Half of Malaysian workers are willing to leave their jobs if there are inadequate career progression opportunities, but 55% would stay if satisfied, even without advancement prospects. According to Randstad Malaysia’s Workmonitor Research, career ambitions now encompass personal satisfaction and holistic work experience.

Randstad, the world’s largest talent agency, released its 2024 Workmonitor research in Malaysia. It surveyed 517 local employees and job seekers on motivation, ambition, flexibility, equity, understanding, and AI & skilling.

Fahad Naeem, country director at Randstad Malaysia, stated, “The labour marketplace has evolved from transactional to addressing individual talent motivations and aspirations. Effective communication helps employers understand specific needs like flexibility, career advancement, or training opportunities.”

Malaysians fear job loss amid economic shifts, particularly Gen Zers (59%) and Millennials (57%). Despite this, 55% prioritize job satisfaction over career progression. Two in five are content without career advancement, especially Gen Zers (44%) and Millennials (43%).

In the changing economic landscape, two in five Malaysians are taking second jobs due to rising living costs and economic uncertainty impacting career progression.

In Malaysia, 73% consider themselves ambitious, 17% above the global average. However, 12% of workers never want managerial roles. Yet, 81% prioritise training and development opportunities when considering employers.

The most important employment factors are work-life balance (94%) and salary (94%), followed by health insurance and healthcare benefits (90%), working hours flexibility (89%), job security (88%), and mental health support (87%).

Naeem said, “Malaysians seek higher salaries and prestigious titles but also value a positive experience. Stable work-life balance, physical and mental health support, and upskilling opportunities are often more important than salary.”

Workers prioritise ‘future-proofing’ skills, with 47% refusing job offers lacking learning and development opportunities. 43% of Gen Zers would quit without upskilling, compared to 15% of Baby Boomers.

53% believe it’s the employer’s responsibility to train and upskill. Malaysians prioritise IT and tech literacy (42%), management and leadership skills (29%), AI (29%), data science and analytics (23%), and communication and presentation skills (22%).

Naeem said: “With AI in workplaces, employees need diverse skills. Learning opportunities are vital, shaping employees’ job choices. Employers must share learning outcomes to attract aligned talent.”


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