A friend shared a story about a fresh graduate from local college. This young man are seeking for a job. After many months, he has attended several interviews. Despite being offered a job a few times, he turned down every employment offer.

It is quite shocking when I learn the truth. He told my friend,”The highest offer I get so far is RM2000/month salary. If I started working, I will get RM2000. But now, my dad is paying me RM1800/month when I am still looking for a job. Why in a hurry?”

NOT IN EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, or TRAINING (NEET). This is the new way of some youngsters living their lives.

A report by the Social Exclusion Unit in UK found that at any one time, 161,000, or 9%, of the age group [16-19] are outside of education, training and work for long periods after the school-leaving age of 16.

In Japan, there is no NEET until 1997. But when many young people have become so wealthy to have to work, there is no reason for them to work. Is this a problem or a bless? But in the UK, the NEET group mainly consists of the lower socio-economic people.

What is NEET Generation?

According to Wikipedia,

NEET is a government classification, first used in the United Kingdom but whose use has spread to other countries, including Japan, China and South Korea. The classification is “Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training“.

Why there is NEET?

1. Jobs are not well paid
Due to the globalization and job outsourcing, the salary increment doesn’t seem to cope with inflation. Most employees leave their companies due to job dissatisfaction, office politic and mainly because of the salary. But of course, the younger generation nowadays are unlike the old days. Job is supposed to be easy, fun, and well-paid. Since you are not likely to find this kind of job, you will hop from one place to the others.

2. College degrees don’t give young people the head start
I still remembered the story published on the local newspaper – a university graduate had to help his parents selling fried banana because she just couldn’t land a decent job.

3. High education loan and consumer debt
Money may not solve every problem. This is especially true to those who don’t know how to control the power of money. The fresh graduates today have to face the financial trouble of getting a car to work, while worrying about the monthly debt repayment of study loan and credit cards.

4. Big sponsorship from parents
Too much pampering, non-stop financial aid, and the lack of financial education have demolish their will to be independent.

Remember, you are a NEET when you are not engaged in employment, in education, or in training.
All these had led to the born of a new social group, called Freeters.


Freeters are young people who deliberately chose not to engage in regular work, despite the large number of job vacancies. The word is a combination of “free” with the German word for worker, “arbeiter”. These young freeters hop through a series of temporary job. They can be categorized into different group

  • tarrying type – those who desire freedom and flexibility
  • dream-chasing type – those who attach importance to doing what they want to do
  • no-choice type – those who are yet to find their desired job
  • the parasite freeters – who prefer to live under the sponsorship of their parents.

Are you a NEET?

Once upon the time, my parents thought that I am a NEET indeed. During 2000-2001, I was a fresh graduate with a degree in engineering, but working as a musician instead. I think they misunderstand that because I treat myself as self-employed.

Do you know someone who is a neet? Share with us in the comment.

The most interesting story will get this special exabytes notebook. Please make sure you make a comment before November.


Personal finance author and trainer

    25 replies to "Are you part of the NEET Generation?"

    • akira

      I have been a NEET currently for a year and half. I graduated associates degree and tried to find a job. no one has been giving me an opportunity for experience. I kept having dreams about going back to school so I decided I might soon sign up for bachelors school but I feel my mom wont help me as much as I thought. the school is only abut 10 minutes further than my firs college but she thinks its too far. but maybe I might want to ride a bike around there.

    • Yan

      I’m NEET u could say. I have been graduated for almost 3 years. First half year i tried so much to find work related to my degree. But i couldn’t so i worked as an assistant cook at local restaurant for year and half. For that i developed eczema. It became too severe to work in kitchen as i get irritation of nickel, iron, dish washers and some spices. And i quitted. And i just got job after that only worked 3 months and they fired bunch of us as an overcrowd (? Too many employees). Now i don’t have any job for almost year. My mom try to reassure me but my dad always pressuring me to get job (they don’t live together). Like it’s out there. And im just too lazy too get out. It’s not east to find job. Let alone job i enjoy or job that relates to my bachelor degree. If i had money i would go for masters, and then maybe chance i find work would increase but now i’m mooching of my mom and i’m too ashamed to ask money to spend on my masters. She is self employed and her income is significantly small. I at least try to help her in her business.

      • KCLau

        Hi Yan, what’s your degree major?

    • Kurtisme

      I graduated 8 years ago and still NEET. Tried to search for a job that had to do with my degree in mechanical engineer but nothing. After that, I’m become helpless.

      Now, I’m living with my parent, still single and not planning to get marriage. Not oppose it but with this kind of economy, this will be burden for me and my family.

      I’m no engineer. Not really like to do engineer. If I can go back time I want to study mathematic. Now I’m self-employed. A forex trader. Love the job, but hate the life. Because I have nobody to speak except my online friend. Life hard when there is no body there for you when you in trouble.

      Sometime profit, sometime loss… The hard part is when I loss. I always thought money is not important but that proved wrong. Even family can curse you when you become burden. But when you profit… no celebrating… I’m the bank.

      Now I’m at the point of depression. 27 but still dont have stable life and money to spend for other than living. I planning to save money and take a journey. Make a new friend especially friend that have the same interest with my work as trader.

      I know I cant go back to engineering. But I do know this trader path is right for me. I cannot imagine living without chart and my spreadsheet. I hope for the next 1 years and half, if I’m planning right… I will take a journey…

      We only have one life, I just want to do what i want to do. I’m a NEET. After world defy me for a job, I become self-employed. Life is hard but no one care. I waste my time studying in university, should start working after graduated high school.

      I’m a NEET. Wish me luck and i pray all NEET will find their passion. Because I believe from passion then… you will become human again… Thanks…

    • Darkslayerryuu

      Honestly i think i’ve become a neet because i’ve got into a deep paralyzing depression over my life mistakes. A got a useles liberal arts degree from a community college, got duped into a diploma mill, now ive transfered to my state college in a degree program that is still useless. I will got into insurmountable debt to complete my education. I’m in over my head and i dont think i will be able to graduate i have to take stat and calc. I failed stat in high school and have always barely passed algebra with a D trying. I have been shutting myself off from everyone and have nothing to talk about anymore. Im so depressed i dont want to do anything, im ashamed of who ive become. I used to have confidence to the point of arrogance, passions that i pursued like writing, programming. Now i am nothing, i live at home with my parents who sustain me financially and i work at a grocery store. I wish i could be in high school again so i could fix everything. Or at least not have to face the bleak nightmarish reality im in. I really dont have anything to live for left. No prospects, my friends have all left me, no gf and no chance of getting one while being at home. Im stuck and i wish i could simply fall asleep and never wake up. I am a NEET because of my life mistakes and i hate myself for it. I am a burden, parasite, disappointment and disgrace.Im not even
      half the man i used to be in high school
      anymore. There was so much promise for me. Why did i have to screw everything up?

      • KCLau

        @Darkslayerryuu, I think you just haven’t found your purpose of life. There is something you are passionate about. Look for it and you’ll get back to be productive again.

    • Akira

      I am In college, but i skip out on classes and have no real wanting to go. I feel like a looser and i hate the way i live. i don’t have a job and i sit around all day wondering how to fix everything. but never do anything about it. I feel like a NEET.

      • KCLau

        Hi Akira, so sorry to hear that. Maybe you should be studying something that you are interested in.

    • prineet

      i graduated 3 months ago with a 2nd upper class degree in banking and finance.I got lots of job offers but mostly in the city and living in different state doesn’t help much. mostly of my friends (even with a lower grade and poor presentation skills) started working. mainly because their family are well off ,can afford to buy them cars. jobs offered usually can get a salary of rm2000 only for fresh graduate.not sufficient for me to pay transportation, rental and hefty student loan etc.

      so staying at home ,helping around chores (aka maid) and doing nothing.parents do not give me any allowance, but at least i’ve 3 meals and a roof .

      wanna be a princess. not a prinnet

    • Neet or Not

      Am I neet? I:

      i. Completed my 2 year diploma a week ago.
      ii. Had work for 4 months. Want to work more but is having difficulty.
      iii. 20, living with parents.
      iv. Plenty of house chores done in a day
      v. 85% of my room is neat while 15% is a mess in a blind spot.
      vi. Not wanting to marry due to early childhood experience. Don’t believe in marriage but don’t oppose it either.
      vii. Hates sitting in one spot doing nothing. Only sits when reading, using PC and eating.
      viii. Heavy user of PC (4 to 5 hours is the max)
      ix. Prefers to run, exercise and be on the move, only stopping due to exhaustion or sitting.
      x. Bored of tv.
      xi. Loves to be outside. (Damn the flu!)
      xii. Don’t want to be a neet.

    • KCLau


      You’ve given a great comment. I’ve reserved the Exabytes notebook for you!

    • KCLau

      Fathersez, I'm sure you children are well educated, not only
      academically, but also in financial matters.


    • fathersez

      Hope none of my children ever become NEETs. We recognize that it may not be too easy to get a job these days. But after a while some part time work, even at McDonalds would be better than staying at home and thinking that they are too good for a RM2,000 salary.

      My wife and I would probably start charging them rental and make them do jobs round the house. No way would we allow them to bum around and get an allowance too.

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    • Frank

      Even i'm still studying but i agree what you said coz it is really true, so i plan to work and study.. Study for what, all only for cert…The main point is knowledge and experience….All study in coll or uni only get the theory…

    • Sherin

      Good one. Very informative.


    • chau

      Yes. I know of quite a number. People choose to be NEET or FREETER for different reasons, but most do it because they CAN. There's a comfortable roof over the head and the family is reasonably well off, so there's no dire need to get a job to provide for themselves. If their family is living hand-to-mouth, they'll get off their butt and work in a coffeeshop, if thats the only option.

      I think the mere existence of of this is a good and bad sign. Good since it reflects growing affluence and sense of financial security. Bad because people are getting lazy and this doesn't bode well for the individual and also society.

    • Relax

      I have to mention that I get free food, roof over my head, and transportation (plus a bit of pocket money) from my parents. I can go on and on for many months.

      I hope I won't be a Freeter for long. I want to spread my wings and fly. It is not nice to be the burden of my parents for too long 🙂

    • Relax

      Interesting…. NEET sounds like a cool word. I think most fresh graduates are sorta like NEET.

      I think I am a NEET. I just graduated and I haven't got a job yet. Although my income is nil, but my time resource is full! (people forget that besides money, time is also important when comes to personal finance).

      With quite some time in my hands, I choose to take this opportunity to invest in myself. I buy a lot of books to read to improve myself. Most of the books are related to personal finance (those Azizi Ali stuffs). I also keep myself healthy by exercising often. Maybe I will learn new skills like singing, which might come handy if I want to look for side income in the future after I get a job. I think for now the most important thing for me is to gain knowledge in personal finance. Learning about personal finance is the best investment that I have ever made.

      I have saved quite some money in the past so my reserve fund is enough to keep me going without paycheck for months. I am not worried for now. Some of the extra cash will be invested in unit trust fund.

      I try to learn about property investment. I might have the knowhow to buy properties once I start to work. I think I will get a job plus a side income so that I can escape the rat race as soon as possible, no matter how badly I am paid. 2500 RM per month is a reasonable salary but 1500 RM will be insulting for my qualification.

      For now, life is sunny and being a NEET is not a bad thing. 🙂

      I think NEET is bad when people do not care about their financial future. Once the cheese is “moved” away, they will be in serious trouble.

      • Eumi

        Suddenly I found myself wanting to be a neet. You know, my parents were strict and they always push me to schoolknow. I hate school. I only want at home. I get easily tired and depressed. Maybe to run away from my world that Ive realized its not what Ive dreamed off. So in short. I want to become a neet. The question is how can I tell it to my parents whant I want to. I want to show them what I am capable of. And I want to stop being a sudden burden to them. Maybe this possible way could change my life and thier’s. I don’t care about having a job or what. I live for free and some laws. I dont want to push my self so hard. So, what should I do? Im sixteen of age by the way. I thought I may be different of thinking than anybody else. Hope you can help me guys.

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