You Wanna be Employed?
The World Economic Forum’s warning that five million jobs could disappear in five years because of advances in technology sounds like robots are taking over the world. Uuu, sounds apocalyptic doesn’t it? But will it really happen… in Malaysia? Soft skills are foundation skills that apply across the board, no matter what job an employee is performing. More employers are searching for graduates who are balanced, with good academic achievement and possessing ‘soft skills’ such as communication skills, problem solving skills, interpersonal skills and the ability to be flexible currently in Malaysia. Studies of employers have repeatedly stressed the priority which they give to ‘personal transferable skills’.
So fret not, Malaysian employees aren’t bound to lose out to any WALL-E or R2D2 as for at least another ten, fifteen years.
Learn to Lead and Be Led.
Be a leader and also a team Player. Employers today are looking for graduates not only with specific skills and knowledge but with the ability to be proactive enough to see and respond to problems in a team and individually. Great team players communicate their ideas honestly and clearly and respect the views and opinions of others on the team. Clear, effective communication done constructively and respectfully is the key to getting heard. Great team players knows that coming up with creative ideas is what it’ll take to get ahead. Take on more responsibilities and extra initiatives to set yourself apart from the team and be the leader the team needs. Self leadership is also a criterion highly regarded by many employers. With rising numbers of corporation incorporating flexible working hours, less emphasis are put on the normal 9-5. The ability to lead oneself to perform better and more efficient, not limited to the normalcy is now a vital skill. Being flexible with your time and movement would make you a reliable, highly sought after employee.
Can’t find a JOB in a TOP NOTCH COMPANY? Try medium-sized firms!
The minute, if/when companies like EY, Deloitte or PwC, sends you that sad rejection letter. Before, pouring your eyes out, wipe those tears and start thinking outside of the confines of your mind. Think big! The current corporate giants began from small enterprises. Apple was just two men working in a garage. The ‘mamak’ chain we all know and love all started from one mamak. You never know what project will become huge so don’t just aim for established companies. Establish one yourself or work with one from the start. More often than not, smaller sized to medium sized firms will give you more on the ground experience. Vital in field knowledge that if used wisely could mean management material. The current head of Maybank Kim Eng was just a clerk who started with the company from the beginning then learned how investment banking works. Over time his experience would mean the highest executive position in the company.
Let's Get Technical!
To add credibility, lets not forget the technical aspect of our careers. If you’re aiming to be a software specialist, consider focusing on coding. If you’re in banking, consider training your persuasion skills. Yet, don’t forget that your careers could lead you to numerous unknown possibility. You could be a software specialist today but tomorrow a bank comes knocking on your door asking you to be their investment analyst specialising on high tech
start ups, your coding skills would be less vital than your financial data analysis skills.
Point is, don't constrict yourself to only in job skills. Expand your skills set, be dynamic. Learn to use excel even when you’re a salesperson. Learn corporate management even when you’re a secretary. The skills from multiple disciplines would give you further appreciation of the company you work for as it allows you to understand the company from top to bottom but not only that, it’ll provide you a blue ocean (refer to the highly regarded business guide). Learning other disciplines gives you a flexibility that is only unique to you. Being an accountant who can write would mean you writing your company’s annual corporate summary for your board of directors with in depth financial data and literature zest.
To make sure, the AI’s do not come sweeping the ‘White Collar’ jobs most students seek or, we have got to rise above others, or better yet, rise WITH others.
MUHAMMAD AZIZUL HAZIQ and SYARIFAH NUR ARISAH