Every job can be a career, stop stereotyping!

Is there anything wrong with a graduate or a non-graduate taking up a job as an insurance sales agent or even unit trust agent? Well, according to some people it’s sort of a last choice kind of job. Here’s that article in themalaysianinsight.com  Graduan jadi agen insurans,unit amanah kerana tiada kerja. In brief, it quoted MEF’s executive director, Shamsuddin Bardan as saying (translated) that this is a loss because these graduates who did the switch would not be able to apply what he has learnt in his study and had to continue to re-learn new skills outside what he studied. Within the article, it also quoted a few examples of candidates who made the switch and surprisingly, all of them were doing well. One of them said (translated), “Now my time is much more flexible, I have more time for my family compared to previous and I have an income which is similar or more than when I used to have a fixed pay.” Here’s the article again for reference. 

First of all, regardless of the job that we embark upon after we graduate, not everyone would get promoted until they reach the CEO level when they are 50 years old. Assuming there are 2,000 engineers in a MNC in Penang, how many would actually be promoted to be a team lead and promoted later to be a section manager, followed by a department manager, followed by a senior manager and even higher? Let’s be very clear that many would stay below managerial level until the day they retire and that’s a fact, regardless of what degree we actually graduated from. In other words, pay wise, it will never be at the top bracket  until the day we retire. Assuming we got ourselves a law degree today, how many would move on to become senior partners in some top established law firms in the country 10 years later? Frankly, many would continue to be a lawyer and keep doing the same thing and earning a normal pay until they retire from the profession. This the real life of a job / career and let’s not keep thinking that sales jobs are for those who could not get a job!

Remember the days when someone opening a clinic would earn extraordinary incomes every month? These days, it’s a fixed income (as a doctor in these clinics) because most of the clinics are franchised brand names. These clinics are able to approach organisations to appoint them since they have much better coverage and they even provide reports on a monthly basis too. Of course, it is still possible to operate a successful and profitable clinic but please tell me, are all the majority of the medical graduates able to do this, today or even in the future? There were also time when everyone working in the bank has a rock solid job and stable bonuses year after year. These days, the technology will be ‘killing’ many of these jobs. The only ones left would be those who are flexible enough to change themselves and accept a new scope of responsibilities. If we remember, just two years ago, those in the oil and gas industry had a hard time and many lost their jobs. It will not be easy to get back these lost jobs which pay more than double most of the other industries most of the time. With the world changing ever faster, we need to keep adapting.

I think these graduates who could not get a fixed job according to what they studied but is able to get a new career as sales for the insurance and  unit trusts are good people. I wish them all the best and I hope that there is no need to stereotype sales jobs as an inferior one. Do note though that for most sales organisations, the top 20 percent of all the sales people would earn extraordinary incomes that most of other professions could only dream about. Five figure income way before 30 years old? I think a sales job provide this possibility. This is why many of the buyers of multiple properties are also sales people, not just the typical professions that we think about. Happy working.

written on 12 Mar 2018

Next suggested article: Career ‘safety’, career growth and the investment actions




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