Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, has recently conducted a new survey with YouGov, a market research company, to uncover the career and personal aspirations of MENA professionals, and to tackle their general perceptions and attitudes towards their jobs and overall work environment. The survey, entitled ‘Career Aspirations in the MENA,’ has revealed that over 8 in 10 of UAE professionals (86%) have a positive outlook towards the upcoming year.
No Limits for Career Ambitions
In the UAE, 67% reported setting future professional goals for themselves, which included finding a new job (66%), learning new skills (46%) and getting a higher salary (44%).
With career development in mind, over 7 in 10 respondents (72%) believe they deserve to work in a higher-level position, and almost half the respondents (45%) are willing to move to another department or area of expertise to develop their skillsets and further their professional careers.
In addition, 37% of UAE respondents state they are willing to move into a different industry altogether to broaden their professional expertise.
What Drives the Ideal Job
The top three factors that were seen as important in an ideal job for UAE professionals were salary and benefits (69%), opportunities for career growth (42%) and job security (33%).
Interestingly, respondents are much more likely to prefer being an employee (52%) rather than owning a business (22%).
The reported reasons for seeking employment in the UAE are marked by the desire to consistently learn and gain experience, as indicated by 69% of respondents. This was followed by making money (58%), feeling useful to society (48%) and being financially independent (42%).
Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at Bayt.com says: “MENA professionals have faced challenges in forging their future as the region emerges from the shadows of the pandemic. It is therefore heartening to see that the majority of survey respondents are optimistic about the future and determined to achieve their dreams. The latest Career Aspirations survey covers aspects such as attitudes towards current job, career aspirations and barriers to career growth.”
Motivation Levels at Work
When it came to motivation levels in the workplace, nearly 7 in 10 respondents (67%) reported feeling motivated at work. Possibly connected to motivation at work, the prevalence of mentors and role models featured highly in the findings, with 5 in 10 respondents (50%) reporting that they have either a mentor or role model in their careers.
Though respondents revealed a positive indication of their motivation in the workplace, 57% reported that higher salaries and perks/benefits would increase motivation at work, this is followed by better work-life balance (45%) and promotion to the next level (37%).
Future Personal Ambitions
Overwhelmingly, the top personal goal for next year was reported to be saving more money, according to nearly 7 in 10 respondents (68%). Other goals include buying property (40%), spending more time with family (35%) and exercising more (33%).
Zafar Shah, Research Director at YouGov says: “The latest Career Aspirations survey represents radically altered attitudes and career aspirations of professionals in the MENA region. It is absolutely critical that MENA employers are primed for this shift by being knowledgeable of employee aspirations to further enhance the hiring and job-seeking processes.”
Data for the Bayt.com ‘Career Aspirations in the MENA’ survey was collected online from August 3 to September 5, 2022. The results are based on a sample of 2,068 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Sudan among others.