Welcome to Thailand Starter Kit Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.

To read our articles about living in Thailand, please visit our main site at ThailandStarterKit.com.


Coming to Bangkok for a job quest! Yes or No? What would you advice me?

+1 vote

Hello everyone! You've put together a very good and informative site, congrats! I want to ask you all for advice. Me and my husband we're expats for more than 15 years now. Been everywhere until 8 months ago, when we got fed up with the last country where we were working and living, i.e. Belarus. Such a cold, unfriendly place that we were not able to fit in at all, nice people, I don't want to judge or anything - it's just they don't speak a word of English... And they are not happy to learn it either... it's pretty much like all remnants of communism and old Soviet era are the reality that they love there, God only knows!?! We were just working like mad, you know how it goes... I am a Senior Architect and urban designer with high level portfolio, my husband in a Fit Out industry, management level. When we finished our contracts we didn't want to renew them, and we ended up back in Serbia - our country of origin. Which we didn't recognized any more, and not in a good way... Or maybe we changed a lot, who knows - expat life does change you, immensely. So, we opted for Thailand, as we've been there, loved it, seen ourselves living and working there and now we're trying to find work there - on line. Now, having the age factor in the equation, the fact that many companies are not relying on recruitment agencies as they used too, the time is passing and we're just spending our savings - and fast. We're tried getting work here - but it's like, mission impossible, literally. So, I was thinking to come to Bangkok, go door to door and look for the job. I am a high profile professional, so I'm aware of the fact that a recruitment agency arranging it all, or at least an interview with a company via Skype (assuming I've applied via LinkedIn, their web site and what have you...) and having an Offer prior to arrival would be much more elegant way of doing this, but it's simply not happening. I can only assume the reasons... High cost of relocating and hiring an expat, justifying the locals couldn't fit that position etc. I'm familiar with all that... So, we thought - it may be better if I'm already there. They see you, hear you, interview goes well and BAM! I've got my self a job! That's how I see it in my head:) Now, what would you say, would you say that I'm having a chance? Or would you just tell me - don't risk! Cause, I'm thinking - if I don't take any risk - I can sit here at home (rented btw, everything sold here, nothing that connects us to the place. Friends are all over the world anyhow, parents we see via Skype anyhow... ) yes, sit here at home, cosy on our sofa, just slowly melting into another piece of furniture... We can't take it anymore... honestly. We have to put ourselves back into action or we're doomed... Tell us your thoughts, advices, anything that comes to your minds - it will be helpful to us. We are a couple with a dog in our 45+'s - but young at hearts!:) - so we're easy to move... Thank you all in advance!!! Hope to be there soon!!! Cheers, O & D

asked Jan 21 in General
by Olivia (160 points)

Please log in or register to answer this question.

1 Answer

+1 vote
Best answer

Hi Olivia, perhaps I am not the most qualified person to answer your question but I was in similar situation not long time ago. I don´t want to describe my experience here but I would give you following advices or comments I learned from my experience:
- easiest option is to be an English teacher in Thai school, there are many agencies who can help or you can even approach the school directly
- apart from teaching jobs highly qualified positions are desired
- despite many opportunities Bangkok´s labor market is very competitive
- 90% of listed (non-teaching) jobs are only for Thai nationals or fluent Thai speakers
- most of the employers prefer to employ Thai national for many reasons (visas, work permit issues, expected salary, language barrier,...)
- you have rather low chance to be invited for interview unless you state your local address and Thai telephone number
- for non-qualified positions the employers will hire younger Thai person
- don´t pay to recruitment agencies as it´s usually just waste of money
- save enough money for 4-6 months living in BKK and search from Thailand
- going doors to doors is quite a naive idea
- be prepared that looking for job online is a fight with recruitment agencies and their automatized candidate shortlisting systems based on number of keywords in your resume corresponding with listed position
- job listings: JobDB, Glassdoor, Indeed
- sometimes there are good job offers at FB group: Bangkok Expats
- you are an architect, aim for jobs with this qualification
- read as much info as possible about Thai visa types and laws and work permit rules as it is very important to know
- there are not many (there are but not many) pet friendly condos in BKK

Yes, job hunt in BKK may be frustrating and take a lot of time but once you succeed you can start enjoying what this city and country have to offer.
Good luck!

answered Jan 21
by Marek Varous (590 points)
selected Jan 22 by Olivia

Thank you Marek for a comprehensive and detailed answer. I am targeting and contacting the architectural practices already, of course. When I said door to door, I meant, I am already there, I phone them and schedule the appointment with a head of HR or the Head of architecture and show them what I have to offer. That's far easier than me sitting here in Europe and waiting an invitation for an interview - that's highly unlikely to happen. Thank you very much.