The population of Filipinos in the Middle East is significantly growing. The concentration of OFWs in Saudi Arabia is also massive, primarily because the country offers good salary packages and employment benefits. Various industries are thriving; thus, it creates a perfect storm for Filipinos looking to make a move and advance their careers.
Before starting his journey as an OFW, Erwin Vasquez, 40, kicked off his career as a surveyor helper, working on buildings, bridges, and road constructions in the Philippines.
To provide for his family’s financial needs, Erwin opted to work overseas. He chose Saudi Arabia for the following reasons: it’s a tax-free income country, a safe city with a low crime rate, and a large expat community rapidly expanding.
He started working at RTTC AlRashid Contracting Company as an assistant surveyor in 2007 in the north of Saudi Arabia. For six years, he joined the team that supervised the contractor survey works, managed the digital work process, and led the geodetic network survey, among others.
Erwin described his work experience in the company as ‘awesome,’ for he has learned many things he could apply to his next company.
Armed with enough knowledge and skills, he transferred to Saudi Arabian Parsons LTD, a digitally-enabled solution focused on creating the future of the defense, intelligence, and critical infrastructure markets, to work as a survey engineer.
“Here, I got the highest offer in terms of salary. I was able to give a comfortable life for my family,” he said gratefully.
As a person who desires knowledge, Erwin enrolled in a professional diploma course at Filipino Institute, a leading institute in the Middle East that caters to Filipinos who wish to acquire quality yet affordable education.
“Working in another country is an excellent experience as it improves your career internationally. Not only do you learn life lessons and help your career, but it also offers personal incentives,” he said.
Erwin added that working overseas also allows him to meet new people whom he exchanges ideas with.
“These learning experiences can increase problem-solving skills by taking you out of your comfort zone. Living abroad also teaches you how to prioritize things,” he added.
The Filipino engineer advised his fellow Filipinos abroad to learn to immerse themselves with other nationalities and learn about their cultures.
“Making new friends and connecting with others can help alleviate the feeling of isolation and loneliness,” he added.
“Be happy with your job and be friendly with your colleagues,” he added.
He also advised them to improve their knowledge as learning is essential.
While working abroad, Erwin enhanced his computer skills, including AutoCAD, 3D, Revit, quantity surveying, and drafting.
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This story has been featured in the 28th issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr. Raymart Patulot at +971 56 663 4184. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email to us at email@example.com.