This is Irwan. On certain days you may know him as a personal trainer, delivery guy, brand ambassador or he may be serving you a healthy wrap. Even with these all jobs, Irwan earns just enough to escape the classification of a B40 household.
You can probably relate to him in some ways as the gig economy is picking up in Malaysia. As a young 24-year-old, he juggles several jobs to make enough money for now and some for the future.
This was, however, not the tapestry of work he imagined when he graduated with a diploma in Mechanical Engineering some years back. He was offered a full-time job as a mechanical engineer in Penang and Selangor but was forced to turn them down when his mother fell ill from cancer. He felt responsible for caring for his mother but still had to make ends meet.
Tough Season Of Trial And Error
Irwan tried his hands at different jobs as a sales promoter, customer service personnel, waiter and even a cleaner but none could pay him enough to cover his monthly household expenses. The major expenses he had to pay for were his mother’s medical bills, food and fuel for his motorbike. At one point, Irwan recalls falling into the dark tunnel of depression where he was forced to re-evaluate his life and find a way out.
Putting Passion and Pursuit Together
Irwan had always dreamt of being an icon for calisthenics and running his own food business. Fitness and nutrition were his clear passions. Once he identified them, he was able to pursue jobs that he loved. None of them paid him equal to a good full-time salary, so Irwan had to mesh together jobs to fill his 24-hour day. He currently works round the clock as a personal trainer, delivery runner, part-time staff at a fitness centre, and represents a fitness brand and on top of that, Irwan makes healthy wraps and sells them via social media.
Keep On Hustling!
I was lucky enough to have had the time to learn about myself, what I can and cannot do and I was able to use it as a way to make money. Since they were all based on things that I loved doing, I can definitely say that I am having fun whilst working. Yes, it is draining trying to juggle everything and was really hard getting started but it’s towards something I feel passionately about so I refuse to just stop.
Irwan’s story forces us to look into just how many Malaysian share similar stories. Working twice or trice as hard as everyone else to make ends meet, towards goals they are trying to achieve. No one wishes to be identified as poor, but the struggle of escaping and steering away from poverty and making a living in the city is a real one. How many of you can identify with this?