Whether it be in the Philippines or abroad, you should always give your 100% at work. Doing so will not only earn you the respect of your workmates (and especially your boss) but will also let you have a good time in the workplace. For OFWs, working hard is nothing new—OFWs do this to help their loved ones as much as they can, making the most of their time abroad. But what are specific ways on how OFWs can give their best at work? For those who are still starting out as OFWs and maybe for those who just need a refresher, here are some of our tips for you:
- Know and study your work environment. As OFWs, the first thing you should do is to take some time and know your workplace better. Since you are in a foreign land, it is highly likely that your workplace may have a culture that you are totally not familiar with. And so, before going to work, or as you go through your work, make sure to take the opportunity to understand what your workplace is like: what kind of work ethic is expected of you, what kind of people are there, what the culture is like, what values are most important for your workplace, what are your rights as an employee, what you can and can’t do, and so on. Knowing your workplace better will help you find a better fit with the rest of your workmates, which will make your life waaaaaay easier at work.
- Provide realistic expectations of yourself to others. Never give people the wrong impression of you, because it might come back and haunt you in the end. Always be honest about your capabilities and know your boundaries. That way, you’re able to perform at your best and provide high-quality work. For example, if you aren’t the type who can work for twelve hours straight—perhaps it affects your health badly—then don’t push yourself and accept all those daily 12-hour shifts throughout the week. OFWs, remember that you always have the option to say no (see our cool tip on when to say no here).
- Take initiative. At work, it’s always nice to have initiative. When you can, do your best to go the distance and take your work an extra mile. Help your co-workers when you are able. Don’t be afraid to offer your opinion or your help when needed even though you are a foreigner—being a foreigner has nothing to do with that. This will leave a very positive impression on your superiors and workmates, since it informs them that you really know what you’re doing, that you want to do what’s best for the workplace, and that you have a good idea of what your team wants to achieve.
- Don’t leave things to the last minute. When you are assigned a job, do it as soon as you can. Don’t put it off, or else it might affect the flow of your work in the future or worse, it might affect the flow of others’ work. If you can get something done quickly, then get it done now. This way, you free up your mind to think about other important things at work and it saves you all the stress during the last-minute rush to the deadline.
- Respect others’ time. Always come on time for work, and always come on time whenever you’ve set a meeting with someone for work. Be punctual, and don’t take this “Filipino time” attitude with you abroad. One thing to note though is that different countries or places abroad have their own definition of “being on time”. For example, in some places “on time” means 10 minutes before the set meeting time; in other places however, arriving 10 minutes earlier is actually a rude thing to do. Know these specific rules beforehand and you should be fine.
- Be friendly. Finally, be friendly to your co-workers. Simple as that. There’s no room for bad vibes in the work place. Try to get along with others as best as you can, and don’t be afraid to make friends. It will make your work more enjoyable, and you can even create some important life-long relationships in the process.
There you have it, our tips on how you can be the best you can be at your work abroad! Truth be told, you can use these tips even when you aren’t an OFW. So these should still be useful in cases when you stop being an OFW and head home to find work, or when you are still an OFW aspirant and have a job at the Philippines at present.
And so, we hope these tips have been helpful to you, mga Ka-tsong! See you in our next cool tip!