1. Do your research. Before committing yourself to working abroad, do your research first. Find out more about the company by looking at their social media presence, any news about them, and any employee reviews online (take it with a grain of salt, though). Study as well your destination country, it’s culture, weather, food, cost of living, and familiarize yourself with their currency notes to avoid being duped. Don’t forget to ask around. We have a lot of countrymen scattered throughout the globe and we have always looked out for each other. Lastly, do take the PEOS by POEA.
2. Picture your day to day life. This helps to set your expectations when you picture yourself working. What will you be wearing in forty degree weather? Are you prepared to spend your kid’s birthdays apart? Imagine a whole week without rice. Now, are you ready?
3. Protect yourself. Have all your documents in triplicate and in a USB drive. Scan them and email them to your two email accounts (in case one got hacked). Make sure your Dataflow Primary Source Verification is in order. Be open to help but be wary if the help appears too good to be true. It may lead to a scam. This may sound over the top but you will have no one to look out for you abroad.
4. Stay in touch. Remember that time when you wrote your Uncle Bingbong in Saudi Arabia and it took a whole month for him to reply? That time when you recorded on tapes to be sent to Tita Baby and you had to shout in order not to be drowned out by your cousin? It’s a smaller world now. If you have been one of those holdouts against Facebook, it’s time to join the club. Facebook, Messenger, Viber, Skype, and Facetime all make it cheaper to be in touch with your family when working abroad. Set aside a time when all of you can be face to face. Create a group chat not just with your family but also with several different group of friends.
You won’t notice that you’re in a totally different country.
5. Be positive. How you enjoy working abroad will depend on your outlook in life. Focus on the end result, but take the time to enjoy your daily life. Life is sweeter when you face it with a smile on your face.
Pictures attribution CC by 2.0
Screenshot from POEA and Viber Public Chatroom of Parokya ni Edgar