4 Solid Suggestions for Job-hunting in Metro Manila

We normally think of the Philippines as a place that sends workers to other countries. However, Metro Manila is perhaps one of the few places in the country that can claim to attract job seekers from all over the world. Metro Manila is not only the largest economic center in the Philippines, it is one of the largest in the region. Also, it leads the world in some key areas related to business process outsourcing. 

Domestically, the Metro Manila job market is also the absolute largest in the country. Openings for Metro Manila jobs dominate most mainstream job sites by a huge margin. Internal immigration from other parts of the Philippines is the highest in the country, almost solely due to the availability of jobs and career prospects in the area.

Wherever you’re from, if you’ve never lived in Manila, you’re bound to get a shock when you first move here. Not only is the work culture slightly different from that of smaller regional centers in the Philippines, but there are also some key differences in what day-to-day work life is like.

If you’re job-hunting in Metro Manila, here are some suggestions that will help make your life here much easier:

1.) Negotiate, if you can.

While this is not a universal truth, many employers here are generally more willing to negotiate with jobseekers compared to employers in smaller regional cities. The abundance of job options in the area favors job seekers in that there are almost always alternatives available, regardless of the industry. So long as we’re not talking about entry-level positions, the odds for someone being able to negotiate a higher pay are better in Metro Manila.

2.) Take your time

If you cant find job openings that match what you’re looking for, it might be a good strategy to give yourself a few weeks or months to wait for an opening that’s perfectly suited for your needs. You may also want to consider taking a full- or part-time job that gives you time to wait for the right opening to come by. If anything, it also won’t hurt much to periodically look for better positions even if you’ve already snagged the job you were gunning for.

3.) Understand Metro Manila’s commuting situation

While Metro Manila is not that large compared to other global urban centers, decades of neglect have resulted in sub-par public infrastructure that’s extended average commute times well above the global average. It’s not unusual to find people spending three to four hours on their commute daily, the equivalent of about half a shift. 

Given that commute times can be a major factor in determining job satisfaction as well as mental and physical health, it’s is important to understand where the job is located in relation to the place you will be staying. Many Filipinos from the provinces who take jobs in Manila move in with relatives or friends to get started, not realizing that the location of the places they’re staying at will make it incredibly difficult or expensive to commute to the job location.

For this reason, it’s important to use localization features on job posting sites so you can determine how tough the commute will be. This will allow you to make more convenient arrangements ahead of time, rather than during the critical initial transition period at your new job.

4.) Don’t discount work-from-home jobs

A number of businesses in Metro Manila are now offering work-from-home arrangements on a full- or part-time basis. If you’re lucky, you might find that you won’t even need to visit the Metro Manila worksite except for very important reasons, which means you might not even need to move here.

Typically, however, work-from-home arrangements will have you check-in at the work site anywhere from a few times a week to once a month, which means that you will still probably want a place to live in Manila. Regardless, these jobs can save you a significant amount of time and money, given how difficult commuting can be in the area. The cost savings of a work-from-home position might even be enough for you to consider taking a pay cut, as your overall cost of living can decrease significantly, leaving you with more cash to spend after the bills are paid.


Hopefully, these tips will give you a good idea about what to expect if you do decide to pursue those juicy Manila-based job openings you’ve seen on job listing sites. If there’s one thing you should take away from this, it’s that there’s more to finding the right job here than just checking out the offered salary.

Metro Manila might offer most of the best-paid and most interesting jobs in the country, but moving here is not for everyone. The hustle and bustle of the megapolis can excite those who are seeking a different pace to what they are used to in the provinces, but it can also take a serious toll on the unprepared.

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