There are approximately 2.3 million overseas Filipino workers to date. With thousands of Filipinos leaving the country to work overseas every year, it’s not hard to imagine the perks of landing a job abroad – so much so that it has now become a norm.
And while there’s plenty of buzz among Filipino families with a member going away to work abroad just as much as when one is coming back home for a vacation, the hard fact of life is that not everyone is cut out to be an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).
Why You Should NOT Become an OFW
In this post, we will share some important things every aspiring overseas Filipino worker should consider. This will require introspection and planning on your part so do take note of these things carefully. So don’t work as an OFW if…
1. It is not aligned with your long-term goals as an individual or a family person.
Just like settling down or pursuing a career, working abroad is one of those important decisions in life that you must carefully make. If leaving your family and life in the Philippines does not align with your plans for the future, especially when you have responsibilities back home (eg. a business or family), then you better take some time to think about why you’re even in this situation in the first place.
2. Your commitment is not 100% in it.
Of course, we understand that there’s no guarantee of a better life or situation you’ll end up in once you leave the Philippines to work abroad. But the important thing is that you’re fully committed to this new stage of your life. Understand that with anything worth pursuing as in a marriage or a career, commitment means the difference between success and failure in these things.
3. You do not understand what hard work means.
If you’re used to getting a lot of things done for you at home and are afraid to put in the long hours that may be required from you by your employer, then consider staying home. After all, if life is not as bad as you imagine in the Philippines, then working abroad may not be your priority, after all.
4. You rely on others too much.
This is practically a matter of how independent you can be, especially in a situation where you have no immediate friends or relatives to ask help from. For many people living abroad means having to do everything – cooking, household chores, paying the bills, etc. on your own. Are you up for it?
5. You easily get affected by the little things and lose sight of your goals.
If deciding for yourself is something you’re not particularly good at, then you might have some issues working abroad. Furthermore, if you lack values such as courage, confidence, integrity, and perseverance you might find yourself struggling more than you can handle.
6. You value comfort too much.
Living abroad means adjusting to many new things such as the people you’ll have to deal with, culture, work, and community! The most important thing here is to be adaptable and open to change. It will be hard at first but taking the above pointers into consideration, you’ll be fine.
7. You are impatient.
If you are lucky to get a good-paying job, that’s great. But don’t expect that you will immediately rise in the corporate ladder. Sure, you will have opportunities to showcase your skills, but you should not expect that you will get what you want right away. Working and achieving something takes patience and perseverance.
8. You complain too much.
There will be plenty of problems along the way. It is a reality for OFWs and other expats. If you have arguments with colleagues or if you are in a challenging situation, you cannot just complain and keep whining about it. You have to learn to adjust.
There’s no easy way to success. With that, you should be able to adjust and adapt quickly to changes because this could mean the difference between a successful (and fulfilling) stint overseas from a disastrous (or traumatic) one.
These points are not meant to discourage you. Instead, these are to help you become a better person as you face challenges along the way. Good luck to everyone who have plans to work abroad!