90% Malaysians willing to emigrate to improve career, work-life balance

PETALING JAYA: About 90% of local respondents would settle and work abroad for better career opportunities and work-life balance, as eight in 10 (80%) respondents in Malaysia want to work in a role that allows them to travel.

Having an overseas exposure is important to workers as they can gain different perspectives, learn new skills from their global counterparts and build a global network of connections.

According to the Randstad Workmonitor’s 2019 Q3 results, having the opportunity to work in another country is an important factor for employees. Close to nine in 10 respondents (89%) aged between 18 and 34 are even willing to emigrate to pursue a meaningful career in another country.

Randstad Singapore and Malaysia managing director Jaya Dass said young employees are highly motivated and eager to learn new skills, meet new people and experience new encounters.

“Compared to senior professionals, they are also more willing to emigrate as many of them do not have family responsibilities yet and are focused on their career development. If done with the right attitude, this drive can help them get promoted and take home a larger paycheck. However, these sentiments among the youths also mean that companies need to improve their employee attraction and engagement initiatives to avoid a possible ‘brain drain’, as Malaysia will need local talent to sustain its long-term economic growth.”

Nine in 10 respondents (90%) are open to the idea of relocating if they can progress in their careers and have a good work-life balance. About 85% would move for a substantially higher salary and 71% will do so if it means that they can keep their jobs with their current employers.

Countries near home, such as Australia, Singapore and Japan are voted as the top three choices for locally-based respondents to work in. Companies in these markets are perceived to be able to provide higher salaries and support healthier work-life initiatives. These markets also have better currency exchange rates, which is appealing to locally-based talent.

About 21% of Malaysians changed employers in the past six months and 40% have showed interest in looking for a job. More than two in five (42%) said that while they are not actively looking for a job, they will be interested if an opportunity comes by.

The 2019 Randstad Workmonitor Q3 survey was conducted from July 18 to Aug 5, 2019.