Almost everyday I receive emails from people asking how to find work in Bali, so I thought I would write an article on the challenges foreigners face.
Some countries are quite open about allowing foreign workers, believing it can help with skill shortages and providing industries with a range of qualified and skilled workers to choose from. Unfortunately, Indonesia is not one of those countries and they view foreigners coming to work in Indonesia as simply taking away jobs from local people. Of course it is difficult to argue with this, as Indonesia is a developing country with widespread poverty and under-employment.
The cost to employ a foreigner is around $2,000 a year for a company, which is just the cost to organize the working visa. If there is a similarly qualified and skilled local worker, it makes little economic sense to employ a foreigner.
While it is not impossible to find work in Bali the typical avenues of finding jobs advertised on the internet or in a newspaper, are extremely limited. There are typically no job websites targeting foreigners, so it only leaves networking with companies and finding work through word of month. Here are some job areas that foreigners work in Bali.
There are a couple of English schools in Bali that employ foreign teachers. The pay is low however, at around 8 million rupiah per month and competition is fierce for the few jobs available. Schools that advertise regularly include:
English Town and English First
Bali is a popular place to learn diving and there seems to be a large number of foreigners working as dive instructors. I would suggest doing an internet search of the bigger dive operations in Bali and contacting them directly. Language skills are definitely a big plus.
For qualified chefs with experience, there are a few well known restaurants and of course large hotels and villas that employ foreign chefs. This agency regularly advertises for staff: www.globalexpatrecruiting.com/
Hotel and Villa Managers
Many general manager positions of large 5-star hotels are filled by foreigners. Usually these positions are filled internally. I think you would have to be very lucky to find a job at a hotel while you are in Bali. Most jobs will be filled by locals and the government has made it pretty clear they don’t like to see foreigners working at hotels in Bali.
I have met some foreigners however working at private villas in management roles. High end villas sometimes employ foreigners in management and training positions. You sometimes see jobs advertised in the Bali Advertiser and being on the ground in Bali is definitely going to be an advantage.
With the huge number of projects being developed in Bali, there are a few foreigners working in the construction industry. The roles available include construction and project managers. You probably have a good chance of finding work at a foreign operated company if you have the qualifications and experience.
Real estate is booming in Bali and a lot of money is coming in from overseas. While foreigners cannot own property in Indonesia directly, many are still interested, and you can find some foreigners employed in property sales roles. Apply directly at the well known agencies such as Ray White and Exotiq.
While this market is still in its infancy, there are a few IT companies starting to open offices in Bali. It is still very low key and while you see quite a few advertisements for local programmers you are going to have to really get out and network to find opportunities as a foreigner. Here is an interview I did with one person working in an IT company in Bali.
What about you?
Are you looking for a job in Bali? Tell is in the comments!