Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

Showing posts with label Professional. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Professional. Show all posts

March 6, 2013

              Cambodia garment workers strike for minimum wage hike   Source

Cambodia is famous for its attractive low wage to the investors in the garment sectors, regardless of having no more quota to export to EU and the US. That manufacturers includes both footwear and apparels. 

This means our government's policy on attractive low wage works very well. Many garments manufacturers move from Vietnam and Thailand to Cambodia because they could spend less on labor here in Cambodia. Despite transparency issues, investors keep moving to Cambodia as wage is the main factor.

However, garment workers are not happy with the given wages. Many of them has been going on strike to claim for raise of the salary. It works very well if they strike, but if they don't, the manufacturers will not raise the salary as well. It seems to be so necessary to go on strike go get higher pay. 

But is it good for Cambodia in terms of investment attractiveness? Is it a pro to government policy? The answer is No. At least, that's to what I think. Our government tries to keep the wage lower than in Vietname and Thailand. For example, in Vietnam, the minimum wage is 6 USD per day and in Thailand 10 USD per day. Thus, Cambodia government shall keep it low; for example, 4 USD per day. In this way, Cambodia could attract more investment in the sector. 

"There will be a minimum wage adjustment every January every year, there is no need to go on strike" - said Mr. Tun Sophorn, National Coordinator at International Labour Organization in a meeting at ILO BFC on March 05, 2013.


The quote above means a lot to me, Mr. Sophorn raise a policy which could satisfy workers without having to go on strike to get higher pay. Also, our government would be ready for adjustment from years to years. For example, there will be 15% increase to every garment workers January next year, it helps a lot I think. Garment workers needlessly listen to union leader to strike and also the government could prepare for competition with other countries. 




February 13, 2013

I used to think that getting a job through network is not rewarding. It always made me feel like I have no ability to find a job on my own.  

But then, I think about the use of having a Recommendation Letter. If you could get a Recommendation Letter from a supervisor at workplace, then you are more likely to find a job. It is actually from the higher, the better. The thing is that people could know that employee better through the letter or the network before they decide to employ. They do not want to risk employing someone they have never heard of before. 

The problems could be both on the task fulfillment and also on the behaviors at workplace. Some might just come to work and is not that sociable so it might be hard to communicate; and some might be sociable, but is not very proactive. To avoid such problems, employment through network takes place. 

However, I still think it is not very rewarding and discouraging for employees to seek for a new job. It took me about four months to find a new job. It made me feel so discouraging that I would not be qualified for any workplaces; and moreover, I could see lots of fresh graduate looking so fine and found a new job in just a few weeks.

Also, from here I also want to raise a problem arising nowadays; and that is good positions are often filled. For example, one workplace wishes to employ a new employee, then announce the recruitment to public. Hundreds have applied, but at the end of the day, it's the internal employees who also applied got the position. 

Why? Because the internal people know better about the organization and its needs; and also the organization knows about that person better than the other candidates. Also, that individual is of course better qualified than others where he could answer most of the questions during the interview.

Here is another answer to that why, a NGOs posted a job announcement on Cambodia Daily, again hundreds have applied, but those people might have very slight chance for an interview because normally NGOs work on project and when the project ends their staff contract will be ended as well. Some of those people might be lucky and find a new job, but some would wait for the same NGOs to start a new project. So, who else should they employ beside their previous staff? and those people know about the NGOs better than the others.   

Personally, I have been employed through network twice. Once was at HML Law Firm & Consultants, at that time, my friend Chenda told me to apply for the Translator position at HML. I applied just like the other candidates. However, I had a network which was Chenda. I guess not just through the network that could get me the job, but it was the network which could facilitate the recommendation and the job announcement to me. I did not know much about the internal issue. However, after I was recruited, Chenda said the boss did ask her about my characteristics and some of my personal background.   

Later, in late 2012, after I resigned from ITC, my friend Sokha was on Maternity Leave and told me to apply for a short-term contract at her workplace - ILO. Again, that's what's so called network. There were 5 candidates as I was told. However, I was recruited for the position and later was favored by the  supervisor and he recommended me to apply for another higher position at the same workplace. So far, I have not been informed about the higher position whether I will get it or not. However, the intention of this post is to illustrate the bad and the good of networking to employment. 

Only til that day that it completely changed my mind regarding having a network to employment because now I believe that not everyone could reach us. It does not matter how good we are. It is better to have a network in addition to our qualifications. It is cool if you could get a job on your own hunt. However, many times jobs are filled by the network; and I am not saying those who are recruited through network are not great people. They are of course great people with great opportunities. If they are not qualified, those workplaces would not risk employing them, no matter how good behavior one has.


As above illustrations, I still have the negative ideas regarding networking to employment since it is a burden to people to find a job. The recruitment process could never be based on merit of the individual. 

Here, try not to confuse with Nepotism. Nepotism is completely a different thing. :) Anyway, what do you think about recruitment at workplace? 

January 23, 2013


If you happen to work for a private company in Cambodia, they only bother with your employment period and step which means your salary will be raised when you stay at a company longer. They never count the never ending inflation; and you need to bear in mind that as a Least Developed Country, inflation in Cambodia will never stop. The more growth we want, the more inflation we have. It’s so natural.
However, for United Nations staff, their salaries will be raised based on Steps and Inflation. They calculate carefully the inflation rate of each year and inform their staff about the salary the following year.
united-nations-logo-300x300

When you reach year 4, it’s time to think about gathering experiences or else you are going to end up graduating without a thing to write about in your Curriculum Vitae. You probably think you really have no experience as no workplace has ever given you a credit for what you have done? You are wrong with that! You may include blogging, tutoring English to your younger sister. Your experiences do not have to be at a company. It can be anywhere.
Anyway, that is not what I want to mention today. I would like to grab your attention to think a bit about doing an Internship. Doing an internship could be a great option for fresh graduate or about-to-graduate person. However, you ought to choose where you should do your internship. You are encouraged to apply and try hard for internship opportunity at UNDP, UNV, DFDL, Care International, World Vision – ANYWHERE well-known.
It is a great stepping stone if you could not apply for any place with little salary. You know what? I strongly suggest you start with such UN like UNDP, because when you go to somewhere else, they acknowledge the experience and your ability. Your salary may rise up even faster than those who find a job with 200$ salary. However, after your graduation, you may consider hunting for a paid job and an internship. Do not ruin any bridge.
Many NGOs, International NGOs, and UN Agencies – all look for staff having experience in an international organization and project cycle management; and those staff never get less than a thousand USD. If you have a chance to do an internship with UNDP, why not take the chance?
You may refer to my early post on Zig-Zag Educational Background and Experiences as if you don’t want to experience the same things that I did. However, I found my way now. I am planning to grow in the field as many other former trainer at ILO could earn more than 3000 USD per month.
However, some internships could be a scam. They simply want to eat up your energy and yet an internship certificate from them mean nothing. If you see an announcement from a company recruiting Sales Intern, hell no. Do not apply. What they will get is a lot of money, and you are going spend your sweat for that single certificate?
Consider these tips.

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