What No-One Will Tell You About Career Building (Abroad And Anywhere)

The NEW OFWs cover art
Cover art for the presentation

01 / 07: Learn by Doing

There’s no substitute for real world experiences and one of the best ways to get them is to be interested in people’s problems. Think about the things you would do on your free time. The things you naturally gravitate towards. Maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s creating motion graphics, maybe it’s through service. Whatever that is, ask yourself: “which companies around me are trying to solve that problem I am mostly interested in?” and try your hardest to get involve with them through internships, part time work or simply just connection.

02 / 07: When it comes to building your network, forget who you know. Find who you’d like to become instead.

Even when I was new here, I had my doubts about this ultra-popular strategy for job-hunting among many Filipino immigrants: ask for job leads from immediate friends / family in the area who’ll most likely tell you to go and apply to this job which usually does not have a very strictly defined jd, has no room for salary negotiations and most importantly, it’s what “anyone can do” or “can be qualified for”. All you need is a recommendation.

03 / 07: Work and share your ideas publicly by leveraging the internet wisely.

I started this newsletter precisely for this reason: I wanted to publicly create and ship ideas through my writing. This is not the only way to do this, there are a dozen other options, mediums to go with. No matter what that is though, the goal, and perhaps, the outcome is still the same: find people like you, start conversations and increase the probability of making things happen together.

04 / 07: Just do the work. Get better, and document it. Your portfolio is your biggest and most valuable investment*.

If you want something, don’t wait for someone to hand it over to you in a pretty package. It’s not gonna happen. If you want something, do the little BUT hard things now and eventually something will come out of that, even if it doesn’t feel like it, even if no-one is looking, and you feel like you are the only one in the world who cares about what you’re doing. It’s not always fun to do the work that needs to be done but if you do it right and you do it often, it can and it will open doors for you. You just have to start.

05 / 07: Treat your career as an endless experiment. Never stop being playful and creative. It’s the future of work, yes including those that OFWs can thrive on.

Work isn’t what it used to be, and it most certainly isn’t limited to what we’ve been taught growing up. Things are different now, depending on how you look at it. I’m no expert but this is how I see it:

What was common then
How we’ve always done things
It doesn’t have to be like this gif
Then vs Now
Where it’s going
Present and future

06 / 07: If you want to become a higher quality professional, act as if you already are now, people will hire you for your brain and your potential.

Ever heard of that mantra, ‘Dress up for the job you want.’ or something like that. I think, for me, the better version would be: ‘Act as if you already have that dream job.’ Learn everything that you can about the people who already are in that position: their work ethics, principles, mindsets, skills.

07 / 07: The best careers are online, and are constantly transforming. They’re borderless.

One thing I’ve learned since stepping foot in America 6–7 years ago that I’m mostly surprised about is this: The promised land is the internet. The best opportunities are still out there, geographically. There’s still a ton of advantages in being abroad.

Ending Note:

You should chase your highest potential as a global talent, especially in technology — where the world is heading extremely clearly towards.

More quotes from the talk:

Special thanks and a huge shoutout:

✨ Thank you to the Department of Education Philippines, Jonelle Pinlac-Gupit (@mrs._barber), Eugenio M. Lopez Jr. Center for Media Arts Senior High School & of course participating students for the massive honor.

speaker’s profile
Speaker’s profile

About the author

Nikki is a Sr. UX Designer working for a data company in New Jersey. In the last 2 years, she has helped design & build a holographic platform, contracted for a research team inside Fidelity Investments, worked in the Design Operations side of an e-commerce company, mentored brilliant design students/career-changers, advocated for UX best practices at RookieUp, have co-taught UX courses at General Assembly and have also contributed directly to the growth of the Mentorship program on UXPA-New York. Designing for a better world is her life. She also runs her own newsletter, working title, about her thoughts on the future and more.

About Working Title

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Working Title on Substack [nikkiespartinez.substack.com]



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