Another year passes by, and you’ve probably told yourself a hundred times: “Next year, for sure – I’ll try my luck abroad,” but to no avail. If that’s you, don’t lose hope just yet! You’re not at a disadvantage, really. This is simply because you’ve got time on your hands – invaluable time to plan, prepare, and pause to ensure you’re not rushing yourself into the unknown.
If you’re planning on becoming an OFW and working abroad, you’ve probably heard some horror stories about how difficult it can be for expatriates to adjust. But these stories don’t have to be your reality! With a little bit of knowledge upfront, you’ll be able to avoid some common pitfalls that people who work abroad often face.
- 1. Do your research.
- 2. Tap into uncommon sources
- 3. Get acquainted with foreign media.
- 4. Hone important skillsets
- 5. Reconnect with old friends
- 6. Look at the bigger picture.
- 7. Have a plan and be prepared.
- 8. Practice being independent.
- 9. Know your rights.
- 10. Be on time.
- 11. Be ready to meet a need.
- 12. Improve your interview abilities.
- 13. Be kind, not just to people in positions of power, but to everyone else too.
- 14. Don’t undervalue the importance of describing your professional experience.
- 15. Don’t complain—work harder instead.
- 16. Listen more than you talk.
- 17. Check visa and work permit criteria
- 18. Don’t be discouraged by your age
- 19. Research country profiles
- 20. Think about taking a little excursion before the big move.
- 21. Visit local job sites to find work abroad
- 22. Remember why you sought to work abroad in the first place.
- 23. Never give up.
- Final Thoughts
1. Do your research.
Before you make any decisions, it’s important to do your research. Researching will allow you to figure out if the country is right for you, if there are jobs available in your field of expertise and what they pay on average, what the cost of living is like in this foreign country, etc. Here are some things that you should do:
- Research the country you want to move to
- Figure out whether or not there are jobs available at all in your chosen career path and how competitive they are
- Check out different websites (like Glassdoor) which provide salary data based on location and industry type, which can help give an idea as to what kind of salary range one can expect from their job if they moved abroad
2. Tap into uncommon sources
There are many resources out there that you can use to gather information, but you have to have the right mindset. You need to be willing to ask questions and open yourself up to new ideas.
One place that Filipinos often overlook is the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). This government agency is dedicated to helping Filipinos find work abroad. They provide a wealth of information on what’s required for working abroad, how much money you can make, and how long your visa will last. They also hold seminars about different countries where Filipinos work so that you can get an idea of what life is like in those places before deciding where it would be best suited for your career path or personal goals.
Another good resource is Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which has offices all over the country offering free seminars on finding jobs overseas and even help secure one-on-one meetings with recruiters from agencies who specialize in placing Filipino workers abroad.
If none of those options sounds appealing, then talk with people who’ve been through this process before: friends who went through it themselves; family members who know someone currently working abroad; former coworkers; or anyone else who might know someone well enough for advice about traveling overseas—and don’t forget about social media!
3. Get acquainted with foreign media.
To truly understand and adapt to a new culture, you must first familiarize yourself with the media that its people consume. This will help you better understand their way of life and how they view the world.
Learn the local language. You don’t have to be fluent to navigate around your new city, but it’s good practice if you can learn some basic phrases and words. If there aren’t any Filipino residents in your area of deployment, this will help communicate with your coworkers and locals who may interact with you outside of work hours.
Read local newspapers online or print them out if possible (or even watch TV news programs). It’s important that Filipinos understand what’s going on locally so they can share their knowledge when talking about current events back home with friends and family members who are also working abroad – otherwise, why would anyone care about something happening halfway across the world?
4. Hone important skillsets
Learn the language so that you can fit into your new surroundings. Learn how to drive and practice, practice, practice. Learn how to fix things around the house, like broken appliances and light fixtures.
Practice managing money until you’re an expert at it (we all know people who are good with money). Be polite and patient—because it’s a good idea to prepare for life abroad by practicing being polite and patient throughout your day-to-day life in the Philippines before going overseas!
5. Reconnect with old friends
If you know someone who’s staying in the country where you plan to work, reconnecting with them might be a good idea. This way, you can understand what life is like in that country and what to expect. You’ll also have someone to visit during your free time, making you feel more at home in your new surroundings.
6. Look at the bigger picture.
As you plan your trip, don’t forget that there are many people who have it much worse than you. If you focus on the big picture, you’ll realize that there are some people working abroad to save money or earn extra income—but that’s not why you’re doing it. Use this time as an opportunity to work toward those things rather than just making enough money so that they can happen later down the line.
7. Have a plan and be prepared.
It is important to have a plan before you go. This plan should include the following:
- How much money you will need in order to support yourself while working abroad.
- What kind of job (and type of skills) would suit your situation and available opportunities
- When and where you plan on going, as well as how long it will take until you can go back home without sacrificing too much of your savings or having it run out completely while still overseas. This includes calculating the final cost of flights and visa fees, along with other related expenses such as transportation and lodging costs during that period when preparing for departure; these expenditures vary depending on where exactly one travels from/to so it’s best not just leave this part out altogether!
8. Practice being independent.
You’ll have to be independent if you’re all set to work abroad. This means you need to learn how to do things independently.
You should be able to cook, clean and shop for groceries. You should also learn the local language as well as basic medical terms to help yourself or others when needed (and there will be times when this will happen).
9. Know your rights.
Knowing your rights is important, especially if you are going to work abroad.
- Know the laws of the country you’re going to work in. This includes knowing how much vacation time you should get and how much overtime pay you will be given.
- Know your rights as an employee. For instance, do they have sick leaves? How about maternity leave? What about health benefits? Make sure that these things are written into your contract so there won’t be any problems later on when it comes time for payment or benefits.
- Know your rights as a foreign worker (if applicable). Some countries have different rules for foreigners than locals—it’s important to know them so that nothing goes wrong unexpectedly when seeking employment abroad!
10. Be on time.
In general, Filipinos are known for being punctual. However, when you work abroad, this can present a problem. You may have to deal with the culture and time difference between your country and the one you’re visiting. For example, in America, it’s not uncommon for people to arrive late at events or meetings; they may be busy getting ready or running late because of traffic. On the other hand, in Japan (or other Asian countries), it is important that you arrive on time because they are more focused on respecting each other’s time than having fun together after work hours.
If there are any delays or traffic problems along the way to your destination, then make sure that you call ahead so that your employer does not worry about you not showing up!
11. Be ready to meet a need.
Your career path may be slightly different than what you had in mind, but that’s okay. You can still make money, and there are ways to find jobs that don’t require formal education or years of training. The key is to be ready to meet needs wherever they arise.
By having this mindset, you will be ready to make the most of opportunities that come your way. And even if you don’t get the job that you aim for, the important things is that you know that it’s a learning experience, and you can use this new knowledge to help you get the next job!
12. Improve your interview abilities.
If you’re not prepared for the interview, it will be easy for your interviewer to spot that. Being able to answer questions about the company and its products is important. Getting familiar with their financial services and products is essential if you are applying for a job with a bank. You should also study the job description and make sure that you know exactly what is expected of you in this position before going into an interview.
Be prepared to talk about yourself: your experience, qualifications, goals and aspirations, and personality traits that may set you apart from other candidates (like initiative).
13. Be kind, not just to people in positions of power, but to everyone else too.
You don’t have to be kind only to those in positions of power. You can be kind to everyone else too. Kindness is a quality that people will appreciate and respect wherever they are. It will help you find work abroad, and it will get you far in life regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.
When working abroad, remember: kindness isn’t just about helping out at soup kitchens or holding doors for strangers; it could also mean listening attentively when someone is talking about their problems or offering useful advice for solving them (and then actually following through). A small show of generosity can go a long way toward making friends with the people around you—including hiring managers who might be able to help your career along!
14. Don’t undervalue the importance of describing your professional experience.
Describing your professional experience is very important because it can be the deciding factor for your application. It’s not enough to list the positions you held at prior companies—you need to describe your skills and achievements in each role and what you learned from them. You also need to provide details on how they relate to the job you are applying for, such as:
- What kind of work did you do? How did it contribute to company goals? Did it require any special skills or knowledge?
- Did you manage or supervise other people? What was their performance like under your guidance?
- Did anyone thank or praise your efforts during this time period (and if so, were those compliments justified)? If so, include details about who these individuals were and why they felt this way about your performance.
Don’t forget that an employer wants to know why they should hire someone like YOU, not just someone with similar qualifications who happened to apply first! So make sure that section of your resume explains what makes YOU stand out from all the other applicants competing for the same job opening.
15. Don’t complain—work harder instead.
The most important thing to remember is that complaining wastes time and energy. If you’ve got something to complain about, do something about it!
Complaining can also be very contagious. When you’re around someone always complaining, it’s easy to get sucked into their negativity. You might find yourself thinking, “Why bother?” or “This job sucks!” before you know it.
Complaining is also a way for people who aren’t working hard enough (or at all) to justify their behavior—and there are plenty of people like this in the world who don’t deserve your respect or sympathy.
16. Listen more than you talk.
When you’re in a foreign country, listening attentively is key. This applies to everything from meeting people at parties to asking questions of your boss. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t interrupt people when they are talking—it’s rude!
It will also help if you aren’t afraid of saying that you don’t understand something—this way, your listener knows where he needs to clarify things more clearly for you. On the other hand, it’s important not to pretend like everything makes sense if it doesn’t; there will come a time when this strategy backfires on us because people will notice how much we’re pretending (and no one likes someone who pretends all the time).
Finally: don’t be afraid of admitting that we don’t know something or make mistakes sometimes too! After all…we’re only human!
17. Check visa and work permit criteria
Visa and work permit criteria vary from country to country, so it’s essential to know the requirements for your destination country before applying for a job there. Visa and work permit requirements are subject to change, especially in unstable economies. The type of work you will be doing also has an impact on whether or not you can get a visa or a work permit in the first place, so don’t assume that just because your friend got one for his teaching position (or whatever), it means yours will be granted as well!
18. Don’t be discouraged by your age
While it’s true that your age can sometimes make it more difficult to find work abroad, you shouldn’t let it stop you from applying for jobs or taking on new challenges. If you’re a Filipino looking for a job abroad, don’t be discouraged by your age; keep looking until the right opportunity comes along!
If you’re thinking about working overseas, don’t let your age stop you from getting started! The world is full of opportunities for people willing to take them on—and the best way to start seeing what they are is by doing research and asking questions. You may find yourself surprised at how many options exist out there.
19. Research country profiles
Before you even think about applying for a job, make sure that you have done your research. Researching the country profile will help you better understand your target destination’s culture, history, economy and political climate.
You should also research its demographics by looking at population size and growth rates; age structure; sex ratio/sex composition; urbanisation rates; literacy rates, among others.
You should also look into issues like the education system (i.e., primary school enrollment rate for ages 6–11), healthcare (i.e., life expectancy at birth) and religious affiliations to gauge whether these factors could affect your decision on where to live abroad or not.
20. Think about taking a little excursion before the big move.
If you’re planning on relocating, consider taking a little excursion. Visiting the country beforehand can be a great way to get to know your new home and overcome any homesickness that might come with moving abroad.
Traveling is also one of the best ways to learn about cultural differences and expectations upon arrival. It can help ease some of those initial awkward moments when you first arrive. And if any adjustments are needed for time zone changes or other potential cultural clashes, traveling before your move will give everyone more time to adjust and make sure everyone feels comfortable in their new space.
21. Visit local job sites to find work abroad
The first thing you need to do is visit local job sites. Job sites are a great way to get an idea of the local job market and how much employers pay their employees.
You’ll be able to see what jobs are available and what qualifications they require. You can also get an idea of how much you will be paid and what working conditions are like at each company or organization that interests you.
Once you know which companies or organizations interest you, it’s time to apply!
22. Remember why you sought to work abroad in the first place.
Remember why you sought to work abroad in the first place. Then, make sure that your employment matches that goal and purpose. If it doesn’t, leave the job and find another one that does.
23. Never give up.
Just in case you need an extra push, you should be ready to be your own cheerleader. Remember, working abroad will require so much sacrifice. So even when things seem to go smoothly for some timw, always keep in mind that when things begin to go south, giving up is not your first option.
Finding work abroad can be a rewarding experience if you’re prepared for it mentally, emotionally and financially
Working abroad is something that many people dream of doing at one point in their lives. It’s also something that has become more accessible and common these days. With the internet, social media, and globalization making it easier for companies to operate globally, more Filipinos find work abroad in different countries worldwide.
As an OFW, you will be given opportunities that you would not have in the Philippines. You can work in different industries and gain valuable experience to help you advance your career. Not only that, but you will also be able to meet new people from all over the world who could become lifelong friends or even family members.
Working abroad is an exciting prospect and one that many Filipinos are pursuing, but it’s important to keep in mind that it can be a challenging journey too. The key is to remember that you have plenty of time to prepare for this new experience—and if you do your homework thoroughly enough, then your chances of success to find work abroad will be much greater!
We hope that this guide has given you some encouragement to dream bigger for the years to come, especially now that the world is beginning to open up once more. With this, there will be more opportunities to make your dreams come true when you find work abroad. So if you’re not quite sure where to start, look no further than this guide for some great tips and information on how to pursue work abroad!
READ NEXT: Factors to Consider in OFW Job Postings