How I Moved to Live and Work in Thailand

Krungthep, known to many as Bangkok, is now known to me as home. A lot has been said about living, working and moving to Thailand. There is a blog post written by a friend about how chaotic it can be in maneuvering the streets of Bangkok. I’m pretty sure you’ve been informed enough of places to go, things to do, must-try Thai food and the list goes on. That will be another one big topic to blog about. So instead I’m going to share with you how I moved to live and work in Bangkok.

It was in 2005, a year after I graduated from university and passed my license exams. I was doing sales for a financial services company and was doing fairly well. I met and exceeded my sales performance targets and had I continued, I’d likely be a candidate for the Rookie Financial Executive of the Year. But somehow, the thought of working in another country enticed me to leave what was familiar and comfortable. After reading an article about teaching in Thailand, it struck me that if I were to move to another country, somewhere near my home country would be quite ideal. I explored job opportunities in several countries but it was the Kingdom of Siam that answered my call.

Bangkok Skyline at Night
A picturesque shot of Bangkok at night

My First Job in Thailand

I was 25 years old when I packed my bags and left Manila, my home for 25 years. Arriving in a state of Bangkok frenzy, I noticed how vaguely similar it looks to Manila but what looks like a more organized, livable version of it. I wanted to try something new and I thought Bangkok is a good place to start. I went in for the interview, teacher demonstration and training at Ramkhamhaeng University’s Institute of Languages (RIL). Two weeks later, I signed the job contract and well on my way in exploring how it is to live and work in Thailand.

Ramkhamhaeng University
Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok, Thailand

Working in Thailand

If you consider moving to Thailand to live and work, there are a number of things you have to consider. Although coming here from the Philippines is as easy as booking a ticket, looking for a job is not. Here are a few things to consider if you are a foreigner finding a job in Thailand.

  1. Not all job opportunities in Thailand are suitable for foreigners. Because of work visa requirements and lack of Thai language skills, entry to positions are scarce. You will not only be competing for jobs with professionals from other countries but with the local work force.
  2. In applying for a job, you should already be living in Thailand. Chances of being called for an interview are higher if you are already here.
  3. In corporate Thailand, job opportunities in IT and Marketing tend to be higher especially high-skilled and specialized positions. Emphasize these skills as much as possible.
  4. While companies in Thailand already expect candidates to be excellent in English communication, a good working knowledge of Thai language is a strong plus, as this shows a capacity to manage a team of Thai staff.

Needless to say, being hired from your home country and then transferred to Thailand is ideal as they tend to have top remuneration and benefits package. But this should not hinder you to move to live and work in Thailand.

In my next blog post, I will list and describe the jobs suitable for foreigners in Thailand and the best places to look for them.

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