“The thing is, whatever you do if you don’t love it, then you will not grow up. So in order for you to have a good career, then love your job.” -Suraj Nongmaithem
From pursuing a degree in English Honors landing to a different field that he unexpectedly liked, EasyUni’s Digital Marketing Manager Suraj Nongmaithem from India shares his career journey.
Do tell us something about yourself?
I am EasyUni’s Digital Marketing Manager. I moved here to Malaysia from India six months ago. I came from a very small place in the northern part of India, and people from that side have Mongolian looks so when I came here, people didn’t believe I am from India because I look Malay.
Why did you choose to work in Malaysia among other places in the world?
I choose Malaysia because it’s near to my home. When I did some research on the internet about Malaysia like lifestyle, food, people, I quite liked it and above that, a couple of my friends are already here. So I tried looking for a job in this country, and finally, I got an opportunity in EasyUni.
Share with us your experience being an expatriate in Malaysia?
It wasn’t difficult to adapt; I feel at home. Everything is quite similar to the place I came from. I don’t feel like an expat, since a lot of people get confused on my looks. They always thought that I am Malay, so they do not treat me as an expat, but as a Malaysian.
Is there a big difference between the cost of living in India and Malaysia?
Of course there is a difference. Malaysia is more expensive compared to India. But the difference is not that high, so it is okay for me.
Digital Marketing is new to the ears, can you give us an idea about this career?
Nowadays there are lots of terminologies for Digital Marketing. In general, it is the promotion of a brand by the use electronic media such as radio, television, internet, mobile apps, electronic billboards, etc. Nowadays you see people doing a lot of marketing on Facebook, or the advertisements that go with the website, these all fall under the Digital Marketing.
It often gets confused with Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is the promotion of websites by increasing its visibility in the search engine. It is just a part of Digital Marketing.
What course did you take up in college?
Since I have no idea what Digital Marketing is during that time, I studied a different programme. I finished a degree in English Honors in Manipur University, India.
Actually, I wanted to take up Mass Communication, so I thought a degree in English Honors will be a good option for me. The course is more about English Literature. So we studied drama, theatre, stories, poems. I always wanted to pursue Master’s, but when I graduated I never had a chance because I started working. And now I got this job and I really like it so I need to put my plan of studying again on hold.
From being a graduate of English Honors, how did you jump to Digital Marketer?
I started in SEM as a part of Digital Marketing. Back then, it was very new in the market. I was not sure if it would be the right career for me. But I always wanted to take on a new challenge, so I did an extensive research about it. Once I entered the field, I felt like it was the job for me. It was the right thing for me! So I started my career as a Search Engine Marketer, and after nine years, I got promoted until I became a Digital Marketing Manager.
Can you give us an idea how much a Digital Marketer earns?
Speaking from my experience, working for nine years as a Digital Marketer, you can probably earn like around RM9,000 to 10,000. But for beginners starting as a Search Engine Marketer, I would say around RM1,500 to 2,000. But it all depends on the company, your skills and experience. It’s quite flexible.
What do you think it takes to have a successful career?
The only thing I could say is, whatever you do, if you don’t like it and you don’t love it, it will hinder you from delivering great work. So in order to have a good career, you have to love your job, love what you do. If you are not passionate about it, then probably it is not the career for you.Do you regret not pursuing Mass Communication?
Ahhh, no regrets. This marketing stuff was totally out of my mind because during that time this was a really new career, that’s why I wanted to pursue Mass Com. But when I started working, things have changed. I think whatever happened back then, it was supposed to happen that way. I really love that I’m here right now. I think everything goes well back then.
Talking about the future, what else do you want to achieve?
The thing is wherever you are, whatever purpose you have, it is not yet the end. There is always more to go. There is always more to achieve. There are unlimited things up there so you have to keep on going. You have more to learn even if you are already working. Even if you are already in a managerial position or a VP position, there are always things to learn, so you cannot stop learning.How do you manage to maintain a good relationship with your workmates since you have a variety of nationalities in the company?
It’s very simple, whatever things your team members do, appreciate it. Also, you have to be very honest. There will be a rough patch, and you have to handle it very carefully. Be careful in handling team members, if they do something wrong, talk to them and be very patient so things will go smoothly.Indeed, you can only feel being accomplished by doing something you love. Just like Suraj, take the job that you are passionate about and you will surely excel from it. Getting the job that really fits you will make you more successful than you can ever imagine!