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Graduate lookinf for a job in Thailand

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sabaidee
2/17/2002 06:51 EST

Savatdee crap,
This might sound very early, but I am looking for a position in Thailand for the month of april 2003 !
I guess sometimes in Asia, it is better to look in the long term.
Married to a lao woman, I shall graduate in 2003 and I am looking for moving in Thailand and get an entry position.
I have quite a long experience of Asia. I have graduated from a MD in International Relations at the Institute of Political Studies of Aix-en-Provence ("sciences-po") and I am currently student in Master of French Chinese Management at the Institute of Business Administration of Nantes. I am a French native speaker, speak fluently English, Lao and Chinese and have a working knowledge of German and Thai.
I have made a 10 months journalism internship in Vientiane (Laos) from 1999 to 2000. I will spend 2 months in Shanghai's Institute of Foreign Trade and 2 months in Beijing's Polytechnical Institute from may to august 2002. I shall then do an internship in Strategy and Project management at Atofina Great China in Beijing.
And I am looking for beginning my career in Thailand, Vietnam or Myanmar around the month of april 2003.
If your company is looking for an adaptable and hard-working individual, if it is thinking of targetting the Overseas Chinese communities, I am your man.
Thank you for your kind attention,
Lakon,
Gregoire Bossin

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davidinpattaya
3/4/2002 22:52 EST

Hello from Pattaya Thailand, and welcome, and a great CV, but NO Thai? The Bangkok Post has a job section, you may already be receiving this, but as you will know already you have to obtain a work permit for Thailand, and these are not easy to obtain.

I wish you great luck in finding a postion here, it is a great place..........bye just now.

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sabaidee
3/5/2002 10:04 EST

Pom rai phasar thai nick noy.
I don't know thai that much, but I'm fluent in lao, I guess I should learn very fast... I hope !
Thanks though for your nice comments on my CV, I hope you won't be the only one assessing it that way.
How hard is it to get a visa to work in Thailand ?
Have a good time in Pattaya (won't be hard, huh ?), lakon,
Greg

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davidinpattaya
3/15/2002 06:47 EST

Hello again from Pattaya, weather now 90 plus so HOT HOT, and fun..

To obtain a Work Permit here is almost a NO NO.
You may have read the Bangkok Post this past week and seen that Thailand is to open the Gates to Teachers more, for the school, so if you can teach good luck...Pay low cost of living of course good for all.

Wish you luck......beach calls again and again for me..

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Caught
4/5/2002 15:20 EST

Given the economic situation which is still bad, and weak foreign investment, getting jobs here is to say the least very difficult.
I recommend you look for an NGO that needs someone with your educational background, even though it may not get you back here right away.
I have some other advice as well based on living here 24 years starting in 1972.
First, be careful of answering ads for jobs here. You may end up working for a boiler room scam operation, which can get you deported. I will be happy to check out companies for you (no cost - something I do on the side anyway), as I have a data base of the scam companies, and can also check the Ministry of Commerce data base to see if a company is really registered in Thailand. My email is
Jobs for non-Thai here are scarce. The economy has been pretty bad since 1997, so even jobs for Thai are hard to find, although the economy is showing some modest signs of improvement as I write this. Because of your technical talents, you might receive a good offer, only to find that when you arrive, the offer has changed considerably for the worse. Even getting a written contract in advance means nothing, unless you are prepared to spend time in a Thai court paying out your money to lawyers.
To work here you need a valid work permit that must be supported by the company which intends to hire you, and technically you cannot work until you get it. This make some companies reluctant to hire westerners, as the company management can be jailed for letting foreigners work without work permits. Hiring on in Bangkok is also very difficult, and the chances of getting employment without contacts here or through the auspices of a multi-national company from abroad is difficult to say the least.
Without knowing the Thai language, getting a job can also be difficult.

Below is a letter sent to me by a friend who went through some bad experiences here, despite the fact that he had plenty of money and special skills. There is no intention to insult anyone's intelligence by sending out this letter, but to help people who wish to come here make informed decisions, so they can plan and minimize any risks. The letter was written originally by a Dr. Smith (now said to be deceased), and while at first it may appear to be negative, it does contain some very important elements of the truth, especially the they way he categorizes those who should come here to work or whatever.

I have lived here for 24 years, and can attest to its truth. I have not edited it, except for the bold, underlines, and comments in brackets. I've also changed the title from DON'T MOVE TO THAILAND.

WHO SHOULD MOVE TO THAILAND
I have some advice to any westerners out there contemplating moving to Thailand.
· If you are rich and are sensible with money, then go ahead.
· If an international company or similar offers you a high salaried job in Thailand, then fine.
· If you are retired or have steady funds from abroad and want to live modestly on those funds, go ahead, but watch yourself.
· And if you're a young dude traveling around the world, and you want to spend time in Thailand teaching or whatever for experience, then that's OK too.
If you don't fall into these categories then *don't* consider it for a moment. Many middle aged westerners in particular (including professionals) like the idea of living there, having a business or making some money and "enjoying life" in Thailand. But very few make it. (Forget about western restaurant or bar owners and alike you might meet in Thailand boasting about their good life there. It is common for faltering foreigners to keep up appearances). Mostly they end up broke or crazed, sometimes both, then they leave. Thai business, visa and residency laws get you in the end. The "Thai Way" will get you in the end. Have a minor run-in with a wealthy or important Thai and your status and possibly your life will be at risk. Their whole culture is geared around making sure that foreigners pursuing individual efforts are not successful. It's ingrained in them from an early age to believe that they are the never-colonized master race of Asia (yes they really do think that) and their mythology runs so deep you'll never budge it. Remember, in Thailand you'll never have any real business, legal or ownership rights. But Thai's can go to your country and buy and own anything they can get their sticky hands on (because of the more tolerant business laws). To Thai's, this is just further evidence of how clever they are, and how foolish are the foreigners to go the Thailand.
Remember too, that Thailand is dominated by a comparatively small military-industrial elite. [Note: Now it's dominated by wealthy, greedy, corrupt cronyistic, nepotistic Chinese - so just substitute Chinese for the military-industrial elite] They have all the power and most of the wealth in the country [Data from the Bangkok Post indicates that they have 14% of the population and control about 83% of the wealth and they do not want westerners getting any share of the wealth at all] The idea of western foreigners living in the country and achieving wealth and status through individual entrepreneurial efforts is seen as a threat to the hegemony that they have over the Thai underclass...the bulk of the population. For this reason, it is never allowed to happen.
Think of Thailand, for westerners, as being a bit like a casino. A casino is a place with a touch of excitement, the lure of good fortune/the good life, and a place for fun, even with a bit of risk. Go to a casino every now and then for fun and that's OK. Go there everyday all-day and you will ultimately lose, because the House Advantage will always get you. So it is in Thailand. The Thai "House Advantage" will get you. They make sure of it.
Of course, if going to Thailand with all your money and slowly losing it and ending up teaching English for a pittance (because that's about all you can do), either illegally or working legally but being treated like a serf by Thai institutions, appeals to you then go ahead. Maybe a hand to mouth virtual poverty lifestyle appeals to you. And running around the country several times a year getting visas, or always being at the mercy of authorities on visa matters also might be your bag. If so, then go ahead, at least you'll be able to spend your nights at cheap restaurants sharing your impoverishment and frustration with other exploited western teachers. If not, think seriously.
In case you are thinking, let me say that I am not a former go-go bar owner gone bust, I have not lost my all doing business with Thai's, no I haven't been cheated of everything by a bar-girl, no I haven't been reduced to the indignity of teaching English for a pittance. I have my own money, have spent a lot of time in Thailand, and have done some business there, I've observed the experiences of a lot of foreigners, can see what goes on, and have enough concern to want to tell others about it.
If my words can prevent even one westerner of modest means from selling out and going to "enjoy life" in Thailand (and getting shafted in the end) then that will be something. Don't make the mistake of thinking that as a foreigner (even with professional skills) you can "make a contribution" to Thailand, no matter how good your intentions or needed your skills may be. Your contribution will *never* be welcomed, only your money. There is a saying in Thai that captures it well: "farang roo mark my dee" - foreigners who know too much (about Thailand) are no good. Gullible tourists, however, are great. [Please note I do not use the term "farang" - I don't use racist terms for other nationalities and resent such terms used to refer to me. Please don't post back saying it just means "white person" or whatever; I've spent a lot of time in Thailand and have heard all these arguments before.]
So go to Thailand as a tourist if you like, enjoy what you enjoy there, but don't be taken in by the culture or people, as many westerners have, and don't under any circumstances give up anything back home to go and stay there unless you are financially secure for life, or know exactly what you are doing.
There is a tradition of resident foreigners in Thailand not telling you the truth about the country because they don't like to admit to themselves and to others about the mistake they have made in moving there. But especially now, with the financial mess Thailand had got itself into through a mixture of greed, incompetence, arrogance and corruption, and the prospect of difficult times ahead (to say the least) it is time for plain speaking.
A final comment to anyone of replying in strong disagreement with me. Unless you have lived, worked and conducted business in Thailand for several years at least, I'm not interested. The views of "oh how can you say that, Thailand is really great" 2 week tourists carry no weight with those of us who know Thailand and Thai's well.
END-----------END


Aside from the negative matters, I still love living in this country, mainly because of the Thai people.

If you've bothered to read this far and are not totally discouraged, you might want to consider teaching for a start, or even going back to school. If you have U.S. military experience, and are eligible for the G.I. bill you can get paid for attending school here. Teaching pay is not all that good but it can enable you to survive while you look around. It also gives you the opportunity to get oriented, and especially to get to meet Thai students, many of whom come from wealthy families (depending on where you teach), and that can open a number of doors.
Good luck
Caught

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billstaats
4/11/2002 00:53 EST

I find "Caught" response fascinating! I
am looking for a American company to work for in Thailand. I have been to Thailand before and I thought it would be a great country to live in. But as you said, I always noticed a sort of edgeness towards foreigners. A sense of the attitude you mentioned. The Thai people are great people, and they are the many reason I am seeking to find work there. Might you have any other advice to someone with 20 years of business experience and a decent educational background? Are there any headhunters who can help someone find with a good foreign company who you might recommend? Feel free to email me at

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