Guidelines in Choosing your Overseas Destination Country
Have you ever thought of working abroad as an OFW? Does it excite you that not only will you receive a good salary, but you will also experience what life is in another country? On the other hand, you also don’t know what to expect in terms of their culture and way of life, so you aren’t sure if this is a good idea at all. A lot of Filipinos have these thoughts on their mind. The main problem here is choosing which country they would fit best in, one where they can actually adapt comfortably rather than consider it as another burden or sacrifice to workabroad. In choosing your country of destination for work abroad, here are some guidelines and tips to consider.
1. Research where your job skills are most in demand
First tip in choosing which country to work at is to look at your own skills. Establish first what job you are good at and want to apply for. Saudi Arabia, for example, is hiring qualified professionals for business management, engineering and administration, and major industries are construction, telecommunications and banking and finance. For Canada and the United States, there are a lot of openings for doctors, nurses and therapists, so be sure to look there for these job opportunities. New Zealand is in demand for occupation in engineering, construction, trades and health and social services. Qatar’s top job sectors include tourism, engineering/construction and healthcare. Make sure to check which countries your skills are most in demand so that it will be easier for you to find workabroad.
2. Cost of living and salary
The next thing you should look at is the money that you will be saving. This involves 2 things: your salary and expenses. Check how much the average salary is in the job position you are applying for and see if it is enough. This will involve counting how much your monthly expenses would be, which includes accommodation, transportation, food and utilities. It is best to read online or ask OFWs who’ve been to that country what the expenses there are and how you can minimize these. Once you have found a job that pays high enough (meaning you still have a decent amount of savings after expenses), then that would be a good choice.
3. Match personal interest
Matching your personal interest is also important in choosing where you would work. Personal interest may include your preference on food. Not all countries have Filipino food, and if ever there are, it may not be easily accessible in some areas. If you are picky or afraid to try new dishes, then you should think about this more carefully. Other personal interests include sports or activities you can do on your free time. On weekends, you can spend some time playing sports or go hiking, but these will all depend on where you go and if they offer the activities that you like.
4. Religion and Culture
Religion should also be given importance as certain countries have more restrictions depending on their religion. For countries in the Middle East, which are the top destinations for OFWs, their main religion is Islam. There are many rules to be followed and even if your religion is not Islam, you should still pay respect to their practices. Know about what restrictions they have and if you will be able to follow those. The same goes for cultural practices. Different countries have different cultures; even the smallest thing that you don’t think is offensive may very well be for some people. It is best to choose a country where you are more familiar with the culture and that you have no problem following.
5. Weather and safety of the country
The weather of the country should also be a factor in your decision. Are you willing to work and live if the weather is very cold especially during winter? If you can’t take the cold, it is not suggested to go for countries like the United States or Canada as it gets freezing especially at night, and some areas even have snow. The safety of the country should also be considered. There are a couple of countries that are not so peaceful especially with the recent happenings. It is best to avoid these countries as you can lose your job or worse, your life, anytime if war breaks out.
It is easy to choose a job based merely on the salary you’ll earn, and treating everything else as a sacrifice, but remember that you will be staying in a totally new place for at least 2 years. It is really important to know and understand the country, from its culture to the little things, as this will help with your homesickness and your willingness to stay in that country longer. It will also be a huge factor on how happy you will be in your life as an OFW.