Survival of the Fittest.

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As many Malaysians would have known by now, times have soured and the economy is changing. The current situation of our ringgit has been deteriorating for many months now, the latest currency status puts US$1 against RM4.38. And that, my friends, is not a pretty sight.

The economic situation is also changing, sadly, not for the better. Property prices have increased. Car prices have increased. Our local toll prices have increased too. The only thing that isn’t increasing are our salaries. Oil prices have dropped and are still dropping. Financial institutions are reducing their costs and have dropped many of their loyal employees too. Heck, I believe that any company or business who have plans on “reducing their liabilities by slashing their assets,” will do just that. Termination. Retrenchment. Firing. Anything but hiring. Like yours truly, who is now sitting at home in front of her laptop and typing this out to you.

But hey, the world isn’t ending just yet. We must fight back. We must find a way to stay afloat and upright, as long as we still have a pair of legs to walk and a pair of arms and hands to do the work for us. And what better floating device than a second source of income to help you survive. Part-time or freelance jobs, anyone?

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Part-time and freelance jobs aren’t as bad as they’re painted to be. Back in my college days, I used to attend four hour classes in the morning before heading over to a neighbourhood mall by bus to work part-time as a sales assistant for the remaining six hours before I went home for the day. It wasn’t easy, especially if you have early-morning classes like myself, but it makes you feel good when you get your salary at the end of the month. It wasn’t much but it’s still money. And it still amounted to something. I suppose it was easier to work on the side while you’re studying because you don’t have to attend class everyday for a fixed number of hours, unlike having a full-time day job. And it’s worse if you have kids.

However, the older generation will lecture your ears off if you tried to explain why you didn’t see that retail store for any vacancies. Back in their time, they would have slogged for twelve hours just to feed us and clothe us. And not a peep from them about how tired they were, how they lost sleep when we cried for milk at 3:00am in the morning and they have to go to work in three hours’ time, how they had no time or peace for themselves because they were too busy caring for our needs.

If you’re alright with swapping your weekends for money, you could try applying as retail sales assistants or managing events part-time. I’m sure there are companies out there who will need help with setting up roadshows and advertising events. If you prefer the weekends to yourself, perhaps you could try something a little closer to home. What I’ve been exploring so far is freelance work, where you could do something from the comfort of your home, and get paid. Or, you could start your own online business selling something that people want, or if you can find a niche in the market and aim to fulfil that need.

Another piece of advice to you though, is before you start anything, be sure to do some research first. It’s better to know what you’re getting yourself into before agreeing to do it.

Now, where is my next pole-dancing session tonight? Nah, just kidding!

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