Just like any other newbies in Dubai, Wendell Mandocdoc’s dream is to be part of top workplaces in the Middle East. He arrived in Dubai around 2003 and was only 25 years old.
As experienced by most OFWs abroad, he started at the bottom first. His first overseas job was in a supermarket in a struggling mall in Sharjah, spending time in the Filipino food, fish and vegetable sections, a job he had availed from a recruitment agency in the Philippines.
“It was for many a very degrading circumstance but I just did what I was told and worked with pride,” he said, noting that passion and determination urged him to do all the tasks.
It wasn’t passion and determination only that pushed him to do things he didn’t usually do and work abroad.
“It was a decision where there were no other options for me after failing to recover from my small construction business. I was in a huge debt at that time at the age of 24. At that time, I couldn’t blame anyone nor could I ask help from anywhere. I need to disappear because of shame I had brought unto myself. I had no father to turn to and my mother had so many disappointments already,” Mandocdoc said.
He added that he was already planning to accept any types of jobs at that time after losing his construction business.
“Maybe it was a tough job, being transferred from the sales floor to the fish and vegetable sections, oftentimes as a bagger and the cashier. It was tough for me, and very degrading not because of the level of work but because I was dealing with a very unpleasant and disorganized team. But it was in this instance that I learned how the retail industry works, from warehousing to display and sales until documentation and delivery and after services,” he further added.
A year after that, he came back to Dubai holding a visit visa only looking for a more stable job, the one that would support him and his family back home. Unprepared, he had endured sleeping from one friend’s room to another, waiting for them to help him .
He may be unprepared financially, but he was always ready for possible job interviews.
“Once there was a walk-in interview for a top brand retailer. The whole ground floor parking was jam packed waiting to be interviewed. I was interviewed as a salesman and the interviewers were very pleased. They asked me to come back the following day for a higher job post, which is as a visual merchandiser,” Mandocdoc recalled.
It was at this moment his life was about to change.
As a Global Filipino, he had to work harder and push his limit to be more productive while being passionate as well with the job.
Today, Mandocdoc is now handling the posts Senior Visual Merchandiser and Concept Manager for Danube Homes.
“Dubai is a place where you can be whoever you want to be regardless of your financial and educational background. This is a place where there is a common ground for everyone. You just have to decide if you want to do it to stay as you are used to,” he said.
When asked where he wants to be after working in Dubai, he said he doesn’t want to be anywhere except from his home province in Batangas.
“Through the years, I have saved and still saving to live a decent life in the Philippines with my wife and daughter. I have invested in a few properties,” he added.
Mandocdoc is now gearing up for his upcoming beach house that he had already paid for and can’t wait to live the life he has been dreaming of.
Giving pieces of advice, Mandocdoc said that Filipinos should dream, invest and focus.