Advice regards teaching and doing business

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Advice regards teaching and doing business

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Old 14th June 2011, 06:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: thailand
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Users Flag! Originally from australia. Users Flag! Expat in thailand.
Default Advice regards teaching and doing business

As for working here -I have 2 degrees and I've been a qualified (Trinity) EFL teacher for over 20 years and taught in many countries - but it has never been my main line of work. My experience in Thailand was I used the teaching to open doors and then make myself useful and more interesting and lucrative work followed.

(BTW - I first came here on a business visa - Non immigrant "B" - not an "O")

Unfortunately, many teachers I know or have interviewed fail to look or think outside the box.

Thailand is not a land of great opportunity or many foreigners, but their ARE opportunities if you keep an eye out.

Racism is rampant amongst the expat community out here and it seems that that is the kind of person that is attracted to living in "cheap and fluffy" lifestyles here.

Advice that refers constantly to Thailand as "they" as if they are all exactly the same is bound to be flawed. In business you are dealing with individuals who may or may not be influenced to varying degrees by what we nebulously refer to as "culture". To blanket them in one single category - "Thai" won't be helpful, however the law and politics are more concrete and they can dictate how business is conducted on a day to day basis. Entering a deal with a Thai national with a prejudged concept of what that person is like and how they behave is naive in the extreme....I would suggest a background knowledge of the laws and practices and how they are applied is not.

"be persistant but not impatient, they respond well to patient polite questioning, they do not respond well to rude or impatient foreigners who come from a microwave society."

..... this sounds like good advice, but looked at again all it really is just common sense as it could be applied anywhere in the world and still makes the assumption that all Thai people behave in exactly the same way towards foreigners. - ( "they" ). It is as said also rather patronising.

I don't even exclusively work for Thai people - you need to know a bit about Chinese, Korean, Japanese and if you're from the US - you'd better brush up on doing business with Europeans!

As for the BTS - when I worked in BKK I gave up using it as it was far too cramped in the rush hour and I was carrying laptop and (overloaded) briefcase. In the end I drove to work and found it took the same time and I was in considerably more comfort.
BKK's rail mass transit system (BTS / MRT) isn't really - i.e. it doesn't really have much use for the majority of people who commute in BKK as it covers such a small central area - depending on where you are you may need to work out a combination of buses, taxis, trains and boats to get to your place of work.

PS - it helps to at least make an effort to learn the Thai writing system - how would you like to employ someone who is illiterate?

[quote=jabenna;541799]I've noted 2 or 3 publications from other forum sites to do with ajarn'ing and thai visas which are good for job hunting. I don't have a degree which I understand from other sites can make finding a job harder, however I'm confident in my interview skills to try and help make up for it. When you mention racism, do you mean against Thai people? Why would someone want to go live somewhere on a different continent and then 'slag' them off?! Hmmmpf. It's beyond me.

I found the other poster's quote about 'they do not respond well...' incredibly patronising. As you say, you can't label an entire nation as 'they'! I am based in the UK until next Tuesday so hopefully I have European dealings all sorted. We have our first Thai lesson on the Monday after we arrive. We get to choose how much of it is verbal and then how much is writing practice. I originally wasn't going to even attempt to learn how to read/write because it just looks too difficult, and the tonal formations of speaking Thai scare me enough at the moment! But now you've said the 'illiterate' comment I was maybe a bit close-minded. I speak French and German, but found these relatively easy to learn since I could sound-out the words if I was stuck.

We came over to BKK for a week in February and purposefully took the BTS during morning and evening rush hour and to be honest, it was no worse than The Tube in London so will attempt to use it for as long as possible. Many thanks again for all your comments. I have other forums to do with TEFL teaching but could I please save your profile name to ask for some help with my teaching in case I can't find an answer anywhere else?[/quote]

Degree - I know of some teachers without a degree - for sure - and I've met several who have some form of "fake" degree too. The people I've recruited for would not offer anyone a job without a degree. The reason for this would not be your interview techniques but the hard fact that without production of the genuine article - not a copy - you wont't complete the work permit process.
THere are examples of establishments that seem to get round this. e.g. provincial schools unable to get staff with a degree. These may have some clout with their local immigration and dept of labour. You might also get employed as something other than a teacher i.e. where a degree isn't required or checked.

"B" visas are not issued in Thailand - only least that's the generally accepted situation........If you do get a job you will almost certainly have to leave the country in order to get your "B" visa. This usually involves a trip to somewhere like Singapore with a wad of documents from the prospective company. However some people seem to have managed to avoid this or to switch from a tourist visa to a non "B" without leaving - I think this really shows how inconsistent immigration can be when handing this.
How rules are enforced in Thailand and the endemic corruption and inconsistencies is a major factor in this.

Remember that your work permit is both job and location specific. It is dependent on your being employed at and by the company that applied for it. If you change jobs, your visa and permit expire and you have about a week to sort out your position - this is usually too short a time for the necessary bureaucracy to put a new permit in place and could well mean another trip abroad.

you probably know the site which is basically the ESL bible for Thailand.

I think you'll find racism is quite pervasive amongst expats - there are many here who see the situation in terms of "us" and "them" as if if there are some inherent (genetic?) characteristics that make Thai people "lesser" in some way. Using faults in society to indicate the expats superiority as down to some racial thing, which actually is a completely erroneous "post hoc ergo propter hoc" conclusion as are most of their arguments. For a good example of this check out how expats use things like driving as an example,
I'd argue that most of the problems in Thailand are the result of human nature - not "Thai nature" - in the given socio-political environment.

Many expats seem to cling to unfounded criticism as a tool to boost their self-esteem or as "evidence" of their inherent superiority. This is usually mingled with a dash of misogyny and calls of "you'll never change a thing" - whatever that's supposed to mean and the ultimate non argument- "if you don't like it why not go home".

Anyone who decides to settle in any new country, you need to keep your eyes open - but remember that seeing is not necessarily believing, you need to keep your mind open too and then you might make sense of what you see.

I find learning to write Thai very hard - I'm nowhere near literate myself - but it also helped with my speaking Thai immensely. (you'll find that writing helps with the tones too)

as for Bkk and the BTS - well I'm not a fan of Bkk living anyway; its largely down to lifestyle - I like my space.
I often drive over 100 km e/w to work and enjoy it immensely. I live on the "Eastern Seaboard" and I have a "reasonably" large house in a "reasonably" rural location near the sea that gives me room to breathe, and plenty of opportunity for travel around Thailand in my free time. Not only does my money go further here, but I also doubt I would earn more in Bkk anyhow.

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