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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Perspectives on Unemployment in Cambodia

Cambodia is developing at a fast pace, but let's see how the unemployment here really is. After losing a job since April 2016, I've been experiencing a big loss and failure to start new career. What's matters? Let's me briefly write down my own experience.

The first challenges to find new job in Phnom Penh is networking. Most jobs here are well-known for networking other than outsourcing to look for new candidate. Some jobs is not shown to public or some shown to public, but still asking for networking to find new staffs, so most opportunities go to people with good networks. What's really networking? Networking refers to people known in the cycle of close communication within the group of people. The reason I fail to do network because I don't like out-going events often. However, does it really mean lonely person cannot work? It seems error in this system based on my own perspectives. I have more than five year working experience and two bachelor degree, but some companies doesn't look at my job application at all. It doesn't mean I am proud to have this, but just wonder. After sending out, what I get most is silence, except few companies giving me a chance for interview. Similarly, I fail without knowing the real reasons behind. Is anything error because of I stop working too long? That's the question. I have heard that people don't work for a period of 1 year up will not consider for new job opportunity as those companies said they are not qualified anymore. How about their education more than 22 years and more years of experience before vacation? Do you really agree on this point that people spend more than 20 years within education and work lost their knowledge and capabilities within 1 year? Are they really not qualified or is HR system in Cambodia error? How about their blank period they use for review their knowledge and experience as well as to think about new opportunities? I just wanna drag attention on this ideas whether  there is any fix to this system or job market in Cambodia is too small for our human resource. Cambodia is not smart to manage their own labor force at all; they don't manage well on their existing resource for developing, but just said Cambodia need human resource most for specialized labor skills such as construction, engineering and so on. Every year thousand of young labor forces go to other countries for job opportunities and totally more than 1 million people go overseas to work by today. Is it really good to move out? Cambodia doesn't create opportunity for people who lost their way on the employment. I don't see much support and effort from our government to solve this issue well. When people don't work, it is not only meaning that that person or family having an issue, but the society who wastes their human resource or labor force with specific skill to run their economic activities.

The second challenge on employment is appearance I think. I just realize it is harder if you look not well because people in Cambodia nowadays still value the outer appearance other than inner soul of people. They judge others based on their own ideas starting from the appearance. If someone doesn't look good, not much value is given to those people. It should be one lesson on this issue as it happens in other countries. One guy didn't look good, but he had million of dollars to buy a car. The service officer looked down on him. Later, he came to buy that most expensive car to use in his farm. That's the lesson that we can learn that Cambodian society should change this concept. I am not 100 per cent saying you are wrong, but it seems just error. I think this concept that value more on appearance is killing good human resources in Cambodia. Or does Cambodia maybe have too many labor force over its need?

The last challenge is corporate culture, job announcement and form. Some jobs require to change religion like from Buddhism to Christianity. I don't think Cambodia has taken good action to response to this issue. Cambodia is said to have freedom of religion, but this country is allowing others to change their own religion like from Buddhism to Christianity and Buddhism to Islam while it is compulsory that Khmer cannot reject if they want the offer. Other things is working hour. Labor law stated only 40 hours per week, but different institutions has different working hour that mostly over 40 hours per week including force over time without proper compensation. Ministry of labor never monitor well on this issues. Some companies require additional language from their own countries like Thai, French, Vietnamese, Chinese..... while most customers can use English and Khmer so well. Talking about job announcement is too much to describe. One simple position, but seeing only job description is less attractive and too much duties that candidates are fear to apply while the real job is not that difficult. Some jobs require 1 experience up that doesn't give opportunities to fresh graduate who has no experience to apply at all. Besides job application, the form has to be completed. We already details in CV, but still we need to spend much time on forms. It's strange and waste of time. In addition, salary is the main issue here. I started my salary 250$ since 4 years ago, but today some companies offer me close to 250$ for just changing position within the same industry and take a vacation for 4 months. What I mean is does the government take action for any update to job condition in Cambodia? Is it too much on this issue? Value of human resource in Cambodia is never updated in term of salary while pricing for products and service is updating everyday. Even the school fee is higher and higher every year, but starting salary for bachelor graduate is still less than 200$ or around 250$. Just based on my experience, it is so important to raise concerned for motivation of human resource in Cambodia. Although it is free market, we should not let thing happen in this way because this is 2016 that the world is changing including Cambodia.

Last but not least, unemployment in Cambodia is really hot issues that the government should help their own human resource or labor force to get better condition in the job market or to create opportunities to deal with those who lost their employment because of business politics. Writing this is I am asking for help to deal with issues that link to my own experience. I strongly hope Cambodia for better and better.