Ruffy Natividad recalled when he arrived in the UAE in 2010. He described himself back then as ‘naïve and free-spirited as all he wanted was to roam around the host country and gain acquaintances. However, according to him, everything ‘dramatically’ changed when he landed his first job in a logistics company.
It was then Natividad realized that everything was getting a bit serious–his interaction with his relatives in the Philippines was lessened, his night-outs were reduced, and a major realization struck him. While overseas, he had to learn how to cook, wash his clothes, and budget his earnings. “It sounds easy but for someone who has zero knowledge of all these, it was one hell of a job,” he said.
Two years after, he was offered a job in a bank where he lasted for four years. He described his sojourn in the company as ‘tiring yet fun’ and ‘fulfilling yet consuming’, however, he said that at the end of the day, he was still grateful for having the job that paid his bills, remittances for his family back home, and some disposable income to do a little shopping.
As his work became routine and his salary got stagnant, he started to ponder about the things he wanted to do and the goals he wanted to achieve, both personally and professionally. This was when he decided to take a leap of faith and career. Natividad took his chances in the advertising industry. “It wasn’t easy but since I wanted ‘change and growth’, so I took the risk,” he added.
To learn more about the industry and further hone his skills, he studied at the Filipino Institute for almost four months. Natividad said that after studying, he became braver and more confident. Through the training institute, he also served as an instrument in helping his fellow Filipinos reach their goals by teaching social media and digital marketing-related courses.
“With the help of some friends, I was able to penetrate the industry and I am proud to say that I am now an experienced social media manager who handles various social media accounts for UAE’s top brands,” he said.
Aside from this, Natividad is also the team leader and senior country manager of Megaworld International. He said that playing a huge role in the real estate company is an entirely different ballgame. “Aside from helping our kabayans secure their future by having their own property, it made me realize that everything is not about sales. The company encourages various community activities and humanitarian missions, which are very noble and remarkable at the same time,” he further added.
When asked about his advice for Filipinos abroad, he said that they should be ready to endure a lot of difficulties and use them to strengthen themselves. “Always be passionate about whatever you do. Aim high; set your goals and work hard to achieve them. Maintain a work-life balance. Don’t forget to reward yourself every now and then and most of all, be kind to yourself and others,” Natividad concluded.
This story has been featured on the 12th 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.