Amidst competition in the United Arab Emirates, Pinoy job seekers were told to be brave to live on the edge as this is the only way to grow.
This came out as a sentiment of successful Filipino executives holding top positions in multi-national firms when they were recently interviewed to share their insights into job applications and advice for young professionals of today. As of the latest account, there are about 700,000 Filipinos living in UAE. Excluded in this statistics is the growing number of undocumented Filipinos holding visit visa as well as those with cancelled visa.
LOU OLVIDO-PARROCO, Global Human Resources Manager
“I take pride in my ability to foster team cohesiveness through open-communication, by applying a friendly and encouraging coaching approach, by walking my talk, by being objective, and by rolling my sleeves and work with them as a peer and as a manager at the same time.”
- I would encourage everyone to start with big clear goals in mind and believe that you can do it. How? Just do it.”
- Be ready to do things outside your comfort zone. Find opportunities to learn, take the challenges to lead, be brave to live on the edge as these are the only way to grow.
- As much as possible, do what you really enjoy doing. When you grow older, you will realize that money is not everything. Don’t forget that you’ll be living and working for many years more before you retire. Pick up a career that you are passionate about, enjoy and make the most of it.
- For you to excel and shine from the rest, strive to always give more than what is asked. Master the art of exceeding expectations, no matter how small or how big the expectation is.
VAGELYN L. FEDERICO, Director of Human Resources, Dusit Thani Dubai
“I can say that my heart and attitude makes me unique. Whatever I reached in my career and in my life I remain as humble as I can and the same person from the first time they knew me. My heart is always for the people and I always treasure everyone as part of my success that’s the reason I think God continuously shower His abundant blessings on me.”
- My job requires a high level of professionalism, excellent communication skills and outstanding writing skills, ability to work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment, strong organization and management skills with the ability to prioritize multiple functions and tasks while managing work time efficiently.
- The most important thing in any job and in my job is the commitment, dedication and passion to work and all the rest of technicalities in the job can be learned along the way.
- Be prepared in all aspects of life, physically, emotionally and psychologically as it really needs a lot of expectations from the management and owner of the company.
- You have to love what you do and do what you love. Whatever you are doing you have to be passionate on it, nothing is hard to do when you love what you are doing, when you put all your heart, mind and soul on it. As the saying goes “follow your passion and success will follow you.
ALEXIE T. RIEZA, Manager / HR Business Partner – Global Business Services (UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar & Kuwait), The Nielsen Company
“I remember hearing this feedback from a non-Filipino who is also an HR practitioner, that the reason why Filipinos usually go to the bottom of the list for being selected for any leadership role is because we never assert ourselves and we are so timid to express our views. He added that we are perceived as better followers than leaders. But of course, on the other hand, overestimating oneself is as bad as underestimating so we have to just keep a sense of balance.”
- Never underestimate your skills and capabilities and never stop dreaming. Filipinos are naturally modest and meek especially in front of other expatriates who are non-Filipinos. These wonderful cultural values that are inherent to us sometimes or most of the times, believe it or not, hinder our opportunities for higher positions. Now, I am not saying that exhibiting these values is wrong but what I am saying is that sadly, those values of ours are being taken advantage by others and worst, they even perceive those as signs of weakness, which do not conform to the notion of what a leader should be.
- The best way to succeed in getting into the top of the corporate ladder is not by waiting for the perfect opportunity but rather by creating it. And how do you create opportunities for yourself? Study and learn. Instead of buying the latest and the most advanced gadgets available in the market today, why not invest your money in education? There are hundreds of universities and colleges all-over the UAE that offer various courses and degrees. I really do hope that Filipino expatriates would soon realize this golden opportunity.
JORHIE ALBAN, Regional Brand Communications Manager (Africa and Middle East), Pfizer
“I value free will. I think it’s one of the most valuable gifts in life that people often ignore. With free will, one is given the freedom to think and act for one self and to uphold what he thinks is right. I believe in hard work, for earning an honest living. And that’s why I am proud of being an OFW.”
- Always strive to improve yourself and be the best at what you do. Others may question your ability at first but with a lot of hard work and enough amount of confidence, you can prove to them that you have what it takes to be successful.
- Remember why you left the Philippines in the first place. Save and invest, compound the value of the money you have now while you are still an OFW. You can’t and will not be an OFW forever.
RICHMOND AUSTRIA, Senior Health Data Analyst Officer, Ambulatory Healthcare Services Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)
“I need to have multiple knowledge and skills in my fields. This requires at a minimum level a commitment to life-long learning as these sciences rapidly evolve in a knowledge-based economy. This is very evident in the health sector as new ways of developing health services become more dynamic and influenced by global information.”
- Be persistent to do more, be better and become more committed in seeking your dreams. We define who we are and not on what other people think of us as no one else knows us better than ourselves. Life may not be fair but that is life. You learn about life, its limitations and opportunities as you seek to know yourself better. So if you persist that you can do it and reach your dreams, you can inspire people and become a much better person by influencing others.
- I don’t even consider myself as successful because the moment I think about it, that would be that time when I would stop seeking it.
- Our quest should be a never ending one. There are so many things we need to learn and it requires our commitment, persistence and determination.
LILIAN S. BAUTISTA, Design and Application Engineer, Daikin-McQuay Middle East FZE
“Learning is a continuous process as they say. And true, there are more to learn and it’s a good exercise for the brain. Developing ability to think logically and to solve problems are skills that will be valuable all throughout. On personal level, these skills can help you undertake tasks such as planning a vacation, finding a job, organizing a fund-raiser, purchasing a house, or writing a book.”
- One must understand what hard work really is.
- Preparing oneself through acquisition of technical knowledge is very important. Those learned in school and in books are not sufficient, but definitely help you ‘exercise’ your brain logically and analytically.
- In order to learn and grow, go on with on-the-job training and formal training. These will take part into developing a successful career.
- Take pieces of advises from experienced engineers from your organization, or sometimes even from outside, for they have undergone and understand the challenging tasks of being into technical field. In one way or another, they will serve as your mentors and role models.
- Try to understand the needs of the organization and work with colleagues harmoniously and professionally. Offer support whenever necessary, for you never know when to need some help, too.
- Absorb helpful advises and tips from others; these will help you move more progressively. Be attentive and assertive, then implement.
- Also try to attend seminars and short courses related to the field of interest as much as possible, to increase knowledge.
- Always remember that the best learning stage is experience… nothing beats hands-on experience.
IRENE CORPUZ, Independent Consultant /Section Head – Planning & IT Security, Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi
- To be updated at all times with any new trends, concepts, tools that are applicable to any organizations. This means, whatever entity or industry you get into, you have at least a skill set that will fit in. For example, Quality, Excellence, Strategy, Project Management, IT — any organization can have that be it government, private, hotel, hospital, telecom, etc.
- Don’t stop learning. Read a lot.
- Expand your connections.
- Embrace the culture. Minimize, if you can’t totally avoid, complaining about others’ attitude. We are all expats here.
- Seek expert advise if you can, to improve your CV and be prepared for an interview.
- For new comers in the UAE, be flexible, but without exceeding your capacity. In the end, they will see you as inefficient if you cannot deliver.
- Do not be a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. Allow yourself sometime to grow in one field and excel in it.. one field that you love and enjoy doing.
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.