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  • incognito84
  • Veteran

    • 145

    • September 01, 2008, 01:51:25 pm
    • Suwon, South Korea
[deleted]
« on: September 04, 2012, 08:39:12 am »
[deleted]
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 08:59:25 pm by incognito84 »


  • rokdav
  • Veteran

    • 81

    • February 23, 2011, 12:27:46 pm
    • Daegu
Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 09:48:41 am »
becoming a full time student at one of the uni's? can be pretty cheap (or free) if you dont pick one of the main seoul ones. plus you can teach on the side (maybe)
Apart from that i think you've pretty thoroughly ruled out everything else unless you have chefing/engineering experience?
Are you good-looking? maybe modeling or actingg


Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 10:08:34 am »
Congratulations...y ou have just discovered how limited employment opportunities are for non-Koreans. If it doesn't involve teaching English to some extent, opportunities are rare here. I mean, why would they hire a foreigner when a Korean (in their minds) *mod edit - removed offensive wording* can do it better. Hell, I'd love to do something other than teach English here...
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 12:35:54 pm by Damien »
I used to be a master of pandemonium


  • Menlyn
  • Super Waygook

    • 485

    • March 05, 2012, 02:10:21 pm
    • Suwon
Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 10:12:53 am »
How long have you and your GF been together? If you were to break up, would you want to stay in Korea? Have you guys talked about the future? If you were to break up a few years down the line, would you feel that the last "x" years in Korea were a waste?  (no need to answer these Q's.. just think about them).

You want a job that doesn't involve teaching English, yet your only special skill is speaking English (speaking Korean is great, but 50 million Koreans speak it too). Few places are willing to go through the hassle of hiring you, those that are, want an F-Visa.

Basically, I agree with "those people" who are telling you to go home. You've spent 5 years here, and you don't like the game you're in. The other options are to get married, or to suck up working in a Hagwon/PS, start networking (working in an Adult hagwon could be very helpful), and hope to get lucky.


  • ignatmc
  • Adventurer

    • 63

    • March 18, 2011, 08:16:26 am
    • Seoul
Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 10:26:40 am »
too many of us foreigners are trying to switch to non teaching job.
I do have a friend who works at a marketing company (or something related) and she seem pretty happy about it and she has also been here for 6 years.  but she's just lucky and knows the right people.
chances of getting a non teaching job are so slim...
good luck to you!
and if u do manage to find a way to break through the barrier please share! :D


  • lotte world
  • The Legend

    • 2272

    • August 22, 2011, 09:00:38 pm
    more
Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 10:35:37 am »
Sorry OP, you'll just have to get a real job.  Either here or at home.  Your options are very limited, basically teach English and stay, or don't and leave.

One option you could consider is to open your own hagwon.  You know what it's all about, and you have the skills, but you'll need help with paperwork (until your Korean language skills are up to it).  You'll also need some cash for an investor visa, or get married.

I agree with the other posters about the gf.  I am assuming you don't want to leave Korea because of her.  You'll need to decide what to do about that, and the situation you are about to be in will focus your mind wonderfully.  You and her will either see a future together, or not.  It's serious, so you really need to talk to her.  In fact, you should tell her exactly what you have written here.  If you haven't, or can't, then you have other problems.

Good luck.


  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 10:40:48 am »
Congratulations...you have just discovered how limited employment opportunities are for non-Koreans. If it doesn't involve teaching English to some extent, opportunities are rare here. I mean, why would they hire a foreigner when a Korean(in their warped minds) can do it better. Hell, I'd love to do something other than teach English here...
Yeah there is little employment opportunity for non-Koreans here.  That's why my wife and I are looking to start our own business in the near future.  We're both sick of teaching.

But how is it that Koreans are "warped" because they want to hire Koreans first?  You do realize most countries have some hiring regulations that require businesses to look for citizens who can do the job before hiring foreigners?  In fact, of all the countries I've lived in or looked into living in have similar regulations.  The only real exception I've found is the US, which could actually benefit from tightening their regulations.


Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 12:28:03 pm »
Seems like a lot of negativity here so far, perhaps too much. Is it easy to make a transition in Korea from teaching to something else? No, but it's certainly not impossible. I did it, and I think anyone could with the right amount of effort and determination. I was a hagwon/public school teacher in Seoul for 6 years and now work for a company that deals with intellectual property licensing.

Some general tips...

First, you're on the right track by learning Korean. Stick with it. The better your Korean is, the more opportunities you will have.

Second, getting an F visa will be a major help, but you don't need to get married if you don't want to. There are other ways. I have an F-2 and I have never been married. You mentioned that you don't think you could pass the test. Why not? If you speak Korean well it is not at all difficult.

It may not be true for all jobs, but I would not have been able to attain my current position without the above two factors. Korean is necessary for my job, and the company would not have been willing to sponsor any other type of visa for me.

As for finding a job... accept that it will be a long difficult process. Don't quit your day job while looking. If you don't already have one, make a Korean resume and self-introduction (very different from an English cover letter). Have several Koreans read it and get their advice. Make changes where necessary. Have professional resume photos taken (image is very important here). Learn how to use Korean job websites and apply to everything you can find. Go to career fairs for international students, even if you aren't a student. A lot of universities sponsor events like this and you can meet people/companies who are looking to hire foreigners. Stop hanging out with other English teachers in your free time. Meet as many people as you can who are working in fields you are interested in. Make sure they know that you are looking for a job.

The hardest part is convicing people that you're capable of doing anything else if all you have is teaching experience on your resume. This may also depend on your degree and what you did before coming to Korea, but try to emphasize any sort of business experience that you might have, or find a company who is willing to take you at the entry level and train you. If you're thinking of staying here long-term consider getting an MBA or similar degree from a Korean university. It takes a few years and costs money but it can open a lot of doors.

The most important thing is just to stick with it and not give up. I was mailing out resumes nearly every day for more than 6 months. Many never responded. I went on a several pointless interviews that didn't amount to anything. I got plenty of rejection letters, and it was certainly frustrating at times, but eventually I ended up
with a job I am happy with.

The flip side of this is that just because you won't be teaching doesn't necessarily mean you'll be happier. Hours are often long, pay can be quite low (especially for entry-level positions), and vacation much shorter (especially compared to a public school position). I think I got lucky in that I'm making slightly more than I did in my last year of teaching and my workload is not too heavy, but this certainly isn't always the case. I have known people who have gotten out of teaching only to return to it within a year or two because working in a Korean office was worse for them. But I guess you won't know what you like until you try.

Here's one to get you started. Samsung is hiring foreigners for entry level positions. Application deadline is the end of this week.

http://www.samsungcareers.com/emain.html
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 12:31:58 pm by steveperry »


Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 12:57:47 pm »
As mentioned, it's quite rare to find a job here that isn't teaching.  Being in the teaching game and knowing Korean, you can try to start a Hagwon of your own with a Korean friend I believe, since you aren't married to a Korean.  A Uni job is what I can imagine would get you out of your funk.


  • JL5205
  • Super Waygook

    • 325

    • March 05, 2012, 11:02:50 am
Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 01:03:15 pm »
I think everyone has been spot on about the lack of opportunities.  You can't do anything in Korea as a non Korean other than teach English or work for the military (assuming you're American) unless you're incredibly lucky or have awesome connections.  Also, not to be rude, but I really don't think a high intermediate level of Korean is going to improve to the level you'd need it to in 6 short months to impress any HR personnel.  Like someone else said, why would a company hire you when you they could hire a Korean and avoid a potential headache over miscommunication?

I think you need to really sit down and figure out what you want to do with your life.  Save for graduate school, find jobs back home, plan ahead, save money, etc.  Whatever you need to do to give yourself an edge and get a job then do it.   If there is anything positive to take from your situation however, I'd say that for as bad as you think you have it here I can guarantee you real teachers back in America have it far worse.  Consider all the disrespectful (sometimes dangerous) kids, an exponentially higher workload, and more bureaucratic BS to deal with and just be glad you've been able to avoid those responsibilities.  All in all, just keep these things in mind and try to take it one day at a time.  Good luck.


  • SpaceRook
  • Expert Waygook

    • 814

    • November 18, 2010, 11:54:36 am
    • South Korea
Re: Staying in Korea and not working at a hagwon/PS
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 08:46:39 pm »
steveperry has great advice.  Don't stop believin'  ;D

My tips:

- Network like crazy.  Do you know any Koreans in the US?  Ask them for contacts/family that they have in Korea.  Browse meetup.com and find professional meetup groups.
- For the love of God, look somewhat professional.  You don't need to go crazy when networking, but a T-shirt, cargo shorts, and sandals are not going to impress anyone.  At least get a decent polo shirt and some khakis for casual meetings.  Of course, you will need to suit up for interviews.  And make a decision about facial hair.  Clean shaven or a beard/mustache.  No in between unless you look like Brad Pitt.
- Studying Korean is good.  Stick with the class.  But classes are only a fraction of how you will learn the language.  Check out talktomeinkorean.co m.   Do 1 Iyagi lesson a day, every day.  Cram vocabulary like crazy.  DO NOT rest during your month in Canada.  If you do nothing during that time, you'll easily lose the previous month's progress.
- What was your major?  Opportunities are going to vary depending on what you studied.