Thursday, November 27, 2008

Article - Finding your greener pasture

Finding your greener pasture
Lynda C. Corpuz
MoneySense
October 02, 2008
From content sharing of inquirer.net and MoneySense


Aside from knowing what the current hot jobs, top destinations and opportunities in the overseas employment market are, it is equally important to consider the following factors when looking for your own greener pasture.

Research and paperwork. You want to make sure your destination of choice welcomes foreign workers, particularly your skill and work experience. Find out about the country where you want to work. Know if you need to secure a working permit or visa, or a residency visa. Contact the nearest embassy.

Scour the Web to give you an idea of the paperwork you will need to complete. Completing papers is time-consuming, and on occasion, nerve-wracking.

What you want to and can do. Others go abroad and hop from one casual job to another, like bar tending or shop keeping.

Before you jump on that plane, list down all your skills and work experience, and check if your preferred country is looking for foreign workers with your skill set.

Right now, there is a demand for jobs on cruise liners, hotel and food services, construction, education, and healthcare, according to the book “Finding Work Abroad: A step-by-step guide.”

Web power. It is easier to search for overseas jobs through the Internet. Job portals like JobsDB.com, Monster.com, and other similar Web sites post job vacancies and accept resumés. You can also check online editions of newspapers abroad that also post vacancies.

Be cautious, however, of bogus Web sites by illegal recruiters that victimize people by collecting placement fees for non-existent jobs, warns Carlos Canaberal, Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration (POEA) planning and policy division chief. POEA, through its Web site, can also help you check if there are available jobs in the country of your choice.

You can search for jobs according to position, country, and agency as disclosed by licensed recruitment agencies that have had job orders in the last two years. Carlos, however, reminds job seekers: “It’s important that an applicant verifies with the agency if the job order is still active or not.”

Apart from local employment agencies, you can also contact international recruitment agencies, or those specializing in the jobs you want. If you already have a company in mind in the country of your choice, apply through its Web site, send the necessary requirements, and be prompt in answering e-mails (mostly pertaining to your suitability to work abroad, like if you have a passport and visa).

Additional qualifications. Getting qualified or gaining additional skills will be handy if you seek employment abroad. For instance, passing TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is now not only required for non-native applicants at many English-speaking colleges and universities, but even at government agencies and companies, so you might as well take the test.

Alternatively, consider TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), which you could do while waiting for the job you really want.

Active networking. If you know anyone in your country or city of choice, ask their advice and assistance to get a good picture of living and working there. Expatriate Filipinos are generally helpful, and they generally can help, like in introducing you to employment contacts.

Once you’ve settled in, be generous also in extending assistance to those who might need your help.

The cost of moving and working abroad. On top of work-related expenses, factor in the initial outlay you will need for accommodation. On top of sending money back to your family in the Philippines, you should always have an amount reserved for yourself, like for a flight home just in case you realize living and working overseas is not for you after all.

Market rates. We picked the top three destinations based on the most number of deployments per the POEA’s latest available figures (from January 1 to March 31, 2007), and these are Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and North America (Canada and the United States).

Per country, you’ll find a sampling of jobs and the average salary. Click on this link for the table.

(Also posted in the Global Nation section of inquirer.net last October 21, 11:14:00)

(This article is from MoneySense, the country’s first and only personal finance magazine. Visit www.moneysense.com.ph for more.)
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