Being an executive without a tertiary education in Malaysia, I always find that it is hard for me to achieve a successful career path compared to those who have college degree. I always lacked in terms of the requirement to have at least a Diploma before applying for any kind of jobs in private sectors.
Let me start by introducing myself, I am a 26 years old working class hero and currently hold a position as a Business Development Manager at an IT service provider company in Malaysia. I dropped out from my A-Levels studies years ago due to financial problems that my family faced during that time.
Right after that, I started my ‘working class heroes’ days as an ‘Entertainment Crew’ in a renowned 5-star hotel in Penang by doing what I do best – tutoring guitar lessons and manning the entertainment facilities in the hotel. Through that, I learned a lot about public relations skills, communications and hospitality skills. After a year, I was promoted as the ‘Entertainment Executive’ and awarded as ‘Staff of the Month’ for 2 consecutive months during my employment.
After observing business men and women staying in the hotel, I kind of envy their lifestyle and I always think that someday, maybe, I will make my way up there. It gives me motivation to think of becoming like one of them. After two years of employment with the hotel, I decided to pursue my dream by joining a telemarketing agency in Kuala Lumpur, where I assumed it to be as a starting point for me to achieve my dream.
From a regular agent to becoming team leader, I managed to make my way up to be division manager for a campaign. One day, I received an interview offer to be absorbed into my clientele’s company to be their project leader for a new marketing campaign. I was so excited and eager for this new role that I was promised for this company. I went to the interview and I was solemnly rejected due to my lack of tertiary education and pretty bummed by it. As some sort of ‘walk of shame’, I decided to leave the telemarketing agency and decided to pursue a different career path.
After 3 months of unemployment, I was able to get back on my feet as I received an offer as a business development executive at an IT service provider. Soon, I made my way up as a manager and a designated sales coach for the company. I travelled to a lot of different countries for business proposal and I really enjoyed it. Now I can tell myself that finally my dreams had come true.
In life, I truly believe that we need to have a positive attitude that will eventually lead to a positive outcome. Gain and indulge all the experiences that you can, and always remember that experience is not something that can be bought or documented, it is something that you earn. Fallbacks and failure always have a way but you should never give up.
One thing I would like to say is that employers should do give more room of opportunity for those who are lacking in their tertiary education and bear in mind that attitude and personality is the only key to success, and skills can always be taught.