’s latest poll reveals strong desire for career change
Rushika Bhatia
Industry Watch
Published:’s latest poll reveals strong desire for career change

When asked about a potential career change, more than 80% of Middle East professionals firmly stated they are looking to switch their career path.

However, 17% are clearly not willing to take the risk according to the latest online poll series conducted by the Middle East’s number one job site,

The results of the 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%), while16.8% blamed this inertia on their risk-averse personality or their fear of the unknown.

Also, 16.2% believed that in today’s market companies would simply not take the risk of hiring them; 14.5% said it was due to a lack of training or education opportunities required to effect this change;  9.9% said the lack of access to jobs in the desired new career was the main problem; and 9.4% 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% 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% 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% of participants said oil and gas, 16.5% said telecom/IT,14.6% chose tourism and hospitality, 9.9% said financial services, 8.2% chose management consulting; 7% voted for advertising and marketing, 3.7% stated healthcare, while 1.2% chose publishing. However, 7% said they would not care to join any of the above stated industries and 3.7% 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% expressed that they are most passionate about their current job and another 21.4% said it was their current industry. 15.6% felt that their existing team and environment was an intrinsic factor, 8.3% said their current company was what motivated them to stay on and 5.1% indicated they didn’t want to leave because they appreciated working for their current manager. Nonetheless, a staggering 28.1% voted for none of the above elements.

When asked what they are most dissatisfied about in their career, 20.5% indicated their current job, 20.1% indicated their current company, and 15.7% indicated their current manager. While 9% indicated the industry itself was the main issue. Only 11.3% believed that their current team and environment were not working out for them and the rest (23.3%) said none of the above bothered them.

Asked what would most motivate them to change careers,  25.8% firmly said a better salary would be a great incentive; 18.3% claimed an opportunity to start fresh in their dream career, 12.7% said additional training and development. 17.9 % look for a promise of long term stability while 8.1% look for a better company; 4.8% specified better management as an encouraging reason; 10.2% would change to get a better workplace environment; 1.5% would look for more flexible hours, while only 0.7% 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 ten years. 27.9% said in a different career with a new job, company and industry. 24.1% felt they would be in the same industry and company but with a different job, and 22.6% 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% said they could have the same job ten years from now, but in a different company and industry and a further 8.7% were not sure of what their future held for them.

Respondents’ answers also varied when asked how often they changed their jobs. 31.5% stated they have never changed their job till date; 10.1% claimed to have switched jobs once every year or less; 15.1% stated once every two years; 14.3% said once every three years; 15.2% said every four to five years; and 9.5% claimed changing jobs every six to ten years. The rest of the respondents (4.2%) only changed every 11 to 15 years.

“We are devoted to studying and evaluating data that can help both our employees and employers,” said Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, “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 at provide an even better platform for professionals pursuing a new and better professional career and employers seeking to source and retain top talent.”

“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.

Data for the Career Reinvention and the MENA Workplace poll series was collected online between April 4th and May 9th 2011, with a total of 13,361 participants from across the Middle East. This and other Middle East research is available online on