“In a month, I would get about RM900. I used to get lots of negativity or comments by my friends because I was told that I shouldn’t work here – anything but here. Especially since I just graduated with a diploma in Geomatics in Science (Geographical Information System) from UiTM Seri Iskandar, Perak.

It was then that I was offered a job in Damansara as a Technical Assistant for Acoustics. I was there for about a month and when I wanted to leave, the boss didn’t allow me to. 

He said that my birth date matched the Feng Shui of the company and even offered to get me a car and any amount of salary I could ask for. Thing is, there was no mentor for me to learn about the job from. And you will not be ikhlas (sincere) when you do your job if you’re unhappy with the working conditions and demands. So I turned the job down and continued being a cleaner at RapidKL again. 

All the bosses were surprised that a university student was working as a cleaner – sweeping floors, washing toilets and picking up trash. But you see, if my mother can do this type of job to make ends meet, what makes you think you can’t? At least I feel what my mother goes through every day of her working life to provide me education all the way to university. 

One day my mother came up to me and said that the boss wants me to work here. I went for the interview, and I am lucky and extremely grateful to be a Technical Assistant, here today.

I work in administration that handles the heavy and light repairs of trains, and was a complete shift from studying GPS and satellites to having to know what is a break caliper, the machines, PCU (Passenger Communications Unit), EHU, to even holding a spanner!

I have friends who are on the dean list and are high-scoring students but all of them have yet to get a job. They constantly ask me how I got the job. Apart from God’s grace, it really falls back onto effort and the willingness to learn. You have to get out of your comfort zone and search. You have to adapt to new situations, environment and people”. 

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on July 24th 2016)

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