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What’s one ‘must’ change Middle East professionals are looking for in 2018?

With every new year comes a new outlook and a set of goals to be accomplished.

A new poll by, the Middle East’s leading job site, entitled ‘New Year’s Resolutions in the Middle East and North Africa,’ illustrates a remarkably high morale and optimism amongs professionals in the region coming into 2018.

More than four in five (83.9%) respondents say they are feeling ‘positive’ about 2018. 8.7% said they have a ‘neutral’ outlook and only 7.4% had a ‘negative’ one.

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On top of that, many professionals in the Middle East are reportedly setting many new goals for the New Year. In fact, 84% said they will set New Year’s resolutions aimed towards their careers, their relationships, as well as their personal goals.

Career goals

Nine in ten (89.2%) MENA professionals say they set New Year’s resolutions at least some of the time, with 72.2% saying they ‘always’ do. When it came to resolutions for 2018, a large majority (82.5%) of respondents are going after a ‘career change’. In fact, three quarters (74.6%) of respondents said that ‘finding a new job’ is their main career resolution for the year.

Other career goals included ‘learning new skills / pursuing higher education’ (9.6%), ‘getting a salary raise or a promotion’ (5.3%), ‘being more productive’ (4.1%), ‘starting own business’ (3.1%), ‘forming better relationships at work’ (1.7%), and ‘other’ career goals (1.6%).

Moreover, most MENA professionals have a positive outlook on their job hunt for 2018, with more than nine in 10 of current job seekers saying they ‘will find their ideal job’ this year.

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In pursuing the job hunt in 2018, the most important job attribute for a far majority (61.7%) of respondents is ‘career growth opportunities’, followed by a ‘competitive salary’ (13%), ‘work-life balance’ (11.1%), ‘learning and training’ offerings (7.3%), and a ‘reputable company brand’ (6.9%).

“It is inspiring to see that MENA professionals have a very positive attitude towards reaching their goals in the upcoming year, especially in regards to their job search and career growth aspirations,” said Suhail Masri, VP Employer Solutions,

“With three-quarters of respondents searching for new jobs in 2018, we at are excited to help even more professionals fulfill their goals. In 2017, we’ve successfully posted over 140,000 jobs and facilitated over 1.7 million CV searches and over 1.5 million contacts between employers and job seekers. We look forward to extending our help to more job seekers and to make a greater number of jobs available in 2018 and the years to come.”

Personal Growth

Aside from job-related aspirations, MENA professionals also have ambitious personal goals for 2018.

More than half (56.1%) of respondents say they mostly want to improve their friendships and relationships, while another quarter (25.3%) say they want to improve their finances and spending habits. Improving hobbies and personal interests (6.6%), spiritual and religious life (6.5%), and health and wellness (5.5%) are also among respondents’ personal priorities in 2018.

When it came to health and wellness specifically, 80.6% of respondents said they will eat healthy food and/or join a gym in 2018. The rest of respondents (19.4%) said they are ‘already happy’ with their health.

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Careful planning

In terms of execution, four in five (80.4%) MENA professionals say they usually complete their New Year’s resolutions with ‘careful planning and hard work’, while most of the remainder (15.9%) say they do so by ‘going with the flow and trying different options’ to achieve their goals.

These approaches have reportedly been largely successful in past years: more than three quarters (78.3%) of respondents said they completed at least some of their 2017 New Year’s resolutions, with 35.9% saying they completed all or most of them.

Data for the 2018 ‘New Year’s Resolutions in the Middle East and North Africa’ poll was collected online from 3 December 2017 to 11 January 2018. Results are based on a sample of 8,849 respondents. Countries that participated include the UAE, Bahrain, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia, Qatar, KSA, Yemen, and others.