So, What Do You Want To Be When You Get There?

By , on February 1, 2014

Pangarap: So, Our Journey Begins

It is not a like a piece of possession that you can pack or bundle up. But you can and you should bring the dream that made you decide to leave for abroad – that dream should be strong enough to help you get by every day . . .

What  do you want to be when you grow up? This is a very classic question that many of us must have been asked when were kids.

Now that we are abroad,  we should be asking the same question to ourselves, may be rephrased as follows –  “What do you want to be when you get there?”

As I was saying goodbye to friends, I told them that even if family was my reason for leaving, I did not want to blame family for not being able to succeed at anything or get depressed for not being able to do anything useful.  I was able then to enumerate at least five items in my personal agenda.

I could continue my career in marketing communications, redirect my talent in broadcasting, become rich as a real estate agent, grow old gracefully in the academe as a teacher, or simply write a book.

Thus, as I was preparing to leave, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Because I had applied under the skilled professionals category, I was definite about the skills and the competencies that I was bringing with me. I thought that, since I had been approved, this country I was moving to was also convinced that those skills were employable.

This is not to say that there was a mismatch or a mistake at all. It is just that coming here, you could be likened to a child who is brought to a candy store and does not know what candies to buy. There will be candies that are new to you, candies that are all appetizing and offered to you at the same time.

For someone like me who came somewhere in the last fighting chapter of her work life, it was so heartening to realize that here, age is never an impediment to break new grounds and achieve, plus the fact that most companies do not impose any age to retire.  Amazingly, you feel so young and as if Pandora’s box has just opened up before you.

Suddenly, the world is my stage.

Hold it. That in itself could present a problem. If you are not able to clearly define who you want to be when you set foot, the myriad of options will only confuse you and make things even more difficult to grasp.

The possibilities that are before you are just that, possibilities. You have to fit in yourself or make yourself fit in. And that should start with defining what you want and knowing exactly where you want to be headed to. For those who are young when they came over, it looks like there is plenty of time. But for those who are not, then time is of the essence.

It is not that you should hurry. The point is for you to be able to focus on what you really want and immediately set sail. Remember, that as the clock ticks, the pension or RRSP ticks.  The later you get into a job, the shorter your chances of being able to achieve the retirement that you envision.

Somehow, it is important to migrate with at least one burning desire in your heart. That desire may or may not be so big. But as I always say, it has to be CLEAR to you. It may not be a specific job or new career path, but it has to be imaginable. As they say, if you can imagine it, you can achieve it.

It is not surprising if what you may have in mind is a path that is entirely different from the job you do back home. This won’t matter as long as you decide to pursue this new path as quickly as you can. This is because if it is going to be entirely new, the learning curve will be longer and investments of time, effort, and even money will be more.

Regardless of the level of position you had back home or the career success you enjoyed there, migration affords you to very conveniently switch careers, and not mind having to start from the ranks all over again. Your planning for yourself and your own career path should welcome that possibility. And there should no such fear of being degraded, mocked, or looked down upon.

Just be yourself.  Work at it. If your need will be too immediate because there are no savings to draw from and there are dependents to feed, plan for that, too. Plan in such a way that you will not mind starting out much, much lower in rank or type of work.

Plan for a career path, whether for something you used to do or a new one.

If you are taking an entirely new career direction, waste no time working for it.

The happy news is, regardless of our age, previous level of education or profession, it can be amazingly graceful to start anew in another country.

Nobody ever said that our journey, will be easy. But as I write and as you read, we share our strengths and we can hold to the promise that “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them,” Matthew 18:20.

Bolet is a marketing communications practitioner and dabbles in writing as a personal passion. She is author-self publisher of the book:  The Most Practical Immigrating and Job Hunting Survival Guide, proven simple steps to success without the fears and the doubts. The book is available in, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo and other online bookshops worldwide, and in National Book Store and Power Books in the Philippines. Please check out