Are you about to work abroad for the first time? Check out these tips as you begin your new life.
So, you got the job and you’re getting ready to work abroad. Ang galing mo naman! That’s a big choice to make. But wait a minute. Let’s go through a list of things you might need to know as a first-time overseas Filipino worker (OFW).
  1. Get Your Documents Ready
    While it goes without saying that you should have your passport and working visa already, there are still a lot of other documents that you will need to bring with you. Make sure you have your Pre-Departure Overseas Seminar (PDOS) Certificate, Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), Employment Contract, and Endorsement letter ready. It is also important to have multiple copies of these documents on hand and to have two government ID’s on your bag as well. Keep them organized in a file folder so that they can be easily accessible when you need them. It also doesn’t hurt to have them scanned so that you can keep them on your computer. This will also allow you to send soft copies through email and even print more copies if the need presents itself.

    For a complete list of documents, check below:
    • Pre-Departure Overseas Seminar (PDOS) Certificate
    • At least two government-issued photo-bearing ID’s (Your passport is one example.)
    • Passport
    • Working Visa
    • Confirmed flight ticket and boarding pass
    • Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
    • Employment Contract
    • If applicable, Letter of Guarantee or Letter of Endorsement for work
    • For seafarers, Seaman’s Book
  2. Ipon-ipon Lang
    We know that you are going abroad in order to make money and make a living. However, it is wise to have some cash already saved up for you before you even leave for abroad. This saved cash will serve as a buffer while you wait for your first sweldo. It is also important to have this cash reserve in case of some medical emergency. There are also some things we spend for that we don’t think about beforehand such as funds for daily commute and airport terminal fees. So make sure you have some cash in your local currency for terminal fees and in your destination’s currency just in case.
  3. Have a Reliable Remittance Service
    This is another issue that is best to solve while you are still in the Philippines. Plan ahead and look for a remittance service you can use to send money back to your family. Your remittance service should be reliable and you should be able to access their services easily from the country you will be working in. For instance, some banks like BDO and BPI have accounts tailored to the needs of OFWs which will allow you to both easily and safely save and send your hard earned cash to your family back home in the Philippines. Be sure to check it out!
  4. Expectations vs. Reality
    This is a tip from seasoned OFW’s to first-time OFW’s. A lot of first-time OFW’s have expectations and dreams that they want to fulfill when they start working abroad. However, it might be wise to be reasonable and know that expectations might be far from reality as an OFW. Expect that a lot of your dreams will not come without its challenges when you start working abroad. However, do not lose hope! Never give up because it is only through working hard at these challenges that you will see your dreams come to life.
  5. Be Street Smart
    Always remember that you are in a different country. It is important to always stay on your toes. When one is in a foreign country, it is always natural to look for someone or a group of people to act as your second family. However, seasoned OFW’s advise that you should not be too quick to trust others. There will always be people who will want to take advantage of someone new to a place so try not to be so gullible and be smart with who you decide to trust.
  6. Know Your Worth
    Being an OFW is not an easy task. Along with hard work, you also have to deal with getting homesick from time to time. Having to deal with this mix of physical and mental challenges can be very draining. However, you know in your heart that you are giving your all and doing your best to provide for your family, your country, and yourself. In fact, it is quite honorable to be an OFW. Not everyone has the mindset or will to do such a thing. Thus, you must be very strong to have chosen this path. Know yourself and know your worth and you will soar high. can help you find the perfect job overseas! Make sure to check out our catalog of overseas jobs to find the right one for you.