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Book review: Working in Thailand: How to Ditch the Desk, Board the Flights, and Land the Job

Updated 14 Oct 2019

Taylor%20and%20Aichholz%20Working%20in%20Thailand.pngMany foreigners who visit Thailand fall in love with the country’s great weather, beautiful beaches and friendly locals. This infatuation often leads to many foreign visitors planning a more permanent. However, anyone who has done a quick Google search on working in Thailand will know that landing a job isn’t as simple as one would hope.

Working in Thailand: How to Ditch the Desk, Board the Flights, and Land the Job, written by Patrick Taylor & Karsten Aichholz, attempts to make moving to Thailand a more accessible reality. The book gives step-by-step guidelines on how to move, find a job, and work in Thailand. The book is unique in that the tips and information provided are based on the experiences of 19 professionals who've all been through the process of relocating to Thailand and successfully finding work. It gives advice on important aspects of expat life such as getting visas, finding accommodation and meeting new people. It also looks at the trials of everyday life such as cultural differences, and bureaucratic and legal frustrations. 

One particularly interesting point the reader learns from the interviews is that rules are often made to be bent in Thailand. More specifically, this refers to the jobs foreigners can and can’t do. For example, expats aren’t allowed to work as lawyers in Thailand. However, when the reader is introduced to “Isaac” it becomes clear that there is a way around this rule. “Isaac” has been hired as an “in-house legal counsel” which technically doesn’t make him a practising lawyer in Thailand. Real-life accounts like this provide inspiration for the reader. The book promotes the idea that if expats are willing to persevere and wiggle through enough loopholes, they can do anything they set their mind to in Thailand.

For ease of reading, the book has been split into three sections. In the first part, it covers the basics of finding work in Thailand. The second part introduces the expats who have been interviewed. Here, the reader gets an in-depth view of different industries in Thailand which is particularly helpful for foreigners who know little about work options in Thailand. The reader learns about surprising job possibilities like being a pastry chef, Muay Thai commentator, and even a scientist. In the final part, it discusses the process of starting a job as well as terminating employment in Thailand. Topics here include acquiring visas and work permits, negotiating office politics and dealing with taxes. 

Although this book can’t offer a guaranteed path to employment in Thailand, it shares the actual experiences of expats who are leading successful professional lives in Thailand. This makes it a refreshing spin on a how-to guide. Working in Thailand: How to Ditch the Desk, Board the Flights, and Land the Job is a highly recommended resource for anyone contemplating expat life in Thailand.

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