Most English (EFL) teachers come to Thailand and end up teaching children. Many would prefer teaching corporate English (EFL) as the work load is often less, the job satisfaction more and salaries much higher. Unfortunately, with few full-time corporate English teaching jobs in Thailand, it’s difficult to get one, but not impossible. I spent three years at a full-time corporate teaching job at a top international company in Thailand and several of my friends work at one too. Here’s how we got our full-time corporate teaching jobs in Thailand and how you can get one too.
Before You Apply For The Job
Dress For Success – One thing I noticed with English teachers who came to the international company I taught at for a teaching job interview, few dressed for the part. Unlike at a Thai school where you can often get away with teaching in a short sleeved shirt, casual slacks and even without a tie, if you want a full-time corporate teaching job, dress like you do.
That means business pants (or a skirt, if you’re a woman), a long-sleeved preferably white shirt with no patterns, a conservative tie (or conservative neckline, if female), a jacket (I know Thailand is hot, take it off and carry it before and after your interview) and carry a professional bag, not a backpack or worse, a canvas bag. Dress shoes are mandatory and, for women, full shoes and not sandals. If you get the job, you may find you can dress down and wear more casual clothing but, please, not for the job interview.
You Must Have Previous Business Experience – You can’t just waltz in off the street and expect to get a job teaching corporate (business) English if you don’t have business experience. Without at least three years experience, preferably longer, in a mid-level or managerial position, few companies will hire you. When I was hired for a full-time corporate English teaching job, I had 15 years experience as a Director of Development working for some of the biggest non-profits in America.
You Must Have Previous Corporate English Teaching Experience – While you can easily get a job in Thailand teaching corporate English part-time (a couple of hours in the morning or evening every week), unless you have prior corporate English teaching experience, and preferably in Thailand, most companies won’t even interview you.
If your dream teaching job is to work for a corporation in Thailand teaching English, get some part-time experience first. Sign up with one of the many teaching agencies in Thailand (Bangkok has more than 50) and get at least a year’s experience before applying for a full-time job.
How To Find a Full-Time Corporate English Teaching Job
Sign Up With Several Agencies – A majority of businesses in Thailand looking for full-time corporate English teachers hire through an agency. That way, if the teacher doesn’t work out, the agency has to spend time replacing them and not the company.
Sign up with at least three agencies and tell them you’re looking for a full-time job. The last corporate English teaching job I found was through an agency I was signed up with calling me for an interview.
Look at Ajarn.com – The best teaching website in Thailand is Ajarn.com and they have a regularly updated job listing section where, I would guess, at least 50% of the available teaching jobs in Thailand are listed. Full-time English teaching jobs will show up on here periodically, which is how two of my friends found theirs. When one does, send a photo and a resume with all your pertinent information.
Read the Bangkok Post and The Nation – Occasionally, high-level teaching jobs will appear in the Employment section of the two main English newspapers in Thailand. Apply as soon as you see an ad but, be warned, the competition will be fierce.
Talk To Thai Friends – I’ve had two recent English teaching jobs offered to me in Bangkok companies simply because some of my Thai friends are working there and, when the company says they’re going to hire an English teacher, my friends recommended me. Like anywhere, many of the teaching jobs in companies in Thailand are by word of mouth, so put the word out you’re interested and looking.
Pound the Pavement – While it’s not easy to get a corporate English teaching job by pounding the pavement, it is possible. One of my closest friends looked through old job listings on internet job boards for Bangkok companies that had hired teachers in the past, then went to each company, spoke to Human Resources and left his resume and photo. Within a month, he had a job offer at a large international corporation that used to use a teaching agency but had such bad luck with teachers they stopped. While this way is much more difficult, it’s not impossible.
Even though getting a full-time English teaching job in a company in Thailand is difficult, it can be done. Follow these tips, use some innovation and, with good luck and good management, hopefully you’ll find one.