A new poll conducted by Bayt.com – the Middle East’s largest Job Site – reveals that more than four in five (83%) professionals have considered “changing their career path completely”, with nearly two thirds (64.2%) saying that it is “very easy” to change jobs in the region.

Shifting to a new job (or choosing a totally different career) isn’t always about the salary. When asked why professionals may change their careers entirely, “to find their real passion” was the most common reason (57.7%), followed by “better compensation” (18.1%), opportunities to “learn and challenge themselves” (14.2%) and entering industries with a higher hiring activity (8.1%).

“Changing careers is a big step but if the job seeker has thought it through, they can set themselves up for a future that aligns with their personal goals and financial expectations. Professionals switch jobs all the time – often the switch is to something related, and other times the career path swerves in a completely different direction. Currently, Bayt.com features more than 20,000 jobs to highlight the diverse range of opportunities available in a job market that is evolving and growing continuously,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions at Bayt.com. “We also work with over 34,000,000 professionals regularly to help them embark on new career opportunities.”

When people switch jobs, it seems only natural that they would look to do something related. After all, skills or experience in one area can carry over to another. According to Bayt.com survey, the biggest challenge associated with changing careers is “transferring skills and relevant experience” (76.4%), “finding relevant jobs” (9.5%), “understanding a new industry or job role” (2.8%), “recreating CV and cover letter” (1.3%) and all of the aforementioned factors (8%).

While many professionals change employers, they tend to remain in the same (or very similar) occupations. More than half (54.6%) of the respondents deem it necessary to work in the same field as their educational background but 43% are open to working in different fields.

A majority of the respondents (63.8%) believe that it is not necessary to obtain additional education/training before changing careers, 20.3% believe it is important in some cases and 14.5% believe that it is always important to gain new skills before switching jobs. However, when professionals have the skills that are vital for businesses to succeed, making big career shifts becomes a more manageable task.

Today’s workforce may be more mobile but they still are strategic and thorough about the process of switching careers. Nearly half of respondents (47.1%) believe that they should stay in their current role for at least a year before they switch to another one, 10% believe they should stay between one and two years, 19.1% think they stay between two and three years before making the change, while 18.8% say “it doesn’t matter” how long you stay in one job.

That said, professionals in the Middle East typically switch careers in the early stages of their work life – 70.2% in the first five years, 19.2% between five and ten years, while people in senior management are least likely to switch careers entirely with only 7% doing it after ten years in the same field.

Conducting the Perfect Job Search

Switching careers requires certain tools and preparation to help the professional in the transition process. Whilst looking for a new role, most jobseekers agree that they need to “rewrite their CV” (85.5%). Respondents also state that in order to change careers successfully, they mostly need help in professional CV writing (53%), identifying new career opportunities (19%), and market /industry knowledge and research (4%).

The initial steps in successfully switching careers are to create a new CV for the target industry (81.4%), learning missing key skills (6.4%), assessing whether the switch is a practical option given past experience (4.5%) and researching the market trends and opportunities (5.3%).

According to the poll respondents, the role of online job sites in providing support as professionals begin a new career switch are diverse and include “finding new jobs”, “learning new skills”, “learning about industries” ,and providing “professional CV writing.”

Data for the Bayt.com’s survey about switching careers in the Middle East and North Africa was collected online from September 23 to November 21, 2018. Results are based on a sample of 8,380 respondents. Countries assessed include UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia, and others.


Source: MSL Group