Things You Need to Learn as an Overseas Filipino Worker

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Being far from your motherland can cause sadness and loneliness but that is just part of life challenges of working abroad and so this article will tackle some tips and learnings on what you need to learn how to work abroad as a Filipino.

Dedication and Determination go hand in hand when working abroad and providing the needs of your family and yourself. Surely one’s experience at first will be difficult and you will be faced with a lot of questions and roadblocks. But that is why you need to be dedicated not just in your work but to your family and yourself because then you will be determined to work harder.

From learning how to do particular skills, to adjusting to the different lifestyle and environment abroad, OFWs should always be ready and be more responsible because you really don’t have anyone to go back and rely on abroad except yourself so you should be ready to carry that burden.Filipino.

Setting Priorities

OFWs have different reasons why they went abroad. Be it for their family and the future of their children, for better career opportunities, or for a higher salary, one thing in common that every OFW needs to have is they need to have an end goal in mind and should always remember why they are abroad in the first place. If you know that you are in another country for a better career, then you should prioritize having a better resume and portfolio so that you would have more opportunities in a better-paying company.
As an OFW, you should have mini-goals or sub-goals that can help you progress towards the end goal that you have. Maybe saving a percentage of your money or trying to lessen the purchase of extravagant clothes or accessories can be a good start for a mini goal to eventually achieve the end goal.

Cultural Shock

It is to no one’s surprise that one will face culture shock when going abroad for the first time. The food, lifestyle, environment, and the people will be mostly different from what we are used to and this can be a tough task to deal with.

At first, OFWs would feel like working abroad and living there is the dream, and it would be like experiencing euphoria because of the delicious food and beautiful sceneries but you should always keep in mind that you are living abroad for a reason and not in a vacation so you need to be open-minded.
Dealing with a new language is difficult and so learning their normal greetings is a good thing to start with then little by little study their culture. This will help you settle in nicely and potentially meet new friends. Familiarizing and trying to practice what the people in that country do is an important step in being able to live comfortably and can you get over the shock that you are facing.

Remembering what was Left Behind

The feeling of missing someone is inevitable for OFWs and so as someone who lives abroad, you should always keep contact with your family and friends. They are the people who you can rely on when facing problems and people that you can open up with.

Calling them or just saying “hello” through a message can mean a lot for the family left behind because they know that you still remember them. You should also make your family as your primary motivation in life challenges working abroad as they are the ones you are working hard for.

OFWs should make calling loved ones a habit or a routine so that they become less prone to loneliness, and this will also keep your emotions in check.

Recognizable Skills

As an employee, you need to have a skillset to show at your company and this will help you complete the work you need. It is the same for OFWs, but you need to have a larger pool of skills or just be better at the skills that you already know as jobs in foreign land can be more competitive.
Communication and Adaptability is probably one of the more important traits of an OFW. It is already exhausting to deal with a new language, but you have no choice but to communicate with them. This also deals with building relationships with your coworkers as this is important because they are the people you spend time with abroad. Adaptability on the other hand can help you settle in faster and work according to the working condition or environment there.

You need to be able to go out of your comfort zone when abroad to be more open. OFWs should be flexible because as stated, the working conditions there may be different and grueling and so you need to be ready at any time. Do not worry though as the skills stated can be learned and then be adapted to our daily life but do not expect it to learn that skill overnight.

Abroad Setbacks

When you are feeling down or disappointed because of a mistake, you should always remember that there is nowhere to go but up. Even simple and small mistakes like you took off on the wrong train station or you took the wrong bus, these can still be a learning experience for you, and this is just part of learning how to settle in another country.

Maybe in your first few months budgeting can be shaky and difficult but after some time you will learn what you need to buy only and differentiate what you need and want. You should not rush in learning a lot of things at the same time and sometimes it is unavoidable to make a mistake so there is no need to make it a big deal. It is the process of going through these mistakes and learning from them. It is up to you now how you will learn and fix the mistake.

Accepting and Facing the Challenges

Learning to accept that things will be hard is the mindset of what an OFW should have. Accepting that we will have to live separately with our loved ones and accepting that we will not be able to spend time with them is frustrating even when you just think about it.

If you are not able to accept different challenges, then this may hinder your work and progress as an OFW and may lead to more problems not just in work but personally and mentally. You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared for these challenges and try to deal with them one by one slowly. The faster you try to get rid of your mistake carelessly, the more it will take a toll on you. So it is just not about accepting the challenges, it is also how you will face them.

Make sure to Enjoy too

Sometimes when we think about the term Overseas Filipino Worker or OFW, all we think about is that they just work and work 24/7. They sleep, eat, and work. But this is not true and as an OFW, you should also have fun and enjoy the things that there are to do abroad. This will help you in becoming more familiar and have a better career working abroad. Overworking can just lead to irritation and will not be good for your image abroad.

Going to malls, parks or social gatherings is a good way to enjoy living abroad as it completely takes your mind off work for a period of time and just appreciate what you have right now and this will help boost your overall morale.

Making new friends will make you feel that you are in a place like home and now you have someone to also talk about your problems and experiences but also make sure not to share too much especially if you do not trust them fully.

Active Income may never be enough

Being an Overseas Filipino Worker, unexpected events may happen that may lead to cutting of salary or sudden mishaps that would lead you to go back in the country and will leave you with no job and money.
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Sacrificing time spent with family, friends, and loved ones are a necessity for an Overseas Filipino Worker but if we think about it, OFWs do it also for their family so just the thought of going abroad for a higher-paying job to provide the needs for your family may not be so bad after all if someday you will live a better career with them.

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