1 in 2 Malaysians will quit their jobs if there's no career growth

KUALA LUMPUR: One in two Malaysians are ready to move on from their current jobs if they lack opportunities for career advancement, mirroring an equal proportion who harbour worries about job security, particularly notable among Generation Z (59 per cent) and Millennials (57 per cent) amidst shifting economic conditions.

More than one in three respondents said that they would quit their jobs if they were not offered any opportunities to future-proof their skills.

Notably, a significant 43 per cent of Gen Zers would consider quitting a job that does not offer upskilling opportunities, while only 15 per cent of baby boomers would take such action.

Local respondents are most interested in developing themselves in the following areas: IT and tech literacy (42 per cent), management and leadership skills (29 per cent), AI (29 per cent), data science and analytics (23 per cent), and communication and presentation skills (22 per cent).

In response to the changing economic landscape, about 40 per cent of Malaysians have either already taken on or are contemplating second jobs to manage the rising cost of living, compounded by concerns about economic instability impacting their professional growth.

Insights from Randstad Malaysia's Workmonitor Research indicate that 55 per cent of respondents are willing to stay in roles they find fulfilling, even in the absence of avenues for career progression.

Moreover, two in five respondents express satisfaction with their current situation and lack the desire for career advancement, with Generation Z (44 per cent) and Millennials (43 per cent) being the most prevalent in this mindset.

The five most important factors when thinking about their current or future employment are work-life balance (94 per cent) and salary (94 per cent), health insurance and healthcare benefits (90 per cent), working hours flexibility (89 per cent), job security (88 per cent), and mental health support (87 per cent).

'"While Malaysians are ambitious to seek higher salaries and more prestigious job titles, they balance it with finding employers who can offer a positive experience. Being able to secure a stable work-life balance, having their physical and mental health taken care of by employers, and having the opportunity to upskill could sometimes be more important than doing the same job for a higher salary," said Fahad Naeem, country director at Randstad Malaysia.

The research, conducted among 517 locally-based employees and job seekers, delves into their career expectations and experiences across four main themes: motivation and ambition, flexibility, fairness and understanding, and artificial intelligence (AI) and upskilling.

Furthermore, the data highlights a shift in career ambition beyond mere professional advancement, emphasizing a broader focus on personal satisfaction and a comprehensive work experience.

In Malaysia, 73 per cent of individuals perceive themselves as ambitious, marking a 17 per cent increase compared to the global average. Conversely, 12 per cent of workers express disinterest in taking on managerial roles.

Nevertheless, the research emphasises that a lack of enthusiasm for career progression doesn't diminish the desire for self-improvement. More than four out of five respondents (81 per cent) prioritise training and development opportunities when evaluating their current and future employers.

Naeem said the labour marketplace in Malaysia has evolved from being a transactional one to an employer's ability to meet individualistic talent motivations and aspirations. 

"Companies must prioritise effective communication to understand specific needs like flexibility, career advancement, or training opportunities. Adopting a "talent-first" approach to addressing personalised employee goals helps businesses differentiate and succeed in the competitive world of work," he said in a statement.

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