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"Michael Toms our Technology Consultant swaps Surrey for Dubai
and reflects on the past year of his life-changing relocation."

Having spent the majority of my life in the UK as an electrical guru, I decided that a change was needed. Why Dubai? Well my brother moved here in 2010 and that led me to visit him and this fascinating country on a number of occasions. I instantly fell in love with pretty much everything this city has to offer, particularly the sun and I knew way back then that this was somewhere I wanted to live. From that point onwards I totally focused on saving the necessary funds to realise my dream and in April 2015 I handed in my notice, packed my bags and embarked on my new life.

I found out about JCA Associates through a friend and contacted my now Managing Director John Armstrong asking for an opportunity to prove myself as a valuable asset to JCA’s recruitment team. This came in the form of a formal interview and chat with various members of his existing team at JCA’s HQ in JLT Dubai.

When I met John and the rest of the team the first thing I noticed was how everyone had a smile on their face and couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming to a stranger like me. Fortunately for me I was given the opportunity of a position here and to this day have not looked back. Of course, starting a new job in a new city was never going to be easy however on my first day I could see that it wasn’t going to be that bad either. Everyone was friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help each other out and that included their clients and candidates.

I joined during the Holy month of Ramadan 2015 and was immediately invited to attend a JCA team night out in the form of an Iftar which was a gentle introduction to the long hours I would be expected to spend with my colleagues going forward...... socially I might add! Work hard, play hard is very much the ethos at JCA, John is an excellent host and we often organise events and gatherings for candidates and clients as well as late nights just for us.

I would say that the first 6 months in recruitment were the hardest for me particularly as I was learning about new industries I had never worked with in the past. This was all made a lot easier after being put through my paces in an extensive training program, put together by John and our Operations Director Jaye Gwardzinska-Barone and of course the rest of the team. After a successful first 6 months I was promoted to Recruitment Consultant where I then had the responsibilities of looking after my own desk. This was fortunately a very smooth process for me as I had gradually taken on more and more responsibilities since I started with John as my mentor. Everything is now coming together although I am under no illusions I have a lot to learn as we all do.

Now that I look back on my 1st year in recruitment, I can see how much I have learnt and the friends I have made along the way. I am heading into my 2nd year full of optimism knowing the harder I work, the more I will learn and adding the amount of fun I will have along the way into the mix – the more successful myself and JCA will be.