Planning for the years ahead – a first orientation

February 10, 2013

It sounds tempting to find a nice place near a beach, relax, enjoy the great food Thailand has to offer, and take a jump into the pool a few times a day. I have done this before some years ago on an trip to Koh Chang (an island in the south-east of Thailand) and on day 3 I already got tired of it. Relaxing is nice when you are stressed out, but I don’t think I can handle it for longer stretches of time. So when I will move to Thailand by the beginning of 2012, I will need things to do!

Relaxing at the beach of Koh Chang. Who would not want to live in this country for a couple of years?

Relaxing at the beach of Koh Chang. Who would not want to live in this country for a couple of years?

 To name a few things that I will need to research or figure out: I have no work experience in Asia, I do not speak the language, I have a very limited knowledge of the Thai culture, I have no professional contacts in Thailand, and I might get homesick and run back to my home country after a few months.

 

Hard to stay confident about my prospects at this moment…

 

So, let me take a deep breath and try to look at the bright side.

 

The bright side is that I have some savings from the past years so there is no need to start working in Thailand from day 1. I even have enough savings to pay for some type of education to improve my prospects. Instead of that nice place at a beach I can try to find a (less) nice place somewhere inside where I can try to eliminate the reasons a potential employer might have to not hire me.

First of all I think I should invest some time and money in learning the language. If I will stay in Thailand for a long time I will need to feel at home there and that will be pretty hard if I cannot understand 99% of the conversations around me. A first search on the internet shows there are a lot of language courses available for pretty decent prices. Especially in Bangkok there are loads of language course providers with in-classroom teaching available offering beginners courses.

Second, to improve the prospects of landing a decent job I might want to follow an education at a university somewhere in Thailand. This will teach me an Asian way of thinking, brings the opportunity to meet new people, and will show a future employer I am serious about committing myself to this country. Since I do not expect wonders to happen with the language course, the teaching should be in English.

In my opinion I have two options here; I can specialize further in the industry I am already in (investment management and risk management) or I can go for more diversity by picking, for example, an MBA (Master of Business Administration).

Because I am not very familiar with an MBA, I think I will start by investing some time into finding out if this is something for me. 

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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