Overseas Filipino Workers, Modern Day Heroes
Based on 2018 Survey on Overseas taken from PSA, the number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) at any time was estimated at 2.3 million.
Overseas Filipino Workers around the World
7 Reasons People from the Philippines Work Abroad
Workabroad.ph concludes that there are seven reasons why people from the Philippines work abroad.
Availability of employment abroad
Unemployment rates are at an all-time high. Due to the lack of regular employment locally, people are trying their luck by working overseas where there’s a lot more in store.
Higher incomes, salaries, and benefits
Many of the employment opportunities simply don’t offer good incomes, salaries, and benefits. Regardless of the job, it’s almost always guaranteed that the packages are better overseas even if actual work conditions may not differ much.
Better government support for Overseas Filipino Workers
OFWs receive more support from the government, may be mostly because of their great contributions to the Philippine economy. They are covered by better labor protection and are offered better healthcare and insurance plans. There are also benefits that only they can take advantage of. Such as special hotel offers, special lanes in airports, and even front-row seats on some local shows.
Improves professional marketability
Building up your resume with global experience can certainly give you an edge in this cut-throat and competitive world. Your time abroad is sure to broaden your horizons. It will expand your understanding of the world, and give you the skills that are required in the global economy. It also shows to your future employers that you have the ability to adapt to different workplaces and cultures – something that is desired by many.
Love for travel and adventure
Working abroad is definitely the best opportunity for you to travel abroad and go on different adventures. You’re going to meet new people, discover new places, appreciate different cultures, and experience various traditions and ways of life. These are things you’re going to forever keep in your memories and also share with your friends and loved ones at home.
The desire to help family members
One of the biggest reasons is their desire to help their family members. To make their lives a little easier and comfortable. Sad as it may be to admit, this is something that you won’t be able to do so easily if you worked in the Philippines, which is why so many choose to go abroad. On top of earning more money to send to their families, they also hope to someday bring their loved ones with them abroad.
Achieving a childhood dream
For a select few, however, working overseas is the road to realizing their childhood dream. With the opportunity to earn more and the different possibilities of advancement, they’d be able to buy their own houses, cars, businesses, and other things that they’ve wished for as a child. Even though it is a necessity to many, it means the fulfillment of a dream for some!
I asked a former colleague her career journey, working in a foreign country. So those who would like to work abroad may have an insight.
From our Epson days as Production Staff, what is your career now and what motivates you to work abroad?
After 6yrs of being an ISO/QMS Production staff from Epson, I jumped into a Supply Chain career, basically in Material Planning & Procurement. My motivation to work abroad is the future of my family(above all) at the same time, the career opportunity and the international business network.
How difficult is it to work abroad, especially that you are miles apart from your family?
It’s definitely 100% difficult considering a lot of factors such as separation from your family, language barriers, major adjustment not only in our workplace but our way of life, daily living etc.
How do you deal with other people given that you have different culture?
Respect is always the key to any indifferences, I guess. When I went abroad to seek for a career opportunity, I consider that as getting out of my comfort zone. So, I’m expecting learnings, personal growth and rejection/failure as well. Respect other people’s race, beliefs and culture, very basic but the most important lesson I learned.
What advice can you give to those who want to work overseas?
My advice to those who want to work overseas is to think twice, thrice, even hundred times before moving out of the country. I guarantee the pain of living away from your family and the struggles of working for other country. No money or good opportunity can replace the time you could spend with your family.
What is your plan for your career and family? Do you plan to stay in your home town for good, by when?
My husband and I have a goal to go back in our home country once we meet all our targets for our future family such as multiple longterm investments and stable businesses to secure our family’s future. We can accomplish this perhaps 5 to 6 years from today.
What kind of life do you want for you and your family after your overseas journey?
I just want a simple and peaceful life, and to have financial freedom. The life I also want to have for my future family in our home country. As they say, nothing beats the feeling of “home sweet home”.