The Ugly Truth of Job-Hunting.

Disclaimer: The post may sound a little harsh and possibly unfair to hiring companies. But it perfectly describes the difficulties that we face when it comes to job-hunting. This is based on the blogger’s personal opinions and not as a means for libel, slander or defamation.


I’m sure that each and every one of you have been down this road before. The path that takes you from learning that you:

(a) have lost your job;
(b) want to leave for a better job;
(c) have no job yet because you just graduated.

These scenarios often strike fear in our hearts because the employment market out there is unknown to us and we have no idea what we’re about to face. For those of you who have taken this path before, you are well aware of what you need to do. But for those who are fresh out of university, finding a job for the first time can be rather daunting.

I remember my first time attending an interview for a role of which I had no experience. The company’s hiring manager was kind enough to offer me the chance of meeting with her. I trembled with fear. I was racked with anxiety. I had no idea what to say or do.  I did what I could. I did my best. Yet, it was still not enough.

The cycle repeated itself. Week after week. Interview after interview. Rejection after rejection. I found one eventually, but not at the level of experience required. It was much higher with more requirements than I had to offer.

Eventually, I discovered the ugly truth of job-hunting. It is a disturbing trend especially for millennials who are looking for a place to stretch our imagination, to belong, and to be recognised for our efforts. Back in our parents’ heyday, as long as you have a degree and a driver’s licence, you’re good to go. Even if you didn’t have a car, you could always hop onto a bus or hail a cab and make your way to work.

These days, though, I found the requirements have tripled and the job descriptions are even more ridiculous than ever. It gets worse when you’re trying to find something that matches your skills and abilities, and one that falls within your salary range.

Sure, you can find just about any job online. But do they fall within your capabilities? If they do, are the companies willing to pay what you’re really worth? Based on JobStreet Malaysia’s 2017 Salary Report, the starting salaries for entry-level positions can start as low as RM800 to as high as RM5,533. On average, however, fresh graduates can expect a starting salary between RM1,800 to RM2,600. Do keep in mind that not all jobs are equal.

So that’s where I started. In time, my salary grew. Remember that not all jobs are created equal and it is up to the company’s discretion of how much they are willing to pay. But it begs the question of whether you should accept a job that pays you less than what you were previously earning.

And I found out that if you want to command a higher salary, you must be prepared to do the following:

(a) Be well-versed in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Tamil. Experience in speaking German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish is a plus.
(b) Be able to drive, cycle, swim, run, hop, jump, crawl and slither. If you can fly, levitate or snap your fingers and appear at your desk before 9:00am would be great!
(c) Must have Diploma in Accounting and Finance, Degree in Biochemical Engineering, Masters in Psychology, and PhD in Marketing and Management.

I apologise if this is an insult to anyone but frankly speaking, it is what I see. I’m not sure if anyone has everything. If the candidate has a positive attitude and is willing to learn, then why is it so difficult for companies to give them a chance?

Yes, it is hard to determine if the candidate is truly suited for the role. You can’t have your cake and eat it. It is also hard to determine if the candidate will stay with the company. It is a risk the candidate is taking to apply for a role for which they do not have the required skills or experience. Likewise, it is a risk for the company to take on hiring the person. If either could tell the future, neither would be in a difficult position in the first place.

I know it’s wishful thinking but all I need is for someone to have faith in me, give me a chance and pay me accordingly. It is not my fault that my previous company paid me so well. It is also not my fault that I lost the job eventually due to the return of a former employee whose job was then given back to her. Hence, I was no longer required by the company.

I am now stuck between a rock and possibly another rock. Job-hunting is no walk in the park. More like a one-way ticket to Hell because there will be “hell” to pay once my savings run out and my financial commitments override everything in my life.

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