The rapid advancement of technology in the past few decades has brought about many changes in how our society sees things. A job that used to be scrutinised as being fitting only for those with no other options in life is now classified as a long-term sustainable career. This is in no small way due to the innovations in the industries driven by the millennials who have joined the workforce and decided to breathe new life into old vocations.
Listed down here are 8 jobs that were often looked down on and were never really viewed as proper career choices but have become widely accepted because of the associations they now carry.
1) Laundry Services
Back in the day, laundry was done in two ways: either through a tiny laundromat establishment stuck in the middle of a grungy shoplot area or painstakingly in your own household.
Now, there are a number of laundry services that offer on-demand options. Gone are the stereotypes of family-owned laundromats in small shops, instead we have fresh young teams ready to make things easier. And no one can say anything much against what they’ve chosen to do, besides the usual objections to being in a startup.
Fresh Press and Mama Jo Launderette come and pick up the laundry and deliver it back to your doorstep without you needing to step a foot out of your house.
“We’re aiming to help society ‘take a load off their minds’. And given the location of regular laundromats and how difficult they are to get to because of traffic and the limited parking in the area, we feel that Fresh Press is a great alternative,” said the founder of Fresh Press, Sasha Prakash.
2) Food Delivery
Food delivery has been evolving the more time passes. Old movies would show the generic hawker cycling on his bike to deliver packaged dishes to consumers. It wasn’t a picture of ease and glamour, and society categorised it as a tedious and tiring chore.
However, with many of our generation now depending on food delivery for our meals, food delivery services are seen with a different light. From bicycles to motorcycles, and from just one lone ranger delivering to a whole team constantly on the move sending dishes to the customers, delivering food has never reached the level of commercial success it has now.
Big names like FoodPanda helped in making food delivery become a more acceptable service in society nowadays. This also led smaller enterprises such as MobileWaiter.my to start their own food delivery with very low delivery charges.
“Delivering food is now seen as a huge industry in Malaysia so it was an opportunity we wanted to grab because we could see the long-term success it has,” said Phoebe, one of the founders of MobileWaiter.
3) Service Industry Managers
A handyman has not always been seen as a job many can handle. Even though it’s something only specialists could do well, it wasn’t something that had much potential for growth or it wasn’t regarded highly. These men (and women) used to work alone, mostly as independent agents who got recommended through word of mouth, and their reach was limited.
Now there are platforms such as ServisHero and Kaodim that offer to connect such service providers—for instance plumbers, cleaners and electricians—to consumers with a location-aware mobile app. There is definitely more recognition of the absolute necessity of these services, particularly in this age when not so many of us are so well-versed in handling these household matters.
“We are working on improving the state of the service industry and hope to help thousands of small business owners grow their businesses,” said Karl Loo from ServisHero.
When you imagine a fishmonger of the past, you’d probably see a man in an rubber apron, gutting a freshly caught fish in the middle of a wet market, calling out new deals to passing customers. This has changed in our new era. Our “modern fishmongers” have a very different image to the one described earlier.
Some examples include The Flying Fish Company, Bonfisken and mySeafoodMart who specialise in delivering fresh raw seafood straight to your doorstep. This efficiency and convenience is a far cry from the days of yore. After all, many millennials are getting more and more used to having what they want delivered to them instead of having to go through the trouble and inconvenience of procuring it themselves. If these services are affordable and on-demand, why reject a good deal?
The usual scenario that comes to mind when thinking about farming is a field in countryside where farmers toil endlessly to grow their crops.
Now, not only are millennials taking the concept of farming and innovating it towards the future, it is even seen as a potential career that can become a stable income model.
Babylon Vertical Farms transforms farming in our urban areas by introducing an indoor vertical hydroponic farming system that is aimed to help cut down the hours needed for harvest-to-plate time.
We also have “new farms” like a little farm on the hill which not only supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to shops and restaurants, but also offers pre-booked gourmet lunches, hosts weddings, birthdays, corporate events and organises classes and community building activities. They’ve turned the idea of farming into an experience that city folk would want to go check out and learn about.
6) Driving Services
Being a driver has always had a bit of a negative association to it, especially when it comes to explaining to older adults on why being a chauffeur to another person does not equate to being a servant.
Nowadays, if you’re working for big names such as Uber and Grab, it would be seen as a norm rather than anything else as parents and the older generation in general understand that these services provide a stable cash-flow and a good opportunity as a side income.
In fact, you could say it’s pretty cool to work for these companies.
There are even services now such as Fetch, which literally acts as your valet and brings your car to your desired location for you if you aren’t able to do so yourself.
“Last time, not everyone could afford a valet service and it was seen as something exclusive. Now we’re happy to be able to help our customers feel like they’re special by delivering cars to a customer’s desired location so I see it as a positive thing rather than us being on different levels,” said Fetch to Vulcan Post.
7) Maid Agencies
Let’s face it, the word “maid” in Malaysia usually brings the association of foreign labour brought in to help with our daily workload. The maid agencies that managed them weren’t seen as anything much better, just rather seedy agents to bring in the labour we need.
As a turnaround, MaidEasy helped to make the job become more acceptable by hiring local people help with house chores on a part-time basis. So there is the choice for our own community to sign up to be a part-time cleaner with their service and it is not seen as an embarrassment in any sense.
“It’s not seen as anything negative nowadays. In fact, Malaysians are actually very generous and many times, our customers have tipped cleaners who do a good job. It encourages cleaners do their best every time,” said Sim Bee Bee, co-founder of MaidEasy.
8) Waste Disposal And Management
The people handling waste disposal weren’t always seen as ‘heroes’ in our old society. When you think of employees in charge of ensuring the waste is properly disposed of, the job scope itself is void of any characteristic that is attractive enough to pull people to sign up for it voluntarily.
Now in our generation, many young minds have thought of ways to manage waste disposal appropriately so not only is it done efficiently, but the people doing so are seen as committing a good deed as well.
Examples of this include Microbs who help with waste disposal using organic means and KayuBesi along with Project Woodworks who take disposed wood and create it into something useful once more. A job that was seen as dirty is now socially accepted as a career that puts Mother Nature as a priority, making it shine in our community’s eyes.
Feature Image Credit: Compiled from abfreebeachresortphuquoc.com, travelandtourworld.com, mrwmd.org, research.rabobank.com