For the last eight years, Julie May Gancayco De Guzman has been working as expediting and inspection officer for SAIPEM Contracting Netherlands BV, a world leader in engineering and drilling activities. Here, she enjoys the challenge of coming in every day and trying to figure out how she’s going to resolve all the delays in delivery management. She also feels a sense of accomplishment when she’s up against a deadline as they only have one shot to get it right.
De Guzman said that she has many reasons why she opted to work abroad, one of them is to help her family, especially her mother who has been working alone to provide them good education and life. Other reasons include fulfilling her dream of working in an international company, experience a new and better life abroad, and developing her cultural intelligence.
The eldest among six siblings, De Guzman was the first family member to work abroad by 2009. She started her career in the UAE as a service crew on a fast-food chain. She chose this career as she was a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management. At the age of 20, she would never have thought that she would be leading a life away from her family, work until 12 hours, and get a minimum salary. She already experienced working on a sleepless duty hour at an early age, carried and washed heavy frying equipment, and cleaned dirty washrooms.
“But I never lose my hope. I worked hard and harder every day,” she said.
Her passion and dedication to work have paid off. She got a promotion after promotion and was fortunate enough to move into office-based work. “Every experience in my life, whether good or bad, I consider them as my training. With all these experiences, I grow and become more mature as I face people even other nationalities. If only we see the positive side of all these challenges, we will be able to value them and realize the worth of each challenge on our lives,” De Guzman said.
She added that there is no way to quite describe how debilitating it feels carrying a crushing load of stress, sorrows, struggles, and uncertainty when working abroad. She considers these hurdles as a tool to achieve her future goals and plans. “When you have no other choice but to move on, you will, and you will come out stronger and more successful. Nothing teaches you more about getting through your self-doubts than forcing yourself to get through them. Motivate yourself as no one will do it for you,” she said, thanking her mother for always being with her the entire time, motivating her always, and believing in her capabilities and abilities.
The Filipina inspection officer is also very passionate about events and marketing, sports, and crafting. This leads her to open her own events group in the UAE. When asked about her future plans, she said to pursue her and her husband’s passion for the events industry in the Philippines.
“Never let the failure and distractions stop you from reaching your dreams. Always remember why you are dreaming in the first place and for who you are dreaming. It’s ok to lose. It’s part of the process. Losing teaches us to stand up over and over until we win. No matter how many unsuccessful attempts you’ve had, there’s always another way of looking at things or doing things and you’ll find it if you don’t give up,” she said.
This story has been featured in the 15th 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 to us at email@example.com.