OFW interview with William, Department Manager in an Artificial Landscape Company

Today’s OFW interview features William Chang, a Department Manager for an Artificial Landscape company in Dubai. He has been working in the UAE for 21 years!

An artificial landscape specialist is somebody who designs and installs artificial landscapes. They are often called upon to create landscapes for both indoor and outdoor spaces. So if you notice some artificial plants being put up in malls, restaurants, shops, and other attractions in Dubai, you may find out that he’s one of the teams behind these beautiful designs.

Before landing his current job, William worked very hard to be in his current position. Even if he is an undergraduate in his college course, he never stopped learning and developing himself professionally. Just goes to show that if your keep grinding and moving forward, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

William shares tips on saving especially learning how to control your finances early on. Given you can really go and live beyond your means if you let yourself, it’s good to have this reminder for OFWs of the reason why we’re here abroad.

william artificial landscape specialist dubai

OFW Feature: William Chang, Department Manager in Dubai

Name: William Chang
Age: 44 years old
Current Profession: Department Manager/Artificial Plants Product Specialist
Course: BS Electrical Engineering (undergrad)
Years in the UAE: 21 years

1. Tell me about yourself. Brief Introduction

Hi, I’m William, or call me Iam/Wilz. I was born in Manila and grew up in the province of Dumaguete City. 44 years of age. Currently working as a Department Manager (Artificial Department) in Planters Horticulture LLC., a leading interior/exterior, and artificial landscape company.

I am an undergraduate of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. I’ve been in Dubai, UAE since November 25, 2000 (21years).

2. Why did you come to Dubai?

I had no plans to work overseas but one of my colleagues backed out then I grabbed that opportunity.

3. What were your previous jobs?

– My first job since I graduated high school was in outdoor sales.
– 1996 at Goldilocks Bakeshop, Philippines
– 1996 at Lefont Inc., Philippines
– 2000-2010 at Shifa Decoration, Dubai, UAE

william ofw interview dubai

4. How do you find your current job? Are you happy/satisfied with it?

In my previous company (Shifa), we manufactured and supplied the same products to Planters. When Planters heard that I resigned they called to offer me a job. Since I joined Planters, it took years to build this artificial department.

I started as a sales consultant for almost a year, looking for leads. When the projects started to come, the company decided to build the artificial team and I was one of the staff pioneering the department. It took me years before the company finally promoted me to lead the department.

Honestly, I’m very proud and happy to be part of this organization. I worked hard to be where I am today and I’m very proud of all the projects I’ve been part of.


5. Are you able to save in Dubai? Or do you have any investments you wish to share?

Fortunately, yes. But I only started saving 6 years back when I attended a seminar in Manila with Bro. Bo and from then on, I started investing in the Stock market, Bonds and Properties. I religiously save monthly for my retirement, health insurance, life insurance, emergency fund, and also for leisure.

6. Is it difficult to live in Dubai? What are/were your struggles? What’s life like outside work?

Living in Dubai is very difficult for people and there are several reasons for this situation. The first reason is I’ve been away and have not seen my kids growing up. Second, the adjustment in Arab culture and climate.

Everyone has different struggles. It could be finding a job due to education, family, trouble in career, or financial difficulties but it doesn’t matter what type of problem or struggle you have. What matters is how you handle and face without quitting.

I have a boring life after work. I’d like to stay at home, watching movies and listening to music.

7. What do you Like about Dubai?

Half of my life is in Dubai. I discovered and witnessed how this city grew fast and this is the city where you can live and you call it a second home.

8. What do you NOT Like about Dubai?

It’s just the temperature (summer).

9. What are your plans for your career/family/future?

I want to retire young, spend time with the kids and loved ones and of course, I need to start a business or property rental.

OFW interview William Department Manager Filipino Dubai

10. You have any tips for Kabayans when working/finding work/living in Dubai?

The best thing I can share with my fellow OFW is to pay yourself first and start saving regardless of how small or big your income is, you need to save for yourself and for the future of your family. I had struggled with my finances before, living beyond my means.

It took me a while to learn my lessons. It isn’t just about cutting costs and saving money. It’s about taking control of your finances, so it doesn’t control you. Categorize your budget and divide it into needs, wants savings, and debt repayment.

Looking for work sounds almost as bad as finding it but if the plan doesn’t work change the plan but never the goal. There is no substitute for hard work and love what you do.

Living in a luxurious city like Dubai comes with a range of facilities that make your life convenient. A modern civilization that attracts more people, several job opportunities for their growth and personal development. Better transportation wherever you wish to go.

Though there are many advantages of living in Dubai, there are some hard-hitting disadvantages associated with it as well. Just as every coin has two sides, the luxurious life. There are both good and bad sides as well. So you have to decide what you can adapt to for a happy living.

OFW interview William Department Manager Filipino Dubai

BONUS: If there’s anything you’d like to add, or message to your family, or anything you want to share…

I just want to thank GOD for all the blessings and team DubaiOFW for this opportunity to share my stories with our kabayans. To my kids, family, relatives, friends, colleagues and loved ones…thank you.

Thank you to all the financial advisers that I met and attended in most of their seminars (Bro. Bo Sanchez/Coach Randell/Coach Francis) all your advocacy changed my financial mindset. The company that I worked for almost 11 years, Planters Horticulure LLC, for trusting and honing my skills. I’ll share what type of job and the projects that we did. Link A gorgeous rooftop bar has opened at Expo 2020 Dubai – What’s On (whatson.ae)

To our kabayans who’re planning, seeking a job, and working overseas. A job is a job whether you’re a professional or not. You work to live, not live to work. Work on what makes you happy.

Love your passion, do what you can do and by GOD’s grace, you will achieve it. There is no such thing as overnight success and ask these two questions in yourself.
First, what is your PURPOSE?
Second, what is your GOAL?
Thank you and GOD BLESS!

OFW interview William Department Manager Filipino Dubai


*Photos provided by William

Are you an expat in Dubai? Do you want to be featured in the website? Send us an email telling us you want to be featured at admin@dubaiOFW.com and we will send you the set of questions! Let’s help other Pinoys who want to come to Dubai understand what life in the UAE is like through your story.