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4 things to do before we lose our jobs.

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Did you know that over 21,000 Malaysians lost their jobs in 2018? Plus, 50 percent of all these are from the Klang Valley? The four states where most people lost their jobs are Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor. This was what our Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said, “A significant number, 7,755 workers, who lost their jobs are those from the top three high paying jobs namely managers, professionals and technicians besides associate professionals that require diplomas and degrees for entry qualification. These three categories are limited and they also have to compete with fresh graduates.”  Full Article in worldofbuzz.com here.

Since our unemployment numbers remain low (by world standard yeah), the assumption is that most of these people should be able to get their next jobs easily. However, as someone having worked for the past 20 years of which nearly 70 percent was with Malaysia’s top job portal (from the time when it was not), let me share some tips on what we could do before we leave or were forced to leave our jobs.

#1 – Do More.  Seriously, take up more stuffs. When we are involved in many different projects with many different teams, it’s much harder to let us go and not affect anything in the company. Imagine someone who does only ONE role day in and day out and kept getting paid ever higher… If I want to cut cost, I will have to let him go and hire someone cheaper who could do more than one role… 

#2 – Learn. We may be in sales, read about FB marketing.  We may be in marketing, read up about real estate.  We may be in real estate, take up Train the Trainer’s qualification! The world today is a competitive one. Relying on just one skill will make what we are doing today extremely risky. Bosses love people who knows more too and will usually treat them better too. (Nothing to do with being more handsome or attractive!)

#3 – Qualification/ Skill.  Get latest relevant certifications. It can via part-time study for an upgrade in degree. It could be enrichment courses and it could even be learning a new vocational skill every weekend. Actually, we will never know if these qualifications will be useful but if we suddenly need them, starting at the time will be very slow… (Did I get a promotion after my MBA? No. Was my MBA useful in many instances? Yes…)   

#4 – Network is networth. Get to know people. Join NGOs, clubs and even Toastmasters. The time spent is not the same as time spent watching the TV or browsing Facebook. One makes you fat from inactivity while the other lets more people know you personally. When help is needed, do you help friends or strangers first? Perhaps a better job offer may come to us too!

I have changed jobs a few times, all are for career upgrades, not necessarily for more money at first. However, every time I start excelling in the new role, the money part takes care of itself. The world changes very fast these days. It’s impossible to change the world. It’s however much easier to get ready for those possible changes instead. This article is applicable even if you love your job a lot. To test ourselves, ask ourselves this question. “If I lose my job today, would I be able to get back a job I like within 30 days?” Hopefully the answer is a YES. 

written on 18 Dec 2018

Next suggested article:   Every job can be a career. No need for stereotyping

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