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Abstract

In this paper we present our study of the role of freelancers in the modern labour market, especially during times of economic downturns. Using an autoethnographic research approach, it presents the personal journey of Fathullah working as a consultant in the oil and gas industry in Malaysia. The study focuses on the impact of the 2014 oil price crash and his subsequent plight in taking his career forward during times of uncertainty. Based on the autoethnographic account, it explores various aspects of life as a freelancer such as the issues of job security and job satisfaction. Fathullah found that he enjoyed a different form of job security compared to the time when he was in regular employment, for he has direct market access and wider reach to organizations that require his skills. It follows that he also experienced better job satisfaction as a freelancer. This paper provides insights to aspiring job seekers, businesses in need of human capital and policy-makers aiming to modernize the labour market.

Keywords

Freelance, Autoethnography, Employment, Oil and Gas Industry, Economic Uncertainties

Author Bio(s)

Fathullah Akmal Khalid is a professional Risk and Safety Consultant serving clients in the oil and gas industry in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He pursued a freelance career after being made redundant in 2017 and attained his MBA in 2018 from University of Malaya. He specialises in safety risk management and auditing, helping hazardous industries to protect human lives, assets, environment and company reputation. He is also a self-taught programmer, with deep interests in functional programming. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: f_akmal@hotmail.com.

Wai Meng Chan is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: chanwm@um.edu.my.

Azlina Abdul Jalil is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: azlinajalil@um.edu.my.

Acknowledgements

We wish to acknowledge that the research is funded by a grant from the University of Malaya (Project No GPF011I-2018) and thank the reviewers and editors of The Qualitative Report for their constructive comments which have helped us to improve the paper.

Publication Date

10-28-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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