Surviving Challenging Times

Malaysian business and trade groups have warned of mass unemployment in the country if Covid-19 restriction persists. Many businesses have had to wind-up resulting in mass unemployment. The pandemic has put millions across the world in financial ruin. The tourism, airline, and hotel industries have been obliterated.

We all have bills to pay. Tour guides had to improvise and switch to other jobs which requires a totally different skill set. One enterprising guide I know started taking up baking and selling pastries and cakes successfully. It was reported in the news that countless crew members and pilots in the airline industry had to be grounded or terminated. They had to resort to other means to earn a living. Some ventured into the food industry selling burgers and operating food delivery services while others decided to seek new jobs. The number of new Covid-19 cases shows no sign of abating and consumers and businesses remain skeptical about returning to the way things were.


We have to be aware that the future is capricious. Nothing lasts forever and we should be prepared to be taken out of our comfort zone. Disasters, economic downturns, and pandemics are nothing new. It’s more about what we can learn. People will be forced to change and rethink. However, it would be easier to be prepared or “In Omnia Paratus”- Gilmore Girls. When times are good, we can’t be too complacent. It reminds me of a book I read twenty years ago- Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. In short, the book is more of a parable which you can apply to your own life, in order to stop fearing what lies ahead and instead thrive in an environment of change and uncertainty.


We need to upgrade or acquire more skills as a safety net. With the technology available today it’s much easier to take an online course of your interest or hobby. There was a report by CNN in 2019 – What it takes to be a $200,000-a-year nanny which is quite astonishing because child-care positions aren’t usually thought of as high-paying jobs. It was all about skills beyond expectations. These nannies had specializations, certifications, and experience. They speak several languages, are tech-savvy, and are certified child psychologists.


It’s imperative to have good saving habits just in case we need money for emergencies. Financial consultants recommend saving at least 10% of your income every month. We should spend within our means and not make unnecessary purchases. Only buy what you need, not what you want. Most young working adults have fixed expenses like housing loan repayments, hire purchase instalments, insurance premiums, and childcare expenses. It would be wise to check and review your financial cash flow from time to time to ensure Total Cash Inflows are more than Outflows. We have to be in control over our financial position to prevent drowning in debt.

Investing in properties and financial instruments is a powerful wealth-creation tool. However, there are no guarantees and it depends on many factors that have to be assessed carefully. Before making a decision it would be useful to consult a financial advisor.


Even when we are comfortable and satisfied with our full-time day job we have to think and explore ways to create something new for ourselves. If you have an interest in business, art, health care, etc, seriously explore the possibility. You might fail but you still have your full-time job and persistence is the key. Numerous rich and famous people have failed and we’re no better.


The most essential and stifling factor is discipline. Most of the time we all do only what we like and disregard priorities. Discipline is tricky. Our goals are not achieved due to a lack of discipline. Needless to say, they have to be realistic. Everything comes with practice and patience. Eventually, when we achieve our goals, the satisfaction is ineffable. It’s important to know what we really want and need to achieve to protect our livelihood.

Chuck is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Author: Chuck

Just a guy who enjoys reading and a dose of jazz everyday.