South Korea is famous for its historic landmarks and developed cities, being Asia’s third largest economy. Those who are looking to connect with Asian culture will surely not want to miss the opportunity to move to South Korea. Are you still hesitating due to lack of confidence and advice on finding work in South Korea?Read on to find out more.
Common issues and questions
You are not usually expected to communicate with locals that do not speak fluent English or know about English; many in South Korea speak excellent english, Although, it’s good to at least to learn the basics to handle unexpected situations and your efforts of trying to speak Korean will always be appreciated and help you get along well with the locals.
As you are experiencing another culture, you may face some culture shock during the first 1-2 weeks of living in South Korea. For instance, people generally eat from a selection of dishes in the middle of the table instead of using individual plates of food, toilet paper is used everywhere and they love to ask many personal questions. Additionally, most Koreans care about their appearance and opinions on how they look to others. Therefore, it is not a good idea to openly talk about it unless you are sure the one you are talking to would be fine with the comments. Acceptance of a new culture requires an open heart. You may feel discomfort towards some of them, please keep you mind open and try to understand and accept the differences of South Korean culture. As with all situations involving cultural differences you should always be polite and courteous, along with a little effort in learning the language and you'll be accepted as one of their own.
To show respect to the locals, there are some customs in South Korea you should be aware of (though it is not always obligatory for someone coming from a foreign culture). Before entering the home of Koreans, you’re expected to take off your shoes. Walking into the home of Koreans with their shoes on is disallowed and considered rude. While eating Korean food, you will be using chopsticks and a spoon. But never put you chopsticks into the rice, and pick up any plates you are using. If someone pours you drink, remember to hold your glass with both hands. When you want to visit a local friend, it is nice to bring them a small gift (usually fruits or snacks such as chocolates).
All these cultural differences to the way you interact with others will soon become second nature to you and you'll learn more about yourself by accepting these small changes (It's not hard at all). In all cases, an open mind and willingness to try “new” ways of living your life will lead you well on your way to fullfilling a wonderful, enjoyable life for the foreseeable future.
Types of work in the current market
Teaching in South Korea can be both a fun and easy way to earn an excellent income as a native English speaker with a university degree, as you are not required to have teaching experience and hold a TEFL certificate (check out the teaching requirements). The average salary is 2.1m – 2.4m KRW (approximately 1775 – 2029 USD per month), and the teaching hours are generally 20-25 hours per week. Your typical working hours would be 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM, from Monday to Friday with weekends off. Your class would last from 45 to 55 minutes according to the school (teaching jobs in South Korea). If you are looking for a non-teaching job, then opportunities are quite limited due to the language barrier and the competition from local graduates. Good Korean language skills can benefit you a lot when job hunting. The major industries where you may find your ideal job opportunity are: automobile production, chemicals, electronics, semiconductors, shipbuilding, steel and mobile telecommunications, as well as the recent fast growing sectors such as science and technology, and IT and communications. In order to apply for these positions, you are required to have relevant experience (2 - 5 years), a BA degree and also certificates based on the type of position (non-teaching jobs in South Korea).
Apply for jobs in South Korea
To apply for the jobs, first please register your account on Find Work Abroad, uploading your CV and relevant documents, including a recent photo of you, photo of your passport, a degree and certificates (if you are applying for an English teaching position, it's advised for you to have a TEFL certificate. No TEFL? Click here Although most employers do not require a TEFL in South Korea) Use the top left drop-down menu to choose “South Korea” and click the job section below. Remember to use the filters (type, city and salary) to quickly reach the job you want. After successfully submitting your application, you will promptly receive a call from us and you can discuss how to select the best job for you with our consultant. Once you confirm an online interview time with us, you should prepare for interview and show the best of you to the interviewer. If the interview is successful (occasionally there is a second round interview or more), you will receive a contract after a few days and when the contract is signed you will receive your working visa authorisation code to obtain your working visa in your home country before arriving in South Korea.
As being one of the most developed countries in Asia, South Korea is a very comfortable place for working and living. However, due to high living costs, you can easily spend all your money on daily living unless you are disciplined in your budgeting. For more disposable income, after finishing the contract, some foreigners will relocate to China as there are a lot of high paid teaching jobs in China and the living cost is comparably low. Usually these high paid teaching jobs require teachers to have at least one or two years teaching experiences in order to be qualified. Alternatively, some of them would consider working in Thailand for a working holiday style teaching job surrounded by beautiful beaches. Even if you are thinking about going back home, you will be more likely to be hired because of your international work experience and open mind.