“Staying in the same company for years does not necessarily mean you didn’t grow. It simply indicates that the same company makes an ongoing effort to reward you and recognize your value.”
In 2008, Mahmoud Al Saghbini started working at Qatar Star Services (QSS) as a Chief Cook. Mahmoud accepted every new assignment and demonstrated his suitability for every transition, and as a result, the company promoted him to Executive Chef. Currently, Chef Mahmoud is responsible for overseeing the operations of Le Soleil Events Catering, Star Bakery, Le Gourmet Restaurant, and University Cafeteria as an Executive Chef/Manager.
In recognition of his continual adaptability and dependability in providing support to certain projects as needed, Chef Mahmoud was conferred a Special Citation this year.
How was your life back home?
I was living comfortably with my family in Syria. I belonged to the working class earning minimum wage as a Butcher while running a modest farm to augment my income. I had a decent job and it was adequate to put food on the table.
What was your driving force to leave your country and work abroad?
What compelled me to leave my country and seek employment abroad was the economic crisis brought about by the war. The cost of living had gone up to the point that we could not afford even the most basic necessities. I wanted nothing more or less than to continue feeding my family. It was painful to leave my family but I had to be tough enough to take them out of the crisis.
How did you land a job at Qatar Star Services (QSS)?
It became inevitable for me to leave Syria and look for a better-paying job overseas due to the economic crisis. When I visited the Al Mansur office in Damascus, Syria, I stumbled upon a job opening in Qatar, specifically with Qatar Star Services (QSS).
What are the lessons you learned from life’s transition?
Working abroad is not for the faint-hearted because it requires leaving behind your family and the comfort of living in your own country.
My primary goal was to earn more than what I was earning back home. But as I stayed longer working in Qatar, I realized that there were other benefits as well, like the chance to expand my social network by getting to know new people, discovering new cultures, and advancing my career.
How did QSS change your life?
Without a doubt, QSS enabled me to provide my family with much better living conditions than I could have before I left Syria. I have no regret having taken that chance which will have a long-lasting impact on our lives. With the professional career advancement that QSS has given me over the past fourteen years, wherever I go to pursue a new opportunity, I will carry with me rich experience and work ethics.
What lessons can you impart to others who are striving to establish their own success story?
Sometimes, change is necessary to step up, but always keep in mind that change may not yield the desired outcome overnight.
When you are handed a more challenging role with more important responsibilities, take it not primarily for the financial compensation that comes with it, but for the chance to advance your skills which is more long-lasting. It is human nature to anticipate a raise after a new assignment or promotion, but it would be more forward-thinking to take the most of the invaluable training you will receive, which will benefit you later in pursuit of a new opportunity.