Not that Bahrainis are spoilt for choice when it comes to jobs, but I have had this conversation with two Bahrainis today and am battling my own demons when it comes to this.

Being as lucky as I am, I landed a dream job at the age of 17. I joined a newspaper, climbed the corporate ladder and after about 15 years at work - hung my boots and due to circumstances more than actual planning, am now what you would call a housewife.

For me the choice was simple. No matter how humiliating the salary was, how long the hours, how frustrating the daily struggle - I was happy and satisfied - doing what I loved most. Job satisfaction came first and every morning the paper came out, it evoked a feeling in me. Whether it was positive or negative is irrelevant as every single day had its ups and downs, and most importantly I was working there by choice and not force.

Had I the chance, would I have done it differently? No. Not for the world. Not for all the money in vaults in banks, not for all the fancy cars, not for all the jewellery and finer things in life.

But then, I lived at home. My mother paid the bills - even my car instalments! My salary was mine alone. I didn't have to pay bills, or rent, or buy food with it. It was as one of my former editors called "pocket money".

Sadly this is the attitude of some towards their female employees. Luckily, I wasn't on the street and since I had someone to support me - despite being a grown up employed human being albeit a woman - I was allowed to continue to enjoy my job and get all the satisfaction I wanted - although it couldn't have sustained me and allowed me to live independently without the support of a family.

Despite this, my hypocritical advice to the two girls who asked me about what to do with their careers when faced with choices was the following: follow the money; take the job which offers more.

Yes. I had job satisfaction in my old job but no financial independence. Yes. I loved my job but it did not love me back when it came to money. Yes. I had a good life - but not until I was considered a human being and not a little girl who wanted a job to keep her out of the house and agreed to be paid in pocket money.

Am I wrong in telling the girls to look for their own interests?


Socrates said...

As a wordwhore in the Middle East what are your chances of satisfaction? What story would you break? Which corrupt official/businessman would you unmask? Within a system, which has no regard for equality (democracy or equal rights), how can there be any satisfaction?

Economic independence is wonderful, for it is the only independence that is worth living for.

Wordwhore likes me and you - writing, editing, cleaning, proofing Public Relations and Propaganda barf into news - are here in the business cause we simply cannot afford any career choices within a choiceless system.

There is nothing really public in this region. Not even a decent public transportation system... Within the large Private space, we the people have lost the Public sphere.

Welcome to Middle East Inc. Welcome to the new Rome.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

A whore I am not..yet! For decency's sake, let's call each other wordsmiths!

BB said...

I get what your saying, but like you said towards the end. Why is it that although you followed your heart and your dreams, now you are advising the opposite? Thats also what I noticed from parents. Why is it that although they went for job satisfaction, now they want economic independence for their kids?
Difficult choice, but I guess we'll only do the same mistake you guys did and follow our dreams!

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

All right girl... follow your heart :) And 10-15 years later ... you will either curse or thank me :)

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