Dubai One
Nathalie Spree Offers Advice for MENA Executives Considering Career Changes
Published September 21, 2022

Nathalie Spree, lead partner in the Middle East, sat down with Dubai One for a conversation on career changes. A recent study from (a job site in the Middle East) said many professionals in the region would like to resign from their current roles to pursue their passions.

Spree said the survey sample size of 3,000 is too small to be reflective of the general population of the area, and the trend of professionals resigning to pursue their passions is not necessarily something she’s been seeing regularly. However, she has been seeing a lot of people that want to change the type of industry they currently work for. According to Spree, professionals don’t need to completely overhaul their work experience to follow their passions. “You don't need to actually change your experience, you're just moving slightly into a different area where you feel you're giving back and you're more fulfilled,” she said.

How do companies feel about people resigning to pursue their passions? “If you are regularly moving because you're trying to find your passion and you've got three, four, five roles of less than a year: That's a big red flag for an employer. I certainly look for that and I know that all of my clients do as well,” Spree said. According to Spree, companies (and those recruiting for them) want to see some loyalty from the people they’re bringing onto their teams. “We want to show that you've got commitment, that you've got tenacity and resilience, and you can stick with a company for longer than a year.”

However, she does have some advice for those looking to up skill or change their skills completely. “There's a lot of free resources available to you, a lot of online courses now, if you want to learn. Passion is all about effort as well. The more effort you put into something, the more you feel passionate about what you do,” she said.

You have to do the work, she said, to show prospective companies (or the one you’re at now) that you’re committed and passionate about learning something new and relevant to the career path you’re pursuing. “You can't be expected to move into a role with zero experience, but with the thought of, ‘hey, I'm a quick learner,” she said, “Go do the learning.”

With rising costs and uncertainty in today’s world, Spree said it may not be an ideal time to make a hard career switch. “If you've got a stable job, keep it. Explore your passions outside of work until you are ready–and a lot of that is financially ready right now–to be able to take that jump.”

Watch the full interview here.