Most people these days will choose a job based only on how much money is offered. They are right for a number of reasons. Having a higher salary point, even if you had the job for six months to a year can position you at a much higher rate for the next job. Another reason could be that although Malaysia is the fourth largest economy in S.E Asia, the wage increase has been very slow and lags below the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) standard, the global body that helps countries to put in place standards and policies for a better standard of life. Therefore, it’s very understandable as far as salary is concerned, particularly for Malaysians. The main purpose of working is to earn a decent salary. We don’t work for free, we need to progress financially and don’t want to miss good opportunities.
That being said, let’s explore other things to consider in this respect.
How about other benefits?
Here’s where it’s easier. Sometimes it’s better to accept an offer that comprises a slightly lesser salary but has good benefits such as:
a) A group insurance scheme.
b) Medical coverage.
c) Petrol and parking – paid or subsidised.
d) A reasonable number of paid leave.
e) Family perks and other benefits.
f) Advancement opportunities and training.
Another more strategic thing would be if it is the right career move that aligns with your own future goals. Instead of the interviewer asking us the question, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”, direct that question to yourself first. For example, are you able to visualise yourself moving up to a more senior position in a few years? Is there that kind of advancement, or are you going to be in your cubicle only?
Various Duties vs Just One duty
This will be a clear sign of a good or bad way forward. If your job description just outlines a handful of duties; meaning just related to:
1. “Your job and what you know only”,
as opposed to
2. “More things to do to expand your skills and learn more about the business”.
Which one will you be happy with?
Many people will be happy with “your job and what you know only”. This way, you don’t have to think about anything so much and life will be so much easier. But here’s the problem with this. You’ll get bored and complacent very fast. You also set yourself up for a stagnant career with no opportunities for growth.
What does stagnant mean? Well, have you ever seen a fresh pond of water? It’s clean and full of life in the beginning, but it is isolated. There’s no fresh water coming in and going out. There are no positive changes or cycles happening in it as water is not flowing or moving. It is stagnant. Soon, the life inside it is gone, replaced by bacteria and mosquitoes.
In order to avoid this kind of life, you must allow cycles of change into your area of work. This is what we mean by opportunities for growth. Companies look for such people who welcome changes instead of isolating themselves in their cubicle. They become that pond that no one wants to visit. Allowing changes into your area of work and job description will open you up to those new opportunities.
The phrase “opportunities for growth and learning up new things” can only mean one thing. That you do work that is more than just your job. As you do more, you learn and grow more and this is in line with point 2 above. Remember your job description in your appointment letter? Does it say, “Any other ad hoc duties deemed suitable by the management from time to time?”.
Some people feel apprehensive about that phrase, but that is just it! The opportunity to grow more than what you are now. That is how you can recognise the better option.
It’s also important to check out and do some research on the company about how employees are treated or if there’s a high staff turnover- meaning that many people don’t last long in the company. There could be many reasons for this, such as not paying your EPF, Socso and Income Tax which are offences by law.
The company may look good on the outside, but you can never know their true work culture till you’ve actually been with them for a few months. Then you can evaluate your future goals if they align with this current job yet again. Still, however, experience is experience. A difficult working experience is also a good thing because you will learn the way of the world and become a stronger person, hard as nails and tempered by fire. But still, don’t waste time in a company that doesn’t pay you the “ESI” (EPF, Socso, Income Tax). Any place that doesn’t bother about this basic thing is not worth your time as it will affect you later down the road.
Instead, choose to stay in a company where there is good chemistry between the boss and workers. It will take some time, but you will notice subtle things like how fast and well they work together. Their communication and how they respect and celebrate each other. How they trust each other as to what we spoke about in the last post. Can you visualise yourself being part of that equation?
Choosing a certain job that requires a high commitment might come at a great personal cost, such as sacrificing family time and less or zero work-life balance. This may cause real health problems, and there is also a serious risk of burning out. So, depending on which industry you are in this part of the world, it’s still a personal choice and a question of capability and willingness to handle that job on your end.
This is where some self-evaluation may be in order. Can you really do it? Are you willing to commit to a job that may work you to the bone, or is that where you can thrive? In such a scenario, you really have to put your happiness and personal priorities first.
If you are still early in your career, then perhaps you can’t demand a work-life balance as you have much to prove. You end up working extra hours without pay. This is okay at the beginning when you need to learn the job, but it depends on the nature of the industry and most importantly, your ability to manage your time and tasks. We still need work-life balance because your workplace won’t benefit from an exhausted you. You also need to pursue other interests outside of work to attend to your growth.
In closing, we come again to the research that you must do. The research is what will help you the most in making the best decision. Good hunting and choosing!