Working abroad in Thailand
by Seven Peaks on Feb 2, 2022 10:50:00 AM
From Norway to Bangkok with Leif Åsmund Mørk
About Leif Åsmund Mørk
Leif has extensive experience from different roles within the software industry.
In total, he has over 14 years experience with software engineering; previously working as a consultant, software engineer, software architect, team lead, and manager.
Leif is passionate about having the best and most effective development processes and he is always looking for ways to continue improving processes.
A new journey with us
Leif Åsmund Mørk first joined Seven Peaks Software as Head of Engineering back in 2018 – managing and taking care of the delivery team with a special focus on the projects towards Norwegian clients.
In 2019 he made a swift transition to the head of engineering, where he was overseeing all software development teams and their operations – making sure that the company achieves the required goals for stakeholders & clients with the quality that Seven Peaks Software is known for.
We are pleased to announce the promotion of Leif from Head of Software Engineering to our new VP of Engineering! Leif has worked for our company for over three years and has been an invaluable member of our team.
He has demonstrated his innovative skills over the last few years and into his new management role. Leif has been vital to the engineering processes, management, and delivery of all our software engineer projects – showing his commitment as an expert and manager.
During his time with the team, Leif aims to be at the forefront of implementing best practices to bolster our software development efforts for the company. He will oversee his new roles and drive new milestones for the company.
We’re wishing Leif the best of luck in this exciting position!
The life of Leif
Leif’s education background during college was in software engineering, his first job was a software developer in an oil service company.
“I was at this company for two years, basically doing different kinds of backend developer-related jobs and doing a bit of Scrum plus other technical tasks. After that, I came into Capgemini – one of the bigger consultancies in the world. I was at Capgemini for six years.
While I was there, I was helping build a self-service product which was the first self-service product for corporations as a self-service solution. And then more into the Self Service for the private markets.” – explained Leif
Starting out in developing online services for web and online banking, mobile banking, he quickly became a tech lead, after a while, the team grew so much this whole team transformed into a full department.
While on holiday, Leif made his first formal contact with Seven Peaks Software.
“That’s the first kind of formal contract, most of which I posted some pictures from a beach, or maybe from Bangkok. Runar then said that they [Seven Peaks Software] have an available seat here in Bangkok if I wanted it.”
Leif flew down to Bangkok himself for the first time, which led him to the first office of Seven Peaks Software in downtown Bangkok.
Leif met with Roy Ivar Moe, the CTO at Seven Peaks Software, there along with Jostein, CEO at Seven Peaks Software, as they were discussing together.
Leif himself had multiple talks with both Roy and Jostein while he were traveling in Bangkok
“I met Roy for the first time but I was in the office and talking to Jostein as we were discussing a lot together because I’m quite a detailed person – as it’s another question when you’re moving from one country to another.” – shared Leif
A new chapter in Thailand
“One thing for sure is the adventure of just moving to a completely different culture and different country – which is one big thing to do.” – said Leif
Leif claimed that Seven Peaks Software firmly stands on both their ROI and that everyone there has a ‘give then you you get’ feeling, along with ambitions and a clear path to where they want to go and how they want to scale.
It was clear to him that the people who are still running Seven Peaks Software had innovative ideas to try something completely new in the industry.
Challenges and goals
The hot weather and the sheer diversity of the workplace were the biggest differences for Leif when he first worked with Seven Peaks in Thailand, especially as Seven Peaks Software now hosts 90+ employees from over 20 nationalities.
“I wouldn’t call it a culture shock, but of course, it’s a big step, but I think for most people, that’s not really the case. If you respect and you respect the other party, you will be better equipped to learn through communication.” – quoted Leif
Choosing to work abroad
Leif claimed that he first needed more information about Thailand.
He needed to understand the culture, cost of living, how the health system works, the tax system, all of these kinds of things were important to him when deciding to relocate to Thailand for work purposes.
Luckily, Seven Peaks Software was so helpful by providing all the information that he needed to know, such as the following articles below that are worth a read:
The great part about working in Thailand is that if you have one and a half to two hours, then you’ll be staying at the beach [from Bangkok] or in the jungle or at the top of a mountain in the northern part of Thailand.
“Bangkok is known to be a very livable and affordable city. It’s becoming an emerging tech hub for Southeast Asia too!” – Leif
Thailand is transforming into a digital economy. Many tech startups and investors are eager to invest in Thailand as the South East Asia’s second largest economy and facilitation from Thai government policy.
Seven Peaks Software itself collaborates with many well-established enterprises both international and around the world. We help clients transform to digital and become a game change.
Advice for globe-trotters
“I think it’s all about what you want? In big corporations, you often have everything laid out as they have processes for everything. They have everything lined up – most likely you will do your job, or maybe you’d prefer a more narrow field.
On the other hand, the people we’re recruiting here can make an impact or take ownership as Seven Peaks Software is a fast-growing company.” – said Leif
It’s a completely different mindset working in a growing company, and we welcome people who want to learn, as we have a lot of seniors who come from all over the world.
Even if coming from Norway, Thailand, or wherever – you can discuss solutions with people from all over the world and start to have a great positive impact to solve the questions and problems together.
In Seven Peaks Software, everyone is equal and the organization structure is flat. We value what you did rather than who you are.
There are several benefits from working with Seven Peaks Software. It’s good to know that there are actually companies located in Asia like us who are striving to have the same working culture as companies from Europe or USA – where people are equal and you can come with your own opinions to be able to change things together.
This article may appeal to candidates who come from Thailand. If you come from other parts of the world, where you’re used to work-place flexibility, we’re offering you the same here – but you’ll be living in Thailand – which is the big game changer in your work-life-balance.
BONUS: Health and lifestyle benefits
“How to lose weight? Eat less and move more – or just move to Bangkok!” – quoted Leif
Leif was able to lose a great amount of weight during his time working in Bangkok; shocking his colleagues at Seven Peaks Software.
“Often in Thailand, you have a lot of good and fresh fruit to eat along with different types of salad. You have all of these things with a lot of flavors that kind of keep you from the need to stuff yourself with unnecessary calories.
Sometimes I have some food at a restaurant that I see on the way home, but I make sure to be careful with that and control what I eat.” – explained Leif
Thai food sets a focus on balance and variety. They are often light and the aromas are just as important as the taste of the food. With so many healthy and delicious food options around every corner of Bangkok, it will never be easier to start a healthier lifestyle.
Something Leif likes a lot about Bangkok is that even at the smallest condos, there is usually a swimming pool and gym on-premises. I even have a tennis court at my condo and a walking path around the condos where I can go for a jog or a walk. You can basically do everything inside your home here! You don’t have to spend time in traffic just to go to the gym.
By moving from Bergen in Norway to the exciting city of Bangkok, Leif lost 30 kilos over his first 3 years of living and working in Bangkok. And moreover he adjusted to the culture and is now always having a smile on his face as Thailand is known as the land of smiles.
Physical activity and eating-healthy can help mentality as well as physically. Especially when you’re working throughout the day, you need some time off later to relax and wind down!