Surviving Malaysia’s Job Uncertainty In 3 Simple Steps

This article is written by Jennifer Dawson.

Throughout the course of 2018, 21,532 people lost their jobs, according to Free Malaysia Today. The majority of job losses occurred in Selangor where 5,902 jobs were cut. Kuala Lumpur followed with 4,767 losses made, proceded by Penang at 1,328. For expats, losing your job in the country can lead to financial uncertainty and worries regarding how you’ll survive in your new home. However, so long as you keep searching for a new vacancy and take steps to get your finances in order, you’ll be in a good position.

Evaluate your spending

Malaysian expats saw the cost of living in major cities rise significantly during 2018, according to ECA International’s Cost of Living Survey. Kuala Lumpur jumped 24 places to 188th. Meanwhile, Bahru and Penang also rose by more than 20 places each. Thankfully, Malaysia is still the cheapest Asian country for expats to live and work in. However, in order to keep your finances healthy while you search for a new job, it’s wise to evaluate your spending and outgoings to determine where you can make cutbacks. And when you are making essential purchases, consider your choice of payment method wisely. Making payment with a credit card will often reward you with points, cashback and complementary rewards which you can utilize during your job hunt.

Put yourself out there 

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) predicts that in 2019 employers will do their utmost to cut their costs. As staff wages is a significant cost in any business, the MEF has warned that Malaysian employers will shy away from hiring new members of staff. They also forsee automation taking a bigger role in employment this year. Therefore, it’s essential that you seek out vacancies in any way you can. Don’t just scour the net for positions, but go into businesses, show your face, and even call to get yourself noticed. Another great way to highlight your true potential is to offer to volunteer your services to these cost-cutting businesses. Make sure you make a good impression and you could bag yourself a paid job with the company.

Be willing to try something out of your remit 

One-half of Malaysia’s job seekers end up in roles below their educational level, according to Human Resources Online. While this may not be what you envisioned when you packed your bags and headed to the country, it’s important to remember that securing any job in today’s economy is a positive factor. Shamsuddin Bardan, the executive director for MEF, states that “My advice to fresh job seekers is not to be choosy and to accept offers even if the pay is low. They should try to get employed and get some working experience until the economy improves.” Therefore, when you’ve bagged a role, keep your head down, work hard and better-paid roles are sure to come your way.

Many Malaysian expats are facing job uncertainty. However, by watching what you spend carefully, and reconsidering the way you approach your future employment, you’ll be able to enjoy all that the country has to offer worry-free.


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