Working in Jordan
Finding work in Jordan is no easy feat. For the last few years, unemployment in Jordan has remained at a high rate. The trend of high unemployment has been steadily increasing for some time and has made finding work a challenge for locals and expats alike.
Job market in Jordan
Despite the epidemic of unemployment in Jordan, its economy is one of the strongest in the Middle East thanks to its rich mineral resources such as phosphates and potash. Aside from mining, other strong or fast-growing sectors that expats might consider are the tourism industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the telecommunications/IT industry.
As with most countries whose primary language is not English, it’s also possible to find work teaching English in Jordan. Most commonly, though, expats in Jordan will be found working for international companies as engineers.
Finding a job in Jordan
To search for and obtain a job in Jordan, it isn’t always necessary for an expat to already be in the country. Searching online from home has distinct advantages, such as the possibility of finding an employer willing to pay for ticket and relocation costs. There are a number of job portals online that are widely considered to be good sources for jobs but expats should be wary of suspicious-sounding job posts or offers that seem too good to be true. Apart from maintaining a healthy sense of scepticism, expats should only use reputable and well-known job portals.
Jordanian newspapers also regularly run ads in job sections, though this is only useful if one is already in the country. Even then, online job portals remain the most popular and convenient way of finding work.
Work culture in Jordan
The workweek in Jordan runs from Sunday to Thursday due to the fact that Friday is the holy day of the official state religion, Islam. Working hours consist of eight hours of work a day, five days a week, adding up to a total of 40 hours a week. The usual work schedule may be disrupted by holy occasions such as Ramadan. Expats should also take note that a call to prayer is sounded by mosques five times daily and Muslims will stop whatever they are doing (including work activities) to partake.
While Jordanians are generally extremely friendly and hospitable to foreigners, there is some level of resentment from locals towards foreigners employed in Jordan. The soaring unemployment rate has made the job market is extremely competitive – this makes it understandably frustrating for Jordanians to see a job go to someone else. The current Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan has only worsened this ill-feeling towards working expats.