In an effort to help those Filipinos in the UAE who have been displaced by the pandemic, Dubai-based entrepreneur Eirene Suchy has established a portal where she bridges the gap between job hunters and employers in the UAE.
Through the job portal Gohuntr, which was born from just a casual chit-chat with a friend, COO and Co-founder Suchy aims to help and reach out to a wider and more diverse community and gears towards an equal employment opportunity. Months after discussions and discourse, she, along with her two other friends last February 2021, formed the Gohuntr, which is the first Filipino owned marketplace for jobs in the UAE.
Originally from Cebu, the brainchild of the portal that creates job opportunities for jobless residents in the region said that having this platform is all new for her ‘and that is why it’s exciting.’ “There is no stagnation. Having my own business means that I am more in control of my time, including the direction of my career but I wouldn’t have the luxury without my husband’s support, so I am very thankful. The highlight of course is knowing that we can help the community,” she added.
From customer service representative to entrepreneur
Suchy started her career in Dubai as a customer service representative and later rose through the ranks to become the head of sales operations in one of the biggest online classifieds in the region before resigning in the third quarter of 2020.
She admitted that the initial years have been difficult for her.
“This is what I need people to understand–our achievements are shaped by our failure, however, people at times tend to oversee that. I would often be told, ‘madali lang para sayo kasi may trabaho ka,’ or ‘mayaman ka kasi nasa abroad ka.’ What people don’t see is the hard work you put in. It’s not all fine and dandy,” she said adding that in her first company, she had to work for 10 hours and traveled for four, and had one day off only to be paid AED1,800. She further added that there were times, due to stress and lack of rest, she’d lost her voice.
“That’s scary as a customer service representative, as our voice is our bread and butter,” she said.
When the recession hit, she experienced not getting her salaries on time, and sometimes won’t be paid for three months. Piled in debt and emotional stress, Suchy would work in a catering company from 7pm to 2am only to get paid AED100.
“There is also the other side of the story, a price you pay for working abroad–you get to miss a lot of occasions and most importantly, being physically present for your family when they need it the most. For example, due to this pandemic, I was able to fly back home for my mother’s burial. These are the things that we need to understand when living or working abroad, it’s not always easy but you endure,” she further added.
A piece of advice from a veteran OFW
Suchy, who has been living overseas for about 15 years now, said overseas Filipino workers should take care of themselves before others.
“We, kabayans, love to help and send a chunk of our salary back home and although that’s for a great cause, we also need to spare some to ourselves. We must be mindful because when things go south, no one will be here to help you except yourself. This could mean saving a portion of your salary, so you’re ready for when the rainy day comes,” she said.
This story has been featured on the 11th 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.