and a low rate of turnover..or they need to outsource their needs to a HR consultancy (if that even exists in Lebanon).
  • Available pool of talent – it’s no secret that Lebanon produces some of the best and brightest and most linguistically gifted. Because of this, many employers would rather let a good employee go in favor of hiring someone willing to do the work for less (like fresh graduates).

Human Resourcessource

If you’ve worked in Lebanon, you’ve either experienced what I’m talking about, or know someone who has. That being said, I think that there will be a major “paradigm shift” in the near future concerning how employers view the role of the Human Resource Manager within their companies..as we’ve come to a point in this global competitive landscape where companies cannot afford not to have the best people on their team. I see a bright future for people studying, or looking to work as Human Resource Managers in Lebanon..as well as people who want to open a Human Resource Consultancy.

#2. Social Media Strategist/Specialist – Gary Vaynerchuk said it best when he said that “99.5% of Social Media Experts are clowns. If you’re into social media and you don’t know who Gary V is, look him up. (Right Youssef? haha)

Listen. Having a blog, facebook profile and/or page, twitter and linkedin account does NOT make you a social media expert/strategist/specialist/scholar/extraordinaire..whatever you want to call it. Although, I will admit that it’s a good place to start. But unless you have at least 4 or 5 SUCCESSFUL social media campaigns under your belt, I really don’t recommend referring to yourself as an expert..you’re an enthusiast at best.

Let’s be real, most people out there masquerading as social media experts have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. But to be fair, this definitely has something to do with the constant evolution of the title, and the confusion over the different phases and parts of the social media lifecycle. For example, someone could be a great social media strategist, but a really average community manager..and vice versa.. From my experience, this is because people who build strategies usually don’t like to execute, and people who like to execute don’t usually like to build strategies. Despite this, both people need to have a very good idea of what the other person does. (See where this gets confusing??) And I  haven’t even begun to discuss all of the different elements that go into a truly superb social media campaign (design, copywriting and content strategy, development, planning, media…etc etc)..

Social Media Specialist

source

For now, I think it’s accurate to say that social media is still in its infancy in Lebanon. Yes there are a smattering of agencies and brands who have tapped into the wealth of social media, but for the most part..the Lebanese market is wayyyy behind. Brands (and agencies) are still obsessed with traditional advertising (print, outdoor, TV, and radio)..and only a very small percentage of advertising/marketing budgets are allocated to online/digital activations

This presents a great, yet challenging opportunity for people who work or want to work in social media. If you’re in the field right now, you have first mover advantage..but that being said, it can be a real uphill climb educating Lebanese clients on the benefits of social media, as well as the associated COSTS! Lebanese clients don’t seem to want to understand that social media requires time, effort, and (here’s the kicker) MONEY! It’s not a job for an intern, and it’s not something you tack onto the responsibilities of an employee who already has a heavy work-load..

Yet at the same time, proving your expertise can be difficult..since up until now, there is no formal training in social media..much of what people know is self-taught through personal use, and trial and error..so be ready to put some serious work into proving your worth even before the actual work begins!

There are various career paths for people looking to work in social media. You could work at a number of advertising or digital agencies, you could work in-house for a particular brand/company, or you could freelance with a few different clients. Whatever you end up choosing, be careful not to take on too much..and really make sure that you are passionate about the brands/clients you are working for. If you don’t believe in the brand/company yourself, no one will believe in you or the online presence you create for them.

Eventually, people who work in any and all communication fields (Corporate Communication, PR, Advertising) will be expected to be social media “specialists” in their own right. But I don’t see that happening for a long time..so to those of you who REALLY know a  thing or two about social media, I say MILK IT while you still can.

Social Media Strategistsource

#1. Hospitality Retail Manager/Customer Service Consultant – The Lebanese may be the ‘Kings (and Queens) of Hospitality’ in their own homes..but I can’t say the same for restaurants and other service oriented business (especially retail!). Generally speaking, the people who work in the service industry are grossly underpaid (much like everyone in Lebanon) and undertrained (which is the fault of management). So I can understand how they are not incentivized to work any harder than putting food on a table and ringing up a purchase.

image credit

As someone who has worked in a retail environment and in a restaurant/hotel environment, I’m oftentimes sorely disappointed at the lack of training and general disinterest of people working in these roles. I mean, if you don’t like working with or serving people, what the hell are you doing working as a waitress? And this goes for international chains operating in Lebanon as well! I’ll never forget this one time I went to return a dress at H&M in Hamra. The cashier looked at me as if I had asked him to run a marathon. “Do you really want to return this?” he said to me? “Ummm YES!..that’s why I’m here!” I said back. You HAVE to read @ebyking‘s post about his recent shopping experience..and while you’re at it..read @ivysblog post about her “unfortunate incident at Aishti outlet in Ashrafieh.”

I mean, I just don’t get it. Don’t restaurant/business owners understand that your employees are as important to your business as the quality of whatever it is that you serve or sell? I mean, HELLO! This is especially true for very high-end restaurants and stores who you would THINK understand the value of their waitstaff/sales people..but if anything it’s the opposite!!…you go in expecting so much (given what you’re paying and the place’s international rep), and come out with a slap in the face thinking…”Well, what the hell was that? What a waste!”

The market is ripe for people who want to work in hospitality, F&B management, and customer service training and consultancy. Many high-end hotels and international retail chains are hiring (very expensive) consultants from abroad to help streamline their processes and manage their operations. I say, put together your own consultancy and take advantage of this opportunity! Lebanon is very well-known for its shopping, nightlife, and entertainment even with these problems. Imagine what Lebanon could be if these issues were improved/fixed!!

Whewww! ..if you’ve made it all this way, congratulations! I know it was a long ride. (I totally ignored Loryne’s tip about not writing long posts. oh well! I ain’t perfect!).

Now it’s your turn..I want to hear your opinion of my picks and any that I may have left out!

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Filed under life in Lebanon, Working in Lebanon

Tips on finding a job in Lebanon

I get emails almost every week from people eager to find a job in Lebanon. Which is really quite funny, since I’m now in the same boat as them! (How else do you think I was able to take a two and a half month vacation?!? ;))

Looking for a job!

lol.

source

Anyway, back to the point.

Anyone who knows anything about Lebanon knows that finding a job here is more about who you know than what you know (as cliche as that sounds, it’s the truth). Which makes it difficult for people from abroad, even those of Lebanese origin, to find a job…when there are literally thousands of highly qualified, born and bred, Lebanese applicants who can’t seem to find work..

To all of the foreigners reading this..if you want to find a job in Lebanon be ready to put up a fight. Know from now that the average Lebanese person speaks 3 sometimes 4 languages fluently, has their Bachelors and oftentimes their Masters, and has spent their whole lives building up connections in Lebanon. This puts you (AND ME) at a severe disadvantage.

I need a job.

hahaha. classic.

Unless you can genuinely prove that what you have to offer is that unique or that specialized, you will have a very hard time finding a job. Aaaaaaand, let’s not forget, that even if you DO manage to find a job, chances are that the salary will be waaaaay below your expectations, and will be JUST enough to cover your most basic expenses. Of course there are a few exceptions to the rule, but this is generally the case based on my own personal experience as well as the experiences of other foreigners I know who are working in Lebanon. If money is not an issue for you and you just want to get the experience, then go for it!

Another thing..unpaid internships are common in Leb. Even for people with a flippin’ MASTERS DEGREE! This is especially true when you are apply for a job with a high profile company where there are a lot of applicants vying for the position. 3 month probationary periods are also standard here..but that’s pretty much the case everywhere around the world. Where this becomes a problem is for a person like me, who needs a visa in order to work in Lebanon in the first place. From what I understand, as a foreigner..you are able to work on an internship basis if the company applies for your work status with immigration.. but please note that it is VERY challenging (I can’t stress how challenging) to get a company in Lebanon to go on a whim for you..a foreigner who foolishly decided he/she wanted to work in Lebanon ahaha. :) I’ll be honest and tell you that this fact alone has led many foreigners to work illegally in Lebanon. But good luck trying to convince immigration that you’re just “chilling in Lebanon and going to Gemmayzeh every night.” You might be able to pull it off for a year,, two max..but then it will get very difficult as you will have to travel in and out of the country every three months in order to keep your visa valid.

I’m sorry if I’m being too harsh here, but I just want to be honest! If you’re not too discouraged..please keep reading. But let me just say, that the following tips are NOT mind blowing, nor are they by ANY means a panacea to your job search woes. That being said, they might just remind you of the benefits of building (and tapping into) your social and professional network.

First and foremost, follow up on any and all leads you have via family and friends in Lebanon. As uncomfortable as it may be, it’s a MUST! You will find that many people in Lebanon got their jobs via family/friend connecctions. So there is absolutely no shame in doing the same.

Secondly. GET SERIOUS ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA. Socialize with a purpose! If you haven’t already, open an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Behance.net (if you’re a creative professional) and connect with all of the relevant people in your industry (both in Lebanon and abroad). See what they’re doing, what they’re talking about..join in on the conversation…and then, do it BETTER! (it’s a dog eat dog world my friends!) Take a strategic, yet natural approach to building your network! There are no limits to the amount of professional networking you can do online..so take advantage of it! But please do NOT be an annoying spammer. The same rules that apply offline, apply online. No one likes someone who only talks about themselves! Be genuine in how you build relationships and in how you communicate online. (These tips might be obvious and repetitive to some of you, but judging from the people who have been contacting me, I thought it would be a goo idea to remind people just how many networking opportunities are available..and for FREE!)

Networking online

get to talking!

Start a blog about you industry to display your expertise. Whatever your field, showing a potential employer that you are passionate and dedicated enough to create a blog is definitely a PLUS. But remember, the key to blogging is relevant, and continually updated content. You must be consistent! Plan to post AT LEAST twice a week (always making sure to promote your blog on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) if you are really serious about your blog taking off. Also, a referral network called Referral Key seems to be gaining popularity in Lebanon, so I suggest opening an account there too!

Job sites..well there are only a few job sites that I know of which which cater to the Lebanese market. Bayt.com and Monster Gulf being two of the more popular. Search there for potential opportunities and post your CV, but please don’t be surprised if you don’t get a response back! If anyone knows of any other job sites, please do leave them in the comments!

And finally, if you’re in Lebanon, attend every single networking event you can possibly fit into your schedule! (If you’re unemployed, I’m assuming you have a lot of time on your hands). And if networking events don’t exist for your particular industry, create one! TRUST ME it will be worth the time and effort! And who knows, you might just find out that you have a knack for event planning?!! The best example I can think of is the ArabNet conference for digital professionals..in only 1 year the event has experienced exponential growth in attendance (and I’m sure profits as well) and is one of the major regional networking events for people in the digital industry! ;) Check out the ArabNet website and FB page here and here.

The interview process

Interviewingsource

Ok, let’s assume you’ve made it through all of the above hurdles and have been called in for an interview. First of all, I recommend reading all of the tips and tricks you can find about interviewing, and then having a friend or family member test you. Make sure to read up on the company you are going to be interviewing with, and be prepared to cite examples and case studies and even reel off a few ideas you have during the interview (being careful not to give away too much – something I’ve definitely been guilty of).

If you are interviewing for freelance work and the client asks you for samples, PLEASE BE CAREFUL! I’ve personally been ripped off one too many times in an effort to show a client/company what I’m capable of..only to be stripped of my work with NO COMPENSATION! So, please don’t make the same mistake I did. Show potential clients work you’ve done in the past, or ask for a strategic development fee. And always make sure not to send the document/work to the client. Present it to them face to face..and if it’s something huge, ask them to sign a document stating that they will not use your work/ideas without compensating you. ;)

Ok,,I kind of went off on a tangent there. Back to the interview process. Confidence, confidence, confidence is key! You cannot show any sign of weakness or uncertainty in yourself. To quote an excerpt from one of my previous posts,

“Never (publicly) doubt yourself - Lebanon is not for the faint of heart.  The moment she senses any weakness in you..she will chew you up and spit you out like a tasteless piece of gum.  Humility gets you nowhere with her..  She prefers the qualities of self-confidence, self-assuredness, assertiveness, and arrogance.  Even if deep inside, you know that you are unqualified, or don’t have the means/capabilities to accomplish a task/challenge..you must always say the contrary, and deal with the consequences afterwards.

In simpler terms, when in Lebanon, you must: Fake it until you make it.”

What I mean here is that you always need to act like you have all of the answers, even if you don’t. Please note that it is not sustainable to continually fake your way through life..you must be able to deliver on your promises or it will eventually catch up to you..But be prepared to show what your made of. Lebanese employers like to feel like they’re working with EXPERTS..even if deep inside they know that isn’t the case. (I hope I’m making sense here!) They want to know that you can display confidence and certainty in any and every situation. Oh and please, for all of you people with 3 page resumes out there..WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? No one wants to read a three page resume!!!..not you, not me, not a Human Resources Manager, and definitely not a CEO. Edit..Edit..Edit..only keeping the things that are absolutely necessary and relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Wheewwww! Ok! I didn’t think that this post would end up being so long! I hope that those of you looking for a job in Lebanon were able to take at least 1 thing away from it and weren’t too discouraged in the process!!

What do you think about the tips I posted here? Helpful, or not so much?

Good luck on your job hunt! (I know I’ll need it!)

P.S. You can send me your CV if you like, and I’ll do all I can to help you out! Email me at this.is.beirut@gmail.com

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Filed under life in Lebanon, Working in Lebanon

Can you justify your job title?

It is no secret that Lebanese salaries are embarrangs low, and I have yet to understand 1.  how companies who are visibly making money get away with paying their employees so little and 2. why people put up with it – but then I remember that I am one of the only people I know who doesn’t live with their families and has fixed monthly expenses to pay.

Anyhow I’m writing today because I have noticed an alarming trend ever since moving to Lebanon..and that is, the use of hyper inflated, grandiose job titles to compensate for low pay.  One would assume that with a title like Senior Consultant, Senior Manager, Assistant Director, Associate Director, comes an equally as impressive salary, but as I’m quickly learning, in Lebanon, that isn’t necessarily the case.  And, I’m sorry, but how can you be a Senior or a Director of Anything while still in your mid to lower twenties?

It’s ridiculous is what it is, and people shouldn’t settle for it.  But then I remember, I am living in Lebanon.. a country defined by “appearances” and it shouldn’t shock me that people would settle for a low paying job as long as their business card or email signature presents them in the best light.  Who cares if your title is Senior Assistant Director Extraordinaire if you make $1000 a month?  It’s just embarrassing is what it is, and a bad precedent to set.  What do you think?

 

Inflated Job titles

Yeah, can you?

 

photo credit

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Filed under life in Lebanon, Working in Lebanon

Happy Birthday, love Betty.

Gotta love work place birthdays.

Especially when your co-workers give you a cake that’s still in the package.

Fail!

Happy Birthday!

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Filed under life in Lebanon, Working in Lebanon

Cotton Candy = Productivity.

Bored at work? Low on sugar? Want to be a kid again?

THEY HAVE COTTON CANDY AT DOODLE DOO IN DOWNTOWN!!!

Do it. You know you want to.

Cotton Candy: Keeping Employees Productive Since..well..Forever.

Exhibit A: Happy employee..

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Filed under eating in Lebanon, life in Lebanon, Working in Lebanon

Keep doing what you do

So, I work with some pretty talented people..namely the brains behind UxSoup and Kibot.

Just have to give my peeps some props.

Keep doing what you do!

Ahh creativty and ingenuity is so refreshing..ain’t it.

Kibot Relax

Kibot Vacuum

Kibot Supporting A Cause

Kibot the Pimp

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Filed under life in Lebanon, Working in Lebanon