8 Common OFW Mistakes Filipino Migrant Workers Make while Abroad

OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) are an integral part of the Philippine economy. They make up about 10 percent of the country’s total labor force and comprise a large percentage – some say almost 40 percent – of its gross domestic product. If you’re an OFW or know someone who is, it’s important to understand how best to protect yourself from common OFW mistakes so that you can enjoy your time abroad and come home with more than just stories from work.

Also Read: 12 Common Mistakes when Sending Money to the Philippines

In this guide, we’ll list some of the most common OFW mistakes and what we can learn from them, especially if you’re one who’s aspiring to work abroad, as well. Keep reading until the end to learn more.

8 Common OFW Mistakes - and What to Learn from Them

The Most Frequent OFW Mistakes – and What You Can Learn From Them

We’ve all made mistakes — but rarely do we acknowledge our mistakes, try to learn from them, and improve. The OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) are those who want to work or live in a foreign country. They aren’t perfect and don’t always do things right — but there’s a lot we can learn from them. Whether it’s through their successes, their failures, or the mix of both, the OFWs have a few life lessons on what not to do when it comes to working and living abroad.

OFW mistake #1: Exchanging currency at the airport.

Many OFWs are tempted to exchange currency at the airport, since they usually carry large amounts of money. But be careful! Airport exchange rates could be higher than those in banks and other locations. If you need to exchange money, do it before you leave for your destination or right after landing, when your mind is still fresh and focused on what you’re about to do.

If you’re traveling overseas with a friend and don’t want their help with this task, there’s no shame in asking them if they’d like to join the fun by helping pick up some snacks from Starbucks before heading back home together!

OFW mistake #2: Not thoroughly investigating a job offer.

If you’re already employed, or if you have a job lined up through an agency, it’s easy to take the steps necessary to find a good offer. But what about those who are just starting out?

Before accepting any job offer, do your research! Read reviews of the company and check its reputation among other workers. Ask for references from current employees—or even better yet, speak to someone who was an employee there before you were hired. You should also make sure that anything written in English is translated into your language by someone who understands both languages clearly (and vice versa). If something doesn’t seem right or if something feels confusingly vague, ask questions until things become clear.

There are many different ways to ensure that everything is above-board on paper: ask for a contract before signing anything; make sure it has been notarized; check the terms of employment against laws in your country (if there are any); etcetera.

OFW mistake #3: Acting quickly on the spot

When it comes to bargaining, you need to use extreme caution. If there is something that you are unsure about, you should inquire further about it. If you are not content with the terms of the contract, you should not be scared to back out of it. Keep in mind that if you do not receive a good bargain, then not only will you lose money, but so will your company!

You also need to bear in mind that this is just one side of the coin, and that there are other aspects to consider. For example, there are some goods that might appear to be fantastic bargains at first glance, but they will eventually turn into significant issues down the line.

OFW mistake #4: Not getting insurance

The reality is that the vast majority of OFWs do not have any form of insurance.

This is due in part to the fact that they are unable to pay it and in part to the fact that they are unaware that they require it. It is typical for insurance companies to make their products difficult to comprehend and costly, so you should acquire as much information as possible about the policies before purchasing one.

Many people think that if something bad happens then insurance will cover it. However, that is not the case. The unfortunate reality is that insurance policies only cover a small fraction of the potential losses that could be incurred in the event of a crisis, such as a natural disaster or an accident. It does not cover all aspects, including things such as food, shelter, clothing, and other requirements.

OFW mistake #5: Spending too much money on gambling or entertainment.

One of the most typical errors made by overseas workers is to waste a lot of money on leisure and gaming. This is due to the fact that these items are costly and have the potential to be addicting, both of which can cause you to lose your mind and spend all of the money you have worked so hard to get on them. This is the process that takes place:

OFW mistake #6: Sending money home before budgeting for yourself.

This is one of the most common OFW mistakes we need to be wary of. It is a waste of money to send money home before creating a budget for yourself and setting aside a portion of your income for savings. This is equivalent to flushing money down the toilet.

Before you consider sending any money back to your family, you must first make adequate preparations to cover your own personal costs. This indicates that you ought to have at least sufficient savings in case something goes wrong, and you ought to make sure that you have a set budget for yourself as well, so that whatever amount you send home will not in any way affect your living expenses. In addition, you ought to make sure that you have sufficient savings in case something goes wrong.

OFW mistake #7: Not using proper ATM security.

  • Avoid using the same ATM more than once.
  • Don’t make the mistake of using the same PIN twice.

You could be wondering why this is so crucial, especially given the fact that it does not appear to be something that you are likely to forget to do at any point in the future. However, you might be astonished to learn how simple it is for someone to obtain your PIN information if they know where you are withdrawing money from and when (this is especially true if there aren’t many ATMs in the area). It is also simple for someone to figure out what time of day, week, or month you use an ATM to withdraw money, and then to wait nearby until they observe you using the machine again at the predetermined time. They will know your card number as well as your pin if you do this.

OFW mistake #8: Signing contracts that you don’t understand.

You cannot simply consent to any contract that is presented to you. You must ensure that you have a complete and thorough understanding of the conditions of the agreement. This requires giving it careful reading, inquiring about anything that is unclear, and ensuring that all parties involved have been given the opportunity to express any questions they might have.

You also want to know whether or not your contract has a termination date and whether or not it will be automatically renewed at some time in the future (this is common). You should also find out how much notice you need to give before departing for home; in the event that something happens that forces you to leave early for personal reasons, such as a sick family member or the birth of a child, these particulars will be essential for resolving any financial issues that may arise in the future (if any).

VIDEO: Other Common OFW Mistakes

When they go to work in other countries, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) frequently commit a number of errors. Not having enough money saved up before moving, not having health insurance, and not being familiar with the local laws and customs are some of the most typical ones.

If you make even one of these common OFW mistakes, you could put yourself in a precarious financial and legal position. Before making a significant life change, it is imperative to conduct an adequate study and make detailed preparations.

There are a lot of resources out there that overseas workers can use to learn how to avoid making those blunders. Watching this video about typical errors made by OFWs is a good place to get started with your research.

Final Thoughts

We have high hopes that these most typical mistakes made by OFWs and the lessons that go along with them will serve as a useful point of reference. These and other common overseas Filipino workers (OFW) mistakes may seem very obvious to you, but despite this, it is essential to recognise them for what they are and gain information from them. Even if it seems like just a minor point, there is always something that we can work on to make it better. After all, why go to the trouble of figuring out what you did wrong if you have no idea that you did anything wrong in the first place?

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