[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
As one of the world’s tourist destinations, Bali welcomes visitors or foreigners that want to stay in Bali for a while. And some visitors quickly move on from being a tourist to an ex-pat, turning the island into a home and workplace.
Bali is my home. I’m proud to say that!
Bali is considered a dream holiday destination, foreigners choose to live in Bali because the cost of living is cheaper than in other destinations in South East Asia. Even, there are also a number of foreigners who wants to work in Bali for some period of time or permanently.
Choices of co-working places in Bali are pretty numerous too, giving you opportunities to work remotely from anywhere across the island. As the cost of living in Bali is relatively low in comparison to other countries, most foreigners in Bali find themselves living a comfortable, almost luxurious, lifestyle.
But Bali can be a tough place for ex-pats to find jobs – even for those who hold an excellent track record of experience because finding skilled locals costs far less. However, if you’re planning to move to Bali and work in Bali as a foreigner, here are some tips for you.
Work in Bali
Anyone who starts working in Bali becomes aware that the largest industry on the island is agriculture. The most important products are rice, coffee, cacao, soybeans, and tobacco, among others. However, as people know, the major contributor to Bali’s income is the tourism sector. Bali became the showcase of Indonesia, making Bali island one of the wealthiest in the entire archipelago.
Although Bali is famous as a center for tourism, the island still upholds its customs and culture. Therefore, you should not go recklessly to holy sites in Bali. Every time you want to visit a place, try asking the guide first about the rules that apply. You also have to know what things you shouldn’t do in Bali. It is also important to be aware of the business etiquette which might be different from the one in your home country.
On the other side, Bali is blessed with many cozy, open-air cafes for nomads. Freelancers who need the fastest internet connections may want to consider joining one of the many coworking spaces. Membership isn’t cheap, but connection speeds are unmatched. As far as I know, a one-day pass can be as much as $15. I haven’t tried a coworking space, because as a blogger and translator, I prefer the freedom of working in different places.
Foreigners work in Bali
Foreign language teacher
I graduated in English Literature and people around me expect me to work as an English teacher. But I don’t want that. Why? I don’t have a passion to teach English and I’m not a good public speaker. Rather than doing something that I don’t like, I turn my passion into a career. And that’s how I become an English – Indonesian translator and a content writer.
If you’re a native English speaker, it could be an advantage for you to make a small English course for local students. We have many locals here who open their English courses. But, learning English from the native one would be really excellent, right?
The other option is to try to register as an English teacher at the Bali International School. I believe the school would really welcome the ex-pat teacher since English is taught to students from elementary school and is one of the important languages in Indonesia. Balinese students are social and welcome foreign cultures, making for a pleasant transfer of knowledge.
Foreign language teachers are welcome at elementary schools, high schools, and universities, and the pay can vary depending on your own educational credentials. So, remember to take care of your legal matters including your academic evaluation.
Most foreigners like water activities. That’s the thing that I’m very aware of because most foreigners I meet here in Bali always have that ‘water activities’ profile. For those who have the skill at diving, it’s a great choice to be a dive instructor if you have a certification from PADI or SSI instructor courses.
As one of the top diving destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that Bali is home to a lot of dive instructors. If you’re passionate about exploring underwater sites, local places include Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Tulamben would be great choices.
Bali is a home to practice yoga, wellbeing, and meditation with almost every resort and yoga centre in the island regularly visiting yoga instuctors. There are a lot of yoga studios in Bali, especially around Kuta and Ubud. Ubud is the capital for all things spiritual in Bali. Teachers enjoy to exhange knowledge with like-minded yogis from all over the world.
Well, as events and festivals are held regularly in Bali, locals like to hire model, photographer, or dancer. With many bars and nightclubs, singer and musicians are in constant demand. If you’re going to work in Bali as a foreigner, an artist’s visa is now required for artists, photographers, and DJs.
Start your own business
If you don’t want to look for a job, you could try to create a small business with a low modal. You could open your own English course at home, start your consultancy firm, opening a small cafe near Canggu, there are many opportunities to launch your own business in Bali.
Getting a Work Permit for Bali
Foreigners who dream to work in Bali will find most opportunities at an international company. It’s important to remember that finding a job in Bali is usually more complicated than having one before you move there, especially as far as visas and work permits are concerned.
Therefore I highly recommend you start your job search before your moving date. However, that doesn’t mean that working in Bali as a foreigner is impossible. It’s vital to be aware that legally working in Bali can be more difficult than expected. That’s why you either hire an immigration agent or find a confirmed job offer before entering the island.
Those are some tips on how to work in Bali as a foreigner that I think might be useful for you. When visiting Bali, don’t hesitate to make friends with many locals. You know that most Balinese or Indonesian are typically like to socialite. While you have many local friends, the chance to get a relation will be easier. Even, you could get the job directly from them!
Remember that finding a job in Bali or in abroad is sometimes difficult. However, try not to give up first and be patient. Some good works may be waiting for you!