Work culture in Malaysia (as a foreigner)

It is quite common for IT people to travel across the world to client site especially for software related projects. Malaysia is one of the famous destinations where people from other countries visit here for work and travel for software jobs.

In this blog, I will talk about how the work culture is in Malaysia?

Intro about myself:  As far as myself is concerned, I am an IT guy who was brought from India to Malaysia for IT related job and it’s been 4 years now, I am still working here.

Currently, I am working in a client location where I get to meet clients on a daily basis and interact with them on the work related activities.

Races and English accent: When it comes to Malaysia, it is mainly known for 3 different races: Malays, Indian, & Chinese, though other races do live here.

Being a foreigner, initially to understand their English accent, it might be a little difficult task but over a period of time, we can easily get used to it.

Work Timing: On the work front, here locals try to stick with their work timing 8:30AM to 5:30PM. Most of the people will be at their desk around 8:30AM to start their work. They are very punctual. They don’t take many breaks from work, they are very sincere when it comes to work, hard-working, very professional, co-operative, and delivery oriented. When situation necessitates, they will extend to get the job done and they won’t hesitate either. Given this, they will expect us to follow the same and if you would like to be here, you must follow.

Contract staff: Being a foreigner, most of us work as a contract staff and contract is renewed every 6 months or on an yearly basis. You should be prepared for any uncertainties, if contract is not going to be renewed, which is usually revealed close to a month only when the term is nearing expiration. It could be a shock when it is revealed; instead if you are not in the good books of your manager, better to be prepared.

Secondly, you would get to deal with more work when you compare with permanent staff, but, you will be offered lucrative salary which would compensate on that front. It is not a big thing to worry either.

Qualities expected: Since we are a contract staff, we need to be proactive and dedicated on the work front, because our contract renewal is subjected to our performance. If you perform well for long, they will think about making permanent also. Just to emphasize, they will THINK about it, not for sure. When it comes to responsibilities also, you would get to shoulder more, but you will seriously get to learn better which should be appreciated.

Workplace treatment: People are really kind and considerate when it comes to work. They treat all human beings as equal regardless of race, gender, country origin, etc.

Regardless of the country of organization, there are good managers so as bad managers. If you are in good hand, you will be happy. Otherwise, time to make decision.

Lunch Timing: If you come from India, you will definitely be surprised to see people move away from desk by the time clock ticks 12 O’ clock. Yeah! It is time for lunch and it is usually be an hour.

Consultancies: Mostly foreigners are served to Malaysian organizations via consultancies who takes care of processing employment pass in touch with Malaysian embassy. They will be the one who come into picture even when the contract is not renewed at the client location and they would try to map you in different client location based on the availability of requirements.

At the end of the day, you are an employee of the consultancy with which you are affiliated and client location is the place where you are allotted to serve.

Unlike US, where visa could be for 5 years, here, maximum period of visa is only 2 years, which again can be renewed at the time of expiry.

The one good thing which we must admire about Malaysia is: Here talent is considered rather degree. Even if you are a B.Com graduate but capable of doing coding in some programming language, you will be given a chance to progress in your career. Importantly, salary is based on experience in the respective profile rather degree you hold.

**Happy working in Malaysia**

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