Finding a place to work in Korea can be a challenging task, especially during a global pandemic. However, no matter what we encounter I believe that if we truly want something we’ll find a way to achieve it. As many people say, the universe falls in love with a stubborn heart.
When you are looking for a job while in Korea it is important to ask yourself a few questions. Do you have the right qualifications for the job you want? Are you ready to learn Korean and adapt to Korean culture? What kind of jobs are the most popular in Korea for foreigners?
Moreover, keep in mind that Korea is so much more than what you have seen in dramas or TV shows. In real life, there are no subtitles or filters. You must be prepared to embrace both the beautiful and the ugly sides of Korea. Adventure and hardships. Do you think you are ready for this?
First of all, before you apply for any job in Korea, I suggest you do some research. What kind of company do you plan to work for? What are the requirements? Is it compulsory to have a master’s degree or other kind of certification?
For example; let’s say you want to work full time as a software developer in Seoul. It is necessary to have a strong educational background (preferably from a top 500 global university) and maybe a few recommendations. In addition, make sure you have a decent level of English and basic Korean skills at minimum. Being able to speak Korean will help you more than you ever imagined when looking for jobs and qualifying for visas in Korea.
Secondly, remember you need the right visa in order to receive a work permit in Korea. Some companies will sponsor your visa, most will not, especially if you are not from an English-speaking country. Without the right visa, you won’t be able to work in South Korea. Therefore it is extremely important to take this aspect into consideration before applying for a job.Obtaining the right visa could take at least a month, so make sure you prepare all the documents you need ahead of time. E, F, and D are some categories of visas that allow you to legally work in Korea. For more information, you can check out the following website.
Popular jobs in Korea
Perhaps some of the most popular jobs in Korea for foreigners are English-teaching jobs. In order to qualify for an English-teaching position at a public school or a private academy, you need at least a bachelor’s degree and a clean criminal record. Moreover, keep in mind that only native speakers are allowed to legally teach English in Korean schools. Only citizens of the United States, Canada, UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa can qualify for an English teaching visa.
Apart from English-teaching jobs, Korean companies often recruit foreigners in fields like IT, marketing, sales, or manufacturing. While it is possible to be hired from abroad, most foreigners in these jobs are graduates of Korean universities or already have a residency visa.
Where you can find jobs
There are many ways you can find jobs so that you can work in Korea. On websites like LinkedIn, Saramin, or JobKorea you can find plenty of job opportunities. Also, you can take a look for jobs in some newspapers such as The Korea Herald or The Korea times.
When looking for jobs in Korea, make sure you create a Korean version of your resume. It will help you grab attention when applying for the jobs you want.
Working in Korea is…
I asked some of my friends who are currently working in Korea about their experience. I was curious about what they like the most about Korean working culture and what they would like to change about it. Are you curious to find out their opinions?
“I am currently teaching English at a private institution close to Seoul. The school provides many benefits to teachers and the salary is above average. The kids are really nice and we get along really well. However, there are days when we need to work overtime and it’s really exhausting. I barely have time for myself. I wish I had less work to do.” (M. from the US)
“I’m still a student and I’ve been working part-time in a hotel for more than one year. I really love what I am doing and what I earn is enough for me to pay for my living expenses. I’m doing my best to improve my skills every day but it’s still difficult because my Korean level is not that good. Since I’m planning to stay in Korea for a long period of time, I need to learn Korean no matter what.”(A. from Kazahstan)
“I’m working in a medium-sized company in Seoul as a marketing manager. Even if my Korean level is quite good compared to other foreigners, I’m still struggling with learning the proper etiquette. I’m an introvert and I don’t like social gatherings. I avoid meeting people I’m not close to. Meeting co-workers outside work is not my cup of tea. That’s why I tend to avoid going to hwesik, even if my boss doesn’t really like this. He, fortunately, understands me but, not every foreigner is that lucky haha.” (J. from Germany)
If you want to know more about what life is like working in Korea, >>Click Here<< to read all about the daily life of a translator in Korea.