Employers can expect a wave of resignations in 2023, as most UAE professionals holding leadership roles are planning to make career changes next year, including moving jobs or retiring from work, according to a new survey. 

More than half (53%) of the country’s top-level executives polled for the Bupa Global 2022 Executive Wellbeing Index confirmed that they are reassessing their priorities and are planning to either leave their current employer or reduce working hours. They are also looking at the possibility of stopping work completely to improve their mental health and spend more time with loved ones. 

“Over the next year, the ‘rethinking of priorities’ will see one of the biggest waves of resignations and changes globally and locally… as some of the UAE’s top executives leave their jobs, become consultants, go part-time, retire or stop working completely,” Bupa said in a statement. 

The trend is likely to create “seismic shifts in the local labour market at the highest level” at a time of ongoing global economic uncertainty, Bupa noted. 

Why executives plan career changes 

According to the study, about nine in ten (94%) of top leaders in the UAE have experienced symptoms of poor mental health in the last 12 months.  

About one in five (20%) have experienced burnout, while 24% reported having “feelings of sadness and anxiety categorized as low mood” and 22% cited lack of energy. One in five (20%) have also experienced feelings of anger, mood swings and burnout. 

Executives also deal with “daily worries”, including personal financial stability (26%), family stress (23%) and changes to COVID management policies (22%). 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda)