Political uncertainties are likely to have an effect on recruitment; before travelling to Pakistan check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and follow the developing situation in the news.
Typical problems encountered: there is a growing supply of domestic graduates, most of whom speak English, who are likely to be preferred for junior positions with local companies.
How to improve your chances: try to secure a job with an international company active in Pakistan and gain a secondment or posting once recruited. Alternatively, visit Pakistan on a tourist visa with some initial contacts and meetings pre-arranged in target companies. Remember to check with the FCO before travelling.
Language requirements: the official languages of Pakistan are Urdu (also the national language) and English, which is widely used in business and government circles. Other major languages are Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi. The easiest way to learn Urdu while in Pakistan is to make private arrangements for individual tuition, perhaps with a local teacher or graduate student. In the UK, Urdu courses are widespread and can be located via Next Step.
Where can I work?
Major industries: textiles, cotton yarn and thread, raw cotton, cotton fabrics, rice, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, paper products, fertiliser.
Major companies: ABN AMRO Group, Clover Pakistan Limited, Colgate-Palmolive, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, National Foods, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Siemens, Unilever.
Major cities: Islamabad (capital), Karachi (largest), Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta.
What’s it like working in Pakistan?
Average working hours: the official working week is Sunday to Thursday, with public offices open from 9am-5pm. More traditional businesses' hours are from 9am to mid-afternoon from Saturday until Thursday. During Ramadan, in late summer or early autumn, businesses will close earlier in the day.
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