Martin Stefanek, CEO at Start Thailand Co.,Ltd – We connect your Jobs in Hospitality with the right people
In the normal times Thailand welcomes yearly tens of millions tourists, Many of them fell in love with the beautiful beaches, climate, exotic food and friendly people. Everything seems perfect so why not to try out to relocate and lift up your chances for the life in a paradise?
If you decided to move to Thailand and to find a work, here are some facts you should know before you make any necessary steps.
Being a tourist or living & working in Thailand make a huge difference. Thailand seems to be one of the best countries in the region, but since it is still considered as developing country there are obstacles you must get ready to face.
1. The Employment market
Thai employment market is vibrant but also very strict. Thai economy focuses a lot on tourism and hospitality. Since there are many legislative and financial obstacles in matters of employing foreigners, most of the small and mid-sized companies are using mainly local labor. On the other hand Thai government supports new start-ups, hi tech companies, education and other activities of companies which could benefit Thailand, thus finding job in those fields as a foreigner might be much easier. Most of the mid-level positions also require the knowledge of speaking the Thai language.
2. The employment legislation
According to the Thai law it is possible to employ a foreigner and to obtain a valid Work permit and Visa. Such a process takes some time and it is quite cost full for both, the employee and the employer as well. The employer must comply with many rules and provide financial guaranty in form of registered capital to be able to employ a foreigner. And this is exactly the source of the problem. Most of the small and mid-sized companies do not have the capacity to employ foreigners at all.
3. Where are the most chances for foreigners?
– Education in General – science, math
– English language education – language teachers (mainly English, preferable native speakers)
– IT developers
– Web designers
– IT application designers
– SEO specialists
– High and TOP Management (CEO, Hotel Managers, Sales Directors etc.)
– Other very high skilled specialists in, by the Government desired fields
4. How to apply?
Unless you are high skilled specialist applying for a job within big corporation or big brand – your chances to get the job in Thailand are almost ZERO. In other words – if you feel you are special, having skills and experience within a trendy industry, you for sure can apply for such a job from abroad. Many of the big companies might even pay for your transportation to be able to attend the interview. We are talking about the top end or trendy field employment.
Applying for common hospitality jobs such as cook, waiter, cleaner or bartender from abroad is almost useless.
If you are already in Thailand
Being in Thailand makes things a bit more favorable for you. Still keep in mind, that most companies will employ a foreigner only if they can’t fill the same position with local employee or if there is a real shortage of such employees on the Thai labor market.
Keep also in mind that nationals of the neighboring countries such as Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia have easier access to the Thai labor market in case of unskilled labor. That means for example that applicants from Philippines or India for a position of waiter or chef will have to compete first with the local applicants, then with the applicants from the neighboring countries and with applicants speaking the language and knowing the culture well. In different words your chances to get the job are again almost ZERO or you would have to present really very extraordinary skills to be able to beat all the competitors and convince the employer to invest the energy and time to arrange all permits for you as well. On the other hand some large and international hotel chains do employ a lot of staff from abroad (mainly Myanmar and Philippines).
If you are convinced that Thailand is the country where you must live and work, prepare your professional resume and try to apply on every job suitable for foreigners which might appear.
I would like to point out that most of the jobs do not state if a foreigner can apply. You should also register yourself on all websites offering jobs in Thailand and upload your resume. (jobsdb, jobthai, jobtopgun, start.co.th, jobcute and many others ). Don’t apply for jobs with clear statement ,,THAI NATIONAL ONLY,,.
Have a lot of patience! Try in other countries as well! Search for legislation regarding foreign employment in each other country before you take next steps.
Most foreigners coming to Thailand apply for a job as English teachers. Taking a job as an English teacher seems to be the easiest solution at least in the beginning for many of them.
Accepting job as a teacher (but even here are strict requirements and not everyone qualify for this job) might give you some time and space to get acquainted with Thailand, its culture and other working possibilities. The motivation being a teacher in Thailand should be rather professional or cultural than financial. Most teachers in Thailand are underpaid comparing to other more developed countries in the region (China, Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia)
Unfortunately most of foreigners working in Thailand do not survive 2 whole years before leaving to another destination or their country of origin. Low income, career difficulties, personal growth and cultural differences are some the main influencing reasons why is this happening.