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World of work | Daily Express Online


EVERYONE is excited that you have finally completed your SPM.  Your father wants you to be a Doctor. Your mother wants you to be a teacher. Your family members are encouraging you to be a lawyer. 

Your relatives want you to be a designer. Your friends want you to join them and study IT. Your teachers are motivating you to be a nurse.  Everyone around you is giving you FREE ideas. 

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But what about you?

Do not be upset with people around you. They are just trying to help you. They are concerned about you. Thank them for their guidance and help. I am sure you are not going to follow all their advice. 

You should be having your own ideas about your future. Since you did not share your ideas with them, they presume you don’t know what to do after SPM. So, they want to be helpful.

Although career planning is very, very important – no body teaches you how to do it. Parents want their children to have a steady and secured job when they finish their course. 

If you look around your relatives, friends and neighbours, many people who hold conventional careers such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, engineers and teachers  “seem” to be living comfortably. 

So, your parents feel that if you too follow their career path, you will be successful. However, times have changed. Your parents may not know that. 

Your relatives want you to be a designer because they know you designed the mural in your church. 

It was so lovely that they were impressed with your talents. They are confident you will do very well in art and design. They may be right to a certain extent. 

Some of your friends have decided to study IT in a particular college. 

They are asking you to join them and study IT because all of you can create a “kampong” in Subang Jaya. 

All of you can rent a house and stay together and have all the fun you want. It is also cheaper if you stay in one house. They are also right but do you like to study IT?

Your friends want to study IT because they like IT. They want you to study IT because they are your friends. Do you fancy that?

Then you remember your teacher said hundreds of nurses are needed throughout the world. Nursing is in demand. You don’t have to pay a single cent. 

The nursing college will sponsor your course. It will also offer free hostel, free uniform and on top of it they will give you some pocket money every month. 

Above all they will guarantee you a job after you complete your course. 

That is something that you can’t resist. Perhaps that is why your teachers want you to study nursing. The question is, do you like nursing ?

Career planning is life planning 

The career that you choose today will determine the lifestyle you will lead in time to come. However, no one really teaches you career planning. Teachers leave it to the parents and parents leave it to the school. 

So it is wrong to blame you if you don’t know how to plan your career. You may have had some guidance from school counsellors, teachers and friends but that is just bits and pieces. 

People may change careers several times during their lifetime!

Today’s school-leavers are still in a dilemma when they leave school.  Some of them are ignorant about the world of work. 

They still don’t know whether they should study for STPM, Matriculation, Foundation Programme, A Levels, Pre-Law or Pre-Business. They think they can study for Medicine even though they are from the Art stream.  

They are confused with IT, Computer Science, Information System, Information Technology, Computing, Software and Hardware Engineering. They are ignorant about many careers.

Then, you have those who do not know what their passions are. They are ignorant about their interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies and values.

 They do not know whether they like Physics, Chemistry. English Literature or Add Maths. Some of them would have excellent marks for Mathematics and yet have no interest for Maths. 

They don’t want to be accountants, auditors, statisticians or economists. 

How can they choose these careers if they hate working with figures.

The World of careers is changing very rapidly. Worst still, after Covid-19 the whole world of careers has changed. There are jobs which have vanished. 

There are multi-national companies which have closed. Pilots who were earning RM20,000 per month are selling burgers by the roadside. Company Directors are driving Grab to survive. 

Thousands of those who were retrenched are delivering goods for Shoppee, Lazada and Amazon. 

While thousands have lost their livelihood, they are not keeping quiet. They have to move on.They have started new jobs.

 They have started on-line businesses which was never a trend before. Seminars, workshops, classes and training were conducted on-line. 

Exhibitions went virtual.  Food and cakes were sold on-line. University courses were run on-line. Name it, and everything has gone “ on-line.”

World of Work today has been redesigned. People are working from home. 

This was never heard of before. But today working from home is the “in-thing”. 

Whether they were working for banks, offices, sales departments or legal firms, every one was allowed to work from home.  


Many newspapers vanished overnight. Some went on-line. 

Some people could not get suitable employment during this tough period. Instead of working for one employer they worked for several employers at the same time. 

Freelance workers, gig workers and crowd workers were created. People were getting used to taking jobs which gave them a better work balance rather than a fixed job.

With so many new things happening in the world of work, especially at this time, where would the future school-leavers start? 

Before even they start their career path, the world of work is in a mess. No one can predict what will happen tomorrow.  No one can assure anyone a job anymore. 

If a student does not understand what is happening around him, how is he going to start?

Unless school-leavers learn to plan they “new” future, the pathway ahead is going to be very rough and  tough. 

Over the next few weeks, let us look at career planning more seriously. 

Career planning workshop 

Schools, Colleges, NGOs, Clubs, interest groups and CSR units keen to host a “Career Planning Workshop”  for the benefit of students, school-leavers, members, teachers and parents  can write to  [email protected] 

The workshop will be conducted by Daily Express columnist K. Krishnan, MA(USA).

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