More than 80 per cent of Middle East professionals claim they are looking to switch their career path, according to a latest poll. However, the poll conducted online by regional job site Bayt.com also showed that over 17 per cent are clearly not willing to take the risk.
The results of the site’s ‘Career Reinvention and the MENA Workplace’ poll showed that Middle East professionals would not switch to their dream career mostly because of financial considerations (23.9 per cent) while16.8 per cent blamed this inertia on their risk-averse personality or their fear of the unknown; 16.2 per cent believed that in today’s market companies would simply not take the risk of hiring them; and 14.5 per cent said it was due to a lack of training or education opportunities required to effect this change.
Another 9.9 per cent said the lack of access to jobs in the desired new career was the main problem; and 9.4 per cent stated that the move wasn’t likely to happen because of their lack of knowledge about job opportunities in the new career. Furthermore, 3.1 per cent of the poll participants felt a shift in their career path is unlikely to happen because of culture and social prestige considerations and 6.2 per cent said no change was necessary as they love their current jobs.
When asked what new industry they would choose if a career switch was possible, 21.5 per cent of participants said Oil & Gas, 16.5 per cent said Telecom/IT, 14.6 per cent chose tourism and hospitality, 9.9 per cent said financial services, 8.2 per cent chose management consulting; 7 per cent voted for advertising and marketing; 6.6 per cent said FMCG, 3.7 per cent stated healthcare, while 1.2 per cent chose publishing. However, 7 per cent said they would not care to join any of the above stated industries and 3.7 per cent said they were unsure as to what their new industry would be.
Respondents were also asked what they feel most passionate about in their career. 21.4 per cent expressed that they are most passionate about their current job and another 21.4 per cent said it was their current industry. 15.6 per cent felt that their existing team and environment was an intrinsic factor, 8.3 per cent said their current company was what motivated them to stay on and 5.1 per cent indicated they didn't want to leave because they appreciated working for their current manager. Nonetheless, a staggering 28.1 per cent voted for none of the above elements.
When asked what they are most dissatisfied about in their career, 20.5 per cent indicated their current job, 20.1 per cent indicated their current company, and 15.7 per cent indicated their current manager. While 9 per cent indicated the industry itself was the main issue. Only 11.3 per cent believed that their current team and environment were not working out for them and the rest (23.3 per cent) said none of the above bothered them.
Asked what would most motivate them to change careers, 25.8 per cent firmly said a better salary would be a great incentive; 18.3 per cent claimed an opportunity to start fresh in their dream career, 12.7 per cent said additional training and development. 17.9 per cent look for a promise of long term stability while 8.1 per cent look for a better company; 4.8 per cent specified better management as an encouraging reason; 10.2 per cent would change to get a better workplace environment; 1.5 per cent would look for more flexible hours, while only 0.7 per cent felt that working with nicer employees was a main factor.
The poll went on to ask the region’s participants where they would like to be career-wise in 10 years. 27.9 per cent said in a different career with a new job, company and industry. 24.1 per cent felt they would be in the same industry and company but with a different job, and 22.6 per cent believed having the same job in the same industry, but with a different company was something they could be doing in 10 years. 16.6 per cent said they could have the same job 10 years from now, but in a different company and industry and a further 8.7 per cent were not sure of what their future held for them.
Participants were also asked if they had ever changed their career in the past – 42.4 per cent of the respondents said no; 30.3 per cent stated they have only once; 11 per cent confirmed that they have already made the change twice; whereas 16.3 per cent claimed they have switched their path more than twice in the span of their career.
Respondents’ answers also varied when asked how often they changed their jobs. 31.5 per cent stated they have never changed their job till date; 10.1 per cent claimed to have switched jobs once every year or less; 15.1 per cent stated once every two years; 14.3 per cent said once every three years; 15.2 per cent said every four to five years; and 9.5 per cent claimed changing jobs every six to 10 years. The rest of the respondents (4.2 per cent) only changed every 11 to 15 years.
“Bayt.com is devoted to studying and evaluating data that can help both our employees and employers,” said Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, ayt.com. “With the Career Reinvention poll, we are seeking to further gain insights into what motivates regional professionals to stay in certain careers, which careers are most popular and what factors would induce MENA professionals to change careers altogether. These results will help us provide an even better platform for professionals pursuing a new and better professional career and employers seeking to source and retain top talent.”
When asked how often they intend to change jobs in the future, an amazing 49.1 per cent stated they would hopefully never do that; 15.3 per cent said they would do it once every four to five years, 11.6 per cent claimed they would do it once every three years, 8.2 per cent indicated once every two years, and 8.1 per cent indicated once every six to ten years. Only 4.3 per cent of the participants said they would change jobs once every year or less and 3.5 per cent said they would change every 11 to 15 years.
“We stand firmly by our belief that worthy working conditions not only benefit employees, but also increase their productivity, which in turn significantly benefits employers as well. In general, managers are aware that in order to get the most out of their subordinates it is helpful to create the ideal working conditions for effective productivity. At the present time, we are increasingly seeing regional companies dedicating efforts to improving their staff's working environment, which in the long-run will prove intrinsically valuable to all parties,” Ataya concluded.