I get a lot of questions from folks wanting to move here to the Philippines about jobs here. Although I am very much opposed to the idea of most foreigners working hare … it’s really a losing proposition see: 10 Reasons You Don’t Want A Job In The Philippines and for more explanation: 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job
I do try to help when I can … see: Philippine Job Listings for Foreigners or Filipinos
What’s So Different About Working in the Philippines?
- 0.1 What’s So Different About Working in the Philippines?
- 0.2 A Great Opportunity for Foreigner Jobs?
- 0.3 Well, Not Quite
- 0.4 Crew Members:
- 0.5 Mangers:
- 0.6 They Can’t Do That! That’s Illegal!
- 0.7 And Overtime Pay? What’s That?
- 0.8 Could You Even Do the Job?
- 0.9 The answer might be, much harder than you would think.
- 0.10 Are you sure you still want a job in the Philippines?
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A few days ago I had to make a trip north on the North Luzon Expressway, so I stopped off at what is now the closest Burge King franchise to my home here outside the Metro Manila area.
We used to have several Burge King franchises nearby, but they have all closed and/or switched over to other lines of business.
As I pulled into the burger place in a rest area in Balagtas Bulacan, I noted large display banners in the window.
They weren’t advertising hamburgers or some other food item, they were looking in no uncertain terms for “burger flippers” (crew members) and managers.
A Great Opportunity for Foreigner Jobs?
Geez I thought, I’m sure the pay isn’t much, (for those who really want to know,it works out to roughly 1/6 th the going US rates) but this would be a good job for those guys who write me all the time and say, “I’m desperate for a job, any job, and I really don’t have any skills.”
After all, for many of our US high schools grads (and even some college grads these days), flipping burgers is an entry-level job that almost anyone can get.
Also, in today’s economy, the fast food industry is a refuge for older folks who have lost their jobs and have to find something, or people who retired and then found out the the crooked US “Banksters” have decimated the 401K or IRA they had been relying upon to finance their retirement.
So wouldn’t the same thing be applicable here in the Philippines?
Well, Not Quite
Here is a summary of the requirements for the jobs. Draw your own conclusions:
- 18 to 24 years old
- In Good health
- Able to work all hours, all shifts
- Pleasing Appearance
- College Level
- 25 to 40 years old
- In good health
- Able to pass Police background check
- Able to work all hours, all shifts
- Graduate of 4 year business or accounting course
How about that? At least managers don’t have to present a pleasing appearance, but they can’t be over 40, and they have to have a business degree. And there’s no starting at the bottom for a man or woman over 40. Over 40, you’re essentially “finished” when it comes to most Philippine jobs.
They Can’t Do That! That’s Illegal!
Not really. All these are 100% legal. Even though I often hear cries of ‘discrimination; from fellow Americans, this is just a perfect illustration of the fact that the Philippines is NOT some little branch of America. It’s perfectly constitutional in the Philippines to discriminate on age, appearance, weight, even race and national origin.
When you look for a job here you have to remember you are not in Kansas any more. It’s completely legal also, for example, to fire an unmarried woman who shows up pregnant, refuse to give time off for family related issues, etc. It’s just the way it is.
And Overtime Pay? What’s That?
The vast majority of Filipinos those who are lucky enough to have a job, that is, work 10 or more hours a day, at least 6 days a week. 9 to 5 jobs are rare indeed. Dolly Parton would be lucky indeed to have the 9 to 5 job she wrote her song of protest about. She’s certainly be too old for it, anyway.
Could You Even Do the Job?
And a significant question to ask yourself after all these other issues is, do you really think you could do the job, even if you got in?
English is very common, especially here in the Metro Manila outskirts, so you might figure, “Hey, how tough could flipping burgers be in English”?
The answer might be, much harder than you would think.
I was confused by the crew member requirement for “college level”. I didn’t know if that meant a degree, or “some college”, or what.
So after the attractive, under 25 yo old single lady at the counter took my order, I looked around and the place was still pretty empty (it was before the lunch time rush), so I asked permission to ask her a question?
“What does that requirement mean, College Level? Do you need a degree, or just some college.?
Total terror in her eyes. The eyes of Bambi just before the eighteen wheeler squashed her into venison pancakes.
“Sir, for a while. I’ll run and get the manager.”
Oh shit, thinks I. Getting the employee involved with a manager is always a bad, bad thing, even if the employee did nothing wrong. And what if the manager doesn’t understand my question and he gets embarrassed too.? Causing a person to lose ‘hiya” or “face” is a thing you really, really don’t want to do.
“No, no, no miss” I remonstrated. “Please don’t call the manager. Just forget it, I was only making conversation. Please, just forget I asked anything.”
The poor thing just stood there, still obviously scared. Then she saw that I was smiling, smiled back, and covered her nose with her hand, mumbling , “Oh sir, you made my nose bleed.”
No, her nose wasn’t bleeding. But “nose bleed” is the current slang for things one can’t understand … like the teacher calling on you to solve an equation you don’t comprehend, or a whacky foreigner asking a strange question about your college degree.
Are you sure you can work effectively, side by side, with people who “know English” but very often “know” the words with different meanings than you do? Do you even know how “for a while” is used in normal conversation? Bottom line is, you just aren’t as smart as you think you are, even in the burger flipping world.
(The answer to the college requirement,question, furnished by another girl on the crew, is, no you don’t need a degree to work the counter. You have to be a college student with at least two years completed, or able to convince management that you will be able to complete your second year of college during your “probationary period” of employment .. which lasts a full year at most companies. No job security, no personal days off, no paid vacation, no sick days, and no bonuses and 13 month pay for that whole first year.