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Why 53% of workers want to make a career change in MENA: a new survey

Better incentives, work-life balance, and compensation rank among top priorities.

Why 53% of workers want to make a career change in MENA: a new survey
[Source photo: Venkat Reddy/Fast Company Middle East]

Work-life balance has never been the best term to describe what all people want from their work and life—because more than balance, it’s really about “having it all.” People want fulfillment from work and life, better compensation, and they want to be able to choose their best path for each.

According to a recent survey, more than half of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region want to change jobs in the coming year to further their careers.

A survey carried out by Bayt.com found that 56% of workers in the MENA region, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and other countries, have vowed to look for new employment in the upcoming year. According to the report, a staggering 74% of these job seekers aren’t just considering leaving their present employer; they’re also considering leaving the industry they currently work in

About two out of ten (80%) professionals share the desire for a promotion or pay increase, while the desire to acquire new skills at work is shared by 21% of them.

“A majority of MENA professionals are not only up for a challenge next year, but also view it as a means to enrich their professional and personal life,” said Ola Haddad, director of human resources at Bayt.com. 

“MENA professionals display a growth attitude, eager to learn and develop, and have ambitious goals for 2023. To attract and retain talent, companies must provide the incentives, work-life balance, and professional possibilities that employees demand,” Haddad added. 

While professionals in the region wish to shift employment, they also desire work-life balance (25%), flexible work schedules (25%), competitive pay (20%), career growth prospects (31% of respondents), and competitive salaries.

Workers’ responses to questions on their expectations indicated that they wanted their employers to offer more resources for training and education (53%), more rewards and benefits (20%), and more feedback and support (15%). Employers should be more accommodating with timing, according to 12% of them.

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