Job seekers upbeat despite slack Mena outlook


Issac John

Published: Sun 16 Feb 2020, 7:08 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Feb 2020, 9:10 PM

Job seekers in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region are on the lookout for bigger, better opportunities and are very optimistic about what 2020 will bring, in spite of a general gloom clouding the regional economy in the backdrop of slowdown, a survey reveals.
A majority of the respondents in the survey conducted by, a leading job site, believe that 2020 would bring plenty of changes in their professional and personal lives. The poll revealed that a great majority of Mena professionals (85 per cent) feel confident about 2020 and are optimistic about their ability to stick to their resolutions. Almost two-thirds of those who made New Year's resolutions in 2019 (65 per cent) said they have achieved all or most of them.
According to the poll titled "New Year's Resolutions in the Middle East and North Africa 2020," 76 per cent of the respondents have made resolutions for 2020 and 70 per cent of them believe this year will bring plenty of changes in their professional and personal lives.
"We are pleased to see so many Mena professionals aiming to improve their career prospects this year," said Ola Haddad, director of Human Resources at "Job seekers are on the lookout for bigger, better opportunities and are very optimistic about what 2020 will bring. Professionals are in the driver's seat and they expect much more than salary from their workplace. Our poll shows that communication, team dynamics and support from colleagues are increasingly important factors. To attract and retain talent, employers will need to meet workers' career expectations and provide the perks, work-life balance and career advancement opportunities they demand."
Respondents highlighted the expectations they have of Mena employers - which include more training and learning resources (50 per cent), providing more feedback and support (21 per cent), offering more rewards and benefits (15 per cent), and being more flexible with timing (7.0 per cent).
According to recruitment consultancy Cooper Fitch, job market in the UAE is poised to improve in 2020 following a spate of restructurings and mergers, but salaries will remain "broadly flat" across most sectors. The Cooper Fitch 2020 Salary Guide said new hires in all sectors can expect an average one per cent increase in market salary ranges next year. Telecoms, investment management, manufacturing and technology can expect modest increases of two per cent. The guide's salary ranges include basic income and all fixed allowances.
The survey shows that most Mena professionals are focused on improving aspects that have a direct impact on their professional lives - 19 per cent want to become more productive and efficient, 17 per cent would like to learn new skills, six per cent would like to build more meaningful relationships, and 56 per cent want to improve all of the aforementioned categories. When asked about their top career-related resolutions, 47 per cent said they plan to find a new job, 25 per cent said they would like to learn a new skill and 24 per cent are aiming for a higher compensation.
One way to achieve professional goals at work is through an appraisal, which allows employees to discuss their performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, discover what their ambitions are, and work on how to get there.

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