​When we think of moving to Indonesia, the image of endless white beaches and fascinating ancient history comes to mind. Made up of thousands of islands, and as the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia presents the expat with a myriad of different cultures, ideas, and landscapes. It is for these reasons that Indonesia is so popular with expats; so many different opportunities are at your fingertips.

However, before making the journey to Indonesia, there are certain things you should be aware of. From the sort of jobs that are available to business etiquette, don’t move to Indonesia without considering these things.

1. What Jobs Are Available For Me?

With a population of over 259 million, with only a 6.6% unemployment rate, it is not surprising that there are plenty of opportunities for residents and expats alike in Indonesia. There has been great growth there over the last couple of decades, especially compared to other Asian countries, who were hit harder by the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

Most of the jobs in Indonesia are related to agriculture or service, with the industrial sector following shortly after. However, many other jobs, such as those regarding digital technology in some way, are popping up all over Indonesia. Naturally, most of these are found in Jakarta, with its many ports and proximity to both Asia and Australia.

Some of the largest sectors in Jakarta include mechanical engineering, electronics, biomedical and chemical. These all encompass many different roles, from technology to events to sales to advertising.

2. What Sort Of Visa Do I Need?

Work visas in Indonesia can be tricky things to get, but your employer will take the lead and help you secure one. They will obtain for you an IMTA, which is a work permit that shows that you are better suited for the job over an Indonesian resident. After this, your new company can get a limited stay visa for you.

After this stage, you will have to take certain actions yourself once you arrive in Indonesia. You will have a week to visit your regional immigration office with your passport and embarkation card, so that you can exchange your visa for a limited stay permit card (KITAS). This will last you a year, and can be renewed five times before you need to apply for a permanent stay permit card (KITAP).

Lastly, don’t forget to register at the local police office within 30 days of receiving your KITAS permit!

3. I’ve Got A Job, But What Is The Business Etiquette Like In Indonesia?

Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, which means that there are certain practices which are wise to consider. You don’t want to anger your brand new boss or coworkers by your ignorance!

For example, don’t bring any alcohol, or meat that is not halal, to the office, as these are forbidden in Islam.

Similarly, be mindful of handshakes! Your Muslim co-workers may decline your handshake if you are of the opposite sex; don’t get offended if this is the case! It is best to let your co-worker initiate this. If you do engage in a handshake, make sure to shake lightly. Whereas some countries consider a strong grip as equivalent to a confident attitude, Indonesians prefer a light shake.

When writing, avoid using a red pen for someone’s name! It is considered rude, as red was traditionally used to record the names of the dead.

Lastly, bear in mind that your Muslim co-workers may pray up to five times a day. Be respectful of this, even if you need work from them urgently!

4. What Do I Need To Consider Aside From Work?

It is a good idea for you to find temporary accommodation when first moving, and then using Indonesian real estate agencies to find something more permanent. Your employee can give you recommendations for the most reputable ones. Of course, make sure to check the neighbourhood for crime rates and transport links.

Lastly, make sure to memorise the numbers for the emergency services. For the police, it is 110, and for medical aid, it is 118/119.

If you bear these things in mind when moving to Indonesia, the whole experience will go a lot more smoothly. Aspire are constantly recruiting into Indonesia. A recent vacancy we filled was for the global television network Fox. This role was for a Manager of Insights and Trading. An example of a current role that we have available in Jakarta is Director of Enterprise Solution Sales, which is available to view via our LinkedIn page.