Things I Wish I've Known When I First Started Working


1. Experience is more important Company.

When you're discussing about job hunting with a group of friends, at least one of them would look rather proud that he/she landed on a job with a MNC company. No doubt, getting into a MNC company isn't easy. The bigger the company is, the more challenging its interview would be. And standing out among sooo many other candidates can really boost your self confidence. 

Moreover, big companies have more benefits ie health, dental, claims and whatnot. Your year end bonus would be higher too (3 to 4 months) as compared to SME employees (1 to 2 months).

There are so many advantages working in a MNC right?

It would be perfect if you plan to stay with your company forever. The problem comes when you wanna switch job or company.

You see, the bigger the company, the more specialised its departments would be. You as the tiny individual in a team of a specialised department can only learn so much about the big picture. Very often, the skills you have acquired is a very tiny part of complete system and therefore, very niche. So if you were to change job, you will have to find another company with the same department (ie its competitors) or you risk your salary being cut when you switch to a job you have no 'real' experience.

My Personal Experience:

I once worked in a bank for three years as a sales executive. My job is to approach customer and recommend suitable financial products to them while also serve as a customer service who takes care of their banking whatnot. So it's also our job to get familiar with the market updates on daily basis so we can recommend the right products for customers.  When i first quitted my job, i thought "Getting an entry level job as research analyst for market news shouldn't be hard right? After all i have exposure in that area and i have working experience."


According to them, my past job scope is more towards customer service and sales, rather than understanding markets. It's related, but not accurately matched. So my somewhat past related experience in a reputable bank didn't help one bit in landing me an ENTRY level market-related job.

So during job hunting, choose your desired job scopes, not the desired company.  


2. Appearance Does Matter.

Stop the crap of "I look pretty even without makeup!" "Argh, people who wear makeup everyday is so shallow/pretentious/fatt hao." "All i need is my intelligent, not my beauty, to stand out."

Truth is, human are visual animals. The first impression people have for you is not how intelligent you are, but how you look. Because, if you don't look like you can take care of yourself well, what should makes me think that you can take care of anything else well? I definitely do not agree that looks are more important than brains. But looking decent will boost your confidence and help people to have confidence in you.

You don't have to apply full makeup and wear slutty clothes but you need to put effort in grooming yourself to look decent and presentable. 

Whether you like it or not, being attractive makes your life easier. Don't believe me? Watch this!

Does it pay to be attractive? - Street tested by BuzzfeedBlue.


3. Set A Monthly Saving Target.

When you first get your first paycheck, it's very easy to get too excited and start checking off your wishlist because you are finally earning your own money and you don't need to ask anyone's permission before spending it anymore! (Yay!)

It's a rookie mistake to spend first and save whatever amount you have left later. If you think saving RM200 a month is good enough, ask yourself if RM2,400 is enough for you to travel (or doing anything at all) at then end of the year. 

To make sure that you will save a desirable amount annually, set a monthly saving amount and work your expenses around that. 

How much is a "desirable amount"? 

Ask yourself how much would you want to see sitting in your bank account at the end of the year. Then work it backwards. 

If you wish to save RM5k, your monthly saving is 416.67.
If you wish to save RM10k, your monthly saving is RM833.33. 
If you wish to save RM20k, your monthly saving is RM1666.66. 

I also find having two accounts is extremely helpful. First one, maybe a current account, for your daily expenses. Second one, a high interest saving account, for your monthly savings. Make a rule to yourself that once the money is deposited into the saving account, you can never withdraw it until the end of the year. It also helps to open the saving account with a foreign bank because it discourages withdrawal since they don't have much ATM around. Out of sight, out of mind!


4. Start Planning Your Second Stream of Income. 

This is especially important if your current job is not what you want to do for long term. It creates an opportunity for you to jump out of your rut. Even if you love your job, spend the extra hours to improve yourself at it for a promotion. Or just simply utilizing your time for extra cash. 

However, i'd suggest to consider this 6 months or a year into your job. First job can be too overwhelming for you to spare your brain capacity elsewhere. It's better to focus on your day job, make sure you master it before spending the extra time devoting to your second income stream. 

I made the mistake of being comfortable for too long. 

Short-term Second Income Ideas:

1. Weekend Promoter
That is, if you don't mind being seen as promoter. I know many people see promoter as a low class job and embarrassed to be seen at it (myself included). But you can always choose to work at a mall further away from your house. Your friends usually hang out at PJ area? Work at Klang or Cyberjaya haha! 

Pay is around RM80 to RM120 per day. If you can find one that pays commission, it's even better. 

2. Home Based (anything)
If transportation is a problem for you, try getting a home based part time job. Designers, writers, data entry, online recruiter, anything. But please be aware of the scammers around. If they ask for a deposit for 'materials/training pack' before you can start working, chances are it's a scam. Also avoid MLM companies and sales-based job if you're not into it. 

Recommended site: 

3. Tutor
Every neighbourhood has a tuition centre for children. If you have one near to your house, try emailing or phoning them on any vacancy for tutors/assistant tutor/marker. It helps that it's so near to your house, you can easily do it after work or even during weekends. 

Recommended place:

Long-term Second Income Ideas: Anything you want to be in future that takes time to master. Be it a photographer, writer or coder, spend your leisure time in acquiring those skills and one day you'll live the dream - do what you love for a living. 


5. Minimize Your Commitments.

It didn't happen in a day. You'd just receive your paycheck one day and wonder where your money has gone after you paid your bills. And the amount left for you to survive till the month end will get lesser and lesser if you're not careful enough. 

With the convenience of credit card, paying for an item on monthly instalment is getting easier. Almost every store offers it. Paying RM50 per month may not seems to be alot at a time. But using the same logic on 10 items, your monthly commitment will add up to be a whopping RM500! 

Don't take monthly instalment too lightly. Even if it's just a RM30, try imagine that you're gonna pay this RM30 every month for 3 years!

Another way youngsters usually surge their debt ratio is by buying an expensive car. It's not a rare sight to see freshgrads driving a Honda Civic. 

    Salary: RM3500 (at most?)
    Honda Civic monthly instalment (3.5%, 9 years): RM1200 

With just one purchase, 35% of your salary will goes into an asset which depreciates the moment you got your keys. Don't forget: with expensive car comes with expensive maintenance fee too. 

Spend only what you have, minimize your monthly commitment to maximize your monthly disposable income. 

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