Every year, thousands of Filipinos leave the country to work overseas. The reasons for going abroad are obvious — a higher salary to support the family, more job opportunities, greener pastures, and the like. But have you ever thought about why one should NOT work abroad?
ALSO READ: How to Overcome Homesickness as an OFW
Going abroad is a huge step — perhaps one of the biggest that a person could ever make. But the thing is, not everyone is cut out to be an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). If you are considering going abroad, think again. Do you have what takes to live and work abroad?
Why Going Abroad May NOT be for You
When you go to another country, you are entering a different way of life — new places, new people, different language(s), local foods — a unique culture with its own beliefs and traditions.
While all these new experiences can be exciting at first, there will come a time when reality sets in…. The challenge of adjusting in the workplace, for example. Doing household chores on your own. The loneliness of being apart from your family. The nightly bouts of homesickness.
Before you decide to become an OFW, take time to ponder on the following reasons why going abroad may NOT be for you:
#1 – Don’t go abroad if you’re not sure why you want to go abroad.
Just like a choosing a career or spouse, going abroad is a major decision. If you’re not absolutely sure why you should pack your bags, hop on a plane, and spend a year (oftentimes longer) working in a different country, then think again.
#2 – Don’t go abroad if your mind (and heart) is not 100% certain.
In case there are still some lingering doubts in your mind, we simply have to stress this point: working abroad requires a hundred percent commitment, and nothing less.
#3 – Don’t go abroad if you are not willing to work hard.
Diligence, self-discipline, and hard work are essential to working abroad (or anywhere else, actually). So unless you are willing to put in the hours (note that some countries may have a more than 8-hour and 5-day working schedule), then you should reconsider.
#4 – Don’t go abroad if you are not “independent.”
In the Philippines, you’ve always had family and friends to depend on. Once you go abroad, however, you will have to do everything — cooking, household chores, paying bills, etc. — on your own. Are you ready?
#5 – Don’t go abroad if you are weak-minded.
Living and working abroad is not for the faint of heart. Apart from wholehearted commitment, you need courage, self-confidence, strength, and perseverance to be able to survive.
#6 – Don’t go abroad if you are afraid to go out of your comfort zone.
As mentioned earlier, you will be living in a different place — away from familiar people and things, away from your comfort zone. There will be lots of growing and adjusting to do!
#7 – Don’t go abroad if all you’re gonna do is complain.
From time to time, you will experience problems and challenges. That is a fact! When faced with a new job, a strict boss, or a “difficult” colleague, what would you do? Rather than whine and complain, you need to be proactive about your situation.
#8 – Don’t go abroad if you cannot swallow your pride.
You may have held a high position back in the Philippines, but when you go abroad — it’s a whole new ball game. You will need to start from the beginning and work your way up. You may have to perform tasks that you never thought you’d ever do when you were back home. Work is work, after all!
You will also need to get along with colleagues that come from different backgrounds. Cultures may clash, beliefs may go head-to-head. But the wisest thing to do is to swallow your pride. Be humble, and you’ll stay out of trouble!
#9 – Don’t go abroad if you cannot endure homesickness.
Can you imagine being away from your family for a long time? When it comes to living abroad, the struggle (homesickness) is real. Yes, you will be lonely sometimes, but eventually you should be able to get used to it (with a little help and the company of fellow kabayans, of course).
#10 – Don’t go abroad if you are not willing to make sacrifices.
The fact that you are leaving your home country is a huge sacrifice in itself. It involves missing special occasions (birthdays, graduations, Christmas, etc.). It requires self-discipline, spending wisely, and being satisfied with long-distance communication with your loved ones. Unless you are ready to make these sacrifices, then you may not be ready for living abroad.
ALSO READ: 5 Benefits of Homesickness
There you have it! These are some of the things to consider before taking the plunge and working abroad. And if you do decide to become an OFW… whatever happens, don’t give up! Be strong, stay focused, and have faith. What’s more, check out these tips to becoming a successful OFW, wherever you may be!