Many Filipinos want to work overseas but choose to be close to home. No wonder there are many OFWs based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and Taiwan, locations that are within three hours flight from the Philippines.
Given such preference, Thailand also comes to mind. As a destination, Thailand is popular for its beaches, food and warm hospitality of its people. Not to mention that Philippine passport holders are granted a 30-day visa upon arrival as part the agreement among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Filipinos in the Kingdom of Thailand are employed as English teachers, waiters and waitresses, bar supervisors, engineers and company executives. But the best chance for Filipinos to work in Thailand are in education and technical sectors where skills from overseas talent are in constant demand.
Preparing for such jobs in Thailand do not differ much with applying for employment in other countries.
Prepare all necessary documents
Get your documents ready like the copy of passport, diploma and other certificates. This helps create an impression to employers that you are not only qualified and eligible for the job, but also ready to fly to work place especially if the job requirement is urgent. Such documents also allows the administrators to check how ready you are in working with them.
Listen to advice from Filipinos working in Thailand
Get an idea of how is it to live and work in Thailand by asking friends or networks who have experience working in Thailand. This will help in determining your suitability to work there. Answers to questions such as housing expenses and cost of living, salary range for certain industries, hiring practices, visa for families and overall work culture will give you a better picture of life in Thailand and help make informed decisions.
Get information on Thailand online
Facebook Groups is a good place to find expat groups that could help you in both finding a job in Thailand and tips on living there. OFW in Thailand https://www.facebook.com/groups/1095968837114730/?ref=search is one example. You have to be diligent in checking the information shared as quality and accuracy of some posts can be questionable. Of course, Google is a friend that points you to sites and resources about Thailand.
Register and search for jobs online
Job hunting websites such a jobstreet.com and jobtopgun.com. if you are interested in teaching in Thailand, you can try registering in www.teachingthailand.com or ajarn.com.
Create or update your LinkedIn profile
If you don’t have one yet, create an account in Linkedln. It’s where more and more jobs are posted, plus the presence of head hunters who are always on the lookout for suitable talent to reach out to. Also, Linkedln is a platform where job vacancies are posted and you could see the profiles of different companies and job opportunities.
Join a job fair
One of the easiest way to find a job in Thailand is to join job fairs such as at ISS which occasionally includes updates for teacher posts in Bangkok.
Get your credentials certified and prepare other requirements
Make sure that your documents are legal when trying to land a job in Thailand or in any country for that matter. Check what other requirements such as NBI clearance, seminars, medical check ups and visa fees are necessary to apply for a job in the country.
Just because Thailand is a visa-free country for Filipinos to enter, it still requires a valid working visa before starting a job.
Check salary surveys
Salary is an important thing to negotiate as it determines whether it’s worth your lifestyle and cost of living in a foreign country. Knowing the range helps you when asked for expected salary that is competitive within the industry but not underselling your skills and work experience.
Sites like Adecco has a salary guide across various occupations in Thailand.
Do volunteer work
Volunteering may be a little out–of-the–box but this could also be a good way for you to find a job. By offering volunteer work aligned with your skills, you get to stay in the country and explore opportunities. Some of the volunteer work are involving animal rescue and care as well as teaching and education jobs.
There are many people who offered their services for free before and then ended up getting an offer for a job after they have delivered significant contribution to the organization. Look for activities that you could help others, this is a good way for employers to assess your skills and potential. If this would not be your case, volunteering could also help you build good connections and later a job opportunity.
There are several ways to land a job in Thailand. As a job seeker, you need to set your own expectations (way of life, salary and benefits, growth opportunities) and check if Thailand meets all of not most of them. As a country that speaks a language different from what Filipinos speak, it may be a challenge to land jobs that often interact with customers, unless they wish to speak in English (that’s why English teachers are in demand).
Many Thai people work the same jobs as Filipinos in the Philippines, so don’t expect plenty of opportunities for blue collar jobs especially if the local labor marker has plenty of job seekers to begin with.
In the end, it all boils down to trying it out. Send out your applications and make your presence/skill known to recruiters and companies. You’ll never know if you’ll land a job there if you won’t try.