Working in Bali


Many people dream of moving to Bali and finding a job. Legally and realistically its not hard. You can get hold of any type of visa you like simply by hiring an immigration consultant and the government does not come sniffing around individuals for tax purposes. The main problem for new arrivals is what do you do. I get emails from people on a regular basis who ask me, 'do you know how I can make money?', 'what is your suggestion for me?' My suggestion is that you figure out how to make money at home, then when you come to Bali you will know what direction to go in. The expat newspaper, The Bali Advertiser, carries ads offering jobs and requesting jobs. I see the same requests month after month.

Basically Bali is a tourist island and your best chances of making money are in this industry, or serving the growing expat market in some way. Opening your own business takes money and know how, besides the fact that you are not allowed to actually work yourself (you are allowed to manage but not to work). Working for someone else (hotel manager, production manager etc. ) means that person will have to pay you western wages and you are competing with locals who can speak 3 languages and have ton of local knowledge.

Exporting is an avenue many people try. At first impression this would seem an easy way to go. You look for interesting artwork, furniture etc. and ship it overseas to sell at a massive profit, spending your down time lounging in the hotel sipping Mai Tai's. The reality is that its not a 3-step process (buy-ship-sell), it's a multi-step process that has pitfalls the whole way. The last step, selling the stuff is also the hardest. Back in Australia and the US the market for Balinese handicrafts is saturated as the 'barrier to entry' for this kind of activity is low. All you need is a few hundred bucks and some time on your hands to get started.

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Bali is a funny place, you can live cheap and well, but there are a lot of people chasing the opportunities and lots of other people looking to trap people who chase to hard.