Reader Question: Pay + working in the media

 media in Qatar

“Hi,

I’m a journalist and have got an interview with a company based in Doha. I was wondering whether you could give me any information about what Qatar is like for writers/editors? Also, what is the pay like? From reading various forums I get the impression I should be looking at a salary around the 15,000-20,000 a month mark. Is this reasonable, or should I be aiming higher? Also, is this enough to live on? If I moved to Qatar I’d be coming with my wife. We’re both in our late 20s.

Any advice you could give me would be most welcome.

All the best,

Reader”

 

Hi Reader,

Ok, in regards to your queries:

Pay: I’m a bit wary here as I don’t want to turn you away from a potentially amazing experience just because of money. Also, some people here make next to nothing for doing dangerous, back-breaking labour and I don’t want appear to be overlooking their situation when I’m referring to yours. It obviously depends a lot on how you guys live. But I will make some assumptions and we’ll go from there!

 

Pay is structured into:

  • Basic salary
  • Housing allowance
  • Transport allowance
  • Relocation allowance (this includes flights, excess baggage, shipping)
  • Other misc allowances (everything from membership at hotels to getting furniture fixed!).

Many people get the top 4 (the last one is pretty much reserved for Oil and Gas!).

15-20k for a basic salary is good (I mean, for some people it’s incredible and they wouldn’t dream of earning that much but then again I’m sure Gareth Bale wouldn’t be too impressed with it, i.e. it’s all relative). However, without at least a housing allowance I would say that the 2 of you should aim higher as you might struggle to live off it while you’re here. Well, you could live off it but you wouldn’t save a lot. Having said that, if the job is amazing (and living here is amazing, obv!) then I would say take it! I know couples living very happily off less than 15k.

A 2 bedroom apartment will cost you from 8k-14k a month, so keep that in mind.

Also, when negotiating pay, do not listen to anyone who promises you raises, promotions or bonuses. I have never met an expat in Qatar who was given anything outside of the exact amount agreed in their initial contract.

 

Media: As for working in the media, this is always a hot topic! Check out the below links for a bit of info. I’m an editor and I LOVE my job, but it’s not the same for everyone…

 

http://dohanews.co/post/48994420788/report-qatari-law-prevents-journalists-from-doing

http://dohanews.co/post/48850724085/study-internet-most-important-media-source-for

http://dohanews.co/post/49581256844/peninsula-pushy-pr-reps-lazy-journalists-behind

http://www.justhere.qa/2013/05/payment-woes-for-freelancers-in-qatar/

http://www.justhere.qa/2013/03/why-does-journalism-in-qatar-look-more-like-pr/

 

I hope this helps – feel free to fire back any more questions,

Velvet

 

Disclaimer: cat pictured may or may not be a writer/editor. Image from here.

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