Panama Travel and Investment Resource
Recommended Sites (advertise with us)
- Los Cuatro Tulipanes is Matt's apartment rentals in the historic district of Casco Viejo
- Las Clementinas is Matt's recommended 6-room boutique hotel in Panama City, Panama
- The Canal House is Matt's favorite restored guesthouse in the historic district of Panama City, Panama
- Panama Vacation Rentals is Matt's go-to place to find rentals in Panama
- United Country - Panama is Matt’s favorite agency to find premier properties all over Panama
I often get emails of people asking me if I think they could make it in Panama. Do you think I could start a really excellent pool cleaning business? they'll say or what are my chances of making fine wood furniture and selling it to tourists? My response usually starts off explaining that we've only known each other for the extent of this email and from the sounds of it, you are pretty much a loser.
But in truth, the opportunities in Panama for a glorified pool guy or a master craftsman or anyone who calls themselves a professional for that matter, are endless.
The obvious ones would be real estate and tourism. Because the country is so new in each industry, the need for smart and creative foreigners is astounding. I can't tell you how many gorgeous marketing schemes I've seen for high-rises and luxury resorts that exhibit the spelling of a four year-old Chinese exchange student. (Liung we'll call her.) "Come watches all we offers you" was one of the billboards I saw in the airport. $10,000 spent on the billboard, maybe 10 cents on proofreading. If you can speak and write civilized English, you will find a job in Panama.
There are a myriad of services that depend on punctuality. Lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, race car drivers etc... But in Panama, courtesy of that good old manana mindset, no one does anything on time. If you have worked in an office outside of Central America, and understand the value of doing things promptly and efficiently, you will find a job in Panama.
Panama has been graced with one of the best backyard moneymakers in the history of the world: The Panama Canal. Because the country has, for so long, had this gigantic cash-producing machine, there has been little need and little motivation to look for alternative sources of income. Enter the newborn internet industry. Al Gore didn't invent the internet. I did. And I can tell you from personal experience that the internet knowledge in Panamaâ€”from marketing to programming to designâ€”is about that of a teenage muskrat. If you know anything special about computers, you will find a job in Panama.
The service industry in Panama is not unlike a Jehovah witness pub crawl in that the concept doesn't really exist. Its people and its government will tell you that 90% of the business in this country is service-oriented, which is true. But what they won't tell you that, to the tourist, the service here is not that great. The uninformed hotel employees, the pitiful restaurant waiters, and the tardy tour operators in this country are, for the most part, pathetic. You'd probably find better service squatting under the bleaches at a Special Olympics softball game. If you have any experience in the service industry, and know the importance of attention to detail and customer care, you will find a job in Panama.
These are just the tips of the proverbial job-in-Panama-iceberg. If you are smart, motivated, and experienced in something, you will have no trouble finding a job here and succeeding. Hell, even if you are experienced in nothing, you can succeed in Panama. Obviously, if you are a loser who thinks that money and success will come to you the way your potato skins do at Hooters, then you shouldn't expect Panama to be your Magic Kingdom. For the rest of us entrepreneurs and opportunists though, Panama's as raw as they come.
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