Meet Our Virtual Assistant Staff – Bernadette a business listing and infographic Rockstar!

Meet Bernadette, Administrative Assistant – Business Listings

Bernadette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Bernadette joined the Smart VA Staffing Agency team in March of 2018 and works as a Local Listings Specialist with Holistic Web Presence, a content marketing company. She specializes in enhancing the client’s online visibility through the power of Local Business Listings.

Her career began in a renowned retail store where she managed fixed assets and supplies inventory. Years later, she got promoted to front-end supervisor where she disseminated new directions to staff, scheduled work shifts, manage operation expenses, and staff documents. After four years she took a career break devoting her attention to her family. Bernadette also went overseas to work in a technology company that manufactured motherboards. While the pay was good she missed being away from her family. She decided to go home and kickstart her career as a virtual assistant. Her goal was met when she landed the job at Smart VA Staffing Agency in 2018. She loves writing, reading, and social media so this was a natural fit for her.

In her free time, she likes watching movies, baking, and hanging out with her loved ones.

Bernadette’s thoughts regarding common questions about Filipino VA’s

Why do Filipinos like to work for American Companies?

I think the reason could be reflected in the colonial mentality that Filipinos have, where America is seen as a better country compared to the Philippines. The stigma has stuck with the citizens, making them favor America more. With this thought in mind, job seekers who would receive information that an American company is hiring would sure be on the move to apply for any position offered.

Is it better for a Filipino to work with a local company in the Philippines or a US firm?  What are the pros and cons?

Working for a Philippine company – PROS & CONS

Working for a local company grants an employee the convenience of having someone else make the arrangements of where their salary deductions go, such as Social Security benefits, health insurance, home development mutual fund (for housing & loans), and bereavement pay. Employees of a manufacturing company get higher pay when they render more work hours. Other companies provide certain benefits like health cards, meal allowance (for overtime work), rice subsidy (a monthly sack of rice or its equivalent in cash), and night shift differential pay. However, it is a cliché that competition/crab mentality thrives among workers. This together with the long commute, the heavy traffic demotivates employees way before their working hours begin. Also, working conditions often relate to one’s social class. Filipinos who belong to the elite or upper class, enjoy better job opportunities than those in the middle or lower class.

Working for a US company/US firm – PROS & CONS

A higher salary is the best advantage in working for a US company. This is what attracts Filipinos and makes them turn their backs on local companies to better provide for themselves and their families. The downside here is the need to adjust working hours. Nonetheless, there is always something new to learn when you work with people from a different culture. They value your efforts and give positive feedback for a job well done. It is a great opportunity to help you grow professionally and develop new skills.

How easy or hard is it for a Filipino to get a good job with an American company?

Filipinos who have worked in BPO (Business process outsourcing) tend to have a better opportunity to work with an American company than those who do not have any experience being in an English-speaking environment. This is especially true for those who have difficulty learning how to speak the language, applying for a job under an American employer can be intimidating. There are times when it is easy to land a job, where other talents such as graphics design, video editing, or bookkeeping stomp communication skills.

How easy or hard is it for a Filipino to get a good job with a Filipino company?

With the already high unemployment rate and the decrease of job opportunities in the country happening almost every year, a lot of Filipinos are having difficulty landing a job. There is also a high level of competition for career opportunities that lead Filipinos to go overseas and risk being away from their family just to earn money. Discrimination also happens in the hiring process. Employers often choose their most favored applicant or those backed up by a known personality from the government, even though they are not qualified for the job.

What is the biggest work/life challenge most Filipinos face?

Being unemployed with no means of earning money is the greatest challenge for Filipinos. This often resorts to some being homeless, living on the streets begging for coins. Worst case scenario would be turning to drug dealing even if it can have them arrested and imprisoned for the rest of their lives. Having no job at all becomes the main reason why Filipinos risk going abroad to work as a domestic helper, nanny, nurse, factory worker, housekeeper, etc.

What is the biggest work/life fear Filipinos have?

The biggest work fear for Filipinos would probably be to have no job at all. Most Filipinos get nervous when they apply for a job because they’re afraid to fail or be told they’re not good enough. But, to be unemployed with no means to create money at all is the worst. The biggest life fear is to become homeless and have nothing at all. When you get to the Philippines, you’ll see a lot of people sleeping on the streets because they have no house to go home to. How they got themselves into that situation may be a result of poor life decisions, we won’t know for sure. The main goal of a Filipino is to provide a better life for themselves and their family by working hard no matter how difficult it can get, to make sure they don’t end up broke or helpless.

What hours (time of day/night) do Filipinos prefer to work and why?

Bernadette’s Family! Bernadette, Trevor, Allyssa, and Ryan

Working hours can depend on one’s preference, whether they enjoy doing their job during the day or at night. If a Filipino employee experienced working in BPO on the graveyard shift and actually enjoyed it, then he/she may prefer working at night.  Someone who works a 9-5 job may feel the opposite. Working hours can also depend on necessity; a mother who takes care of her family during the day would mostly opt for a night shift to render work hours because that could only be her free time.

The belief that surfing through the web is faster at night rather than during daytime here in the Philippines, is no longer true, as there are now a lot of service providers across the country compared to what existed a couple of years ago.