MENA residents see Freelancing as career option

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Bayt.com poll reveals that freelancing is considered a viable career by 69% of MENA residents.

Freelancing is seen to offer a better work-life balance and better pay than full-time employment.

The recent Bayt.com State of the Freelance Market in the MENA Region poll conducted by Bayt.com, the region’s number one job site, reveals that freelancing is considered by 75.2 percent of respondents to be a good option for someone working in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with perceived better pay and a better work-life balance than full-time workers.

Seven-out-of-10 (69.2%) respondents would consider working on an independent or freelance basis, instead of being a full-time employee, with their main motive for doing so, to achieve a better work-life balance (30.5%). Other top reasons professionals would consider a freelance career are to focus more on the things they love (23.5%); better pay (18.3%), and more control over their career path (11.8%). Freelancers are considered by 54.9% of respondents, to earn more than full-time professionals.

The main reason most full-time employees take on freelance work is so that they can earn more money, according to 63.9 percent of professionals polled, or to explore other career opportunities (14.7%).

Yet, it seems professionals are put off from embarking upon a freelance career because they don’t know where to start (31.1%), though visa issues are also a major concern for 15.6%, and 14.6% are concerned by a lack of opportunities.

MENA freelance
MENA freelance

Suhail Masri; “There is clearly a strong interest in freelancing in the region; however, the majority of people do not know where to begin. This suggests that more needs to be done to educate professionals in the Middle East on their options. After all, promoting entrepreneurship in this form is essential to addressing youth unemployment and boosting the MENA countries’ GDP’s. At Bayt.com, not only do we provide a wealth of jobs and recruitment solutions to connect people looking for jobs with business owners, we also empower our professionals’ community with constant access to live data regarding the employment and economic pulse of the region.  Bayt.com caters to professionals at all career levels seeking full-time jobs as well as internships, consulting work and freelance opportunities and has over 12 years experience empowering creative regional recruitment solutions pan-industrially.” — Suhail Masri, VP Sales, Bayt.com

Most respondents to the Bayt.com MENA HR poll (44.2%) know at least five or more professionals who freelance, while students and fresh graduates are considered to be the most likely to freelance (50.2%). Professionals with 5-10 years of experience are also thought likely to freelance by a fifth of respondents (21.6%).

The skills a professional has, will determine whether they have the potential to be a freelancer, as stated by 48.1 percent of respondents – though three-in-10 (27.2%) also claim that ‘anyone’ can go independent.

Flexibility and adaptability are the top traits a freelancer should have (according to 27.6%), followed by great self-confidence (16.3%), the ability to multi-task (15.5%), and good time management skills (14.5%).

Half of the respondents’ companies (53%) outsource work to freelancers, because it is considered to be cheaper than hiring an employee (30.4%). Freelancers are also seen as being a good contingency plan between hires (28.4%), while a quarter of respondents (24.8%) believe that they are more skilled and efficient.

Data for the Bayt.com State of the Freelance Market in the MENA Region poll — was collected online from May 2 to May 28, 2013, with 7,795 respondents from UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

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