I speak to many people living back in the their domestic countries and by and large they seem to recognise the wholly grail of living abroad, like Thailand, but view it as beyond them. Often citing big mortgages, schooling, elderly parents and so on as reasons that mean they must stay put. It is a shame, as I always tend to think there are always options.
The parent debate I don’t really buy. Sadly my parents died whilst I was relatively young and it was one of the catalysts for more move abroad. However I have spoken to many expats about this and their views are that they see their parents more being in Thailand. Confused? Let me explain. I have a good friend whose parents fly to see him at least once a year and stay for 3 weeks. He sees them everyday for that period after he has finished work, and on top of that it is quality time. So each year he gets to spend at least 21 days with his parents. When I speak to other friends in the UK they don’t even see their parents that many times in a year and when they do it is the odd hour or a Sunday lunch here and there. Anyway, I will park this footnote debate for another day, as clearly there is much more to consider.
Anyway let me get back to the main subject and that is how can you make a living in Thailand. What is important is that you set a budget that you want to live too, I see many that live here on a shoestring and are holding on for dear life just to be able to live in Thailand. Surely in this instance enough is enough and a change is in order.
To work in Thailand you need a work permit and there are only so many jobs a foreigner can do. You can still own a business without a work permit, just as long as you are not doing the work. The market has changed in recent years but more often than not the regional working expats, so by that I exclude the company execs flown in by big businesses, tend to work in real estate or within Food and Beverage. So, in other words, a job that caters for other foreigners needs. I must add though, in Bangkok there are a much more diverse range of employment for professional expats looking to work here.
If you want to find a traditional job with work permit you need to get yourself out into the right circles. Certainly you should set up a Linkedin account and use this to make professional connections in here, it is a great starting place.
Another good way to get connected is to attend some of the networking events, in Bangkok you will find one to attend pretty much every week.
Consider the Digital Nomad lead
But there are other opportunities beyond this and you only need to look at Chaing Mai with all the digital nomads to realise that e-Commerce has transformed the landscape and global opportunities. We are in a digital era and for many it means they can work anywhere in the world just as long as they have their laptop and an internet connection.
Here are a few ideas for you to consider.
If you can take good photographs then in Thailand we are blessed with awesome scenery to capture great shots. There are plenty of online sites where you can place you photos and video people can buy the images such as Shutterstock. Just like that you can be making money, but your images need to be good or in their own niche as you are competing with the world.
Perhaps you fancy yourself as a writer? What is stopping you from writing a book and attempting to publish it, you can do it yourself online via online stores like Amazon. Also many online business are looking for content writers, why not search them out online and see if you can earn some money from this?
Blog and Vlog
If you write then you can blog, it is the same thing. Why not make your own website and blog? If you get enough traffic you can join monetise it with banner revenue that you can set up with GoogleAds or Media.net? If you have website traffic and a clear audience demographic using your site then you can make money from it.
It does not stop there either. Within an hour, using sites like Shopify, you can create your own online digital store and be selling items. Now there is much work to be done after this to generate traffic to your website, but the tools and platforms are all online from GoogleAds to Facebook campaigns. Do be aware you do need to declare your tax on any earnings made from online stores if paying into a Thai bank account. The beauty over e-Commerce is that you don’t even have to use your own stock to sell, just jump on Ali Baba/ Ali Express and find items you want to sell and when the customer orders you just ship the item direct from China to the customer.
Vlogging is increasingly become more than a hobby for lots of people too. With platforms like Patreon and You Tube video content being produced can make you money online too.
Many ways to make a living
My summary in all this is there is more opportunity than you realise, but you need to be the one to drive the agenda and in many instances think out of the box. We live in a modern tech driven generation and that has opened new opportunities for making money and ultimately being able to make a living, be that in Thailand or anywhere else in the world.
Note: In all instances please do seek advice as to what is legal and not legal when carrying out any work in Thailand