I don’t want to come off as all-knowing when it comes to Filipino Teachers trying to land a job in Thailand. But going into the forums and seeing how Filipinos are being misunderstood in more ways than one is a little bit disheartening [for a lack of a better term]. I guess I am one of the fortunate Pinoys who have landed on a great job and I have been trying to give back by helping other Filipinos by letting them know of jobs that they can apply at.
Still, the numbers are overwhelming. When I post adverts at the ajarn website, my inbox literally get hundreds and hundreds of emails from Filipinos. Then I have once heard of 12 Filipinos sharing a tiny studio apartment in Bangkok with only one or two earning a meager salary of 15,000 baht per month. And from personal experience, I crossed paths with over 10 Filipinos who were scammed by a language centre, were promised non-existent jobs then were dumped in Udon Thani to look for their own employment.
So I am writing this article [thanks to Phil] for those who are still out there looking for a job.
First off, remember that one should never have to pay any fee to land a job here. Save for the visa and work permit fees which you only have to pay after you have been employed [but in some cases the school pays for these as well]. Two Decembers ago, there were about 18 people who were scammed into paying 5,000 baht to get a 30,000 baht job in Bangkok. Most of these people left their jobs while others borrowed money to pay the 5,000 fee. And for what? They were asked to go to government schools for some demo teaching and were left with almost no money and no employment.
Go for quality and not quantity when it comes to sending resumes. Sending out massive emails at a time sends a wrong signal. Put a little effort in you cover letter and resume without sounding too formal. We could all do without the overly religious statements that most put in the application letters. And forget about copying cover letters and passing them as your own. That’s just plain plagiarism and that doesn’t give you extra points either.
When you finally get the chance for an interview, give it all you’ve got. You have to give them a reason to hire you because you are not the only one eyeing that job.
And when you have finally been accepted: don’t just settle and play underdog. As a Filipino, I know that there are a lot of people who look down on us and think that they are better off just because they come from an English speaking country. I don’t want to cause a ruckus and I sure pray that I don’t get hateful emails after this, but it is true, we won’t be liked all the time, just for the mere fact that we are Filipinos. We can’t do anything about that, ‘cause as the saying goes: “You can’t please everybody.” But you sure could try pleasing the people who matter. Others won’t bother you if you are doing a great job and not stepping on their toes and if they do then that’s just plain jealousy J
Do your best. It’s already cost you so much effort and time to land on a job so don’t treat it as something you cannot lose. Showing them what you are capable of and what you could do to help the school and the students are vital.
Sometimes it still feels unreal to me that I have been teaching here for over seven years now. There are still a lot of things I need to learn about or get used to and I accept that. But I did not just get to where I am by sending out emails and waiting for something great to happen. I was out there, I never stopped until I found a place that accepts me and appreciates what I could give to the school. There is no use staying in a place that treats you as second rate.
I guess there is nothing left to say but good luck and I hope to have given some useful pointers to the Filipino job hunters out there.
There is a pressing issue that roams around Thailand and scares a lot of Filipinos. I am sure that by now you have already heard or read about the tightening of the Visa on Arrival. For quite some time, people were allowed to stay for as long as they wanted, regarding that they can do the monthly exits. But this is about to change soon.
Effective October 1, 2006 the new laws will be implemented and the maximum stay of a person on a VOA should not be over 90 days. After which, this person has to go back to his home country and wait for another 90 days before coming back to Thailand.
Some say that it is not really that big a deal as what many people paint it to be. Others say that people on VOA will be able to stay in Thailand after they have maxed out their VOA’s, all they have to do is to get a proper Tourist Visa that would allow them to stay in Thailand for another 60 days. When this runs out, do the VOA for a couple of months before getting another Tourist Visa from a Thai Consulate outside Thailand.
As for people planning to visit Thailand, I heard that they would have to get a Tourist Visa from the place they are coming from.
This ignites a lot of debates and has filled a lot of forums. A lot of arguments are being presented and many believe that this might be something that will die soon.
But for whatever it is, we should be ready. Think of what your plans are. If you are working without a Non-Immigrant B Visa or a Work Permit, talk to your boss and find out if there is a way for you to obtain one.
If not, the be ready to go outside Thailand every couple of months.
I will keep you guys posted.
Yesterday at about 2:30pm my mobile phone rang. It was a number that I did not recognize. I went ahead and answered the phone. There was a woman at the other end of the line and her first words were:
“Kayo po ba yung tumutulong sa mga Pilipino na makahanp ng trabaho?”
Of course, there was shock, though I think I was able to hide it well. I asked her what I could do for her. She was looking for a job and heard that I have helped give jobs to pinoys in and out of Bangkok. Unfortunately there wasn’t an opening I our school, not this month nor the next. I did tell her that I would keep her number in case we would need a Filipino teacher.
Before the end of our conversation, I managed to ask her how she got hold of my number. She was obviously trying to protect [for the lack of a better term] the person who handed her my number. I was told that a Filipino in one of the schools she applied at was the person who gave it to her. Hmm, so I am famous now. Ha ha. Kidding.
I was not angry, no, surprised…yes maybe but not angry. My number was no big secret anyway.
There are many Filipinos still looking for a job out there. And there are many Filipinos who have jobs but are looking for something better, something more suitable to their needs. But with the current crisis that Filipinos are facing now, we really cannot afford to lose our jobs even if it paid too little or if the people we worked with are pains in the you know where. Patience is the key, at least for now.
For those who are still looking for a job, hang in there and keep looking.
Filipino Teachers are growing in numbers. I am sure that everyone knows someone who came to Thailand to try for greener pastures. While some may not always suceed, there are also a lot who do.
This site aims to increase the number of successful Filipino Teachers in Thailand. We will try to help through answering questions regarding teaching, visas, work permits and other teacher and teaching related issues.
If you just happen to stumble upon this site, please let other people know if its existence. We will build a community that will hopefully make a difference to the lives of Filipino Teachers in Thailand.