I’m Joanna Marie Ramos Banez, isang OFW based in United Arab Emirates. I arrived here 2014 of October but I started working March 2015. My first company was a Training Industry and I worked there as a training coordinator. I’d say na naging stepping stone ko ung 1st company where I worked dahil right after ng contract ko matapos, I look for another job which is related to engineering industry. However, madami pa din ang naging obstacles bago ako nahire as a Project/Technical Coordinator sa isang contracting company. Pero bago ang lahat ng ito, nagwork ako as a Technical Representative sa mga call center sa Pinas.
Paano ka nakarating sa UAE?
Nakarating ako sa UAE because of my relatives who’s living here. Sa tulong nila, madali nalang akong nakapunta dito sa UAE.
Paano ka nag-apply and gaano katagal bago ka nagkaroon ng work?
Visit visa ako nung magpunta ng UAE. Mas mabilis kasi ung ganon process unlike sa mga agencies ka pa magpatulong kung gusto mo tlga mapabilis ung pagpunta mo dito. But when it comes to “looking for work”, mahirap. Dito sa UAE, if gusto mong mag apply, you need to submit your application online. They have particular online websites para s mga job hunters. It will take a while bago ka magkaron ng interviews pero in such cases na urgent ang position, tatawagan ka naman nila agad if okay ung CV mo at pasok s hinahanap nila. Dito sa UAE, madalas naman ng mga nagaapply ay walang work experience, pero syempre tayong mga pinoy maabilidad naman, kaya lagi natin sinasabi na “alam natin yan” mahire lang sa trabaho. 😄 It took 3 months for me to be hired. Bakit kamo?? Namimili pa kasi ako ng mga panahon na iyon. Pero nung napagod na ako ng panay exit, tinanggap ko na kung ano ung unang maghire saakin.
May mga na-experience ka bang mga struggles and challenges when starting your career abroad?
Yes. Struggle ang transportation when your attending interviews. Una sa lahat, mahal mag-taxi dito. Pangalawa, kailangan mo tlgang lakarin kung nasan ang bus stop dahil hindi sila titigil para sayo kung nasan ka man. Pangatlo, 15 to 20 mins ang waiting time ng bus. Plus, pawisan ka na bago ka pa makasakay, matyempuhan pa na summer. Before going to interviews, you need to make sure na hindi ka maliligaw, and you need to know the routes and bus nos.
Naging challenge naman para saakin ang pag aantay ng interview calls. You need to have super long patience na magkaron ng interview sa mga inapplyan mo at pinasahan ng CVs. Dahil matagal tlga bago sila tumawag. There are times na nagwalk in na din ako. Few of the companies, I was able to submit CV, but it was more of “Ma’am it’s not allowed to submit CVs in this building. Please submit online.” Hahaha!
Kaya dito or kahit saan siguro, you need to strengthen your faith, you need to have a lot of patience and make sure you have enough money dahil masasagad ka when you are starting.
Anong naging impact ng pag-wowork mo abroad sa life mo?
Madami kang matutunan when you work abroad. But one thing I’d share is yung pagse-save ng pera when you started earning. Kc it will also be a challenge to you. Mahirap ang wala kang ipon or madukot s bulsa mo when living abroad.
Gaano ka-different ang work environment sa UAE and sa Philippines? (May difference ba?)
There’s a lot and big difference. When you’re working abroad, you will be able to learn multi roles. You will not work based on your position you only applied. Madami kang role dito when you work abroad. And you can’t complain. OT are not paid as well. You need to get along with others (referring to other nationalities). Super fast paced when you work abroad.
Bakit ka nagdecide na mag-work abroad?
Difference of currency. We all know that when you work abroad, there’s a diff when you are earning from AED to Peso. Honestly speaking. Bonus nalang ung bagong learnings mo na matutunan. But working abroad is really for you to earn double on what you earn working in the Phil. 🤭
How is it like to live sa Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is innovative and a calm place. Compared to other emirates. It will also depend on your personality. If wala kang night life and you’re just living like a normal human being, you will love Abu Dhabi. Para ka lang nasa probinsya. 🙂
How’s your typical work off day?
Having a one day off, mostly im spending it at home. Waking up late. Doing laundry and household chores. That’s the only time for me to do my personal thing. If there’s an extra time and kaya pa ng energy, I’d go to malls. Spend super few hours para mag sight seeing or mag grocery. But mostly, sa bahay lang talaga at maglinis.
Anong ma-iaadvise mo sa mga Filipinos na aspiring magwork abroad?
To my fellow filipino people, working abroad is not a joke. It takes braveness, courage and strength for you to survive. You can’t relax. Hindi mo maiaalis sa isip mo what will happen the next day. You need to be mature, at maging maparaan when you work abroad because you will live here Independently. Madami kang matutunan especially when saving and budgeting your source of income. Mabilis lang ang oras at araw, to those people na alam nyang kaya pa nya, then work and save.