Archive for the ‘Careers’ Category

8.6 million jobs in the private sector in second quarter of 2019.

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The number of jobs in the private sector increased by 145,000 in the second quarter this year to 8.6 million posts compared with 8.5 million in the corresponding period last year, according to Malaysian Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (pic).

He said 97.5% or 8.4 million of the posts were filled with vacancies for 218,000 posts or 2.5%.

Most of the jobs were in the semi-skilled category, totaling 5.4 million or 62.3% of the positions, followed by 24.4% in the skilled category and 13.3% for low-skilled.

In terms of jobs created, the semi-skilled category represents 48.5% (13,200), followed by skilled category 44.% and 6.8% for low-skilled category, he said in a statement on Friday (Sept 6).

Mohd Uzir said 51.6% of jobs in the private sector were in the service sector, while 26.3% were in the manufacturing sector, followed by 15.2% in the construction sector, agriculture (5.9%) and one percent in mining and quarrying.

In terms of job vacancies, he said 55.6% were in the manufacturing sector, followed by the service sector (20.1%), while for creation post posts, 50.4% were in the service sector, followed by manufacturing (20.8%) and construction (19.6%).

“The mining and quarrying sector recorded the most posts filled, at 99.6%, followed by the service sector 99% and the construction sector 98.3%.

“For the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, the rate of posts filled were 94.7% and 94.0%, respectively,” he said.


Read more @

3,000 jobs up for grabs at 2nd Sabah Career Roadshow

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Over 3,000 job vacancies will be up for grabs, offered by 125 companies as the 2nd edition of the Sabah Career Roadshow revs up the state capital beginning on August 19.

“There will be wider job prospects awaiting job-seekers being offered by quality and credible employers joining the five-day roadshow from throughout the country, with minimum salary starting at a range of RM1,100,” said Director of Sabah Labour Department, Kamal Pardi at the press conference announcing the event yesterday.

Calling on job seekers and local youth to join the event, Kamal noted prospective employers include reputable and renowned firms such as Korean tech giants, Samsung and other companies which offer numerous benefits, including excellent boarding services for those interested to start their careers in Peninsular Malaysia.

“For youths who haven’t found jobs or those looking for better jobs, this is a priceless opportunity to kickstart your future careers at the career roadshow which will begin at Tabung Haji Kota Kinabalu,” said Kamal, noting this installment of the programme will take the roadshow to five districts throughout Sabah.

He noted the programme, headed in a joint collaboration between the Sabah Labour Department and the State Human Resources Department, was initiated at the request of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, who is expected to officiate the launching of the event on August 19.

The career roadshow, involving teams of 4X4 vehicle convoy, will travel to selected locations which include Kota Kinabalu (August 19), Kudat (August 20), Kota Marudu (August 21), and Ranau (August 22) before the closing ceremony at Keningau (August 23).

Kamal highlighted the programme had a high rate of success in helping job seekers find employment, noting the first edition of the roadshow, held earlier this year had managed to help over 4,000 job seekers land jobs.

“Through this roadshow, we look forward to bringing job opportunities closer to home for job-seekers and youths who can save the cost of traveling long distances in search of jobs,” he said.

He reminded job-seekers to be punctual, dress decently and appropriately for job interviews which will be arranged by employers who are keen to hire suitable candidates on the spot if the interview is successful.

Adding on, Kamal also invited members of the public to join the roadshow, noting there will also be numerous skills training opportunities being offered during the programme. Among those who attended press conference included Principal Assistant Director of the Department of Human Resources Development (Skills Taining Sponsorship Division), Celestina Aaron.


Read more @

More careers for more special people

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

LAST week we looked at some careers that special people can consider.

(Special people are people who have some physical or mental disability. Since they are handicapped, they need some special help.)

With the correct guidance they can choose a career and enter the workforce.

Malaysia is very short of skilled workers and they too can play an important role in the employment sector. Let us look at more career options for special people.

Industrial machinery worker

The task of industrial machinery workers are to repair and sustain the various equipment of the factory and other machineries and should examine their efficiency.

It will need fundamental education in the field of mechanics and the setting where they will have to work would be industries or factories. Hearing impaired candidates are often considered for this field of occupation.

Machinist or tool die maker:

They are responsible for the arrangement and operation of machines and tools which are managed mechanically or by computers.

The duties specifically are to work with the outline, design and sketches then calculating and validate the dimensions, shaping and pulverising machine parts to the design and requirements and monitoring as well as inspecting products for any defects.

Computer system analyst:

In this profession one is accountable to review the systems of the computer and protocols to facilitate smooth functioning of the management of an organisation more effectively.

Computer design organisations and finance and insurance, government and computer management are the frequent employers of this profession. Computer system analyst can work with one organisation or be self employed and function as consultants.

Graphic designers:

The abstract intellectual will be very beneficial to one to become graphic designer.

As a graphic designer one has to conceptualise a design and then work with specific software for its development.

It is a thriving sector and with adequate skills of designing and knowledge of software, the person with disability can easily fit in a slot.

Medical transcription job:

The functions involve the process of transcription that is converting voice recorded information as dictated by healthcare professionals or physicians into text format.

With adequate training one can work in this profession even from home.

Mystery shopping and survey work:

Mystery shoppers are paid to pretend as regular customers and rate a service or store. Filling survey forms is another good option for people with disabilities.

Legal careers:

A person with disability can choose to become a legal secretary, legal assistant, and paralegal.

The legal field provides with many job openings, the majority of which do not need physical labour.

Some job tasks may need a two year degree nevertheless; most require certificate or training courses.

Floral designer:

A person with disability, who is fond of flowers or plants, can become a floral designer. It is the art of using flowers and materials to create a pleasing and stable masterpiece.

It is a traditional practice in many cultures. There is a broader occupation of floristry for flower lovers.


A disabled person can turn into an artist with training or skills. Creating paintings or drawings and exhibiting it can be a good option. Most of the people with disabilities are in this field.

Food service worker:

Making, selling and transporting the food to various restaurants, schools, hospitals or lodging institutions is a very good option for people with disabilities.

One should be a good cook or manage cooks and provide services to different organisations. It can be an owned service or working under an establishment.

Day care workers:

It refers to people who take care of others who are incapable of taking their own care, like children and will be at risk if left alone on their own, or their caretakers want relief in the daytime. Specific disabled people can effectively function in this profession.

Animal caretakers:

The primary duties of an animal caretaker are to take care of the needs of animals.

Tasks such as feed, bathe, groom and exercise animals that are pets or other non-farm animals are some functions. It may differ as per place of work. If a person with disability is fond of animals, this job for them is definitely enjoyable.

Appointment clerk:

The job specification is much broader than regular receptionist or information provider.

Scheduling and recording the appointment details, communicating with callers, reminding of appointments etc are some of the functions of an appointment clerk.

Career Tips

Never lose hope in finding the appropriate job that suits your capability. The only disability in one’s life is bad attitude, thus change your attitude towards life and stay positive.

You can definitely perform tasks available to the people with able-bodies.

Those who have sight, hearing, or mobility impairments can even mould their disabilities into employment resources by means of careful self-promotion and selection of job.

by K Krishnan

Read more @

Careers for special people

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

MALAYSIA is very short of skilled workers. The government is trying ways and means to reduce foreign workers from working in Malaysia.

While many steps are being taken, it is worth considering the thousands of disabled Malaysians who are not usefully employed.

They may have the skills, but society is often skeptical in employing disabled people.

If only the attitude of employers change, we will have access to another group of employable Malaysians. They can easily fit into our society. At the same time we have the opportunity to provide employment for our own disabled workers.

The word “disability” itself says that one’s ability has been disabled, that is a person cannot carry out all the normal and regular physical or mental tasks. However a person who is suffering from a disability can channel his skills and knowledge in his chosen career.

Disability cannot pull a person down completely and to have a job, he has to be well motivated to support himself to hunt for jobs that he can do well. Most often these people are highly motivated and excel in their work.

If one is confused as to what jobs will be appropriate considering the disability, below is a list of jobs that one can choose as per the interests and ability of one. Delve into the many job openings available to you and work on whatever you are capable of doing.

Different Types of Jobs for People with Disabilities:

1. Accountant:

An accountant is responsible to keep or examine financial records. Financial institutions are considered as the highest employers of job hunters with disabilities.

The accounting opportunity is predominantly promising.

2. Financial Analyst:

Financial analyst has to analyse the capability of finance related bodies for investments. They have to evaluate whether an entity will be stable, solvent or profitable.

Thus one with certain disability can work as financial analyst as financial analysis is another eminent growing field in the financial area.

3. Management consultant:

Management consultant is someone who helps organisations to augment their functioning, performance and working primarily through the evaluation of existing organisational tribulations and the development of plans for advancement.

The organisations believe that these disabilities struck candidates will be able to help them effectively to overcome their challenges as the disabled people have themselves overcome many trials. Hence, with appropriate education one can easily find jobs in this field.

4.  Market research analyst:

Data on competitors and consumers are gathered and analysed to study market situation and to understand the potential of a product or service for sales.

The people with disabilities are able to contribute unique insights to the businesses that are looking up to adapt their consumers’ choices of products.

5. Pharmaceutical sales:

It involves the process of sales of drugs that has been clinically examined for its effectiveness and safety.

Many of the employers of people with disabilities in this sector are specialists in pharmaceutical sales.

6. Pharmacy technician:

Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy technician works as a health care provider carrying out pharmacy related operations.

This field has encountered high growth. The field has a verified track record for hiring job seekers who have disabilities.

7. Physician assistant:

A physician assistant is one who provides with health care and is inevitable in today’s health care structure.

They have to practice medicine along with physicians or other health care professionals to deliver premium health care to patients. One may encounter aiding others with disabilities.

8.  Software engineer:

They are responsible in the development, design and conservation of software. It is a top career and a growing sector for the job seekers with disabilities.

9. Vocational counselors:

It is a profession in which one assists person who has disabilities to assess their strengths as well as weaknesses with the intention of helping them in selecting the careers or jobs that expands their potentials to become active contributors to the workforce.

The people who themselves have disabilities have the best knowledge and insight to find the right career as they have crossed the path themselves and no one better than them can be able to counsel others with such disabilities.

10. Salesperson:

The role of the salesperson is of someone trying to sell a product or service through his communicating skills.

He has to convince a potential customer about how a product or service would meet their perceived needs.

There is need of salesperson virtually anywhere and is a best job option for a person with disabilities.

11. Self employment:

Owning and running a business, serving as consultant for other businesses, being an independent lawyer, online tutors are all few of the examples from the many self employed jobs available.

One carrying out self employment can work from home or personal office space and in some cases in client’s office.

12. Accessibility consulting:

It comprises of consulting the organisations on how they can improve their offices and neighbouring areas and make them more user friendly for the people with various disabilities.

13. Teacher:

Teacher is someone who helps people of different age groups develop intellectually and specialise in new skills.

The people with disability can help others with disability or without, through their experienced proficiency.

They can be involved in online education too. With the required education or if the disability was struck later in one’s life, they can teach about their former profession to others.

14. Writers:

Writers have to communicate via their written words to the readers. One can write on whatever he knows, possibly about disability. Writing articles in magazines, newspapers, web or eBooks or blogs is possible.

One can be self employed by writing books.

Companies or non-profit organisations also hire individuals to convey their messages to the readers through newsletters, brochures, press releases and other promotional stuff for which one must be a very persuasive writer.

by K. Khrishnan

Read more @

Job hunting horrors: Eight real jobseeker phobias and their remedies

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional – we all have job hunting phobias that we dread every time we embark on a new job search. Having gone through it before doesn’t necessarily make it easier the next time, as each hirer is different and tends to adopt varied approaches towards the recruitment process.

Here are eight job hunting phobias, plus our recommended tips on getting over them:

1. Believing you’re not qualified for anything

Feel like you’ll never measure up to hirers’ standards? Looking through the thousands of job openings  out there, it is impossible that you won’t find anything that matches your skills and experience and yet feeling inadequate is a common fear for many jobseekers.

Overcome your self-doubt by carefully studying job descriptions and see whether you have what they need and want in a candidate.

Take stock of your past experiences and believe in your abilities to be a worthy choice for the role.

Did you find requirements that go beyond the scope of your experience? If you’re missing out on one or two job criteria, you can still push on and apply for the vacancy  – oftentimes part of growing in your career requires you to face new challenges head on. Just believe in yourself and your capabilities!

2. Finding a new job or employer that you’ll end up hating again

Those who left their jobs on a negative note may have this fear once they start looking for a job again.

It’s a legitimate concern as who wants to leave an unpleasant situation, only to end up in another unpleasant situation once again?

And yet there are ways for you to scope out potential job opportunities or employers for crucial information before you commit to anything.

You can read up on Company Reviews made by former and current employees before even sending out your applications. You can even ask your loved ones if they’re affiliated with your target companies for some info.

During the interview, ask probing questions on the company’s culture to see whether it’s a place you’ll fit and thrive in.

Have you already received a job offer? Be clear with your expectations and carefully examine the terms and requirements of the job so you don’t end up making another bad choice.

Next up, let’s look at the common phobias of jobseekers about a very important, but fear-inducing stage of the job search process: the job interview.

3. Having to role-play or present during an interview

Some companies have elaborate interview processes to identify the best and most competent candidates in the talent pool.

This can include complex assessment centres complete with role-playing exercises, psychometric testing, group presentations, as well as personal and aptitude tests. If you’re one of those with a role-playing phobia, we feel you.

If you get a heads-up that role-playing will be part of the assessment, you can practice with a friend to get comfortable with it.

It’s easy to look up common role-playing exercises based on the job you’re interviewing for.

Even if there’s no pre-warning that they will expect you to role-play, being prepared is always a good idea.

Think of it as a fun game, and an opportunity to flex that imaginative mind!

4. Being asked personal questions

This isn’t usually the norm – most hirers know better than to drill candidates on personal matters, but there’s always an exception to the rule.

It might just be your luck that you end up with an inquisitive interviewer who wants to know about your marital status, plans to start a family, sexuality, religious and political views, etc.

You can try to deflect the questions with neutral answers or simply change the topic by asking them a question of your own instead.

Hopefully the interviewer will get the hint that you’re not comfortable answering these questions and move on to work-related questions instead.

5.  Appearing clueless during the interview

It’s an awful feeling when the interviewer talks about a topic you’re not well-informed on and therefore can’t think of an intelligent comment to respond with.

For example, if the interviewer makes an observation about industry trends in specific countries or cultures that you’re not familiar with, you can respond by asking questions about it instead.

This shows your interest in learning more about it, even if you don’t have any personal opinions to contribute to the discussion.

6. Forgetting your spiel or crucial information during the interview

Stumbling over a job interview question can be pretty traumatizing, but it’s not the end of the world.

Nerves can leave feeling you tense and may even cause you to forget some of the things you rehearsed prior to the interview, so it’s best to be extra prepared ahead of time.

Do practice interview drills with a trusted friend before the interview, as well as review up on possible questions for your intended job or industry.

Already in the middle of the interview when you suddenly couldn’t come up with an answer? Relax, pause and gather your thoughts.

Calmly ask the interviewer to repeat the question so you can form a coherent answer.

Or you can own up to it and admit you’re feeling nervous – responsible hirers won’t take it against you if you do.

7. Committing a blooper during the interview

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s mispronouncing the CEO’s name or making a joke that fell completely flat, we’ve all been guilty of embarrassing faux pas during job interviews.

It happens – we are but human beings. Just stay calm, breathe, apologise, and move on.

Don’t harp on it as that just reminds the interviewer of your slip-up. Put it out of your mind for the moment.

You can berate yourself for it after the interview is over.

8. Accidental spills or mishaps on your interview attire

If you’re a woman and you’re on your period, you’ll know better than to wear anything light coloured on the day of the interview.

Stick to dark colours, especially for trousers or skirts. It will save you a lot of hassle and potential embarrassment!

If the interview is after lunch, it’s common sense not to eat anything messy for lunch, and you definitely don’t want to have any food or drink in the car with you.

To play it safe, wear a dark jacket.

You will be glad you did, in the event that someone accidentally trips and spills something on you.

Job hunting can be a scary process, but it’s all part of the experience.

Live and learn, as the saying goes. Whatever your job hunting phobias are, you can either take the opportunity to overcome them, or you can learn something about yourself through them.


Read more @

Industry-ready skills, technical knowledge for career progression

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
(File pix) Assistant engineer, Khairul Anuar Othman, 25 at New Hong Fatt, Klang. NSTP/Syarafiq Abd Samad

WHEN Khairul Anuar Othman, 25, sat the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination eight years ago, he never imagined he would one day become an assistant engineer.

All the young man from Kampung Meru in Klang, Selangor wanted was to get a job as quickly as he could.

“I am someone who just can’t sit still with nothing to do. I knew that I just wanted to work after finishing school,” he said.

And coming from a humble background, the SMK Meru, Klang school-leaver was adamant that he earned his keep and contributed to the family.

The fifth of six children whose father was a Pos Malaysia employee and mother, a housewife, had heard about Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at school during a talent recruitment initiative by New Hoong Fatt Holdings Bhd (NHF).

TVET encompasses formal and informal learning that prepares young people with the knowledge and skills required in the world of work.

NHF manufactures more than 3,300 automotive parts in-house and exports to more than 50 countries worldwide. It is located nearby Khairul’s school and it frequently conducts TVET awareness programmes at schools in the area to develop its talent pipeline.

With help from NHF, Khairul embarked on his TVET journey — working while attending various apprenticeship programmes — and is currently employed by the company.


Armed with a SPM certificate and guidance from NHF, Khairul applied and qualified for the Workers Technical Transformation Programme, an entry-level apprenticeship course.

Conducted by the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC) at its premises in Shah Alam, the six-month government-funded course comprises a learning approach that has both theoretical and technical aspects. Here, Khairul learnt the workings of pneumatic, hydraulics, electrical and mechanical systems which enabled him to obtain the Malaysian Skills Certificate Level 1 (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia 1) and Level 2 (SKM 2).

With the qualifications and his SPM certificate, Khairul went to NHF for a job interview.

But instead of getting a job as a factory worker as he expected, Khairul was offered to join the NHF Auto Global Manufacturing Skill Programme which includes an opportunity to gain industrial qualification and experience in the manufacturing industry, preparing participants for a long-term career in the company.

“The programme comprises four months in the classroom and two months of practical training while earning a monthly salary at the company for two years. After discussing with my family, I felt that this was a great career opportunity for me,” added Khairul.

He started his career at NHF as a production operator with a starting pay of RM1,040, which he felt was a good remuneration for a SPM school-leaver. After two years of work and project experience, he obtained SKM 3 certification with skills such as writing technical reports and was promoted to the post of junior technician and onto technician.

Khairul’s dedication to his job and his eagerness to learn subsequently qualified him to join the first batch of the Malaysian Meister Programme (MMP).

Adapted from the German Meister (master craftsman) programme, MMP is a collaborative effort between SHRDC and the Federation of Malaysian Skills Development Centre aimed at improving opportunities for training and career advancement in the industry. SHRDC and NHF have been partnering on the MMP since 2015.

A two-year programme, there are two types of MMP — MMP in Mechatronics for Manufacturing which Khairul participated in, and MMP in Precision Machining. Both offer full-time employment with NHF, with in-training and industry-related training. The programmes offer career prospects as senior technician, technologist and associate engineer.

MMP instructors are highly qualified as they are trained by HWK Aachen, a leading vocational training centre in Germany.

During MMP, participants work on the shopfloor for four days and attend classes for two days. The students are guided closely with hands-on learning when working in the facilities, which exposes them to real-world work experience.

“Every week, the 16 of us in the first batch worked from Monday till Thursday while on Friday and Saturday, we spent in class. It was tough juggling work and studies as well as life outside work but well worth the knowledge and skills we acquired,” said Khairul.

Upon completing the programme, he was awarded the Diploma Lanjutan Kemahiran Malaysia Level 5 certification. He was also promoted to assistant engineer at the laser department in NHF.

“When I was informed of the promotion, I was truly surprised. I always felt inferior to school friends who have gone on for studies at renowned universities in Malaysia and obtained diplomas and degrees.

“I never imagined I could get the position that required qualifications equivalent to theirs.

“Now I realise that success does not solely depend on obtaining a certificate, it also requires effort and fortitude.”

NHF managing director Chin Jit Sin said the manufacturing facility’s laser section has computer numerical control machines from Germany as well as robot lasers. The equipment is increasingly becoming more sophisticated in tandem with Industry 4.0 trends.

“As technology advances, we need people to know how to manage the progress. They must also know the machines — how to operate, maintain and maximise their efficiency.

“MMP has enabled the participants to further enhance their knowledge not only in class but also on the shopfloor,” said Chin, adding that all 16 participants from the first batch are employed by NHF.

Khairul is an example of the quality of the MMP programme. He programmes the machines and manages production.

The second batch of MMP participants sat the final exam in May and the third batch that started in February 2018 has one more year to go before completing the programme.


Chin said finding and retaining skilled talent are common issues faced by most Malaysian manufacturers.

“Specialised skillsets make some positions in the manufacturing industry hard to fill. The perception that a career in manufacturing is not professionally and financially rewarding makes it even harder for manufacturers to recruit talent. This is one of the many reasons why manufacturers in the country depend highly on foreign workers.

“NHF has been pro-actively managing these issues by collaborating with training development providers and has introduced its own apprenticeship programme to ensure it has the right and skilled labour force for the group of companies to grow,” he said.

Meanwhile SHRDC executive director Tan Beng Teong commented that the progress and the needs of the industry have typically outpaced the talent development by public higher education institutions.

“Simply put, there will always be gaps the between needs of the industry and the output from public institutions. It is not because public institutions are not good, but it is hard to keep pace with advancement in technology and other demands that the industry is facing.

“Demand-driven TVET education created through centres such as ours — which is a partnership between the federal government, state government and the industry — can help alleviate the issue of talent gaps in trainees that come from public institutions.

“This way, our investors can keep on investing and not worry about talent needs of the industry. And youths can acquire the necessary skills to gain employment and have careers that are financially rewarding,” he said.

Going beyond MMP, SHRDC is in the midst of developing an apprenticeship programme that will enable participants to gain degree-level qualifications, specifically a Bachelor of Technology degree with Industry 4.0 capabilities.

“It will be a two-year programme and we hope to test the first batch at the end of the year or early next year,” added Tan.

Also on the cards is tri-vocational training for polytechnic students to work with the industry, assisted by SHRDC, during semester breaks. Students will get a college education and workplace and industry competency certification upon completing their studies.

“We want to test this model going forward but in specific industries where it is more suitable.”

Since its inception in 1992, SHRDC has trained more than 80,000 individuals. It has 30 institutional members in Malaysia, including NHF, Colgate-Palmolive, Texas Instruments and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

Improve your presentation skills to ace a presentation like a pro

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

When you watch TED Talks or any public speaking event, do you ever wonder how the speaker can make it seem so easy? Speaking confidently and persuasively in front of an audience isn’t something that comes naturally for most people. However, it is a skill that can be picked up with enough practice.

Whether you’re simply presenting to fellow colleagues or have to impress some prospective clients, knowing how to pull off a great presentation is an important soft skill to have, particularly if you’re planning on moving up the ranks.

So if you’re in need of some tips on how to improve your presentation skills, look no further. Check these out:

Know your audience

Design your presentation as if you were a member of the audience – put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what are the three main takeaways you would want them to have by the end of your presentation. Your slides should go straight to the point and not be cluttered with too many words or images.

Make sure that you cover the things that they need to know and would want to know.

You may be an expert in the subject matter, but in your presentation, don’t assume that everyone knows what you know.

Explain things clearly and simply, and avoid using jargon as much as possible. Your presentation should give listeners something of value, be it a solution or a lesson.

Tell it in story form

The best way to keep your presentation engaging is to use stories to hone in on your key messages or to emphasise your point.

Tell an anecdote or two to make your presentation more personal and relatable – it doesn’t even have to be your own story, but as long as it’s interesting and relevant, use it to your advantage.

Go beyond text and pictures by using a short video or other multimedia to spice things up.

However, it should enhance what you’re trying to say, not drown it out unnecessarily.

You should also tailor your content to your audience and the occasion: we’d advise against using funny GIFs or memes in a board meeting (unless your company culture is cool with that and it helps to break the ice a bit – but do so at your own discretion).

Present with your entire body

Statues and robots aren’t known for giving memorable presentations, and that’s because non-verbal cues make up a significant portion of interpersonal communication.

So make sure you’re moving about! But not too much – keep it natural.

Open and relaxed gestures will help your audience feel open and relaxed, too.

One of the best ways to make a connection with listeners is to make eye contact and smile.

Avoid crossing your arms across your chest, putting your hands behind your back or in your pockets, and staring down at the floor.

Use your emotions

Emotions are a powerful thing: facts and statistics may be informative, but if you fail to link them to your audience and the things they care about, they will probably forget what you said by the next day.

Infuse your delivery with emotion and why your audience should care.

When you exude enthusiasm and passion about the subject you’re talking about, your audience will feel it and they too will feel more interested in what you have to say.

Speak deliberately and don’t rush your sentences like you’re reading off a script. Instead, pretend like it’s a conversation.

Practice, practice, practice

You should know your subject matter and key points like the back of your hand, which is why prep work is so important.

Prepare an outline with keywords relating to your main points and examples, and rehearse your speech out loud – either to yourself in front of a mirror, or even better, in front of trusted friends or co-workers.

The more you practice, the more prepared you’ll be when the time comes for the actual presentation.

You’ll be able to weed out what works and what doesn’t, and time yourself to make sure you don’t drone on and on.

Set it up properly

Having technical difficulties during your presentation can throw you off, so smoothing out all the kinks beforehand will ensure that everything goes smoothly.

We recommend that you arrive at the venue early and do a brief test run to check whether everything works, such as videos, animations or sound.

Save a copy of the fonts you used and the multimedia you want to show in a pendrive, along with your presentation.

Do you need the internet during the presentation? Make sure it works and that you’re connected.

If you’re using a remote or a pointer, try them out to see if they work.

Doing all this will help you avoid tripping up just as you’re approaching the finishing line. – Jobstreet

by  Jobstreet.

Read more @

Maternity and paternity leave: It’s more than just profit and loss

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Fatherhood and motherhood are not mutually exclusive activities from employment. Many talented mothers and fathers are willing to contribute to organisations that provide a work-life balance. — NSTP Archive

THE Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has stated that the three-day paternity leave proposed by the Human Resources Ministry, to be funded by employers, will cost companies RM157.2 million or RM 52.4 million a day.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan has suggested for the cost of such leave to be borne by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) or the Employment Insurance System (EIS).

While the approach is used in other countries, the question is whether Socso or EIS has enough funds to undertake the task.

Could MEF enlighten the public on the methodology it used to calculate the losses?

There has not been an increase in Socso contribution over the years. It is vital for the government, employers and unions to review the feasibility of using Socso and EIS to finance paternity and maternity leave, and whether contributions should be increased.

The fundamental questions are, why is there a need for a duration of paternity and maternity leave, and how is it related to modern employment?

Does allowing the father and mother to bond with their baby create stronger families and lead to retention of talent and improved productivity?

Fatherhood and motherhood are not mutually exclusive activities from employment.

Many talented mothers and fathers are willing to contribute to organisations that provide a work-life balance.

Employers who want paternity or maternity leave to form a crucial part of talent pool and retain this talent must strengthen its human touch.

Productivity, in the long term, is about creating the right conditions for the development of human capital in terms of attracting diverse talents.

Attracting a variety of talent with diverse needs is crucial for organisational survival in a competitive economic environment.


Read more @

Preparing undergraduates for the workplace

Friday, June 21st, 2019
SEGi University engineering students undergoing training at one ofthe top notch engineering labs in the country.

ARE Malaysian graduates ready to face challenges at the workplace? Are they innovative and equipped with communication and problem-solving skills? Can they carry out tasks independently at the workplace?

Many fresh graduates are stunningly ill-prepared for the workforce, without realising it.

Industry players look for fresh recruits who possess critical thinking skills and breadth of knowledge that comes from understanding not only how to perform a given task, but the reasoning behind it.

But employers in the country generally feel there is a gap in graduate skills, suggesting that universities do not necessarily provide enough opportunities for students to develop abilities critical to the labour market.

Low proficiency in the English language and lack of soft skills including creativity, communication and critical thinking are among the reasons fresh graduates not ready to enter the workforce.

The recent STEM Forum, titled Graduates and Employment: Are They Ready from the Industry Perspective?, organised by Universiti Malaya STEM Centre, saw a group of panellists from the industry voicing their concerns that many Malaysian graduates are still unprepared to join the labour market.

ISSUES founder and chief executive officer Dr Ruzaimi Mat Rani said most Malaysian students are not ready to face challenges at the workplace, based on his experience with the graduates who attended his freehand visualisation communication skill (FVCS), creativity and innovation in organisation workshop.

FVCS is a programme formulated to cater to the needs of an individual and organisation to be more effective in daily communication skills.

The workshop attracted more than 3,000 participants but less than 10 per cent were able to draw with visualisation skills.

“It was easy when I asked them to draw a pot of flowers. But they were not able to draw their dream house,” added Ruzaimi.

But what is the link between FVCS and employability of graduates?

“FVCS is essential to be acquired by all to increase individual and organisation productivity. Without it, you are less effective in your daily communication.

“Imagine you’ve been hired but what’s next? You have to ‘create’,” he added, referring to the highest rank of Higher Order Thinking Skills, which is the fundamental skill.

The most common challenge graduates face is communication, especially during the job interview and at the workplace.

“About 75 per cent of project management fail because of communication. Graduates should be able to communicate well, which is a basic requirement at an interview. Communication skills are crucial when they enter the workforce.”

Strand Aerospace Malaysia principal consultant Dr Rahmat Shazi said he prepares human capital for high value industries, not just aerospace but also other sectors meant to be established or expanded in the country.

Last year after the company interviewed 700 graduates, not only from local universities but also from across the globe which included candidates from Russia, Indonesia and the United States, it came across multiple issues related to readiness to work.

“Most of our graduates can’t even visualise what they want to say, hence the failure to put the message across.

“This is due to lack of high cognitive skills such as attention, memory and logical reasoning,” said Rahmat.

Industry players believe that fresh graduates should first nail the job interview. It is important for employers to find out the strength and capabilities of the candidates before hiring them.

The job interview itself prepares them for the workplace.

BMW Quill Automobiles hiring manager Alex Tang Chee Keong said many Malaysian graduates are ready on paper, which means they only have good academic qualifications.

But the reality is, he added, many do not know anything about the industry.

“Graduates need to equip themselves with relevant knowledge. Ask yourself what you can contribute. That’s what employers want.

“For example, if I hire a fresh graduate, I expect him to at least be familiar with and understand the industry that he wants to join.

“However, many of them don’t do their research or visit the company website and learn its core brand value.

“I advise graduates to read to increase general knowledge. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a magazine or newspaper,” added Tang.

Consultant Hishamuddin Mohamed at Strategic Swiss Partners, a leading boutique management and financial advisory firm, said fresh graduates need to step up, especially if they are seeking a job in a multinational corporation.

“Bear in mind that you are among many job seekers applying for one position. So you have to make a good first impression, otherwise you’re going to be just another number.

“Graduates have their resumes but is the university preparing them for effective employment and better work opportunity?”

(From left) Panellists Ruzaimi Mat Rani, Rahmat Shazi, Alex Tang Chee Keong and Hishamuddin Mohamad. With them is moderator Professor Datuk Dr Noraini Idris from the National STEM Movement atthe STEM Forum, Graduates and Employment: AreThey Ready from the Industry Perspective? held at Universiti Malaya recently. Pic By ROHANIS SHUKRI.


Tertiary institutions today must be able to play multiple roles in preparing undergraduates for the future.

SEGi University vice-chancellor Professor Dr Patrick Kee Peng Kong said in view of Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), the university continues to update its programmes and collaborate with industry leaders to ensure its academics and students are IR 4.0-ready.

“To produce industry-relevant graduates, we focus on a student-centred environment where students are provided with opportunities to interact and work with industry partners on their assignments and projects, and have access to advanced laboratories and workshops with essential tools to develop their skills.

“We also ensure that students gain exposure to the real-life work environment so that their transition into the industry is as seamless as possible through programmes such as Employment Readiness, Enrichment and Aspiring Club Leadership and Personal Professional Development. They also hone their soft skills via hands-on courses,” added Kee.

Taylor’s University deputy vice-chancellor and chief academic officer Professor Dr Pradeep Nair believes that higher education goes beyond just ensuring that graduates are industry-ready.

He said the core responsibility of a university is to ensure graduates are equipped with the right job skills to start their career, however, more importantly, the institution needs to equip them with life skills and emotional well-being to lead a successful and happy life.

“Being very good in one’s job-related knowledge and skills without life skills and social intelligence is the reason companies keep saying that graduates aren’t prepared for the workforce.

“For example, an aeronautical engineer may know everything about designing and maintaining an aircraft or its propulsion systems, but it will be his communication skills, creativity, resilience, ability to work with diverse teams, agility in adapting to different situations and cultural contexts, and take risks, among other qualities that will help him secure a good job and grow in the organisation,” added Pradeep.


Is the curriculum at the university ready for IR 4.0?

Kee said universities globally have moved away from textbook- and classroom-based learning into a blended environment, with trends pointing towards research- and project-centric approaches.

Programmes have become industry-driven and flexible, forcing tertiary institutions to constantly review their courses, curricula and methodologies.

“As industries worldwide are facing a digital economy disruption, the education industry is in a prime position to make a difference by shifting its focus and approaches.

“The government is well aware of this scenario, which is why the Malaysia Education Blueprint (2015-2025) places emphasis on flexible and skill-based learning and greater hands-on exposure.

“It is common practice for tertiary institutions to review and revise their curricula based on industry needs and practices, failing which they will be deemed irrelevant.

“After all, we are in the business of preparing human capital for various industries and it will defeat our purpose if we fail to revise, reinvent or innovate.

“However, it depends on the nature of the industry. With IR 4.0, we know that certain fields such as information technology, computing and engineering must be reviewed continuously while all other programmes, periodically.”

Deloitte’s Global Second Annual Report on IR 4.0 Readiness reveals that as the revolution gains momentum, there is a higher disparity in talent match.

C-suite executives who participated in the survey have raised concerns over the slow-paced evolution of the current education system.

“In fact, 57 per cent say the education system needs to be redesigned. While they were referring to the public education system, we believe private institutions also play an equally important role in producing industry-competent graduates, especially in growing economies like ours,” added Kee.

However, Pradeep said the university has to ensure that any major change in curriculum conforms to the Code of Practice for Programme Accreditation and programme standards issued by Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) as well as the requirements set by professional bodies, where applicable.

“There is nothing stopping a university from innovating its programme curriculum and engaging with accreditation bodies to accept and allow such change,” he added.

Once Taylor’s University has obtained approval from MQA, it will introduce work-based learning opportunities as part of its curriculum from next year onwards.

“Currently, we have restructured three degree programmes to be offered in a work-based learning mode. This is really exciting as students will have the option to spend their third and final year in select companies of their choice.

“This is real world learning and will certainly help bridge the university-industry gap. Our students will not need to pay extra for this as it has been incorporated as part of their tuition fees.”


While a decision for a curriculum overhaul typically comes from the management, it needs to involve the academics at every step.

Pradeep said academics are inherently intellectuals and listen to data-driven arguments for change. Benchmarking top universities in the US and Australia, for example, helps convince them that this is possible.

“Engaging professional and accreditation bodies is also key as many approaches are not yet common practice in our country.

“Adopting technology in learning and teaching must be preceded by technology that works. We introduced blended learning to enable students to have a platform to learn on-the-go, to be mobile and flexible in their acquisition of knowledge.

“This allows them to develop life skills such as communication, critical thinking, emotional intelligence and flexibility. Our experience has been that industry players in Malaysia and Asia welcome our students to spend time learning with, and from, them — at no additional cost to the industry.

“Through this, our students are able to apply for internships with leading brands so they obtain valuable work experience that sets them apart from their peers. These work placement opportunities take some of our students overseas as well.”

By NST Education.

Read more @

Building digital presence to stand out and reach potential employers

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
File pix) Hiring is becoming smarter, making recruitment easier and more effective via online selection. Archive image for illustration purposes only.

TRYING to make yourself stand out in a sea of graduates looking for jobs is tricky. Over the past years, a candidate’s view on recruitment has changed rapidly, from passively looking for a position in newspapers to actively looking for jobs via the Internet.

Hiring is becoming smarter, making recruitment easier and more effective via online selection.

In the digital age, a LinkedIn profile can be a good way to find work experience and other opportunities alongside your studies.

It is a platform to build a positive online presence for yourself by establishing a digital presence, demonstrating what makes you standout and reaching out to potential employers.

It can be a key way to build up contacts while still at university.


Featured as the Youngest Most Inspirational LinkedIn Icon in Malaysia in 2018 and this year, Gholamali Shamskhoozani Alish is the man behind LinkedIn Local Kuala Lumpur (LLKL), a series of professional networking events held in Kuala Lumpur since 2017 alongside more than 1,000 cities in the world.

Better known as Alish, he said the aim of this movement is to connect in an ad-free genuine platform where hard selling, promotional talks, multi-level marketing, ads spamming and such are prohibited at #linkedInLocalKL events.

“Among social platforms, LinkedIn is the only platform that’s professional and employers do check it out for hiring purposes, making it the highest rated platform that is worth spending time on to build online presence.

“This is true even for students so they can connect with future employers or meet experts who can mentor them and guide them in various matters such as internship and referral letters.

“As LinkedIn is becoming more popular and used worldwide, it’s important for everyone including youths to utilise its power.

“Many employers do not ask for curriculum vitae anymore, they just require your LinkedIn URL.

That’s because there’s a lot more information in our LinkedIn account that cannot fit in to a two-page CV.

“The information includes insights that you share publicly, endorsements of your skills, recommendations and more. As such, without a LinkedIn profile, you cannot articulate as well as you can with it.

“In other words, don’t get left behind; use LinkedIn to build online presence and impress your future employer,” added Alish,head organiser and host of LLKL events.

In addition to options for employers to post jobs, many recruiters advertise vacancies on LinkedIn.

For example, the informal job advertisement could be something like “Guys, we’re recruiting for position X. If you’re interested or know anyone who is, comment below or message us”.

“This is even more effective than an online job portal because you deal with humans here, which means you can follow up with them or ask questions if any.

“The filtering process at some online job portals may not be accurate since candidates are judged based on basic info, without even a simple background on them.”

Having partnered with reputable brands such as IBM and Fave, LLKL has become one of the main platforms to “meet the people behind the profiles”, and get to know each other effectively for business collaborations, sharing sessions and discussions.

“Each event includes a panel discussion on different topics and panellists who can help you grow your business.”

Alish has been invited to universities in the country such as Heriot-Watt University, Taylor’s University, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology to conduct youth-related workshops and talks for students.

The Syrian Community-UTM held the most recent workshop at the university last month. Titled Getting Spotted and Hired Through LinkedIn, the workshopcovered a basic introduction to LinkedIn as well as tips on establishing personal branding, creating professional content, building influence online and connecting with the right network on the platform.

Conducted by Alish, the first session of the work shop dealt with incorrect perceptions of LinkedIn and creating a strong profile from scratch.

“Some think it’s a job platform or they only need to create a profile when they graduate.

“The truth is, especially for students, it’s a need so when they graduate, they can reach out to a wide professional network with an excellent online presence that can help their profiles to stand out with a good ranking in Search Engine Optimisation, a website’s position in the search engine results page.”

The second session elaborated on topics such as personal branding, building a wide yet relevant network and the art of creating content.

Finally, Alish assigned a task to all attendees to check if everyone was on the same page.

“The task seemed to be simple — post about the workshop on their profile within five minutes. It could be something they learnt, a summary of the workshop or someone they met for the first time there.

“Some struggled with writing their postings but they finally did it. Taking the first step is usually the hardest part but it must be taken. Otherwise, we can’t reach our goal,” he added.


A LinkedIn member for many years, Radhika Gautam Gunaji, 28, who is pursuing doctoral studies in petroleum engineering at UTM in Johor Baru, said she is well-acquainted with the professional networking platform and is intrigued by new things she can learn from it.

“I wanted to know how to reach out to more professionals and recruiters via LinkedIn. This will help me in my job hunt after I graduate and build a stronger network with the industry,” she said.

Radhika said major recruiters around the globe use online screening to hire the right candidate for their firms or clients.

“LinkedIn allows me to highlight my achievements and skills at a platform that has gained credibility through years of service to professionals.

“I learn from different people by tracking their activities and who they follow that will help me promote my profile across a wide range of professionals as I have diverse experience.

“I hope to improve my profile with more certifications and recommendations,” she added.

In September 2018, International Student Society-Syria Chapter president Magd Al Sayed Wahbe and his fellow countrymen from Syria formed the Syrian community at UTM in Johor Baru as they felt the need to gather the students under a society where they can meet, learn and share their experiences, and raise awareness of knowledge and soft skills essential to the future.

“We organised the LinkedIn workshop in partnership with LinkedIn Local Society to introduce LinkedIn as a global network for professional people to students and make them aware of its importance.

“We want to make sure each student has a professional profile ready when looking for job and encourage students to use LinkedIn as a daily networking platform.

“During the workshop, students learnt the difference between LinkedIn and other networking platforms, and how to set each section in the LinkedIn profile in professional way, post and discover elite people profiles.

“By the end of the day, students knew how to represent themselves better in LinkedIn and they began to rethink their future among professional people.

“We advised them that this is the perfect time to invest in themselves via participation in clubs and societies to enrich their knowledge.

“This is the time to think about how to build their career path such as finding an internship,” added Magd.

Chemical engineering student Monabbir Hasan Arnab, 20, said: “We can get the right connection with people in the same field. Now I know how to navigate LinkedIn.

“My two posts have reached out to so many people and my connection has increased to more than 80 people within a few days,” he added.

Shakir Mahmud, 20, attended the workshop as a guide to apply for jobs and internships. He learnt to create a unique look or personal branding.

“I learnt that by focusing on one particular field of work and mentioning it in any of your posts onLinkedIn help to market your brand,” said the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Aeronautics) student.

As for Estiaq Ahmed, 20, he is confident that his profile will attract more connections.

“I am now up-to-date on organisations, which are hiring and looking for interns, as well as job placements which are suitable for my qualification,” said Estiaq, who is studying electrical electronics.

Aamer Al Khateeb, 24, said he knew that LinkedIn is a platform to help professionals to preview their experiences and allow others, either companies or individuals, to know about them in-depth, but he never gave it a try.

“But with the help of a facilitator who gave me the tools and steps to be a successful LinkedIn user, I am on my way to setting my career pathway,” said the Master’s in Mechatronics and Automatic Control student.


LinkedIn Southeast Asia and North Asia head of communications Linda Lee said the social media platform is a fresh graduate’s guide to job search.

For Malaysian graduates entering the workforce for the first time on the lookout for job openings, LinkedIn has the community to help them find the right one depending on their skills and interests.

“Whether you’re just starting your career or on a journey to pursue fulfillment and meaning at work, now is a great time to find the right job for you.

“We have 20 millions jobs including entry-level roles,” she added.

Lee offered advice to help prepare for each step of the job search.

Firstly, establish a “Digital Presence That Reflects Who You Are” by asking yourself what drove you to pursue your degree? What are you “in it” for?

“Knowing these answers is crucial to finding the right job for you. Then create your LinkedIn profile and use the summary section to share a little bit more about yourself and skills, learning and experiences that make you unique.

“More than just a resume, your LinkedIn profile creates a great opportunity to make you standout.

It’s one of the top things recruiters using LinkedIn every day look at when viewing your profile.”

Secondly, “Look Beyond Your Degree or Qualification”.

“A degree can take you places, but it doesn’t dictate your career path. Keep in mind what is most important to you, and find it. Your degree or qualification can open up opportunities to land a variety of types of jobs beyond your major.

“If there are new skills you want to learn or improve on, online platforms such as LinkedIn Learning can help you get started. Learning doesn’t stop at graduation.

“Thirdly, ‘Explore Jobs on LinkedIn’. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s job search filters to narrow your search by industry, function and experience, and then use the open search box to add key phrases to find the right job for you.

“Discovering new jobs on LinkedIn has never been easier with ‘Instant Job Notifications’ and ‘Job Title Highlights’.”

Fourthly, “Connect with People in Your Network Who Can Help” by taking a good look at their LinkedIn community to see if they have any connections who work at companies that interest you.

“These professionals can be key to helping you find and land the job you want. Professionals on LinkedIn are four times more likely to get a call from a recruiter and nine times more likely to get hired when they’ve been referred by a connection than if they apply without a referral.

“And, fifthly, ‘Make a Good Impression’ by getting to know more about the company you wish to be part of. It can guide you on what it takes to get hired and succeed there. The website and company page on LinkedIn and other online resources can provide rich information and background.

“What’s important is that you know the steps to take on your journey to a successful and rewarding career. Be authentic, stay true to your values, call out what makes you different from the crowd and lean on your community for support.”

LinkedIn Asia Pacific managing director Olivier Legrand said the company aims to strengthen its offerings for small and medium business customers in Malaysia.

“It is not just a platform for individuals, it also offers a range of services for businesses to hire better and faster, insights that can help them make smarter decisions about things that are happening around them in real time and smarter, making recruitment easier and more effective via online selection. Archive image for illustration purposes only.