While working on the recently released book, Working in Thailand: How to Ditch the Desk, Board the Flight, and Land the Job, one theme that seemed to pop up again and again in the 30-odd interviews I conducted with successful expats in Thailand was that when it comes to finding work in Thailand, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Without fail, almost every single expat cited networking in Bangkok as one of the key reasons they managed to land their job. Some even claimed that networking had opened up positions to them that were beyond their current qualifications or skill sets.
LinkedinLinkedin, the “social network for professionals,” is an excellent tool for networking with people in your chosen field. Opening an account is straightforward and once activated you’ll be available for potential future employers to peruse your details. With thousands of users already jostling for positions, one drawback of Linkedin is that in can be a little hard to get noticed. However, this can be mitigated with a little know-how. There are plenty of online guides to what is dubbed Linkedin SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which contain advice ranging from the straightforward (include as much information as possible) to the technical (avoid slashes in keywords because Linkedin’s search engine doesn’t recognize them). A good example can be found at JobHunt.org. To give yourself a slight edge, you may consider signing up for Linkedin Premium, which allows you to message people outside your network. There are no guarantees, but taking the extra initiative to contact your chosen employer directly will help you stand out from the crowd.
InstagramA useful way to build up a public profile–particularly for those seeking work in the media–is to open an Instagram account. The site’s wide reach and massive popularity in Thailand makes it a good place to showcase some of your work, as well as to meet like-minded individuals.
There are good reasons for this. The relative lack of formal job-hunting infrastructure makes it hard to find good people through traditional channels, and the transitory nature of many expats means that employers value reliability and commitment more than they might in their own countries. These qualities can be hard to evaluate using exam scores. After all, there’s not much you can do if your star programmer decides to hop on a plane and go home halfway through your latest project. Getting to know the right people, then, is as vital as holding the right certificates or a sufficient amount of experience when it comes to finding work in Bangkok. In the following guide, we’ll look at some of the most effective ways to establish a network in Bangkok.
- 1 Before Arriving
- 2 Social Media
- 3 In-Person
- 4 How to Network
- 5 What to Do Now