Recognizing the low employment ceiling in the country- even for licensed Philippine nurses - Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz was reported to have urged licensed Filipino RNs to explore jobs in the business processing industry, e.g., medical transcriptionists and healthcare related inbound outbound calls.
Whether you are a healthcare professional – registered nurse, pharmacist, dentist, physician, an accountant, teacher, restaurant and hotel worker, chef, cook, electrician, getting your career in the right path towards a greener future – environment and income wise – needs a little bit of homework. What are the options available, both at home and abroad?
Lesson 1: Know where you are in the Career Map. Get a mental blue pin and drop it Google-like on where you are. Philippine and overseas employers usually do not hire new grads, except for some firms where competition and staff turn-over is so high that the company will be willing to train in return for an assurance of staying for an X amount of time. Call centers usually take the green horns with enticing, high entry-level salaries – an average of P15,000 to P20,000. Otherwise, even RNs and Doctors have to start anywhere from P8,000 to P12,000. They can save lives but can hardly have portion of earnings saved.
But, gaining experience for at least a year is the objective. They are looking at the prize at the end of the 1-year experience level and most do not mind the costs or price that comes with it.
Lesson 2. Overseas Opportunities. With more than 12 million Filipinos overseas, 1.5 million leaving the country yearly as OFWs – quite a few with tourist visas – working or migrating abroad seems a no-brainer. In fact, enrolment in healthcare and hospitality courses remain high because jobs in these sectors offer the best chance of going abroad.
Most overseas employers, however, require at least 1 year, full-time, paid experience. The employment must be verifiable and not just “confirmed” by certification. And for healthcare professions, licensure or registration with the appropriate registration authority in the intended country of destination is a requirement for placement/deployment.
While the US economy seems to have survived the recession, the low-jobs growth still is fodder to the anti-foreign worker cannons. In fact no Republican presidential candidate (Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as frontrunners) offers to increase work visas and immigrant visas. No immigration amid financial crisis go together. No politician dare go against the tide without stirring at least a storm in a Tea Party pot.
Lesson 3. Migration Options. The Commonwealth Nations – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK offer points-based migration. A professional or skilled worker with the right combination of age, education, experience, English proficiency and qualified relatives or close friends may apply independently for permanent residency: or they can be sponsored by a State, Territory, province or region. Each country has its own list of occupations in demand. You must have at least one (1) year experience in the listed or nominated occupation, between 21 to 55 years old, have a one-year post-secondary diploma to qualify. Most employers however, are still reluctant and selective in recruiting foreign workers because of the large number of international students available and eligible to take jobs.
Lesson 4. Study, Work, Migrate. The five (5) countries with permanent migration programs, Austraia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA offer a student to resident career pathway. While enrolled as a genuine student, you can work 20 hours a week during school days and work full time between semestral breaks. Access to employers also give you an opportunity to give your best performance as a way to be sponsored by the same employer upon course completion.
Canada has the most affordable one-year course that would enable you to work to the fullest as your student visa allows.
New Zealand has the shortest route to become a Permanent Resident and Australia offers the best option to earn the highest, especially if you have a spouse/ partner – same or opposite sex. The US and the UK are both lagging behind the race to bring in professionals and skilled migrants, but after the elections and when the European Union’s debate on bail-outs and unitary currency is over, both countries will join the race.
So if you have an itch to get that career going, start scratching – and searching for the best options. In the end, the ultimate barometer of having achieved your goals is self-fulfillment, a feat that can be achieved at home or abroad. For a free assessment on the best, most appropriate career pathway for you, send your complete and updated resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Immigrant Visa Center at (02) 634-8717.