As the New Year gets underway, a recent Career Aspirations study by Bayt.com – the Middle East’s #1 Job Site – and YouGov – global online market research company – has revealed that professionals in the region are encouragingly optimistic about their career outlooks for 2019. In the UAE specifically, 84% of professionals have a positive outlook for the new year. Only 6% felt negatively, while the remaining were neutral.
No Limits for Career Ambitions
In the UAE, 77% reported setting future professional goals for themselves, which included finding a new job (61%), learning new skills (45%) and getting a higher salary (43%).
With career development in mind, around two-thirds of respondents (65%) believed they deserve to work in a higher level position, and almost half of all respondents (48%) were willing to move to another department or area of expertise to develop their skillsets and further their professional careers.
In addition to this, 39% of UAE respondents stated they were 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 (80%), opportunities for career growth (66%), followed by job security (32%) and work-life balance (26%).
Interestingly, respondents are much more likely to prefer being an employee (61%) than owning a business (24%).
The reported reasons for seeking employment in the region are marked by the desire to “consistently learn and gain experience” as indicated by 66% of respondents. This was followed by the goals to “make money” (55%) and to be “financially independent” (53%).
Motivation levels at work
When it came to motivation levels in the workplace, two-thirds of respondents (71%) reported feeling motivated at work. Only 15% reported not being motivated at work, while the remainder were neutral in response to this topic.
Possibly connected to motivation at work, the prevalence of mentors and role models featured highly in the findings, with more than half of the respondents (62%) 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, 56% of respondents reported that “higher salaries and improved perks and benefits” would help to increase their motivation. More than half (51%) said “opportunities to express their creativity and showcase their skills” would also increase their motivation at work.
“It is wonderful to observe that the majority of respondents to Bayt.com’s Career Aspirations study emitted such a positive sentiment for the 2019 working year. This encouraging outlook will reflect positively on the region’s hiring activity and the individual career progression,” said Suhail Msari, VP of Employer Solutions, Bayt.com. “At Bayt.com, we work with over 40,000 employers across the MENA region and they rely on our technologies and data to master their talent management practices. Based on this study, it is crucial to acknowledge employee aspirations and satisfaction as we start a new calendar year and as we work to enhance the hiring and job seeking processes even more.”
Future Personal Ambitions
Overwhelmingly, the top personal goal for 2019 was reported to be saving more money, according to 72% of the UAE respondents. Other prominent goals included spending more time with family (36%), exercising more (35%). more travel (34%), and buying property (34%).
Interestingly, only 26% chose retirement before 50, indicating that more professionals desire to stay in the workforce for a longer period of time.
“The Career Aspirations study aims to better understand the challenges and aspirations of MENA professionals. It covers aspects such as perceptions and attitudes towards current job, career aspirations, barriers to career growth, overall work environment and personal aspirations and concerns,” said Kerry McLaren, Head of Omnibus MENA at YouGov.
Data for the 2018 Bayt.com ‘Career Aspirations’ study was collect online from November 22 to December 25, 2018. The results were based on a sample 3,128 respondents. Countries that participated are the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and others.