Ah yes, the most searched for term on PhilFAQS, where you learn how to answer the FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions) about living in the Philippines.
Also,one of the most frequently asked question in comments here and in personal emails I get (don’t forget, you can always send me a (short) private email by clicking on the Contact link up on the top main menu), is “How can I find a job in the Philippines”?
Well, the “party line” hereabouts is, you can’t. Or, in the rare case that you do, you won’t like it and/or will barely earn enough to live on, if that. You can read more on this in some of my more popular articles, starting here. More About Foreigner Jobs in the Philippines or perhaps Philippine Jobs and Productivity — Mutually Exclusive?
But, like almost all questions, there’s always another side to this story. And that is, there ARE Americans and other foreigners working here in the Philippines, and some have darn good salaries and really nice expat expense/compensation packages that are the evny of many.
So what’s their secret?
Well, first of all, they actually know something, They have some valuable skill which makes their employer money … their job wasn’t just given to them because they needed one.
Let me give yu an example. I just this morning saw a prominent (and relatively expensive) ad from a head hunter/recruitment firm that was prominently extolling the virtues of jobs in the Philippines. Are you familiar with Oracle 11g? How about SAP, and in particular the current “darling” of the backend business Process outsourcing industry .. BPO for short… SAP HANA? The ad was filled with more acronyms and buzzwords about impressive, high-end business software too.
Are you familiar with these sort of high-end business systems, or are you a programmer/software engineer? Or, very much in demand, are you a proven project manager, with professional project management certification?
Then there are jobs for you in the Philippines. I can assure you of that. The picture on the left is just one of Manila’s very high-end condo developments where at least one reader of PhilFAQS lives, rent paid by his employer (the rent on a condo unit here would be in the $2000 to $3000 a month range). He also gets a car allowance, educational allowance, free hospitalization plan, and, since he’s living overseas on overseas-sourced income, he pays little or no US taxes.
Wow! How lucky is that. What a lucky man, I’m so jealous,
Well turn off the green eyes, sports fans, because it wasn’t “luck’ that put this fellow in his position, it was work and dedication.
Work at earning his undergrad degree, work at earning graduate degrees, work at staying on the job, even when deadlines loomed and things didn’t go right. And work that meant staying at the office and doing whatever was needed to finish a project, no matter what his “job description” said.
Work Means Work: This may seem like something pretty obvious. May even break your train of thought. Which is what I hope it will do.
Why? Because in more than ten years of dealing with folks who want to find jobs in the Philippines … and in even convincing Google that I know a lot about finding jobs for foreigners, especially Americans, in the Philippines, I have come to know quite a bit about the people who are looking for jobs in the Philippines.
Many of them have a much different concept of WORK than I do, or what the people living in that condo have.
A first clue I get comes from the number of people who visit here from their work. Hello? Reading this website may be more or less pleasurable to some, but it can’t be classified as WORK.
If you are the sort of person who can’t figure out what to do either to improve your employer’s bottom line … or to improve your OWN bottom line/abilities/education, etc., then my prediction is you are not going to have much success. Surfing the ‘net while your employer is paying you to work is not the most productive use of your time.
A second clue I get is the most common ‘weak sister” “help me” message that starts out “I don’t care what the job is, or what it pays.”
Well, guess what? If you have no idea where you are going, any road will get you there. To find a job, you have to focus and aim at a target that is suitable to you. There are some good tips here, if you currently have no focus. Jobs in the Philippines — Rifle or Shotgun?
If you don’t even have a resume, or a focus on a goal, then the most important thing you can do, right now, costs nothing, is to get serious and figure out what you want to do.
Trust me, this is one of the single most important things that those of you are “adrift” out there can do.
But I Don’t Know Anything Special:
Then who the heck would want to hire you? Seriously, this is the sort of comment/attitude that depresses me. For three major reasons:
First, when you say that about yourself it shows me you have no self-respect. EVERYONE on the face of the earth is SOMEONE. You are special, as am I and everyone else. If you don’t figure that out, don’t think enough of yourself to find out in what way you are special, then how on earth do you figure other people will treat you well?
Second, You did not go to school once in your life, when you were young, then take one job and be done with education (in life education). Your real job in life should be investing in your own education. If you haven’t learned something new recently, stop reading my blog (or anyone else’s) and get out there and learn something. This goes double for all those out there who surf from work because they are “under-employed” and bored with work. Perfect opportunity to help yourself grow. (oh, and by the way, there is VERY little to learn on Facebook!)
Third and final observation for today: Be open to change!
Not too long ago I enjoyed watching a Discovery Channel series about coal mining in West Virgina. It was pretty cool, I learned a lot about mining. And, like most such series, it was told through the lives of a number of real-world miners.
One particlular clip which was used extensively in promoting the show was a tiny clip of one of the grizzled old miner, covered in coal dust, uttering the simple phrase “Coal Mining’s All I Know”.
Well, it was dramatic. But it was also sad. because he was a fellow in his 50’s, already worn down by work and with alarge family depending upon him.
The sad part was, after nearly 40 years of life at work, he had not seen the opportunity to learn something else aside from coal mining.
In other words, he had not thought enough of himself, had not bothered to invest in himself, one little iota since he left high school.
I see this all the time. People who have lost their jobs, often because of contractions in the economy, and then sit and wait for “the economy” to improve … so they can get their old work back.
Well, what if their old job doesn’t come back? Are they going to sit and wait until 99 weeks of unemployment runs out? Do you know how many buggy whip craftsmen sat and waited for Henry’s Model T to fail in the ‘ought years of the last century? If they were still alive, they’d be waiting still.
The world changes guys, you can change along with it or you can become and angry old man who doesn’t know “anything special”.
You are not where you are today because you were put there by others, or luck, or anything else except you, yourself and you. And you, not “the government”, not some rich uncle who is going to die and leave you a fortune.
If you want something better, if you want that job in the Philippines that comes with that fancy condo, or if you just want to feel good about yourself and know more than you did when you were in high school, take action. It’s all up to you. Will “coal mining” be all you know?