Friday 16 March 2007

NEC University

The biggest dare I made in my career life was when I decided to move out of NEC-Cebu (Nec Telecom Software Philippines). Why did I decide to leave? I figured out that if I didn't leave that time my courage to leave would dwindle and eventually go down the drain. It's like a limbo - the longer you stay, the deeper you get trapped until you won't know how to get out. And besides, Java projects were starting to get scarce. I'd get hysterical if they'd start training me in C++! And I thought it was time for me to explore the world. The mere fact that the first 2 of my boyfriends were also from there, it just shows how little my world was - ang konti ng prospects ko, tsk! Okay boyfriend ko ngayon from NEC din ... pero NEC-Manila naman noh! :p

Whenever I hear news that the others have also made the jump, I get euphoric. Because bravo! finally they found the guts to make the first step away from that comfort zone. But there are still some I hope will take the dare soon. Being in the same company with your boyfriend/girlfriend, Sportsfest and PC games during lunch are for me not good enough reasons to stay there. And if your reason of staying there is because you're waiting for the proposal from your boyfriend of 5+ years, that's sad. Propose to him if you must, ask him point-blank, at least you'll get the answer and you might save yourself from the possibility of waiting for nothing. Think of your career growth. Don't let your potentials go to waste. Dare to make plans, dare to leave and explore the world outside.

Don't get me wrong, I love NSP. I really do. It's during my 4 years stint there that I learned Java. I had the best training there in software development, it's like taking up a second course in college. I had fun there. I literally grew up in that company. Here in Manila, I usually hang out with my NEC buddies - although we weren't close back then in NEC, kami ang nagdadamayan dito. NEC gave me friends that I'm sure I'll treasure for life. NEC will always have a special place in my heart, I will definitely go back for an Alumni homecoming, if ever it'll have one :)

Thursday 8 March 2007

The American dream

Most of us have the American dream – to work and live in US of A and earn dollar$. I submitted my resume to several agencies like Sysguru, Sysmind, JeanMartin etc. Only one gave me a call and offered me a contract. But they’re asking me a security bond of $2k, that I should pay before this month ends (heller, asa man intawn ko mangahoy ana?!). If you also have received an offer (or will receive an offer in the future), don’t jump into signing it right away. It is best to scrutinize the contract even to the minute detail for your protection.

Below are some tips that a friend forwarded to me, from

Got a job offer in USA? Understand what you need to know:

1. Go through the offer letter thoroughly. Make sure that you understand everything about your job offer. Don't hesitate to confirm anything you are confused about.

2. Don't get carried away with verbal assurances, make sure all the promises are in writing. Once you land in USA and sign the employment agreement, employer may refuse to provide these benefits.

3. Don't ever give your original passport.

4. Don't ever submit any of your original mark list or any degree certificates.

5. Don't submit your original H1 approval/I-94 to your employer.

6. If you are asked to sign any agreement, ask for the copy of the agreement. Read carefully before you sign.

7. There is no legal term/policy such as bench period. You should be paid from the day one, whether you are in assignment or not.
** Make sure there is no such catch in your offer letter or in the employment agreement.

8. Normally following basic benefits should be given to you:

a. Relocation Expenses.(Visa, Travel ticket, Initial accommodation, and Local travel expenses.)

b. Complete
Medical coverage or Health insurance. (Dental, Vision and Disability coverage.)

c. Full salary, whether or not on a project.

d. Initial accommodation in USA.

e. Ask for the written copy of the employment policy(HR policy). Most of the companies never give full details about any policy. Understand your rights. Don't reply on verbal agreements.

Note: Few companies do not pay relocation expenses for the family.

Medical/Health Insurance:

1. Medical/Health Insurance is must for everybody in USA.
** Remember, without health insurance one cannot afford any medical facilities in USA.

2. Make sure
health insurance covers all your family members, right from the first day in USA.

3. Find out the details about coverage, co-payments etc. Make sure that health insurance includes dental and vision coverage.

Not to Do?

1. Passport is an important document, don't give it to anybody.

2. Don't give your original H1 approval/I-94 to your employer.

3. Don't give your original SSN card.

4. Don't ever give any of your original marklist or any degree certificates.

Ask for:

1. Your pay stubs.

2. W2-form. (A document which shows records about the tax you paid.)

3. Medical insurance and details.

4. Your salary appraisal on due dates.

Note: Few companies do not pay full coverage for the family.

What to do if not being paid?

Communicate with your employer, and ask for the reasons. Discuss with your friends. In extreme cases you may complaint to The Department of Labor (

What to do if the former employer is refusing to provide W2 form?

Complain to the Internal Revenue Services (