Vietnam is the Place to Be
Quarantining at home and day dreaming about a place where life is normal, the weather is sunny, and you can go on an international adventure? It's time to stop dreaming, and learn more about making Vietnam your next home.
In January the SE Asian country quickly implemented a tough virus containment strategy and the results show. Life has been able to return back to normal with restaurants, night life, and domestic travel all operating as usual. If the thought of life returning back to normal wasn't enough, Vietnam's warm weather, welcoming culture, and growing economy all certainly make it an A-list destination
Getting Employed ASAP
If you're like me, the first place you went when you started looking for a job in Vietnam was Google. The search engine is a great first step to learning more about job opportunities and salary ranges for foreigners in the SE Asia nation. This is especially true for Westerners searching for teaching positions.
When it comes to finding a job in Vietnam, international job seekers shouldn't underestimate the power of Facebook. In Vietnam, Facebook groups are a popular and reliable method for finding job openings and posting your resume.
Facebook: The Place to Look for Jobs in Vietnam
There are numerous Facebook groups for expats and international workers. Most of the job-specific Facebook groups are tailored to a specific industry and/or location.
If you're unsure whether a Facebook group exists for your industry, try searching for your preferred destination city and field of work. The titles are usually pretty straight forward.
If you go to Facebook's search bar and type in "Saigon teaching" the first group that likely pops up is Saigon Teachers - which, you guessed it - is a 11,000 member strong Facebook group for people to find and recruit teachers in Saigon. Similarly if you search for "English teaching in Vietnam" you'll likely find yourself at the popular English Teachers in Vietnam Facebook group.
Some groups are not industry specific. Jobs for Foreigners in Ho Chi Minh City is a good place to discover more unique opportunities.
Here you'll be able to find some niche industry specific jobs such as being a manager at an international wine company. The overwhelming majority of jobs available will likely be teaching related, but it's a good place for finding something a little different.
If you need advice, or just want to advertise yourself to the largest audience, Expats in Ho Chi Minh City is the place to research and post. The Facebook group boasts over 127,000 members and you'd be surprised how active people are in it.
What's My Ticket to Getting Into Vietnam?
Part of the reason Vietnam has been able to be a COVID-19 success story is because its been tough on travel. Even some Vietnamese citizens are having a difficult time returning.
Prior to the outbreak, my advice for anyone who wants to work in Vietnam would be to move there first. Opportunities skyrocket once you're physically located in in the country because employers have a strong preference for people who they have met in person.
Unfortunately, for those currently outside of Vietnam, this is no longer an option. Thankfully, there is hope.
Local companies and education institutions are still recruiting foreigners to come work in Vietnam. Highly skilled workers are permitted to enter Vietnam (but must quarantine for 14 days). For the most part this does not include foreign teachers, but things may change in the future.
If your dream is to move to Vietnam, the biggest hurdle right now is getting into the country. Once you're in, things will be much easier. Teaching is a great way to obtain a legal visa and finance your adventure abroad.
My advice is to join a couple of the Vietnam job Facebook groups and see what opportunities are out there. Even if you're not sure about the logistics, it's always good to explore and dream.
I regularly see Westerners outside of Vietnam posting their resumes and getting offers from educational institutions that offer to help them through the regulatory hoops. Things aren't as easy as they were before, but making Vietnam your next home may very well make the extra hurdles worth it.
About the author:
Alexander is a lecturer at Hoa Sen University in Saigon, Vietnam. He is a member of the AmCham Vietnam Digital Economy Committee. He graduated with his LLM in International Relations from Peking University in Beijing, China. Before moving to Asia, he worked in US politics and studied Political Science at Portland State University.