With 2 out of 10 of Filipinos hoping to live overseas, millions of Filipinos are dreaming of making a name for themselves and providing for their families through working abroad. Filipino cinemas also taps into this aspiration with hit movies such as Barcelona and Hello, Love, Goodbye.
While the allure of a better life abroad can be strong, it’s not all glittery.
Many Filipinos have braved life overseas with harsh working conditions, alone from their friends and loved ones just to provide for their families back home.
For this article, we explore the reasons why you should pursue a career abroad.
Higher income from work abroad
While a remote career in technology or Web3 gives you access to higher income while living in the Philippines, certain technical careers such as nursing and engineering are compensated more overseas.
A local entry-level nurse can earn up to PHP13,500 per month while the same entry-level talent can earn at least PHP168,177 per month working in Canada. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) face higher costs of living but disciplined spending and living allows them to save a significant sum that can be sent back home.
Even amongst our SouthEast Asian peers, the Philippines fares poorly.
To highlight the magnitude of Filipinos working abroad, OFWs bring home ~USD36B annually in remittances amounting to 8.9% of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Career and skills growth in career overseas
It’s a common saying in sports that applies to careers as well.
Most of the biggest companies and industries are found in areas such as North American, Europe, and Asia Pacific. If you are looking to grow your skills and career, then working in these regions will give you a big advantage. You will be able to work and train under the top professionals in their industries. Your knowledge will grow.
Here are some of biggest technology companies by market capitalization and their home country of operation:
- Apple Inc. (1st) – USA
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (8th) – Taiwan
- Tencent Holdings Ltd. (9th) – China
- Samsung Group (10th) – South Korea
- ASML Holding (12th) – Netherlands
Work abroad exposes you to different ways of thinking, diverse perspectives, and alternative approaches to work and life. By working with people from other countries, you enhance cultural intelligence, and develop a global mindset.
In the Philippines, we possess a collectivist culture with large value placed upon the family. This strong culture is why so many Filipinos are willing to sacrifice everything to support parents and younger siblings. Many Filipinos also continue living with their parents well into adulthood and even after marriage.
On the other hand, individualistic nations such as the USA and Germany place a strong value on the self. People living in these countries are more likely to rely on themselves in times of trouble and in order to improve their life situation.
This is just one of the many examples. When you live and work overseas, you also get to breathe in the culture and lifestyle – art, music, food,
Pursuit of higher quality of life
When you work abroad, not only do you get to experience a better living environment, you’re also able to secure a better future for yourself and your family. By becoming a citizen or permanent resident of a foreign country you and in most cases, your children become entitled to the benefits that the country offers.
The Philippines has the 61st most powerful passport in the world. This gives you visa free (green) access to a small set of countries. While the nations that require a visa (red) or e-visa (blue) are large and plenty.
By working and then migrating to a country with a stronger passport such as the Eurpean Union, your mobility increases exponentially.
This is just a basic example, but the list runs longer. For example: in New Zealand, fathers are given a paid parental leave of up to 26 weeks. In the Philippines, fathers have a parental leave of 1 week.
Why you should not work abroad
If you’ve read up to this point, then you may already be packing your bags.
However, a career overseas is not for everyone. If you’re unwilling to leave your family behind or if you’re already doing quite well and content with your life in the Philippines, then maybe work abroad will not be right for you.
Make sure to think about it clearly before making any big decisions.
Check out our other career articles here.