Overcoming the ‘new normal’ in Malaysia’s tough job market

By Manforce Group Bhd


FOR years, youth unemployment in Malaysia has been a tough social issue to overcome, so much so that in 2018, we saw the number of unemployed youth graduates soaring to 162,000, as recorded by the Department of Statistics.

While fresh graduates have it hard to find work these days, it is extra onerous for those who are more vulnerable or neglected, particularly individuals who were unable to complete their high school education due to financial struggles or the inability to complete their tertiary education.

These are youths from relatively low-income households or B40 families in Malaysia who usually choose to drop out of school.

According to our recent survey, 85.5% out of 404 participants aged between 18-34 lost interest in studies, while some thought that they could contribute substantially to the household instead of adding more burden to the family.

However, what they have failed to consider is that dropping out of school may cause them to face long odds of success in a labour market that increasingly values education and skills.

This therefore begs the question: How will they acclimatise in the industry without relevant certificates and skills in the long run? How can they possibly keep up with the “new normal” in a tough job market? Do early choices between work and school jeopardise their future economic well-being?

For those out there still struggling to look for that job to afford that income, these are some of the key things we need to bear in mind in order to overcome the challenges of finding a job during these challenging times:

  • Don’t be choosy with jobs, flexibility is the key – Don’t be too picky, as the negative attitude towards jobs you dislike may lead to further unemployment. Bear in mind that to be knowledgeable about one’s specific job and industry is crucial, but to have additional practical skills can add a plus value as an employee;
  • Practice your skills and continue learning – In response to the range of issues associated with dropping out of school, there are plenty of prevention and ‘second chance’ programmes that are developed to assist or reconnect this higher-risk youth population;
  • Be motivated – The key is to set up a solid target and understand what you want by focusing on the opportunities available for working and learning. Do not hold back and continue to motivate yourself to achieve new goals; and
  • Stay disciplined when working remotely – The “new normal” means that a lot of the hiring procedures happening right now are for remote jobs, or jobs that will at least need to be functioned remotely. However, with remote working, there needs to be a certain responsibility to adhere to in order for the employer to put their trust in you.

Though it is undeniable that those in vulnerable positions are rendered voiceless and powerless in some ways, they should not be forgotten or side-lined in any way.

Rather, they should be given another way out to reconnect to the reality of the current job market as well, as proper solutions that suits them best will give them a second chance in life. – July 6, 2021.


Manforce Group Bhd is one of the leading foreign worker solutions providers in Malaysia whose aim is to elevate and recharge Malaysia’s workforce and economy again by building up local young workforce through the Malaysians Development Uplift Programme (MDUP) initiative.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE