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Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) the oil, gas, and petrochemicals industry is perceived as one of the most preferred to work in. However, this is driven more by attitudes in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and North Africa, whereas in the Levant it is the education, IT, and banking sectors that are most preferred, according to research from online recruiter Bayt.com.
The most important factors for choosing an ideal job include salary and benefits (76%), followed by opportunities for career growth (51%), and work/life balance (38%). Less than 50% rated their current job positively on work/life balance. On the other hand, respondents rated their current jobs highly on their company’s reputation (72% state ‘good’ to ‘excellent’) and manageable workload (67% state ‘good’ to ‘excellent’).
Nevertheless, respondents’ overall opinion of their current job is positive, with 48% agreeing that their job is perfect for them, although 63% would like to be promoted to a higher level position. A further 46% aim to be experts in their field, while 35% are prepared to move to another area of expertise or department to further their career.
Survey results show that only 28% of respondents agree that there are many opportunities for career advancement with their present employer. However, a larger percentage (41%) perceive there are more opportunities within their industry. About two in five respondents agree that promotions within their company are based on a fair system, although a similar percentage also perceive otherwise.
The main reason identified by respondents for accepting their current job is that it was the only or first one they were offered (33%). This reason is primarily driven by North Africa and the Levant region.
The top three reasons for seeking employment include the need to learn and gain experience (72%), to be gainfully employed (58%), and to feel useful to society (53%).
The main barrier to personal career growth was identified as a lack of growth opportunities (39%). Other factors considered as barrier include; poor management within the current company (32%), favouritism in the workplace (25%), a lack of training (18%) and lack of experience (18%). In terms of attaining career goals, a lack of financial support (42%) and lack of opportunity (42%) are cited as the top barriers, followed by a lack of resources (34%).
Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov, commented: “It is quite apparent that one’s career is very important for MENA residents. And people seem to enjoy their jobs. Companies in the MENA can try to plan better career growth routes to improve motivation at work. It’s also important to note that 44% of respondents said that they would feel more motivated if they are given more opportunities to express creativity and showcase skills.”