OFW Success Story          
  Issue: January 2010  

Working Abroad is a Choice

Every once in a while, my friends ask me if I was “doing okay” working abroad. To be honest, I haven’t really elaborated on my thoughts on it until now. Normally I’d just say “Ok lang pare,” but I never really found all the words to express what it means living and working abroad.

It was by pure fate that I found myself working abroad. I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments when Imoved out and now, looking back, I feel I am all the better for it. One of the first things you notice is that it’s definitely not what it looks like in the movies or in travel shows on TV. Living abroad opened my eyes to what’s actually happening on the ground somewhere else in the world.

The turning point came when I realized that I could either just quit or get deported or I could use it as an opportunity to be an ambassador for myself and for my people. A way to show the rest of the world that we are a lot better than what their preconceived notions of us has led them to believe.

This kind of mindset helped me immensely in my career since it has forced me to focus on the bigger picture.  Seeing it has obviously made me want to improve myself even more so that I can be a bigger player in that big picture. And in these times when most economies are global economies, being able to see the big picture is a good skill to have going into the job market.

Overall, I would have to say that I am quite successful in my stay outside our country. I measure it by how much confidence I have of being able to survive anything the world can throw at me. And right now, I like my chances a lot better than if I had just stayed back.

It is common knowledge in professional sports that to be the best; you have to beat the rest of the world. The same can be said about your career, especially when you’re working abroad.

RJ Balagot, 31 years old
Senior Database Engineer
Crimsonlogic UAE