When i was in High School, my teachers and parents instilled the idea that if i worked hard at school, went to a good University and graduated with a respectable degree, then the world would somehow fall at my feet.
But while i’m clearing my room for the last time, carefully prising off photos of treasured memories from the wall, reluctantly throwing that pyramid of beer cans that quite literally took years to build into a bin liner, occasionally pausing to stare out of the window at the view I know so well, it dawns on me that the moment of adult responsibility is here, I’ve graduated…now I’ve got to decide what the heck to do with my life!?
My brain hurting at the infinite possibilities and paths to choose, I slip into a deep reverie remembering all the wonderful times i have had living and studying in Bangkok with Webster University Thailand. I think of the time I sat out on the street all night drinking beers with the motorbike taxi drivers of my Soi, speaking Thai together, laughing and joking and watching the world go by. The first time i watched a live Mor Lam music festival, the first time i ate Tom Yang Goong with the wonderful aromas of lemongrass and seafood combined, shielding the heat and spice that was about to hit me, all these fantastic memories flooded into my mind and left me in a state of daydream.
Soon snapping out of it, questions and decisions creep into my consciousness. What do i do now? Should I go home (I know perfectly well there is really nothing there for me anymore) Should i travel? Discover the world and myself while I’m doing it. At this point in my life i had already travelled to 16 countries, by car, by boat, by train, by foot, by bike, by car…i was already quite the Phileas Fogg. In all the countries and continents i had visited, none had stolen my heart as much Thailand.
Having made a great group of friends, and a wealth of contacts from the faculty, i made some inquiries about working in Thailand. It turns out there are a variety of opportunities for English speaking Westerners, particularly those armed with a degree and a little of bit of Thai language. Having always been a computer geek, and having just graduated with a BS in Computer Science, i started looking for positions in Digital Marketing and Computer Engineering.
JobsDB Thailand is a treasure trove of opportunity. I set about updating my CV and profile, and sending applications to companies with positions that interested. Weeks went by without a reply, my unwavering enthusiasm and belief was almost beginning to break…surely SOMEONE would reply soon? I kept at it, every day, searching, looking, sending, reaching out to anyone I could think of who could help me, or might know somebody who has a position vacant. My perseverance eventually paid off, when a Digital Marketing company got back to me with a position vacant, and i was invited to an interview.
I turn up to the interview at least 40 minutes early. That was my fathers teaching…”Better to be 1 hour early than 1 minute late” he would say. With 4pm looming, i enter the office at 3.55pm and tell the girl at reception i’m here about the Digital Marketing position. She know’s all about it and beckons me to sit and wait in the other room. I enter, and see three other Westerners in the room waiting. The two Directors eventually come into the room and welcome us, and very quickly quash any fears that we all may have with “Don’t worry, we have more than one position available…if you are ALL good, then we’ll employ all four of you!” This is a huge relief, the others look much older and better qualified, until that moment all i had going for me was I was better/smarter dressed than they were!
We are put through a series of teamwork exercises and tests, under the watchful gaze of the two Directors who are taking notes. After an hour of interviewing and testing, we are all thanked and told that they will be in touch with all of us very soon.
A couple of days went by, it felt like a lifetime. This had been the only company to get back to me, and with my funds running dangerously low, it was looking like this job was my last hope before throwing in the towel and leaving Thailand.
10.37am, Wednesday, November 24th, 2014…my phone started ringing. I didn’t know the number…
“Hi Nick it’s Tony,
We’d like to offer you the job. Are you able to start work on December 1st?”
“YES i most certainly am” i replied! We dicsussed start time and dress code, if i needed to bring anything, visa/passport etc, i thanked him heartily, told him i would see him bright and early December 1st and put down the phone. I GOT the job! I’m going to stay in Thailand, with a Work Permit, officially sanctioned by the government allowing me to live and work in this wonderful country and give a little back.
And here i am, 2 years later, still living in Bangkok, working for a great company, speaking fluent Thai, and unable to imagine going home or living anywhere else in the world.
Whether you’re a fresher just about to start your studying, or if you’ve just graduated and you’re staring out of the window wondering what to do with your life like i was, just follow your heart and follow your dreams, don’t listen to anyone who say’s you can’t, don’t give up, keep trying and you will succeed.