1 February 2016
Finding work and working in Thailand as a foreigner

Why Thailand?

Whatever your profession in life, in order to enjoy it, keep motivated and strong, and even just to survive it sometimes, you need to balance your work with a good social life – you need that special somewhere you can escape to when every day can seem like another blue Monday. And what better than a location that can offer paradise whether you want to relax in seclusion on a tropical beach with a cocktail and a good book, or dance and drink the night away in a vibrant and scintillating bar and club scene.

Sounds enticing? Thailand has become a real magnet for qualified individuals wanting to work abroad. It is a safe place to live, the scenery is breath taking, it has a cheap cost of living and the cities are a hotbed of activity and networking. Thai food is already enjoyed and respected internationally but here, where it was invented, it’s available around the clock 24/7, and the weather is delightfully and consistently warm.

But for us the most endearing attraction is the Thai people. There is a happiness, warmth and friendliness that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. Not only does it make everyday living a joy but it is likely to make business and work a boost too.

The main worry for the country in recent years has been an element of political instability since the takeover by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), but the statistics still quite proudly show Thailand to be one of the largest economies in South East Asia. This has helped along its modest recovery and it is hoped that it can bring more stability to the country over the next few years.

Acquiring work in Thailand

You will need a work permit to work in Thailand. If you are approaching a local company on Spec, which is always a good idea, ensure that you have a copy of your non-immigrant visa as this is seen as the first stage of acquiring a work permit. It is the company that applies for the work permit and if they have made too many applications before they may be turned down. If you are found to be working in Thailand illegally – at best, you will be deported – at worst you could face a prison sentence.

It is also worth noting that there are some industries which are simply not open to expats – such as a carpenter or a mechanic or a shop assistant. Also bear in mind that companies can only take on foreign staff if they have proved that the job cannot be carried out by a Thai person.

Enhancing your chances of work

A sound knowledge of the culture of Thailand is going to go in your favour, but what you really need to be showing to prospective employees is a desire to be part of, as well as accepting the local culture. A knowledge of the language is therefore important. It may not be needed in an environment where English is prolific but basic conversational skills are recommended.

Many job searchers have the appropriate qualifications and may search for vacancies before locating to the country. On the other hand, committing to your course work in Thailand itself can be a great way to get accustomed to the country, its laws, nuances and culture. Also, while Thai companies usually prefer to hire locally, when it comes to professional fields like accounting, engineering and law, there are multinational corporations that may be able to offer expats with specialised skills unique opportunities.

The employment process on the whole is very much like the UK (CV and resume, application forms leading to interviews) and you will find adverts for a variety of posts from all industries in the primary Thai newspapers such as “The Nation” and “Bangkok Post”. You will also find English language newspapers in Thailand with job sections.

However, searching alone for a post and career in a foreign country can be quite an awe-inspiring project. Working with a partner such as Peak Recruitment can help you in many ways. As a high profile recruitment agency we not only have an expert knowledge of the national laws, cultures, nuances and idiosyncrasies, we have a massive network of companies currently located in Thailand. Our consultants will work with you to help you find the most relevant post for your skills, experience, career goals and Thai life requirements.

What to expect when working in Thailand

The working week in Thailand is very much the same as in the UK. Unless working in an industry with irregular hours (i.e. tourism) Thais work from Monday to Friday, but some businesses may only open half-day, or not at all on Saturdays. Employees can work up to a maximum of 48 hours a week.

Thailand offers opportunities for all job searchers in all industries and sectors at all levels. There are enormous opportunities for the high-level executive wanting to live a jet set lifestyle on sun drenched beaches, just as the minimum wage offers a start for those at the beginning of their career and looking for a little security. Prefer to work under your own steam? Thailand attracts many entrepreneurs and creatives who start up their own businesses and find quite a lucrative income.

Peak Recruitment is the leading recruitment agency in Thailand. A human resource specialist, our pioneering methodology and commitment to deliver exemplary services has placed us first for executive recruitment in Bangkok. As a team, we offer a distinctive approach that you just won’t find anywhere else in Thailand.  For contact information click here