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Returning Home or Staying Put: Planning Your Career Path After Studying in Malaysia

April 04, 2024


stay in malaysia or return home?

The decision to return home or stay put in Malaysia to start your career is undoubtedly crucial, and it's one that many international students deal with as they approach graduation. Many factors, such as career prospects, lifestyle, and ease of adapting to society play vital roles in decision-making for international students. 

If you are an international student in Malaysia and your final semester is drawing near, the question of what comes next may be weighing heavily on your mind. But fear not!

In this article, we'll analyze the advantages of both options, offer guidance on how to deal with the job market and provide insights to help you make an informed decision that aligns with the objective you have set.

What factors should you consider to stay put in Malaysia or return home?

By the time you're graduating from a Malaysia's university, your first thoughts will almost certainly be about professional careers and job opportunities. However, the choice of whether to stay in Malaysia or go home to start your professional career must be carefully considered.

Here are some factors that you must consider before making a final call about whether to stay or return home after completing your studies in Malaysia:

1. Career goals and aspirations

To decide whether to remain in Malaysia or return to your hometown, it's crucial to thoroughly evaluate how well your career goals and aspirations align with the opportunities available in each location.

Start by analyzing the industries and sectors that are experiencing growth and development in both Malaysia and your home country.

In Malaysia, you may find thriving industries such as technology, manufacturing, finance, and tourism, offering a diverse range of career opportunities. Consider whether your skills and interests align with the demands of these sectors and whether you can envision yourself building a successful career in Malaysia's dynamic and rapidly evolving economy.

2. Identify your skill set

When considering whether to stay in Malaysia or return to your home country for your career, it's essential to assess where your skills are best utilized and valued. Take the time to reflect on the skills, knowledge, and experiences you have acquired during your time in Malaysia. Evaluate how these attributes align with the demands of the job market in both Malaysia and your home country.

Start by identifying your strengths and areas for development. Consider the specific skills you have gained through your education, internships, and extracurricular activities in Malaysia. Reflect on how these skills can contribute to your professional success and whether they are in demand in both Malaysia and your home country's job market.

3. Work qualifications

stay in Malaysia or return home town

Another aspect that you should consider is the specific requirements for employment in each location. Some of the employement requirements include academic credentials, professional certifications, and relevant work experience that meet the criteria outlined for your desired roles in both locations.

Additionally, you also need to stay informed about any changes or updates to the regulatory framework or licensing requirements in both Malaysia and your home country. Keep abreast of industry trends, advancements, and emerging practices that may impact the qualifications needed to succeed in your chosen field.

4. Family considerations

Family considerations play a significant role in determining whether to stay in Malaysia or return home for your career. It's essential to contemplate how your decision will impact not only yourself but also your parents, partners, children, and other dependents in your family. Take into account their needs, desires, and overall well-being when weighing the pros and cons of each option.

Open communication with your family members is crucial during this decision-making process. Discuss their concerns, preferences, and priorities regarding your career choices and the potential implications of staying in Malaysia or returning home. Consider how your decision may affect their lives and how you can support each other in making the best choice for the entire family.

5. Financial planning

stay in Malaysia or return hometown

Before you make a final decision whether to start working in Malaysia or return to your home country, you also need to evaluate the financial aspects.

Take into account the cost of living, income opportunities, taxation policies, and overall financial stability in both locations. Assessing these factors will help you determine the financial feasibility and implications of your decision.

Consider the cost of living in Malaysia compared to your home country, including expenses such as housing, transportation, healthcare, and daily necessities. Research the average salaries and income opportunities available in your field of work in both locations to gauge your earning potential and financial stability.

Other than that, you also should evaluate the currency exchange rates between Malaysia and your home country to understand how currency fluctuations may affect your finances, particularly if you plan to remit money back home or have financial obligations in a different currency.

What are the advantages if you stay put in Malaysia?

Staying in Malaysia after completing your studies presents a multitude of advantages that can greatly benefit your career trajectory and personal development. One significant advantage is the wider range of job opportunities available in your field.

Malaysia's expanding industry and burgeoning economy offer a diverse array of professional prospects, allowing you to explore various career paths and industries that align with your skills and interests.

Furthermore, staying in Malaysia may provide the potential for higher salaries compared to opportunities available in your home country. The country's active job market and growing economy offer financial incentives and opportunities for career advancement, allowing you to achieve greater financial stability and professional success.

Moreover, staying in Malaysia offers valuable international experience that enhances your working resume. By immersing yourself in a different culture and environment, you develop essential skills such as flexibility, buidling connections, intercultural communication abilities, and a global outlook—all of which are highly valued by employers worldwide.

This international experience enriches your professional profile and distinguishes you as a candidate with a broad perspective and adaptability.

Additionally, Malaysia's cosmopolitan society fosters a diverse and multicultural working environment, providing exposure to different perspectives, ideas, and work styles.

Engaging in a multicultural workplace enhances your creativity, fosters collaboration and teamwork, and promotes professional growth in a globalized world. By embracing Malaysia's cultural diversity, you can broaden your horizons and develop valuable interpersonal skills that are essential for success in today's interconnected world.

What needs to be considered when working in Malaysia?

After considering both options of working in Malaysia or returning to your home country, if you opt to work in Malaysia, it's essential to understand key aspects of working in the country. 

This is crucial because these factors will significantly influence both your professional and personal life while you're in Malaysia.

1. Work visa in Malaysia

stay in Malaysia or return hometown

As an international graduate seeking employment in Malaysia, you must understand the process of obtaining a working permit

Generally, you must secure a job offer first. This step is essential as your employer will initiate the employment visa application process on your behalf. 

It's important to note that you cannot apply for a working visa independently; it must be facilitated by your employer.

Working visas in Malaysia are categorized into Employment Visas (categories I, II, and III), professional visit passes, and temporary employment visas, each tailored to specific job roles such as foreign workers, domestic helpers, and expatriates. 

Therefore, it's imperative for you to avoid applying for a working permit independently to prevent any errors in the application process.

Once you've obtained a working permit, you're bound to work under the employer who facilitated the application. 

Should you wish to change jobs, you'll need to acquire a new pass entirely and prepare the necessary documents, including a resume, educational certificates, copy of passport, passport photo, and others for the new working visa application.

2. Being away from family and friends

Working in Malaysia means being far from your family and friends, which can make it hard to stay close and feel supported. This distance might make you feel homesick and lonely, especially during important times.

To cope with these feelings, it's important to stay in touch with your loved ones regularly through calls, video chats, or social media.

Balancing the challenges of being away from your loved ones with the opportunities for personal and professional growth in Malaysia requires resilience, flexibility, and a proactive approach to staying connected and making new friends.

3. Lack of familiarity with the Malaysian job market

Navigating the Malaysian job market can pose significant challenges due to its unfamiliarity. Understanding industry trends and identifying job opportunities may prove to be daunting tasks without prior knowledge of the local employment landscape. 

To address this issue, you need to seek guidance from expatriate groups and utilize online resources to gain insight into the Malaysian job market. 

Engaging with expatriate communities can provide you with valuable firsthand experiences and tips on job hunting strategies, as well as networking opportunities with professionals who have successfully navigated the Malaysian job market. 

Additionally, leveraging internet resources such as job portals, industry forums, and professional networking sites can help you familiarize yourself with the job market dynamics, including in-demand skills, job trends, and recruitment practices. 

By actively engaging with these resources and seeking advice from experienced expatriates, you can effectively manage your job search process and increase your chances of securing employment opportunities in Malaysia.

4. Personal financial situation

The cost of living in Malaysia varies depending on factors such as location, lifestyle, and personal preferences. 

You must consider your personal financial situation, including income, savings, and expenses, to ensure stability and viability while working in Malaysia. 

You must budget effectively and secure competitive salaries to help resolve financial concerns and enjoy a decent living standard.

5. Accommodation

When you embark on a professional journey in Malaysia, securing appropriate accommodation becomes a vital aspect to prioritize. 

It's essential for you to thoroughly research various housing options available, such as rental apartments or shared accommodations. 

Take into account factors such as location, amenities, and budget constraints when evaluating potential housing options. 

Choosing a convenient location that aligns with your workplace and offers easy access to essential amenities can significantly enhance your overall living experience in Malaysia. 

Additionally, ensuring that your chosen accommodation fits within your budgetary constraints will help you maintain financial stability while enjoying a comfortable living environment.

In conclusion, you must recognize that there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to deciding whether to stay in Malaysia or return home after completing your studies. The most suitable option will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances, professional goals, and personal preferences. Each alternative has pros and cons of its own. 

Remember, this choice is ultimately yours to make, and it's essential to weigh all factors carefully to ensure it aligns with your personal and professional goals. 

Go with your instinct and trust your ability to make the right decision for yourself. You must ensure that this decision takes you closer to your dreams and long-term success.

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