Working Abroad as an OFW: How To Choose a Country

As we come to another point in our lives to plan anew, one of the things many Filipinos consider is the chance to move abroad as an OFW. But this decision has a lot of factors to consider. Among the most important is where exactly you want to go. When it comes to moving abroad as an OFW, there are plenty of countries in which you can work and live. But not all of them are right for everyone, so how do you know which one is right for you? It can be difficult to decide, but there are a few things you can look at to help make your decision.

Also Read: 7 Life-Changing Tips to Inspire OFWs to Save While Working Abroad

When it comes to moving abroad, there are many questions to consider. How will you adjust to the culture? What if your family doesn’t like living there? Should you move with your kids or let them stay at home with their grandparents for a year or so? If you’re considering moving abroad as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), these considerations and more should be part of your decision-making process. To help you with your decision, we’ve put together a list of tips you should know before moving abroad.

Moving Abroad as an OFW: How To Choose A Country

Make a list of pros and cons

Pros and cons are important to consider when making a decision, but they shouldn’t be the only factors you take into account. It’s also important to consider your personal goals and priorities, as well as those of your family members.

Be objective when evaluating the pros and cons. Try not to focus on negative aspects or let them scare you away from an otherwise great country option. Don’t allow others’ opinions—even those of people who have lived abroad themselves—to sway your decision either way; that’s up to YOU!

Consider your current situation.

Before you think about moving abroad, it’s important to make sure that you have a good grasp of where your life is at. Ask yourself:

  • What is my current job like? Am I happy with it? Do I want to stay in this field for the rest of my life? Or do I want to try something new?
  • How much money do I currently make at work every month, and how much am I saving each month? If there are any big expenses coming up (a wedding or a vacation), will these affect how much money I can save while working abroad?

Consider your personal (and family) goals.

Before you make any move, it’s important to take some time to think about what your life goal is and how moving overseas aligns with that.

Even if you’ve been excitedly saving up for a new adventure since the day you graduated college (and maybe even before), now is the time to ask yourself what’s really important. Are things in your current country holding back your personal growth? Do you want more money or freedom? Do you want more variety in your career options or opportunities for travel within one company? Is there somewhere else where these things can be found more readily than at home?

When considering these questions, it’s also important that both individuals and families consider their goals as a whole unit—it doesn’t work if only one person makes the decision based on their own interests alone.

The presence of a support system.

Moving abroad is an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it’s important to remember that your life is not just about you. You need to consider the people in your life who will be affected by this decision. The presence or absence of a support system is often one of the most important factors in whether or not someone decides to move abroad.

You can take steps now before moving to ensure that you have a strong network of family and friends behind you once you start living abroad. You should also look for ways to build connections with locals so that when the transition does happen, there will be people around who can help guide you through any frustrations or challenges along the way.

Consider the climate.

Climate is a big factor in choosing a country. How you spend your days will be influenced by the climate, from your daily life to the type of career you can have. You should consider the weather patterns of the country you’re considering and how they may affect your lifestyle.

For example, if you’re moving abroad to work as an agricultural engineer, then living somewhere with a warm climate would be better for your job than living somewhere that’s cold all year round. On top of that, there’s also the social aspect: if people are only working from 9 to 5 during their winter months and have nicer weather in summer when they want to go outside then it might not be ideal for someone who wants more freedom over their schedule as well as access to some good beaches/mountains nearby during breaks (or even year round).

Visit the country.

A country that you have never visited may seem like an ideal place to live. But you should still visit it first before making a decision. You need to see the place and its people up close and personal, especially if you’ve never been there before.

Of course, this isn’t always possible—especially if your employer or sponsor is supplying your plane ticket—but don’t let that deter you from doing everything in your power to make it happen! This can be done through working with a relocation service provider who specializes in this kind of thing (and has connections), or by visiting the country on vacation once or twice before making any commitments (as long as it’s allowed).

If at all possible for you personally, we highly recommend trying both methods since they each offer valuable information that could make all the difference when choosing where to move abroad as an OFW!

Study the culture, local rules, and regulations.

When moving abroad, it is important that you know the culture and customs of the country you are moving to. You will have to be more aware of your surroundings and be mindful that things may not always go as expected. It is also good to know about local holidays and social norms so that you can plan ahead for these events.

Local values and taboos should also be studied so that you can avoid offending people with your actions or words. A simple slip of the tongue could mean a lifetime of bad blood between yourself and others in your community or family members!

Know the local languages.

If you’re planning on moving, knowing the local languages is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s true that learning a new language is difficult, but there are plenty of ways to make it easier and faster.

There are many reasons why knowing the local language is important:

  • It will help you get around town and communicate with people who live in your area (and maybe even give them a smile or two).
  • Knowing how to speak in their native tongue shows that you care about their culture, which makes them more likely to like you. This can be especially useful if you work with locals who don’t speak English!
  • Knowing how another person from a different country thinks will also help when it comes time to apply for jobs or find housing overseas. If nothing else, having some basic knowledge could allow us better access to certain jobs than others (like teaching).

Consider where your family is going to live.

You should also make sure that the city in which your family will live has a good school system, healthcare system, and employment opportunities.

There are many other factors to consider when choosing where to move as well. For example, you may want to choose a city with good environmental policies or one that offers high-quality transport links to major cities in other countries.

The last thing you want to do is move your family to a city that does not have the amenities and services you need. You should also think about how much time and money it will take to get from point A to point B. If you have children, this is especially important because they will need to get around the city safely.

Take note of your family’s safety and security.

When choosing a country to move to, the safety and security of your family should be your top concern. The crime rate, political situation, history of natural disasters, climate, and geography of the country are all things that you should take into consideration.

The crime rate will vary from country to country because each country has its own unique set of laws and regulations regarding immigration. This specific aspect can impact how safe it is for you as an OFW. If there are strict rules on who can receive work permits in that particular state or province, then there may be less opportunities for you to get hired as an OFW because not everyone can meet such requirements. However, suppose these restrictions aren’t in place. In that case, there’s more chance for someone like yourself – someone who wants something better out of life but knows they won’t find it here anymore – could possibly find employment abroad without having suffered any personal losses due to conflict between people living/working together peacefully.

Learn about the cost of living.

The cost of living can vary from one country to another. In some countries, a gallon of gasoline is more expensive than in others. The same goes for the price of food and clothing. How much you spend on rent or mortgage payments may also be different depending on where you live, particularly if your housing choice involves luxury apartments or houses versus rustic bungalows.

Because OFWs are usually tasked with supporting an entire family instead of just themselves, they need to consider buying things such as furniture and appliances (which can be very expensive in some countries) as well as provisions like groceries that might not be readily available at the local market; this is why many employers give their employees allowances so they can purchase these items directly from their own stores instead of waiting for them to come through other routes such as online shopping or delivery services like Uber Eats.

It’s important for OFWs planning their move abroad first to identify how much money they’ll need each month before deciding how much will go towards housing costs versus other expenses such as transportation fees (including public transport), utilities like electricity bills, phone bills, etcetera).

Look into the employment rates in the country’s major cities.

You should first find out about the employment rates for different industries in the country’s major cities. This will give you a sense of how saturated certain industries are and whether or not it would be wise to seek employment in them.

In addition to looking into which fields are competitive when seeking employment abroad as an OFW, think about what kind of job would suit your personality type best. Are you someone who loves working outside under direct sunlight? Or do you prefer being indoors where it’s cool and quiet? Do certain tasks seem more suitable than others when considering whether or not they interest someone? If you have a family, will you be able to take them with you? It’s important to consider all of these factors when deciding on a career path to avoid making any rash decisions.

Do research before deciding to move abroad.

Before deciding to move abroad, it’s important to do research on the country’s laws and culture. Doing so will help you understand what to expect when you move there. It will also allow you to make an informed decision about where is best for your family.

You should also research the cost of living in that country before moving there. This step is especially important if you are planning on making a home in another country because it will ensure that you have enough money saved so your family can live comfortably while they adjust to life abroad and get used to their new surroundings!

Decide and take action

After you’ve learned about the different countries and their cultures, you can decide which one appeals to you. Once that is decided, take action!

  • Get a visa: If you already have an OFW visa, then this step isn’t necessary. However, in order to get a job abroad, it’s best to apply for your work permit first before relocating. This may require that a company sponsor your application or find another way of applying through an embassy or consulate office in your country of origin (if possible).
  • Get a job: Once this is done, register yourself as part of its workforce by going through the proper channels (which vary from one country/region/state/province). Then start preparing for your move by finding affordable housing options or renting out rooms in shared apartments with other expats who are also looking forward to living abroad; buy all needed furniture items like beds and couches; bring along food items that would last longer than expected before getting used up, and so on.

VIDEO: OFW DIARIES | Why You Should Consider Moving Abroad for Work

Want to learn more if moving abroad and working as an OFW is for you? Here’s a video from vlogger, Phat, who shares her personal experience as an OFW. She talks about the benefits of working abroad and how she managed to survive in a foreign country away from her family and friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Do Filipinos Want to Work as an OFW?

There are many reasons why Filipinos go abroad. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Unemployment
  • Higher salary and benefits
  • Better career opportunities
  • Job insecurity
  • Advancements in Technology

2. How to Become a Successful OFW?

First, you need to make sure that the job is legitimate. Check if it’s licensed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and that it has a good track record of helping OFWs in case of emergency cases. Second, be prepared for the culture shock! It’s not easy working abroad especially when you’re far from home. Make sure to research about your destination so you won’t be surprised when you arrive.

There are many other factors that you need to consider when looking for a job abroad. For example, the pay and benefits are important especially if you’re going there just for work. You also have to consider the type of work that needs to be done and how effective your employer will be in helping you out should there be any emergency cases. To learn more about matters concerning your success as an OFW, be sure to follow our blog.

3. How do you become an OFW?

Before becoming an OFW, it’s important that you have a good understanding of the various requirements that apply to working in other countries. Besides being physically and mentally prepared, you also need to make sure that you have the necessary documents.

Final Thoughts

Even if you decide to move abroad, there is no guarantee that everything will go as planned. You might find yourself in a country with a completely different culture and rules than what you’re used to. This can be intimidating at first, but once you get used to your new home, everything seems normal again and you even might enjoy the (big) change!

READ NEXT: 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Employer Abroad