Salary is down by 15.6%. Oh dear, what now?

A close friend showed me the front page of a Chinese language newspaper. It showed the median salary of Malaysians dropping in 2020 by a whopping 15.6%.

The below are taken directly from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). The mean (average) income which does not mean much dropped 9%. The median income meanwhile dropped 15.6%.

What this tells us is that people earning higher salaries may be earning slightly lower or almost the same but the people earning lower salaries have seen their income(s) drop.

Actually, this number may have also been caused by the people who become unemployed during the course of 2020. If the salary was RM2,000 and it has dropped to zero, this will definitely affect the overall numbers tremendously.

When it comes to age groups, the group which has the highest median monthly salary would be those in the 35-44 category. Hey, I am in this category too. We could also see that salaries of the age groups continue to rise as they become older and stopped at 35-44 which is the highest point for 2020. In 2019, the highest point was for the 35-44 age group.

I think 2020 is not an easy year for these older folks. Just too many changes which requires quick adaptations. Work from home and things going online for example.

When we look at the education level, it is clear that a tertiary qualification would provide the person with a potentially higher pay and with increments every year, the gap between the ones with tertiary education and the ones without would get bigger.

If we look into states, we could see from the chart below that Wilayah Persekutuan and Selangor would be where the highest salaries are. Actually, it’s not just higher salaries but also much more opportunities if compared to smaller towns. Remember yeah, more money does not mean better cost of living yeah. Perhaps someone earning a lower pay may have a better life in a smaller town instead. So, this is really just a choice and perhaps a balance one need to decide.

Salary must not be the only income

I am serious yeah. The days when one income is enough is long gone. Today, it’s all about more streams of incomes as well as investing the money we earns wisely. Simply earning and spending it all does not work too.

Pivoting is needed now, start moving

We may be facing a lockdown but as at today, just within Malaysia, there are over 22,000 job positions being advertised. Looking deeper into those positions would tell us that some industries are doing way better than others. This is why it is so important to pivot towards industries which are stronger or growing versus staying in a mature / sunset industry. Time and time waits for no man and if it is to be, it is really up to me.

We can also gauge if our job is a secure one if we could find another similar job easily. Just look around and understand the typical salary range. If we are overpaid for the same type of job, better worry a little and try to increase the skills to go up another level. Remember, companies pay for talents. If you are not, then take steps to become one. Read more, study online, join Toastmasters and become a better communicator and leader. Do more today before you need to in future.

My friend is a real estate negotiator and also a part-time GRAB driver

He works only during those peak hours for 4 hours daily and the rest of the time, he’s a real estate negotiator. On a monthly basis, he earns a few thousand ringgit extra just from his GRAB part-time work. He has to wake up extremely early but he has flexibility in time as he’s a real estate negotiator.

At the moment, he’s not yet a millionaire but his median income is much higher than what was reported by DOSM’s latest stats. Frankly, in some countries, even if we wanted to, there are no jobs available. Here in Malaysia, it’s only whether you like to do it or you don’t. Happy deciding yeah and please do something about it if indeed you need a higher income or does not want another 15.6% drop in 2021.

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