Last two weeks I had stumbled upon this piece of news regarding Malaysian fresh graduates couldn’t get a good job. Read the article HERE. I was not offended by the article or anything like that, but I was slightly disturbed with the comments of the article itself.
You see, I’m a fresh graduate exactly a year ago where I got my first job. Like other freshly graduated friends of mine, we started to discuss among ourselves regarding the expected salary and also asking our seniors regarding that matter and the process of interview. I swear that each of us, the average asking price of our salary is about RM2200.
However, according to most of our interviewer, the price we demand for our first job is a little bit overboard.
Most of the companies are only wiling to fork out RM1800 and there will no increment as well after confirmation. The problem is this. Is the salary that we demand with our educational background to be too overboard? A freshly graduate diploma student can get RM1800 a month 10 years ago and while a freshly graduate student both degree and diploma, can ONLY get RM1800 a month in present times.
Try comparing the standard of living 10 years ago to the present times. I still remember paying RM3.50 for my bowl of noodles and also RM1.20 Iced Coffee. Right now, a bowl of noodle averages RM4.50 a bowl and the cheapest you can get around Petaling Jaya or Kuala Lumpur is RM4.00 a bowl. Not to mention the current price is hiking up and there are so many food around selling RM 6 to RM10 per plate. Try to compare the petrol prices 10 years ago and also the current petrol price.
So is asking a slightly higher salary than 10 years ago to be overboard? There is only a difference of RM400 between RM2200 and RM1800. I knew someone who started out 20 years ago as a freshly graduate student with a degree, and his first salary was RM2000. How about now? What is the value of RM2000 20 years ago and RM2000 in present times?
20 years ago, a person need not to work long to be able to afford a car and house on his own. Probably about 5 years time of working. Right now, you wouldn’t even know if you can afford a house after 10 years of working and we wouldn’t even mention about starting a family. So I ask again, is the salary we demand at RM2200 is considered overboard? Or the majority employers in Malaysia are just plain too cheapskate?
Let’s not talk about salary demand, shall we?
We talk about the skills we acquired from our university days. When we talk about our current education system is a bit too lenient and most of it is outdated, I couldn’t agree more. I too realized this harsh reality as soon as I set foot in working life. I found out the knowledge I had in me is not only outdated, but some of it, are just plain downright useless. However, I believed this is almost the same as any fresh graduates at any given time. Isn’t that so? I do not believe that each and every fresh graduate who had never experienced any working life before would be able to know how a company runs and etc.
It’s true that every bosses worked their ass off from the bottom to where they are now. But compared to the economy and standard of living last time and present, we would not need a economy expert to tell us there’s a huge difference in it. The most ironic thing is right now, most people including bosses complained that the prices of things keep getting up while salary didn’t.
Another thing that amuses me most that despite all the complains about current fresh graduates couldn’t get a job due to poor command in both written and spoken English, there are a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes in them. It’s to the point where primary school level mistakes are being made. Talk about being hypocrites. I never claimed about having perfect English as I only think of my English standard is just pretty average but I never really bad mouthed others regarding their poor command in this language unless that person personally start being a hypocrite.
And last but not least, their perspective of viewing things are quite narrow and some are actually ignorant about the term “entrepreneurship”. It amuses me when someone actually talk all high and mighty about getting a job and maintaining it to refer to entrepreneurship. If you do not truly understand the meaning of their word and too lazy to look up the dictionary, there’s Google to do the magic for you.
So Malaysia’s fresh graduates? Can or cannot? It’s entirely up to you but if there’s no chance given, you will not know for sure. I’m one of the very FEW and RARE fresh graduates who manage to get into a big company that offers me a high paying salary for an entry level employee and at the same time, being taught a great deal by my senior colleagues. I’m not boasting about my current job or company, just merely expressing my gratitude towards my company and my boss. Reading this article made me felt even more blessed to be employed here and I think I’m very lucky as well.
So if you are a fresh graduate, know yourself and the market well. Prepare yourself for the world and your job hunting. Good luck.