Freelancing, Digital Nomads and our Youths
Despite growing up with the phrase, “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up” only some of the younger generation have managed to secure their dream job; many struggle with the fast-changing realities of the 21st century economy, with the saturated market place, and limited mobility.

A substantial portion of highly qualified youth finds themselves to be under-employed, or worse, unemployed. Yet this will only remain true should they restrict themselves locally and to the traditional brick-and-mortar, 9 to 5 workspace.  

Enter the world of freelancing. As the country sees an increase in digitalisation, so does the nature of the work environment change with it. While conventional office jobs are not going anywhere soon, digital freelancing is gaining more and more traction among youths, especially in Malaysia. And here in MDEC, we think this an excellent change of pace.  

To help promote this development, MDEC initiated the eGlobal Freelancer programme to help educate and train those who wish to dabble in the world of freelancing by offering a structured programme that help nurture and mentor Malaysia’s online workforce. And the results have been promising so far.  

But despite the program being digital centric, a physical space is still necessary. Recently, MDEC’s CEO Datuk Yasmin visited such a space: the Freelancer café in TTDI Plaza. This is where the eGlobal Freelancer classes are conducted. Whilst there, Datuk Yasmin met up with a number of freelancer- whose works range from graphic designers to virtual assistants, from videographers to online tutors.  

Though it should be understood that eGlobal Freelancer merely provides guidance. Besides meeting the faces of Malaysia’s growing freelancing scene, the people who facilitate the relationship between the employers and employees were also present at the café. Favser, Freetime Workz, Kerja Digital and Malaysian Freelancer Association to name a few. The freelancing ecosystem is bolstered by those who contribute their skill and knowledge to bring together people who live as digital nomads and those who require their skills. 

But can this be sustainable? Well, yes, as the nature of freelancing is not dependent on the geopolitical boundaries and actually promotes job seekers to step out of their comfort box and grow in their respective fields. These digital nomads receive work from all over the world, competing with other from across the globe. What they learn from this experience will contribute to our future.