Many times I have said before, and it certainly still holds true today, finding something to write about regarding living here the Philippines is never hard.
I really wonder at times when people tell me they have “writer’s block” and don’t know anything to write about for their blogs. Wow. That’s never been my problem, for sure. (Now laziness, lack of organization, personal priorities and scheduling my time .. ah that can be a story in itself), but subjects to write about … thanks to my readers I am never at a loss there, that’s for sure.
Here’s a comment that just came in today. It covers a lot of ground, perhaps even more than the original commenter realized, so it deserves, I think, a full article to give a complete answer.
And more people will read it here in the “main blog” than if I hid it away as just a rely to a comment.
I’m going to suggest the original commenter and those of you who are interested in the subject read a couple cogent articles I have already written here as sort of a background before we get into the main question:
And last but not least, http://www.numbeo.com and www.expatistan.com , both independent reader updated cost comparison tools that let you compare living costs in cities of your choice all around the world.
Here goes today’s question and my answers/commentary:
I’m being offered a few positions in Cebu. One of the positions is as a copywriter, and the other is a correspondent position. I hold a Masters Degree and a Bachelors Degree from a highly respected American University. They are asking me to make a salary request.
Well you are way more educated than I am, so maybe you already know this. But I learned this long, ,long ago at cattle auctions in Colorado. He who mentions price first loses. Asking you what you think you want in salary is a a bargaining technique that works only to their benefit. If you ask for too much, you’ll be dropped from their list, if you ask for too little you will have automatically ‘capped” your potential earnings. I would never answer a question like this other than with a non-committal statement such as “I’m willing to work for the prevailing wages for this work”, or, more intelligently, “How much I would consider for salary depends far more on the details of my responsibilities and what I would be able to bring to the table for you than we could possibly go into now”. “I really feel we can discuss this more properly during the interview phase of the job”. Something along those lines. Do NOT start by naming a price, or so this old cowboy (wanna be) opines.
In the U.S. someone holding these positions could make up to 40, 000 dollars a year. I have no idea what that translates to in the states. Or whether this American salary has any bearing on what I can make in the Philippines.
I really don’t know how to answer this other than to throw back to you your own thoughts. What bearing do you think a US salary should have on a Philippine salary? There are US citizens working here in the Philippines, mostly for foreign companies, who make way, way more than $40k a year, but those type jobs are not typical at all. It would depend on what your actual skills are and what you could contribute to a business’s earnings. Education is a wonderful thing, but a degree is more of a driver’s license than any guarantee of what your driving talents are worth. I can drive a car with a reasonable degree of skill. However, if Ferrari is looking for a replacement for Fernando Alonso, I doubt I could ask the salary he gets, even though I have essentially the same basic qualifications.
The Philippines is full of schools hungry for
student’sparent’s money, and university degrees are very popular here. There are probably as many over-educated, under-employed taxi drivers in the Philippines as you would find, percentage-wise in the USA. Philippine firms are going to pay you Philippine prices, by and large. Have you searched through some of the up-to-date job listings on my dedicated Philippine Jobs page?
I’m already making some money as a Book Reviewer — American dollars — and am hoping to receive a salary that will enable me to live relatively comfortably (but I’m not expecting to live luxuriously). Any information regarding a good asking price or the average cost of living in Cebu — per month — would be very helpful to me. Thank you!
As I have said in some of the articles above, and at other times, how much your cost of living would be in Cebu, or anywhere else in the Philippines, depends much more upon you than your location. You can live here for next to nothing, millions upon millions of Filipinos do. Only you can answer how much you yourself will chose to spend. As my wise Filipino-born wife, who lived in the US for years as well is fond of saying, The advantage of us living in the Philippines rather than the US has less to do with how much things cost than with the flexibility we have in choosing how much we decide to spend”.
Well if any of this helps, you are more than welcome. You don’t share any details about your book review work, but if it is on-line, or if you can take it on-line, then you are off to a great start. Have you looked, for example, at www.elance.com or perhaps read this resource on freelance earnings.
My advice is always, live in the Philippines if it suits you, but earn your living elsewhere. “JOBS” are relic of an earlier century. They are a bit like the buggy whip industry back around the turn of the 20th century. Godspeed.