Career Tips

Are You A Balikbayan Ambassador?

Date Posted: 08/10/2017

When you visit a foreign country, the service industry workers are the people you are most likely to interact with. If they are charming and you have a pleasant interactions with them, you will naturally go on to assume that the rest of the country is full of similarly friendly and nice people. On the other hand, if you come to a foreign country or meet someone of a different ethnicity, and then go on to have a negative interaction, you will have a bad impression which leads to the assumption that everyone from that country or ethnicity is similarly unpleasant.

Isa ka bang Balikbayan Ambassador? As a Balikbayan working or waiting to work abroad, you carry the responsibility of showing all Filipinos as the most desirable employee.  You act like an ambassador for yourself; your family; the establishment you work for; the country in which you work and, most important of all, for all other fellow Filipinos.  You carry the responsibility of your country and your people, so always conduct yourself in the best possible manner and do yourself proud. Para kang isang artista or model na dapat maging isang magandang halimbawa hindi lang sa kapwa pinoy pati na sa ibang mga lahing makakasama mo. You also help to pave the way for fellow citizens to be accepted into communities abroad.  Additionally, having a stellar performance and attitude means that management is more likely to value you as an employee, leading to possible raises or promotions in the future.

Here are some key tips on how to radiate a positive image:

Be positive, avoid negativity:

Maganda lagi ang umaga kung dadating ka sa office na happy and confident. Keep a positive frame of mind, and avoid negativity. Being negative only leads to doom and gloom, wearing yourself down. You should show to all that you are a bright and hopeful individual who strives for excellence.

Be competent at what you do/your job:

You should at the very least be efficient at what you do. Be meticulous with everything and each detail, as at the end of the day it takes only one mistake to leave a bad impression on someone. All’s not lost however, as you can make up for it with the following tip…

Always own up to your mistakes:

If you make a mistake, always own up to it. Mas makakabuting maging honest ka with your mistakes at ipakita na sincere ka at gagawin ang lahat para maayos ang pagkakamali. Try to do the best of your abilities to solve the mistake or make up for it. Apologize and fix it as soon as possible. In addition to always owning up to mistakes, one should never lie either. Always be truthful, even if it means facing consequences.

Keep your cool:

You should always remain cool and level-headed, kahit na nkaka-high blood o sobrang init na ng ulo mo sa isang tao. Maintain your gentle and kind mannerisms and tackle the problem professionally.

Use positive body language:

Radiate positivity not only through your work and verbal interaction, but also with positive body language. Stand tall and with a smile. Don’t slouch or shy away from people. Avoid giving away negative reactions through facial or body cues. Sabi nga nila actions speak louder than words so dapat lagi kang aware sa mga kilos mo.

Work towards high standards:

Hold yourself up to a higher standard. Don’t aim for the minimum or “passing” effort level. Hindi maganda yung basta basta na lang…work above what is expected of you.

Dress neatly and be clean:

This means washing and ironing your clothes, dressing in appropriate formal attire for the profession. Come into work clean, and freshen up throughout the day if you get dirty or sweaty. Hindi maganda yung mukhang gusgusin o mukhang mabaho. The way you dress speaks volumes, and putting in the extra effort can produce a subtle but powerful positive impression. Get clothes that fit right and aren’t too baggy or tight.

Avoiding acting with a sense of superiority:

Do not have a sense of superiority specially with other co-worker of different nationalities. As a Filipino we should be humble and treat everyone as you would like to be treated yourself, regardless of their social, work or monetary status. Treating a person in a condescending manner will only lead to a negative impression.

Don’t take it too far:

You want to be friendly, but do not try and start a life long friendship with the person. Be nice, but not too nice or familiar. Minsan kasi parang OA na or nagmumukhang peke ang friendship. Of course over longer periods of time, for example with returning and regular customers, you can become friendlier, remembering their names, likes and dislikes and even make good friends with the people you interact with.

These are just some of the many ways to radiate positivity and leave a lasting positive impression on those you meet. Always keep in mind that at the end of the day you’re still human and make mistakes. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Instead, simply go in everyday and do the best that you can. Even one positive Filipino worker creates an impact, and together with many others, a strong positive image can be built for you, your fellow Filipinos, your country, the establishment you work for, and the foreign country in which you work.

 ©2017 Ikon Solutions Asia, Inc.

All rights reserved.  No part of this article shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from Ikon.  No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein.  Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this article, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions.  Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein.

Ikon specifically disclaims any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this article.