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Back to the Workforce: A Guide For Working Mothers in Malaysia

Back to the Workforce: A Guide For Working Mothers in Malaysia

15 Apr 10:00 by Deana Zafir

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Being a stay at home mom is a respectable job. But balancing the responsibilities a mother has at home and at work can be challenging to some. Here’s a gentle reminder of the different working hours available in Malaysia:

Full Time: In Malaysia, full-time generally refers to a 48 hour work week.

Casual: A casual employee in Malaysia works for 14.4 hours per week. 

Freelance: With freelance work, there are no set hours in which you’re allowed to work each week. You’re free to work for as little as 2 hours to 50 hours a week. 

Perks of Being a Working Mother 

We bet you’re thinking that a paycheck will be the biggest perk! But you’re wrong. The benefits of being a working mom can extend to just extra money. They include:

A. Higher Self Esteem:

With a new job comes new friends. This, combined with the feeling of accomplishment whenever you complete a task both at home and work, will make you more confident and help increase your self-esteem.

B. New Skills:

It’s a no brainer that returning to work will provide you with a flurry of new skills for your resume. 

C. A Lesser Chance of Suffering From Depression:

Interestingly, a study by Gallup finds that stay at home moms (a.k.a. SAHMs) are 11% more likely to suffer from depression, sadness, worry, and anxiety.

D. Children with Working Moms Do Better:

No, your child will not be “starving” for attention when you return back to work. Research shows that children with working moms tend to suffer from less behavioral problemsdo better academically, and were still able to grow up emotionally stable.

The secret is to keep a steady work-life balance and spend enough time with your children as well as yourself during your time off. It looks like you can have your cake and eat it too.

E. Happier Wife, Happier Life:

Working moms are said to have happier relationships - as it encourages co-parenting. Additionally, children with working moms have claimed that the various chores and responsibilities at home are often split equally.

Jobs for Mothers Looking to Get Back into Employment

1. Temporary Event Promoters


Maybe you’re not ready to go back to work as a full-timer yet. Perhaps you’re unsure if you’ll be able to commit to a long-term contract or maybe you’re not ready to jump back into work full-force yet, after being away for so long. Temporary jobs are a great way to help you get back on your feet!

The role of a temporary promoter is to approach someone and provide them with the help and customer service they’ll need.

Skills Required
To succeed in this role, you may need to have:

✓ Sales skills
✓ Strong organizational skills 
✓ Excellent communication skills
✓ Friendly demeanor to make lasting connections

Skills Gained
In this role, you’ll be able to pick up skills such as:

✓ Communication skills
✓  Basic computer, Microsoft and Excel skills
✓  Soft skills such as creative and quick-wit

2. Cashier


Retail isn’t a field just for students. In fact, there is a possibility of career progression in this industry. Being a cashier could be a stepping stone towards other higher paying retail, sales, or customer service positions.

Being a cashier is a great option for mothers looking to get back into the working industry. The job isn’t as draining, compared to other retail positions, which may require some heavy lifting.

As a cashier, you may be required to process transactions, answer customer inquiries, and gift wrap merchandise accordingly.

Skills Required
To succeed in this role, you may need these skills:

✓ Cash handling skills
✓ Basic math skills
✓ Strong oral communication skills
✓ Fluency in a second language could be beneficial
✓ Warm and bubbly disposition

*Do note that companies out there are willing to train inexperienced candidates to use the “point of sales” (POS) system, cash handling skills, and other hard skills required to complete the job.

Skills Gained
In this role, you’ll be able to pick up skills such as:

✓ Improved intrapersonal skills (written and communication)
✓ Computer and point of sales (POS) knowledge
✓ Customer service skills
✓ Sales skills
✓ Myriad of soft skills (e.g. time management, team player, efficiency, dependability)

3. Sales Assistant

For those looking for a position that allows for more communication, a retail sales assistant position could be the one for you! Unlike a cashier, retail assistants will have to

As a sales assistant, your aim is to upsell as many products as possible to a customer. You may also be required to conduct basic housekeeping and stock duties - to ensure that the store looks as appealing and neat as possible.

Skills Required
In order to succeed in this role, you may need these skills:

✓ Demonstrate a working amount of product knowledge
✓ Sales skills
✓ Customer service skills
✓ Strong oral communication skills

Skills Gained
In this role, you may gain skills such as:

✓ Commercial awareness (a.k.a. customer/business awareness)
✓ Working under pressure
✓ Time management skills
✓ Attention to detail
✓ Improved problem-solving skills
✓ Basic marketing skills

4. Admin/Data Management Executive


Admin executives play a key role in holding an organization together. 

Your role as an admin executive may differ according to the different company needs. However, your key responsibilities may include assisting in the management of day-to-day office duties, planning, and scheduling events and meetings, organizing files and records, as well as creating reports and presentations when required.

Skills Required
In order to succeed in this role, you may need these skills:

✓ Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint skills
✓ Social media management skills
✓ Database management skills
✓ Great work ethic
✓ Data-driven personality

Skills Gained
In this role, you may gain skills such as:

✓ Research skills
✓ Office management skills (i.e. filling, paper management, equipment handling skills, bookkeeping skills)
✓ Speedier typing skills
✓ Soft skills (e.g. customer service skills, and the ability to work independently)

5. Flexible Skilled Roles (e.g. Graphic Design, Marketing)



Flexible positions are often the most desired for mothers looking to return to the workplace, due to its hours. The position will also provide the potential for future resume growth,

Flexible skilled roles available are available in most skilled positions that allow employees the ability to work away from the office.

Positions may be available in various fields such as:

• Art and Design
• Marketing and Communications
• Programming and IT
• Accounting and Finance

Skills Required
To succeed in a flexible skilled role, you MUST have the core skills and qualifications needed to complete the task. Other additional skills needed to succeed in this position include:

✓ Personal Management skills
✓ Business Skills
✓ Personal Accountability (e.g. the responsibility to follow up on emails, meet deadlines)

Skills Gained 
In this role, you may gain skills such as:

✓ Time Management Skills
✓ Research Skills
✓ Improved Core Skills

These are just some of the positions available to women looking to return back to the working industry. It’s important to remember (before jumping in) that you will need to take the time to get used to the working life again - this could be the hardest aspect about jumping back into the working world.

As a job agency, we recommend sticking to flexible, temporary, or contract job arrangements in Malaysia before jumping back into full-time work.

Are you a parent looking to jump back into the working life? You may want to read these:
*Getting Back to Work: The Guide For Working Mothers first appeared on BGC Group Singapore.