A human resource professional with 10 years of experience in both academic and organizational operations, Dubai-based HR specialist Renjie A. Abellanida embarked on a ‘thrilling adventure’ into the Arab Gulf Tiger some six years ago with two main driving forces: to seek a better career opportunity and to experience a new life overseas.
With a Master’s degree in Public Administration major in Human Resource Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science (Cum Laude), the 29-year-old Filipino tried his luck outside his comfort zone and explored Dubai. Abellanida was part of a Dubai-based engineering consultancy and an Abu Dhabi-based oil and gas firm from 2015 until 2018 where he served as an HR administrator and was awarded as the Employee of the Year.
Currently, he worked as an HR specialist at Skyline University, a premier university located in the University City of Sharjah, UAE. As an HR generalist, he has a broad range of responsibilities covering most of the human resource functions, including personnel management, compensation, and benefits management, among others.
“Well, I thrive in the excitement of a fast-paced workplace. Working at Skyline University, I must say that I am having a great time and I am looking forward to learning new things because the institution provides endless opportunities. Also, it has a dynamic atmosphere that values everyone’s efforts and respects what an employee can bring to the organization,” he said.
“For me, working in a multi-cultural office was a great experience because I was able to see the world from a different perspective,” he added.
Before kicking off his overseas journey, Abellanida first got into the academic industry in 2010 as a college faculty at Mindanao State University, making him the youngest faculty member to be hired at the age of 18. There, he worked with students and help them improve their skills so they can pursue a good career. Additionally, he also played a pivotal role in the same institution by developing instructional plans for the courses and made sure that it met the university standards.
Dubai: A place for those who dare to dream big
Abellanida, when asked about the things he likes about working in the emirate, said it’s the government’s initiative to lead in various aspects that provide a big impact on the world.
“Dubai, is no doubt, a melting pot of cultures and a fountain of opportunities for those who dare to dream big. It creates new and exciting job opportunities for those looking to move abroad. It has established a diverse employment industry and provides great chances for expats like me. Another major attraction in Dubai is that the government does not impose any tax on salaries, which is always very good news for OFWs’ pockets,” he further added.
Just like many migrant workers, he also struggled initially before getting settled–first with homesickness and next with the extreme weathers of the county: a very hot and humid summer, and very cold and chilling winter.
“Homesickness, on the other hand, is the distress caused by being away from home and that means away from my comfort zone. At one point, I felt separation anxiety. Nonetheless, I was able to overcome such challenges by reminding myself of the reason why I transferred to UAE, and that reason is my family who taught me how to live my life the best way possible,” he said noting that no matter what the circumstances are, it is always his responsibility to give them the good life they deserved.
So far, Abellanida hasn’t given a serious thought about his life after Dubai. “I will cross the bridge when I get there,” he said.
Weigh ‘needs’ vs ‘wants’
“Everything boils down to finances and the correlation between needs and wants,” he said.
Abellanida said that OFWs should always remember that attaining financial stability is very important, especially now that the world is facing uncertainties and tough times because of the Covid-19 crisis.
“You must also weight your ‘need’ versus your ‘wants’, even if you can afford the item, you should not spend that much if you don’t need it,” he said.
This story has been featured on the eighth issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at email@example.com.