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87% of Malaysians consider switching to another industry

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In the age of job hopping, having 77% of Malaysians on the hunt for a new job within their field of expertise is not surprising.

However, a new survey by recruitment giant Monster.com, found that 87% are also considering making the switch to another industry altogether, simply because they want to find “the best job”.

As part of a wider #IMadeTheSwitch campaign, Monster polled more than 2,400 respondents across Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines to examine and raise awareness on issues around career transitioning across Southeast Asia.

It found that some of the biggest reasons for making a career switch is the desire for a better salary and financial stability (45%), followed by lack of growth opportunities in their current industry (29%).

Nearly half (47%) of mid-career Malaysians feel underpaid, and 24% said their current career isn’t satisfying for them anymore because the job “isn’t what they expected it to be”.

While 9% of professionals were planning to make the switch simply because they don’t like their current career.

For Malaysian professionals with 15 or more years of experience, 64% said they have made a career switch before.

Other than financial gain, the desire to switch comes from a need to do something more challenging and purposeful (45%) and the realisation that the changing nature of their industry impacts future job prospects (24%).

The most desirable industries to Malaysians included government and defense (12%), followed by education (12%), and oil / gas / petroleum / power (9%).

Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of Monster.com – APAC and Middle East, said: “The cost of living in Malaysia has been steadily increasing over the past few years. At the same time, the latest Monster Employment Index shows that online hiring activity has shown negative growth for six consecutive months, suggesting less career opportunities in the market. Understandably, financial stability is a growing concern for Malaysians, and higher wages are a strong push factor for people to make career switches.”

The survey also found that among fresh entrants into the workforce, 87% are keen to explore career options beyond their field of study – although 45% are worried about their inexperience in other fields, and 18% are concerned they will need additional qualifications.

Mukherjee commented: “Millenials have different priorities from previous generations, and as they advance in the workforce, job fulfilment and purposeful work become more important factors that steer career decisions. As a result, more Malaysians are more open-minded to a career switch — even if the majority still view it as a bold move.”

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