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Job for my husband...

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Job for my husband...

Postby Alexis » May 21st, 2009 6:48 am

Hey guys. You may or may not know that I'm considering going to teach English in Korea. As a qualified teacher, I'm hoping I'll be fine when it comes to getting a job, etc...

However, I do have a husband. LOL. Obviously, he'd come with me. But he has no interest in teaching people English, and although we haven't made any solid decisions yet (heck, I haven't even sat down and talked to him yet!), I'm a bit worried about what he'd do for work if we did decide to go.

Some info about him: He is currently working as a software engineer (that is NOT the same as working in IT). He's been in his current job for just over 3 years now. Before that, he got a PhD in computing and had quite a full on career in research while he went through his uni life. Although he's very open to my learning Korean and such, he doesn't really know a single word in Korean and doesn't have much interest in dilligently learning. Unless he picked stuff up naturally, he's just not someone who's going to learn another language, as his memory kinda sucks. LOL.

He does, however, have huge interests in computing (obviously), technology and... anything gadget-y. (NERD PLUS!) He loves computer/video games, but wants to remain working in computing.

Does anyone have any advice as to how he might go about finding work? Surely there must be some work in Korea for someone like him? Are there any websites you'd recommend for him finding a job before we go there? What about the language barrier? Can foreigners still work in his sort of area/s without knowing Korean?

We haven't made any solid decisions yet, but I just thought I'd ask, because if we do decide to go, his finding a job is something that would worry me...

Thanks to anyone who has ANY advice!
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Postby matthew254 » May 21st, 2009 7:42 am

While I am certainly no expert whatsoever on the subject, I would have to say that most generally, skills aside, the language barrier is going to be the biggest obstacle. Of course there has been a (relatively) long history of Western businesspeople doing business in Korea managing and working under Koreans while knowing very little or no Korean, but these opportunities are dwindling to make room for people with the necessary language and cultural skills to be successful in Korea.

Korea is also an incredibly competitive market as of now. Even highly qualified Koreans are struggling to find work in their own field.

Obviously you're in the planning stages now, so I know you're open minded, but consider that if even if your husband had a cursory interest in teaching English, you'd both be made in the shade. English is doing just fine.

While I don't know specifics about his particular field, I do know that having a PhD qualifies him to work in a 연구소 (research institute) The only real questions are 1) would he want to do that again and 2) would anyone hire him?

Anyways, just my two cents. Please don't think of this as the end-all be-all answer because it's not.

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Postby SiEd » May 21st, 2009 9:11 pm

matthew254 wrote:While I don't know specifics about his particular field, I do know that having a PhD qualifies him to work in a 연구소 (research institute)

Hey Matthew,

I'll be receiving my PhD shortly (in Linguistics) and I've been trying to creatively set up different plans for the immediate future. Have you written anything about these 연구소 on the KC101 blog yet? Do you have any helpful links where I could start? 고맙습니다, 매튜씨!
"I'm trying to make a pun, but it's not punny."
-Mas Widiyanto

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Postby kyuree » May 22nd, 2009 1:40 pm

Hey, Alexis!

A while ago (before the economic crisis) I looked through (a very few) webpages for finding jobs in Korea as a foreigner/engineer.
There were few postings but then often it were management positions or other positions that required > 5 years work experience.
You should find Western companies in Seoul, they probably have more foreigners that work there anyways (?). To name a few German companies there are Siemens, Bosch, TÜV, ...

like Matthew said research at institutes might be easier to get in.
unfortunately having half a set of Korean genes doesn't come w/ a language gene

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Postby gillesvdp » May 22nd, 2009 8:50 pm

Furthermore finding a non teaching job at distance might be harder.
Your husband might have to fly to Korea for interview(s).

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Postby Alexis » May 23rd, 2009 4:30 am

OK, thanks guys.

I'm not sure whether this will be happening at all anymore. We have a few financial things to sort out here, and God knows how long that's going to take. :(
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