A poll of professionals in the Middle East called carried out by website bayt.com has found that 98 per cent of respondents plan on looking for a new job in 2017 – and nearly all of them (95.1 per cent) feel more prepared and qualified to apply for jobs this year than they were in 2016. The study, entitled Career Prospects in the Middle East, asked participants to reflect on their careers in 2016 and as a result four in ten (40.9 per cent) respondents feel satisfied with their career growth during the past year, while more than half (52.7 per cent) of respondents say that they stuck to the career resolutions they made last year. Overall, the majority of respondents are feeling good about the year ahead. When asked to describe how they feel, more than half (55.6 per cent) used the word “positive”, and another fifth (18.5 per cent) used the word “excited”.
More than two thirds (68.2 per cent) of respondents claim that they do their have career goals ready for 2017. What’s more, nearly nine in ten (88.5 per cent) state that they are likely to achieve their career goals in 2017, with six in ten (61.9 per cent) stating that they are “very likely” to do so.
MENA professionals have their goals set high for the year ahead, with nine in ten (89.5 per cent) respondents stating that they’ll have more job responsibilities in 2017 and almost the same amount (85.3 per cent) claiming that they will start taking more initiative at work. More than nine in ten (91.9 per cent) claim that they will dedicate more time for training and development. As for those who will remain in their current position, three quarters (75.5 per cent) of respondents feel very optimistic about getting a raise this year, and nearly the same amount (74.8 per cent) feel very optimistic about getting promoted in 2017.
For a majority (58.6 per cent) of respondents, finding a new job is at the top of their list of career goals, followed by improving skills and productivity (22.5 per cent). To reach these goals, more than eight in ten (83.7 per cent) claim that they will spend more time looking for jobs online in 2017. For those looking for new employment opportunities, 53.2 per cent say that they will look for career opportunities in 2017 using online job sites and other methods, while 29.8 per cent will exclusively use online job sites. Less than one in 10 respondents will use companies’ websites (7.1 per cent), personal networks (6.4 per cent), or social media (3.5 per cent) for finding jobs. When it comes to location preferences, nearly nine in ten (87.2 per cent) respondents say that they want to work in the Gulf region in 2017.
Along with the high optimism and proactive planning, there are some barriers that job seekers acknowledge. The main barriers that hold respondents back from achieving their career goals are a lack of growth opportunities (27.7 per cent), a lack of funding (22.6 per cent), a lack of experience (14.5 per cent), poor company management (14.3 per cent), a lack of work-life balance (10.9 per cent), too much competition (5.1 per cent), and fear of failure (4.9 per cent).
“It is evident that job seekers in the MENA region are determined and inspired to seek more career opportunities and better professional development strategies,” Said Suhail Masri, VP Employer Solutions, Bayt.com. “The fact that 83.7 per cent of respondents will spend more time searching for jobs online and that the majority will be using online job sites over any other search method, highlight the value that Bayt.com offers to the region’s professionals. We have witnessed a tremendous growth in the number of professionals who use Bayt.com to access the career tools and information they need. In fact, job seekers in 2017 are able to have daily access to over 10,000 jobs announced on Bayt.com. Our poll points to the increased efforts on the job seeker side and we will soon be revealing the region’s hiring potential in the bi-annual Bayt.com Middle East Job Index survey.”