The month of March is truly a memorable month for me (and I guess for my batchmate here in UAE) not just because my sister was born in this month but it is when our journey to UAE started.
Let me tell you a story…
I never dreamed of working abroad but when my mom left in 2010 to help her brother in Micronesia, it opened a possibility to me. Hence I love traveling, I imagine myself working in a foreign land to afford my travel lifestyle.
I know for a fact that the basic requirement of most companies if you were to apply to work abroad, is that you should be a degree holder especially for an office work; otherwise, there are jobs for a skilled worker, domestic helper, waitress, etc. Take note that this is mostly applicable if you are applying in the Philippines.
I have a couple of options back then: go to my mom in Micronesia, apply in UAE where my best friend Mae is working, teach English in Vietnam or Japan. There was just one problem…I don’t have my degree yet. However, I have completed my 2-year course “Web Development”; I got four diplomas from Australia, TESOL certificate, four years work experience in BPO, and I am an undergraduate of BA Multimedia Studies in UP Open University.
The struggle was real.
The plan was to finish my degree first, however, the company I was working with was already struggling and I too was struggling financially. The mid-life crisis took over and I felt stuck and not growing. I used to have two jobs: Study Coach (Australian Students) and BIBO tutor where I taught English to Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean students. (Please don’t expect too much just because I teach English LOL!) I’m just an average student and I am not that proficient in English Grammar. However, I firmly believe that we can learn everything if we put our mind to it. Oftentimes, intelligent people are ousted by hard-working and gutsy individuals.
My deepest desire starting in 2016 is to leave the country and look for a greener pasture in a foreign land. I started looking for jobs in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Dubai. However, all of the posts that have a great compensation package requires a Degree. I went to several interviews for Dubai but the remuneration was a bit unfavorable so I turned it down. The good thing was that I’ve met fellow applicants that gave me agencies to follow on Facebook. Moreover, I still submit applications online even if the requirement says, “Degree Holder”
God’s timing is always perfect!
My Dad and Sis left for Micronesia on December 30, 2017. It was an opportunity for me to focus on myself and save more. In February 2017, I decided to become an insurance agent (now, I have 3 jobs in total haha), I got licensed by PRULife UK and while in training I received an email from TASC outsourcing about the scheduled interview for Technical support post. Guess what? I don’t have technical experience in BPO and again the requirements are:
- Education Qualification: Degree / Diploma in IT / Electronics & Communication / Computer Science (Preferred)
- Additional qualifications: CCNA or equivalent certification preferred
- Experience in troubleshooting hardware / LAN/WAN, Wifi Routers, ADSL, IPTV, PABX, APN, VPN issues
- Work experience: 2 to 5 years of experience in a Telecom Contact Center, preferably supporting Business customers
- Age limit: below 35 years
- Language: Good American / British English accent and fluency in the English language
I had second thoughts; It is probably a waste of time and money going to Malate for the interview and in the end, I won’t get it because I am not qualified. On top of that, I don’t know the place unless I book a grab which would cost me more than a hundred pesos. On the other hand, Mae encouraged me to go and she said “ Mag accent kanalang” means just use an accent (American/Australian/British). I have a fake accent (lol) but I’ve been speaking to Australian students for 3 years so I thought I got it.
I decided to give it a try – today I realized that if I let that “not qualified” thought consumed my thinking – I wouldn’t be here. Sometimes, opportunities are already laid down to us but we refuse to act on it. There were hundreds of applicants and a lot of them have outstanding qualifications, skills, and experience (some are managers, team leaders, etc.) but God has chosen me as one of the lucky individuals to be shortlisted.
I still remember my initial interview; it was a panel interview, we were 4 or 5 in the room and I was the first one to talk. The interviewer asked me some technical questions which I quickly scan through 5 mins before the interview. I wasn’t sure with the last question so I asked him if it’s correct and he just laughed. I guess I was more relaxed and bubbly compared to the other applicants because I thought it’s fine if I don’t get it coz I don’t have the experience anyways. Furthermore, he didn’t ask for my passport so I thought I didn’t pass. I was laughing at myself while recalling all the things I’ve said during the interview. As soon as I reached home, I got an SMS that I was shortlisted for final interview. Whew!
Time flies so fast…
After the final interview, I’ve waited for 3 daunting days for the result. All applicants who passed were divided into two batches depending on our score. I am blessed to be part of the Batch 1 and first to leave because Batch 2 has never materialized.
It was so sudden and we were set to depart by the end of March. I have not submitted my resignation letter yet as I want to make sure I have the visa and ticket on hand. Only a few people know that I’m leaving but the rest of my friends and family doesn’t know about it. I crammed on getting the necessary documents although I didn’t spend much except for the local papers I had to submit such as NBI, Police Clearance, Medical, fare going back and forth to the agency, and food. The process only took less than a month to complete everything and by end of March, we are set to leave the country for UAE.
A big thanks to my friend Kristy who prayed for me during the interview and to God almighty who always provide opportunities for me.
It was a life-changing opportunity and this April marks our one-year-anniversary here in UAE.
Opportunities don’t just knock on your door, you have to create it. Let’s always try to improve ourselves, do not procrastinate, and learn the skills we need to succeed. Above all, always align your aspirations in God’s plan for you
I’m juggling everything between work and studies. My goal is to earn my degree in spite of the time constraints and stress I’m dealing every day. Last year, I started investing in the stock market and now I’m learning how to be a trader.
During my free time which I barely have, I read financial books or read financial reports online. The ultimate dream of mine is to spend more time with my family and help my relatives. However, for me to help other people I got to help myself first. As the saying goes, “you cannot give what you don’t have”.
I believe that God has a bright future in store for all of us. We just got to believe and get ourselves ready for it. There will always be hurdles along the way because learning and success are built on many failures. Let’s keep moving anyway…:)
John 10: 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
SILVER SKILLED RECRUITMENT INC. ROOM 601 DOÑA FELISA SYJUCO BLDG., 1872 REMEDIOS ST. CORNER TAFT AVE., MALATE,, Manila, 1004, Philippines
TASC Outsourcing Dubai, UAE