Loreto “Lito” Soriano left the Philippines to seek a job in Saudi Arabia when his son was still 8 months old in May 1980. Determined to provide his son a better prospect in life, he challenged his luck by applying for jobs, even if he did not finish college.
Although he secured a vocational education, one of his biggest fears is not being good enough to get a job in the Gulf state.
Worry ko parati hindi ako tapos ng kolehiyo.
But he managed to secure a job as a radio specialist technician in Saudi. After 5 years and 11 months of working there, he decided to return to the Philippines and spend his next few years expanding his knowledge and capacity to have a recruitment business.
Now at 60, Soriano is the president and chairman of the LBS E-Recruitment Solutions Company. His son, one of the reasons he could not stay longer abroad, is now helping him out in his business. His son also graduated with a business management degree.
Soriano believes that working abroad can also lead to social mobility.
Not Always the Solution
Although the OFW’s remittances increase the purchasing power of the families, Soriano believes that working abroad is never the solution to poverty.
He believes that when you work abroad, you should also have a clear mind to come back.
In my case, when I decided to go overseas, I already decided also to come back.
Returning should always be part of your decision-making process.
He also suggested that OFWs should have a clear set in mind on how long they intend to work abroad. For him, overseas employment must be a short-term plan to save for two things: your family and your future career.
OFWs should abandon the mindset that they can always re-apply for a job abroad after their foreign work contract expires. Saving up for your family’s future can prevent you from working abroad.
Working in Saudi Arabia for half a decade gave Soriano a clear goal in mind:
I have to learn as much as possible there and at the same time, I have to earn as much as possible.
Do you save up for your family’s future? How long are you planning to stay abroad?