Malaysians are concerned about their professional future and are exploring job opportunities outside of their realms of experience to find higher wages and more fulfilling careers.
According to a survey by recruitment giant Monster.com, a large 77 per cent of Malaysian workers are already on the hunt for a new job within their field of expertise.
The survey showed that 87 per cent would also consider making the switch to another industry altogether to find ‘the best job’.
The online career and recruitment resource centre said the biggest reasons for making a career switch is the desire for a better salary and financial stability (45 per cent), followed by lack of growth opportunities in their current industry (29 per cent).
“The cost of living in Malaysia has been steadily increasing over the past few years. At the same time, the latest Monster Employment Index shows that online hiring activity has shown negative growth for six consecutive months, suggesting less career opportunities in the market, said Monster.com – Asia Pacific and Middle East chief executive officer Abhijeet Mukherjee.
Abhijeet added that financial stability is a growing concern for Malaysians and higher wages are a strong push factor for people to make career switches.
He said millennials have different priorities from previous generations, and as they advance in the workforce, job fulfilment and purposeful work become more important factors that steer career decisions.
“As a result, more Malaysians are more open-minded to a career switch — even if the majority still view it as a bold move,” he said.
The survey was part of a wider #IMadeTheSwitch campaign, in which Monster polled more than 2,400 respondents across Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines to examine and raise awareness on issues around career transitioning across Southeast Asia.
It also aims to identify these issues for employers, who might want to understand why employees would consider changing careers, and how they can retain their workforce.
Among fresh entrants into the workforce, 87 per cent are keen to explore career options beyond their field of study, 45 per cent are worried about their inexperience in other fields, and 18 per cent are concerned they will need additional qualifications.
For mid-career professionals, 43 per cent want to switch career paths for bigger wages and financial stability, 47 per cent of Malaysians in this stage of their careers feel underpaid, and 24 per cent said their current career isn’t satisfying for them anymore because the job “isn’t what they expected it to be”.
For Malaysian professionals with 15+ years of experience, 64 per cent said they have made a career switch before.
Other than financial gain, the desire to switch comes from a need to do something more challenging and purposeful (45 per cent) and the realisation that the changing nature of their industry impacts future job prospects (24 per cent).
The most desirable industry to switch to is government and defence (12 per cent), followed by education (12 per cent) and oil/gas and power (9.0 per cent).