Whether you are relocating for personal reasons, travelling for the purpose of adventure or simply seeking work, it is possible to find jobs in Islamabad. One might not think so given the current political climate, but they are available and foreigners are still welcomed in the country.
An unlikely destination, Pakistan was previously seen as an underdeveloped country with little earning potential. But this is changing. Dubai remains the most popular country in the Middle East for those seeking employment, but Islamabad as a city is definitely growing in popularity.
Set in the north of Pakistan, it is the capital city of this intriguing country. The Green City is made up of more rural land than structural city scapes and has a population of just over a million. Being the most developed city in Pakistan, it is the place one is most likely to find employment, particularly the Rawalpindi metropolitan area which is the third largest in the entire country.
This scenic location is the tenth largest city in the country and the most cosmopolitan. This means that as a job seeker, you are bound to come across people of many other nationalities during your stay there. Foreign nationals are no strange feat, as the city is rife with diversity.
One of the main concerns of most people looking for work here is its current political climate and whether or not they will be affected by violence. In 2007 Islamabad took the spotlight in news coverage when Musjidul Hilal, otherwise known as the Red Mosque came under siege. Since then the city has seen some terrorist incidents. However, this part of Pakistan is still generally stable and this has not really affected employment levels, or the number of people seeking jobs in Islamabad.
On the contrary, the political environment has actually created more job opportunities. For example, more working professionals are now needed at the United Nations. Peacekeepers and humanitarian agencies also require more manpower.
Some of the top ranking work opportunities in the location are in the fields of accounting, advertising, IT and data capturing. United Nations jobs are also available. Like in any non-English speaking country, teaching English is always a viable option as well, with Urdu being the national language here. Islamabad is home to some of the top ranked universities in the whole of Pakistan. This makes academic careers a feasible option for those looking to take on such positions. The images that most Westerners have of Pakistanis as being an uneducated backward people are merely stereotypes propagated by the media. Most young people in the country are catching up to the rest of the world. They are of a new, more conscious generation, following the footsteps of Benazir Bhutto. Education and social awareness are now at the forefront, making study and career opportunities greater for both locals and immigrants. And the Pakistanis are known for their crafty business oriented way of thinking. They make some of the best salesmen and businessmen.
Unfortunately, in the health sector, things are not progressing as fast as they should be. Poverty is still an existing ailment. This accompanied by natural disasters such as earthquakes, and rebel and fundamentalist violence, has led to a serious deterioration in the health of the population. As a result, there are plenty career opportunities in hospitals to accommodate for the growing need for disease prevention and treatment. Of course doctors do earn substantially more in some other countries, but the remuneration here in the medical sector is not all that bad.
Since English is not the first language of the locals, in many positions, foreigners who are fluent in the language are often given first preference. This may upset those born and bred in the land, but it is good news for outsiders seeking jobs in Islamabad.
It is strongly recommended that you go through a recruitment agency in your attempt to be placed in the working sector. Trying to plan this entire move on your own can become an enormous and stressful task. There are several things to consider from the company you will be working from, to your accommodation, transport, paperwork, air tickets and much more. These kinds of agencies will charge you a fee, but they will not only help you to find the right kind of employment for you as an individual, they will also arrange all your transport and accommodation. Immigration officials at airports can be intimidating and it would be extremely unfortunate to have to encounter any problems once you are in the country. At least this way, you will always have someone back home to look out for you and assist you should any mishaps arise.
As a job hunter or employed professional coming to this particular city, you can expect a humid subtropical climate. The summers are hot and humid and of course there is the monsoon season that Pakistan is known for. You can be prepared for a complete culture shock if you are of non-Middle Eastern nationality. The requirements would be the same as with immigration to any other country. You would need your passport and some sort of working visa depending on the nature and planned length of your stay there.
So in summary, if you are one of those people out there who for whatever reason are trying to find jobs in Islamabad, keep in mind that it is not as daunting a prospect as you may have previously feared it would be. Work is available in various different fields for both the young and the more mature professionals. Depending on the particular career path you choose, there is money to be made and the cost of living is low. Cultural barriers can be easily overcome and most definitely will not be a black sheep as a foreigner because the city is very cosmopolitan. Political turbulence is not to be a deterring factor as violence is usually only concentrated in specific parts of Pakistan. All in all, it can be an enriching and unique experience working in this city.