What You Need To Battle Work Changes

The job market may be tough now, but we’ll overcome it — as we always do

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. 

According to a recent survey by JobStreet, 90% of Malaysians have been affected since the start of the pandemic. 48% of people have experienced a deduction in their salary, with 1 in 3 people reporting a deduction of more than 30%. Meanwhile, 24% have been put on leave. 

Those who are fortunate enough to not be laid off, however, do not have it easy either. 66% of working class people have said that they faced an increase in workload. The most significant ones were those in the education and manufacturing industries, where the former saw an additional 55% increase due to the transition to remote learning, and the latter went up by 45%, as an increase in demand of goods surged.

It was also revealed that people’s main worries now are finances and job security. Lower job happiness was expressed as well, especially those in the service industry, those with young children at home, and those who worked in small to medium enterprises. 

This. isn't. good. news. 

But Bear Grylls once said: “Survival can be summed up in three words — never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying.” 

Despite the bleak news, we mustn't give up, and having the right mindset is key to not just helping us survive this, but rising above the storm.

“Mindset is what separates the best from the rest”. 

Here are some major components of a healthy mindset:


1. Growth mindset

Image via JD MindCoach

A growth mindset refers to whether you believe traits such as intelligence, ability, and talent are unchangeable or not. 

Having a growth mindset is important because it plays a critical role in how we cope with the adversities we face in life. People with a growth mindset tend to be more resilient, don’t give up easily and persevere in the face of setbacks.

But how does having a growth mindset improve our chances of adapting to work changes and looking for a job? 

Believing that ability and talent isn’t fixed means you believe there’s always room for improvement, so you’ll always be working hard and striving to be better. That is a highly sought-after quality that employers look for, because your notion is that there’s always something to learn and gain from, no matter the situation. You see challenges not as obstacles that block your path, but as opportunities to grow and become better.

Those with a growth mindset will be able to see the current work landscape in another light — as one that we can learn from, no matter where we currently are in life, which brings us to our next point:

2. Lifelong learning

Image via David Parkins

Lifelong learning is a voluntary and self-motivated process of learning throughout our lifespan for personal and/or professional development purposes. By adopting lifelong learning, we are always looking to educate and train ourselves for any new advancements and changes in our career. 

As an initiative to help recover the nation’s economy, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) partnered with Coursera to help unemployed workers up their digital skills, and this programme will be available until the end of the year. Professional Certificates such as Google Automation with Python, SAS Programmer, Intel Introduction to Deep Learning are just some examples of courses you can take to learn new things. 

Equipping yourself with additional, relevant skills will certainly be an added factor that can be the edge to your resume when looking for a new job, if not to help you to become a more skilled worker, contribute more to your company, and advance in your career.

3. Adaptability

Image via Pierre Bamin/Unsplash

This soft skill has always been an important one, but it’s never been more important than now. With the tourism, hospitality and catering sectors collapsing indefinitely, many will have no choice but to make a career change and venture out of their comfort zone.

Although many industries have been negatively affected, some are booming, like e-commerce and delivery services. Adaptable people, who are resourceful, open-minded, and tend to see opportunity instead of failure, will have less resistance to making the transition to these industries that are doing well and can afford to hire people. They are able to embrace change and take them head-on and persevere as the situation calls for it. 

One example would be a Thai airline pilot, Thanun Khantatatbumroong, who turned to working as a GrabFood driver after getting suspended as a result of the major blow the pandemic caused to airlines.

As Charles Darwin put it: 

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most receptive to change.

4. Self-awareness

Illustration by Gabriel Alcala for NBC News

“Tell us about yourself.”

As common as this interview question is, you’d be surprised how many people get stuck while answering it. Hence, being aware and understanding yourself, what you want, and what you have to offer is one of the simplest and most important ways to stand out among competitors in the job market. 

One way to find out more about yourself will be by conducting an individual SWOT analysis and identifying your core values, which are crucial to building a personal brand and identity for yourself. Possessing the knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses will enable you to exude confidence — a characteristic that can make or break your chances in an interview. You wouldn’t want to be an uncertain, fumbling individual now, would you?


Mindset Is The Key to Success

Image via Hello I’m Nik/Unsplash

Changing your mindset to be a better one isn’t something that can be done in a day. You need to wholeheartedly adopt it, to genuinely believe it. It’s not something you fake just to improve your employability and impress the interviewer. 

It’ll take effort and consistency to build a healthy mindset, but with determination to become the best version of yourself and stand out in job interviews and the workplace, it is only a matter of time. Baby steps does it!

If you’d like to know more about your own strengths and how you can build your personal brand to increase your career prospects, feel free to reach out to us at

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