Young Malaysians Are Taking Up Jobs As Cleaners To Earn A Living
The tough economic situation has compelled a number of young Malaysians to take up jobs as domestic cleaners
Quite a number of young people in the country may still be looking for jobs that suit their skill sets but in the meantime, some are so desperate for jobs to the point that they wouldn't mind taking up manual labour or blue-collar jobs.
According to Maideasy chief executive officer Azrul Rahim, the number of university students taking up jobs at the agency to provide on-demand cleaning services has been increasing.
Maideasy is like the Uber of cleaning services, as the start-up connects local cleaning service providers with individuals seeking to obtain their services.
"To get Malaysians to work for us as maids was initially very hard. I had to beg them to accept this job."
"But eventually, many of them were willing to take it when they found that they could generate an income that was two, even three, times more than if they worked at a fast food restaurant," he told The Malaysian Insight.
As unemployment grows, so does the number of qualified people who are resorting to doing any job that pays.
One such person is Siti Nursyazalina Zailani, who graduated as a materials engineer but now works as a domestic cleaner.
Nursyazalina was a hopeful jobseeker who had tried secure a job for several months following her graduation but she couldn't find anything suitable. Instead of sitting around and waiting for a job that meets her expectations, she took matters into her own hands and became a domestic cleaner with Maideasy.
"I was attracted to this job because of the flexible hours, and if I work hard, we can take home about RM2,000 or more (a month)," she was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight.
The last thing on her mind was to worry about social stigma associated with the job, because the filial daughter who came to Kuala Lumpur from Ipoh wanted to help her single mother cope with the rising cost of living.
"I'm getting paid to work eight hours a day, five days a week, and I can earn the same wages as a university graduate, if not more."
Nursyazalina revealed that she can earn RM80 for every home that she cleans and Maideasy takes a RM20 commission from each job.
It was reported that her job scope as a domestic cleaner includes tidying up the house, mopping the floors, and cleaning the toilets.
Meanwhile, Nursyazalina's sister, Siti Nurdiyana, is also working as a domestic cleaner with Maideasy
The 21-year-old is a student at Intec College in Shah Alam and is studying for her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) certification.
Nurdiyana recently joined her sister to earn some income while she studies.
While there are prevailing negative perceptions about blue-collar workers, Nurdiyana said that there is no shame in earning an honest living
"Lots of people will always ask, 'Isn't it disgusting to be cleaning someone else's house?'"
"For me, if you want to work, there's no need to think or care about what people say," she said, adding that there they are "not doing anything wrong" for working as domestic cleaners.
Nursyazlina also shared the same sentiments with her younger sister although she told The Malaysian Insight things could get awkward sometimes when some of her clients found out that she is actually a university graduate.
"When they communicate with me in English, sometimes they are surprised and will ask my how it is that my English is so good."
"They can never guess that I am a university graduate, and will ask me all sorts of questions, like why I'm cleaning people's homes," Nursyazlina said.
Although both Nursyazalina and Nurdiyana do not feel ashamed of their jobs, many of their peers are still afraid that people might find out what they are working as domestic cleaners
Azrul revealed that university students generally prefer to work at fast food outlets but Maideasy is starting to see an increasing number of university students who are applying work as domestic cleaners.
"They do it secretly, and don't want others to know. Recently, there are more students who are doing it, and they even invite their friends to join them," he said.
Maideasy only works with Malaysians due to the expensive and complicated process of hiring foreign workers and the risk of hiring immigrants without valid working documents
While locals are slowly starting to show more interest in taking up cleaning jobs, Azrul said that the main challenge is to change the public's perception towards such jobs that are usually aimed at foreign workers.
"They never hear of Malaysians working part time as maids. We always only hear of foreigners or illegal migrants doing it."
Do you think fresh graduates should consider taking up blue-collar jobs? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.