Traveling overseas can be a scary thing the first time. For any OFW, especially domestic helpers, the travel in itself can be a struggle, and then there’s also work.
So if you are planning to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong for the first time, there are several things that you need to remember and understand first so that your experience won’t be as terrifying as you imagine it would be.
Disclaimer: The information published is based on the experience shared by the vlogger/YouTuber. The information provided may change without prior notice and may differ in actual scenarios. Let this article serve as a guide only.
Here is the video guide shared by a Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong, Daisy, a.k.a. Maid Vlogger on YouTube. If you find her tips helpful, you may check out her YouTube channel to catch more interesting content about her work and life as an OFW in Hong Kong.
[Video] First Time to Work in Hong Kong as a Domestic Helper? Check out these 9 Important Tips!
Although it can be stressful and terrifying to travel alone and to work in a foreign country far from your friends and loved ones this, too, will provide new opportunities to learn and grow if you have the proper mindset as well as guidance to help you ease into your new life and work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.
In this post, we will share several helpful tips from another domestic helper based on her experiences here in Hong Kong:
#1 Do some research.
With today’s technology, it’s easy to access information from wherever you are as long as you have access to the internet and a mobile device.
That said, part of your preparation for work as a domestic helper (or any type of job, for that matter) is to do some research.
Why? Doing your research will help you set proper expectations for your new job and life in Hong Kong.
Aside from this, you will receive an orientation from your agency as well as the Philippine government before you travel (PDOS) and upon arrival (PAOS) to your work destination. Your role in attending these seminars is to listen carefully and to take down notes so it’s easier for you to remember and understand the things being discussed. It’s for your safety and welfare.
#2 Prepare your stuff.
As part of your preparation for your new work abroad, you must have all the basic things you need to live as normally as you can in your new home abroad.
And if you are going to receive packages from your family when you’re already in Hong Kong, be sure that you know what exactly you will be receiving and when you can expect to receive it. This is for your safety and security, as well.
#3 Go to the airport early.
Once your application and work documents have all been processed and approved, it’s time to fly.
Be sure to get to the airport at least 4 hours before your flight. Also, expect that there might be changes with your schedule so be sure to arrive and check in at the airport early.
#4 Bring pocket money.
And because there might be changes with your schedule before your flight and after you get to Hong Kong, you need to have some pocket money. You don’t have to bring much, but just enough to buy necessities like food and water or for transportation.
Important: As much as possible do not exchange your cash to other currencies at the airport because normally, the rates there are quite low.
#5 Keep your personal information/documents private.
Although it’s quite common to meet fellow Filipinos at the airport or even in Hong Kong, it’s always better to be on the safe side and avoid being too friendly and sharing sensitive information about yourself and your employer.
Some people might even borrow your passport or ask for other information. Be careful as some people here in Hong Kong can use your documents and information to apply for a loan and label you as their guarantor.
#6 Avoid unnecessary talk to strangers.
As a follow-up to the previous point, most of the time, strangers might notice you as a new face in the city and randomly approach you for a short chat.
And while there’s nothing wrong to engage, it’s always good practice to avoid talking to strangers for your safety and security.
#7 Follow the instructions from your agency.
As a newcomer in a foreign country, you need to be able to adapt and learn quickly and you need to be able to follow instructions all the time. If you’re with an agency, they will provide you with instructions as to when, where, and how you will get around your way in the city and to your employer’s residence, especially on the first day.
#8 Know your rights as a domestic helper.
We cannot emphasize the importance of this any further, and a good way to start learning about your rights is by reading the terms of your contract and taking down notes during your training and orientation. When you know your rights, you can better explain yourself and not let your employers and other people take advantage of you.
#9 Enjoy your work in Hong Kong.
Since you will be staying in Hong Kong for at least 2 years, you need to learn how to adapt, embrace, and most importantly, enjoy your life in Hong Kong. It’s not all hardships and work because, in Hong Kong, you will get to have new experiences, meet new people, and learn new things about yourself and others in the process.
#10 Find a church or a community you can join.
If you find yourself in need of support or some people who can be there for you, you can start by joining local churches and relevant organizations that can help you grow spiritually, mentally, and professionally. The good news is, there are a lot of Filipino communities and organizations here in Hong Kong, so be sure to check them out and find which one(s) benefit you the most.
Working overseas is both challenging and rewarding depending on your mindset. If you have decided to work in a foreign country, you must be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually ready. Remember, you are not just there to work, but to grow as a person. So be sure to allow yourself to learn new things and to improve your skills because, in the long run, you will have to stop working abroad and come back home to the Philippines.
When that time comes, you need to have sufficient savings and the ability to support yourself and your family even as you are staying in the Philippines.
Did we miss anything? Be sure to share your experiences and insights by commenting below!