Things You Need to Learn as an Overseas Filipino Worker

Lessons You Need to Learn as an Overseas Filipino Worker

Working and living overseas to provide a better future for the ones they are leaving behind the country is one of the most courageous things an overseas Filipino worker does.

OFWs sacrifice a lot of things to give more suitable living conditions for their families. They struggle and face the unknown and new environment of a foreign country. A life that is quite far from what the Philippines has made the experience and grown to comfort.

This intimidating environment is a challenge they fight to earn a good amount of money for their families. Although, we may find it struggling from their situation, yet we may not know that a few of them have learned valuable lessons as they worked abroad.

Here are some of the most important lessons an OFW or anyone working outside their country can learn on their stay in a foreign land.   

Defeat Barriers

Even when you are traveling outside your country there will always be barriers and one of the major difficulties anyone can experience is to understand a foreign language. A language that is not even used in someone’s country of origin.

You may have studied a short course when you work in a particular country however there will always be a setback to understand the people of that country. Ultimately, the process to learn the way people speak, and how people communicate with their body language is a process.

Defeat Language Barriers
Defeat Language Barriers | Lessons for Overseas Filipino Workers | Photo from Brooke Cagle in Unsplash

You may overcome the language barrier over time but what should be the primary move is to overcome the psychological fear of not measuring up with the locals or other people in a workplace, in a community since you fear other people’s color, customs, language, etc.

This initial setback is the first thing you need to learn to help yourself adapt to a new community or country. You may not know that some of your co-workers are like you or overseas workers. 

Be Resilient

Opening to a major change is something you need to learn as you work outside the country. Keeping yourself knowledgeable about new cultures and norms will ease out the process of adapting.

An OFW should learn to become resilient especially when you are alone in a new environment. Understanding the diversity and differences of individuals is key to a better workflow among the variety of individuals working together.

Be Resilient
Be Resilient | Lessons for Overseas Filipino Workers | Photo from Gabrielle Henderson in Unsplash

Mistakes are Part of It

Do not be afraid to make mistakes as you go on your journey as an OFW. Failures or experiences will teach you. The process of failing might not be likable, but it is a process where you will learn something from.

You may not know where to exit from the airport, take a cab, make a detour going to your rented place, dine during your regular meals, etc; but you will always learn these things in a process. No OFW can be ready for everything a new country will make them feel, hear, and see but the process will let them know everything.  

Mistakes are Part of It
Mistakes are Part of It | Lessons for Overseas Filipino Workers | Photo from Erik Odiin in Unsplash

Always Think Your Options

Moving to a new country means a change of environment but this does not necessarily mean that you must adhere to all options change will be giving you. Everywhere you go always remembers choices and other options will be available to choose from.

Your workplace, your place to stay, what food you eat, who you are going to be friends with, are some of the things you can decide on.

Always Have Options
Always Have Options | Lessons for Overseas Filipino Workers | Photo from Converkit in Unsplash

Don’t Rely on Assumptions

It is a common thing that we look up and dig some facts to a place we are traveling to and most especially when we plan to work there in a long period as an overseas worker. Some things are going to be part of our assumptions and prejudices.

Meanwhile, even it can be negative or positive we do not have to fully trust the secondhand information we read over the internet, but we must explore and know these things on a personal level as we get there. But for the most negative parts, we must be also ready for such surprises to come along.

Don't Rely on Assumptions
Don’t Rely on Assumptions | Lessons for Overseas Filipino Workers | Photo from Ashim Silva in Unsplash

Keeping an open mind will get you along with a new country as an OFW. 

Asking Help is Necessary

A change of environment will make anyone unknowing and unfamiliar which leaves you to ask for someone else’s help. Asking for help is always fine as you are new to a place. Judgment from a stranger is normal that is also why you can always ask.

It can be difficult for an overseas Filipino worker to adjust if he or she does not seek help during the hard times more so the adjustment will take longer.  

Ask for Help if Needed
Ask for Help if Needed | Lessons for Overseas Filipino Workers | Photo from Priscilla du Preez in Unsplash

Plan a Regular Routine

Planning out a routine that will involve knowing the place will make life easier. Take time to maximize your daily time to know more about the people, the customs, the places, and the language.

You can easily get away with unnecessary stress when you plan to create a regular daily activity aside from working overseas. The great thing about doing activities is the chances to get acquainted with strangers or a new set of friends that you can get along with during your stay in a foreign place.

Have a Daily Routine
Have a Daily Routine | Lessons for Overseas Filipino Workers | Photo from Jeshoots in Unsplash

Discipline Yourself

An overseas Filipino worker or OFW can easily get distracted from a new environment with fascinating places, a whole lot of different things, and fresh opportunities. Therefore, having discipline oneself is important to avoid distractions.

Sticking to your goal as an OFW is important. Remember the reasons why you went to a foreign land away from your family. Having discipline is vital as you will have to save money to provide for your family.

You will not want your attention to get divided or wander elsewhere. Keeping yourself disciplined always can make you complete your goals in no time. 

Take Care of your Health

A Filipino working overseas entirely means you are far from your family and the people who take good care of you. Therefore, keeping one’s health sound is important to be able to sustain working far from them.

A new environment and adapting to it can cause extreme stress to anyone. It is a must to keep track of your diet and regular exercise can keep you healthy. As you travel, you must also bring some pocket medicines and vitamins to keep in case of emergencies while you are still getting familiar with the new country.

Remember that health is wellness, as they say, that is why you need to stay healthy to accomplish the things that you want during your journey as an OFW.

Invest in Real Estate

One of the most common mistakes an OFW do is forgetting to save an amount of savings to invest in real estate properties. Real properties are the most stable type of investment any overseas Filipino worker can rely upon.

Property value appreciates over time and an OFWs’ hard-earned money can increase as well. During your work abroad you also need to pick a good investment in real estate so that you can reap something out of your hard work.

Condo Living in Davao at Camella Manors Frontera
Condo Living in Davao at Camella Manors Frontera

A condominium for sale in the Philippines can provide you a good money appreciation value. They appreciate faster compared to a house and lot and the resale value is also bigger compared to any other real property.

Hence, if you wish to accomplish bigger goals from your work abroad, getting a good property investment in the Philippines should also be part of your ambitions while employed as an overseas Filipino worker.     

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