World of work | Daily Express Online

EVERYONE is thrilled that you finally finished your PMS. Your father wants you to be a doctor. Your mother wants you to be a teacher. Your family members encourage you to become a lawyer.

Your loved ones want you to be a designer. Your friends want you to join them and study computer science. Your teachers motivate you to become a nurse. Everyone around you gives you FREE ideas.

But what about you?

Don’t get angry with the people around you. They are just trying to help you. They worry about you. Thank them for their advice and help. I’m sure you’re not going to take all their advice.

You should have your own ideas about your future. Since you haven’t shared your thoughts with them, they assume you don’t know what to do after SPM. So they want to be helpful.

Although career planning is very, very important, no one teaches you how to do it. Parents want their children to have a stable and secure job at the end of their studies.

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

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

Your loved ones want you to be a designer because they know you designed your church mural.

It was so beautiful that they were impressed by your talents. They are confident that you will do very well in art and design. They may be right to some extent.

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

They ask you to join them and study computer science because you all can create a “kampong” in Subang Jaya.

You can all rent a house and stay together and have all the fun you want. It’s also cheaper if you stay in a house. They are also right, but do you like studying computer science?

Your friends want to study computer science because they love it. They want you to study computer science because they are your friends. Do you like this?

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

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

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

It’s something you can’t resist. Maybe that’s why your professors want you to study nursing. The question is, do you like nursing?

Career planning is life planning

The career you choose today will determine the lifestyle you lead in the time to come. However, no one really teaches you about career planning. The teachers defer to the parents and the parents defer to the school.

So it’s wrong to blame yourself if you don’t know how to plan your career. You may have received advice from school counselors, teachers, and friends, but these are just bits and pieces.

People can change careers several times in their lifetime!

Today’s school leavers still face a dilemma when they leave school. Some of them ignore the world of work.

They still don’t know if they should study for STPM, Matriculation, Foundation Programme, A Levels, Pre-Law or Pre-Business. They think they can study medicine even if they belong to the artistic sector.

They are confused with Computer Science, Computing, Information Systems, Information Technology, Computing, Software and Hardware Engineering. They ignore many careers.

Then you have those who don’t know what their passions are. They ignore their interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies and values.

They don’t know if they like Physics, Chemistry. English literature or add mathematics. Some of them would have excellent marks in mathematics and yet would have no interest in mathematics.

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

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

The world of careers is changing very quickly. Worse still, after Covid-19, everyone in careers has changed. There are jobs that have disappeared.

There are multinationals that have closed. Drivers who earned RM20,000 a month sell roadside burgers. Business leaders push Grab to survive.

Thousands of those laid off deliver goods for Shoppee, Lazada and Amazon.

While thousands of people have lost their livelihoods, they are not keeping quiet. They need to move on. They started new jobs.

They launched online businesses which had never been a trend before. Seminars, workshops, courses and trainings were organized online.

Exhibitions have gone virtual. Food and cakes were sold online. University courses were delivered online. Name it, and everything became “online”.

Today’s world of work has been reimagined. People are working from home.

This has never been heard before. But today, working from home is the “in-thing”.

Whether they worked for banks, offices, commercial departments or legal firms, everyone was allowed to work from home.


Many newspapers disappeared overnight. Some have gone online.

Some people were unable to find suitable employment during this difficult period. Instead of working for one employer, they worked for multiple employers at the same time.

Freelancers, gig workers, and mob workers were created. People were getting used to taking jobs that gave them a better work balance rather than a steady job.

With so much going on in the world of work, especially right now, where would future high school graduates start?

Even before starting their career, the world of work is in shambles. No one can predict what will happen tomorrow. No one can secure a job for anyone.

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

Unless school leavers learn to plan for their ‘new’ future, the road ahead will be very rough and difficult.

Over the next few weeks, let’s take a closer look at career planning.

Career planning workshop

Schools, colleges, NGOs, clubs, interest groups and CSR units willing to organize a “career planning workshop” for the benefit of students, graduates, members, teachers and parents can write to [email protected]

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

Maria D. Ervin