I’m off again friends. Guess I’ll have to add another country to the list on my blog header.
Where am I going? Not to Greece. Why not? Because, after 21 months of trying, I finally had a job interview this morning (via Skype audio call) and I’ve got a job – in Indonesia. The publisher wants me there right away so I will be booking a flight to Singapore in the next day or two and moving maybe next week.
My destination is the island of Batam, which is across the straight from Singapore. My job will be as a copy editor/writer for a startup twice-monthly publication and associated online media. The company also owns some property and businesses on Batam, so there will also be some marketing/advertorial writing. The publisher is Australian and has been in Indonesia for 10 years. Go here to see where I will be living and working: http://www.smilinghillbatam.com.
Here is the job description:
WE are seeking an intelligent Copy Editor/Reporter/Content Writer with flair and commitment who is interested in exploring, understanding, presenting and explaining new places, different cultures and changing societies. You will have the opportunity to assume a key role in developing a range of English-language information media (Press, e-news, websites, blogs, social media) serving the resident expat community and foreign-owned business interests.
You will be able to work quickly and accurately, will have an interest in layout and presentation, and will be familiar with publishing programs (we are currently using PagePlus). You will be able to take photographs (digital).
You will work to an experienced Australian journalist and former publisher with a background in metropolitan and community newspapers, broadcasting, business Press, government information, public relations and marketing and who has lived in Indonesia for almost 10 years.
We are launching an English-language magazine/community newspaper in one of Indonesia’s most rapidly growing economic regions to serve an expanding expatriate community (initially published twice a month). This will be supported by an e-magazine carrying the same content.
We also will develop and maintain websites, blogs and social media presences aimed at informing the Expat community and publicizing and promoting the activities of our associated property and hospitality businesses.
Monitor the mainstream Indonesian English-language media and compile weekly and two-weekly digests of social, economic, business, government and general news relevant to the Expat community and foreign owned and operated businesses (particularly oil and gas, energy, mining and manufacturing).
Edit articles and materials contributed by outside specialists providing advice to the Expat community on finances, health, travel, business, property, education and other like matters.
Write original reports and articles about local news, social, entertainment and other activities of interest and relevance to the Expat community.
Write personality and business profiles featuring Expatriates and local people offering business and other services of interest to the Expat community.
Write travel and general interest articles about the places, people, culture and customs and the social and economic changes underway in the immediate region and in other regions of Indonesia.
Write and maintain content for websites and other Internet outlets and from time to time produce brochure content for our associated businesses and other foreign-owned ventures.
You may be a younger journalist looking for an opportunity to travel, to use and develop your craft, to show what you can do, to experience a new country and culture and to learn about more aspects of your industry and vocation.
Or you may be an old hand, perhaps a victim of the retrenchments afflicting much of the print media, who knows his stuff and is looking for a new beginning and an interesting challenge in a convenient low-cost location where the weather is always warm and the living is easy.
You probably will have a background as an all-rounder in the rural or community print media and will be familiar with e-publishing and the Web.
Familiarity and experience with social media will be a plus.
You will probably be single or separated.
Indonesia, with 240 million people, is one of the most interesting places in the world to live, work and observe. Politically, the process of democratization is now in its 13thyear while its rapidly emerging economy is the largest in South East Asia. Indonesia’s GDP ranks in the world’s top 20 with the Government aiming to be ranked in the top 10 by 2025.
Rapid social change is occurring with per capita incomes and living standards rising and a relatively affluent and aspirational middle class emerging. Yet, by Western standards, it is still a very affordable place to live.
Clothing, food, personal services and most of the necessities of life are very inexpensive.
The people are warm and welcoming and the culture, history and traditions are diverse and fascinating. With some 17,000 islands extending over some 5,000 kilometers the geography is equally diverse with so many beautiful and interesting places you would need a lifetime to visit them.
You will be accommodated within a resort-style community, occupied mainly by friendly, informed and well-travelled Western expats. It has a swimming pool complex (all year round), restaurant/bar, international satellite TV services, wireless Internet and more. It is located close to modern shopping, health, entertainment and other facilities.
You will easily be able to explore other cities and regions of Indonesia, travelling by inexpensive and modern domestic air services. You will be a short ferry journey (about an hour) from Singapore from where you can readily explore other destinations in South-east Asia travelling on low-cost Budget carriers like Tiger, Air Asia and Jetstar.
If you are a younger journalist you will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of practical media activities and to hone and develop your craft under the guidance of an experienced media
If you are already a more senior and experienced journalist you will have the benefit of guidance from an old hand with long on-the-ground experience of Indonesia to get you pointed and up and running quickly.
You also will have an opportunity to become an expert on this important and rapidly emerging country (and the immediate region) and its geography, economic development, government systems, society and industries – an expertise which can be used to write and place business, travel, economic or political articles in your home country or elsewhere on a freelance basis. You may be able secure an appointment as a regular correspondent for overseas media or your experience and new expertise may help in furthering your future career.
You will be welcome to adapt and use material gathered in your role with us for paid freelance placements elsewhere.
A basic monthly retainer/living allowance.
Free air-conditioned accommodation with Western comforts and facilities and maid service.
Food allowance to cover meals provided from our restaurant (good Western and Asian food).
Staff discount on drinks purchased from our restaurant or bar.
Reimbursement of all reasonable work-related expenses, including mobile telephone costs.
Company-paid Work Permit and Visa after one-month trial.
This remuneration package will be reviewed after six months and then annually, taking into account the direct and indirect revenues being generated from the publications to which you are contributing and your
The monthly stipend is more than enough to cover living costs, especially since I won’t have to pay rent. The weather in Indonesia will be similar to what it is like in Costa Rica, including the rainy season. The cost of living should be lower than Costa Rica. I do have to pay for the flight to Singapore, but that will be reimbursed to me if the arrangement works out. Sounds like there is some money behind this project. I still have a lot of questions for them but Skype doesn’t work so well over the cellphone technology I’m using here so I wasn’t able to ask a lot of questions.
So it looks like I will be leaving Sicily a month early, and not going to Greece just yet. Also means it will be some time before I return to the U.S.
I’m just a little bit psyched!