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Speaker’s Corner: Dream Job in Korea

March 8, 2015

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For this week’s episode of Speaker’s Corner we asked people about their dream jobs. It seems like a simple question, but I think it’s an important one in Korea, especially since education is so strongly emphasized here so that children can get into good universities and get good jobs. How often do we hear the stereotype of kids pressured into being doctors or lawyers. And yet, in Korea, more than working in a medical or legal field, tons of people are working for chaebols, big conglomerates like Samsung and LG and etc, and become salarymen or salary women. Working in Korea is pretty hard, and we often hear of people leaving their jobs at their big companies to start smaller ventures, like opening a coffee shop, for example.

Moreso, I feel like in Korea, your jobs are a bigger part of your life than they are back where we’re from, in Canada. The people that we know in Canada had jobs, and they’d punch in and punch out at the right time ever day after working the legal amount of hours, and then they’d go home to their families or friends, hobbies and vices. In Korea, though, it seems like people’s jobs define them a lot more. People here seem to work longer, and after work they go out and have dinner and drinks with their coworkers. That work/life balance that people keep striving for is rarely met in the people we know here in Korea, which is why we wanted to know about people’s dream jobs. While in Canada, it seems like when we talk to people about the jobs they want to have, they talk about the kinds of environments they’d like to work in, or the stuff they’d like to create in their jobs, while when we speak with people here it seems like people talk about their dream jobs in a different way: people don’t want to pursue something they’re passionate about as much as they want to just not work where they’re working now. What’s sad is when we speak with people who say they want to open restaurants, and when we ask them about what food they want to cook, they just say “oh, anything.” Their pursuit of a dream seems more like just trying to escape the nightmare of their current job.

But that’s just our experiences. Maybe it’s different with the people you’ve spoken to in Korea. Or maybe it’s different where you’re from. I’d love to hear what you think, what it’s like where you’re from, or if our experiences of what Canadian dream jobs are like vary vastly from what your Canadian friends say.

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Speaker’s Corner: Dream Job in Korea

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  1. Many asian males are being loyal to their race and keep protect our poverty.. but unfortunately conquered by some western ideology i.e multiculturalism, multiracialism and any other poison.

    5 years ago
  2. I always wanted to be a perfumer. I don’t know why but since my early childhood I’ve been loving perfumes. My mom always has a variety of them and as a child I was curious about stuff so already in my early years I could spend tons of time just playing with bottles. And as the result now I can recognise a lot of scents , but I can’t leave the house without wearing any perfume.

    5 years ago
  3. My dream job was to live in New York city as a fashion designer. Now I want to be an engineer. lol

    5 years ago
  4. My dream job would be to be a famous actress, haha… I love singing too but popstars have it way too hard lol, so I think acting would be better XP I’m too old for it now though :p

    This is really interesting though. it’s fun to see what other people’s dream jobs are!

    5 years ago
  5. When I was younger I was in love with the brand Coca-Cola. It was my dream to work for them. If we passed a Coca-Cola truck on the highway I would whip out my camera and take a photo of it. I also used to collect Coca-Cola posters. LOL This resulted in a very unhealthy obsession with Coca-Cola pop. Although I don’t drink pop at all anymore, it will still always be one of my favorite brands. I’ve found a new dream recently and I’m on my way to achieving it. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes me excited for the future. If that’s not a sign I’ve made the right choice, I don’t know what else would be!

    5 years ago
  6. Ooh this is something I don’t really think about here in Texas lol. I would love to own a beauty salon/spa though… I think that’d be pretty neat. I want to be able to change stereotypes people have on people with “unnatural” hair color etc.

    5 years ago
  7. Eeeee that was such a sweet speaker’s corner!
    I have several dream jobs. One is to be a Human rights officer. I want to change the world \o/ That’s likely to happen since I’m having my degree in that.
    Otherwise, I think being paid to travel would probably be the best thing ever. I’m also a burgeoning photographer and I might want to focus on that someday.
    My last idea is to open a cute little coffee shop with books and art and indie music where people can really chill and relax. I freaking love those.
    I feel like these are things that might really happen, so I’m quite hopeful.

    I really liked what one girl said. “Being happy and enjoying yourself is enough.” Well said!

    5 years ago
  8. “Moreno, I feel like in Korea, your jobs are a bigger part of your life than they are back where we’re from, in Canada.”
    You know, if you could still put pictures in the comments, I totally would have put in a pic of Rita Moreno and overlaid the image with something clever, possibly a quote from West Side Story. But I can’t, I can only imagine.

    ANYWAY, current dream job, teaching only elementary science. I’d love to do that. I know a couple of people who were lucky enough to get that gig, and I keep my eyes open, but it’s not a common teaching position.

    I used to say my dream job was working for a museum. It’s still my dream job actually. I’d be pretty excited if I got a job at the Museum of Science and Industry.

    5 years ago
  9. My dream job would involve animal rescues (where you don’t just rescue them, but nurse them back to health, plumpify them, and find them loving forever homes) and pastries (like macarons and macaron ice cream sandwiches) and using the creative side of my brain to invent cool stuff (like pretty dresses made out of toilet paper for girls who can’t afford prom dresses or unique yet comfy gadgets to help handicapped pets and people). For those who scoff at the Charmin dresses part, I say pick your jaw off the ground after you’ve checked out some of the entries for the annual contest for bridal creations (all made out of the two ply stuff) held by the t.p. company.

    5 years ago
  10. someone mentioned that “you can always find something that makes you smile”, But what if the thing that makes me smile (doing outdoor activities like mountain hiking, skydiving, horsebackriding etc) doesn’t really seem to have a future? I’ve always seen them as hobbies and free-time things. Not a carreer move. However, it does genuinely make me happy.
    So right now I guess I’ll just keep trying to finish up my studies so I can make money in science/consultancy so I can pursue my hobbies.

    5 years ago
  11. I want to be an Archaeologist. That’s my dream! I’m working towards it now and I’m so happy! On a related note, how excited are people for the new Jurassic Park movie?!

    5 years ago
  12. wan

    My dream job is to be a doctor and volunteer in les medecins sans frontieres (doctors without borders) for at least a couple years! I’m in my second year of college and am pre-medical, so hopefully the dream will come true!

    5 years ago
  13. I’m from Vancouver and went to a school that was predominantly Asian. I remember that a huge majority of students were doing the “I am going into sciences or business because my parents said so”. A lot of people with this mentality would mostly only consider the more “prestigious” school. They won’t go settle for any other university. Just the “best” one in Vancouver. This is also related to the “I have to get into this specific university because my parents said so”.

    I hate that. I’ve gotten asked why I go to a different university than my bf as well as why I study Political science. Why do I study political science? Because I like it. Why do I go to a different university? Because the one I go to focuses more on liberal arts. My parents respect that I am doing what I want. I follow what I like with my major and my minor, and dream of working in a tech field. I also dream of making my youtube videos on me trying different instant noodles, and reviewing them soon.

    My dad has a business degree (from “best” university) and it took him a while to realize he wasnt happy with his work. It took him a while to realize that he enjoys working on the business area of documentaries/reality comepetition shows. It makes him happy now. He understands that you cant go into something because your parents made you. You will lose your happiness and your independence. He doesnt want me to be like him where he was unhappy and regretful of getting his degree at the university.

    He believes that the more people who listen to their parents on career choices involving business and science, the more are going to ignore liberal arts and their benefits of being social, intricate thinkers.

    5 years ago
    • I’ve been thinking for a long time now that people emphasize their specific university degrees far too much. People often work in fields that they don’t have degrees in. Hell: we studied English and Religion and have our BAs in Education as well, and now we do web and video stuff, which we didn’t train for whatsoever. Soo Zee did design and now spends her time doing management. We all change and find different callings later on in life, and trying to decide what the rest of your life is going to be when you’re 18 and picking your major isn’t really gonna be all too accurate later on in life, IMO.

      5 years ago
      • There’s been a lot of stigma among science (and some engineer and business) students against liberal arts students. They assume that we can’t get “real” jobs and are only good for coffee shops. Basically they have technical and we dont. I have no clue when this became the norm, but it’s irritating. Just because I don’t know some chemical formula, a specific business model, or math doesn’t make me less of a person.

        After my dad’s search for job happiness, he realized that the degree doesn’t matter that much now. He’s met and heard of people who got degrees in Philosophy or Humanities, and came out running and working in tech companies. He’s also hired individuals, with the so-called “better” degree, who have no hope of getting real jobs because they have learnt nothing about the world and how to act (He hired 2 individuals that physically, for real, fell asleep during an importnat meeting). To him, you can always learn technical skills at a college or night school. But you can’t always learn how to socialize and understand how the world works at school.

        5 years ago
  14. I’ve worked customer service all my life, I actually enjoy it though. I take pride in having a great work ethic where ever I might be working. I’m also licensed in esthetics and I work in salons and spas occasionally to keep up my craft. I’m living in such a small town, job options are limited. I think the important thing is to be happy for your work. Hopefully have great coworkers you can rely on, a boss that’s a great leader, and a healthy positive outlook on working. When your job pays your bills, put food on the table, clothes on your back, and supplies you with more books and games that you know what to do with, you should be grateful to that job whatever it may be and do it to the best of your ability!

    5 years ago
  15. My dream job was to be a dancer for the Radio City Rockettes since I was young, but now time has passed, things change, so I would love to study fashion and makeup in Japan some day and hopefully do something with that (:
    While I am there, I will also do a lot of charity and volunteer work!

    5 years ago
  16. My #1 dream job is to work at/for UNHCR.

    5 years ago
  17. There’s so many jobs in the world and even more that you can make up. My dream job would be production designer. Whether it be live action, animated, game environments, I want to design the world characters live in. Plus I could do lots of travel for location scouting!

    5 years ago
  18. HECK YEAH I GOT A SHOUT OUT FROM MY FRIENDS!!! And beyond that my dream job is to be a pharmaceutical researcher. I wanna help people heal and grow healthy but not actually have to see all the people and feel that pressure. And yeah, that’s what I’m working to be!

    5 years ago
  19. My dream job is to be the lead singer of a rock band. Yep, I want to be a rock star. I’m currently recovering from/dealing with a mental illness and I write a lot of songs about that. It would mean absolutely everything to me to be able to share those songs with the world and have a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m currently learning how to sing and continuing to improve my songwriting so that one day my dream will become reality.

    5 years ago
  20. I’m actually working my dream job at the moment – which is a chef! o u o It took me some time to realise what I wanted to do and to actually take the steps and make the decision to do it but I’ve never been happier. I adore what I do. *o* Sometimes it’s frustrating and I work crazy long hours (just did a 90 hour week orz) but I couldn’t do anything else. My job is always different – every day is something new and I would hate to be stuck in a routine day after day. I’m a creative person and I love food so my job is perfect for me. <3

    5 years ago
  21. my dream job is to be a farmer and it all started when i was 3… just think about it : i was a 3 year old girl, living in the center of Paris and i wanted to have cows, sheeps, ducks, rabbits, pigs, hens, goats, you name it!! and today i’m working in a farm where i cuddle with goats and make cheeses!! dream job became true and yeah i’m a lucky one :)

    5 years ago
    • You know, I actually dream of having a farm as well. I know it’s at odds with a life on the Internet, but I’d love to live in a more natural setting :)

      5 years ago
    • Woo! That’s pretty awesome! =)

      5 years ago
  22. Ahahaha aaww the guy who wants to be a guide, there’s already something guide-y about him!

    My dream job it so make collectible toys, design DIY vinyl toys, design and make my own jewellery, design stationery, making a whole load of paper cut pieces and just living a crafty life! WHOO yeah~~~ Dream LIFE right there!!

    (then my crazy dream job that i know will never happen is to work with SHINee…by that i mean design their album covers, merchandise, and posters and stuff like that! ahahaha)

    5 years ago
  23. It’s always saddened me that Ive never had a dream job. I remember in year 6 we had to do a report on our dream job and I ended up picking Vet since I like animals and it was the easiest to write about. Like the girl in the video I just want to enjoy what I do and have a roof over my head/be financially stable. Which, I guess can count in a way. I would have liked to be passionate about something as a kid though.

    5 years ago
    • You can still find your passion as an adult. Whatever you find makes you smile, that’s what you should throw yourself into. It’s not worth going through this one life doing something you hate or find no satisfaction in.

      5 years ago
  24. I’m from Finland and my dream job is to do something with animals, maybe a caretaker at a zoo? Where I’m from it seemes that a lot of people just settle for a job they don’t even like, and the idea of finding a dream job and striving for it is thought to be childish. My friends have called me unrealistic just because I want to find a job I actually enjoy doing. Very few people I know have a job that is a big part of their life and is important to them. It’s just something to make money.

    5 years ago
    • My friends say the same thing too, but they still encourage me to do what I want to do. I won’t settle for something I know I’m going to hate.

      5 years ago
  25. i don’t have a specific dream job but i would like it to combine between my favorite things english , korea , cooking and designing
    well i dont think there is something like that

    5 years ago
    • You could try making a YouTube channel where you cook Korean ( or other? ) food while speaking in English, and arrange the food in interesting ways. Food is pretty awesome art, since you can eat it when you’re done. :D Or you could just straight up use food to make art of all kinds. I know I love watching cooking videos on YouTube.

      5 years ago
  26. For some reason my brain registered co-workers as cow-orkers just then even though I knew I was reading co-workers. Hahaha.
    My dream job would to be a scientist. Most of the time I when I think about what job I’m aiming for I think what am I supposed to aim for instead of science/academics? I’m not good at sport and I would say I’m not creative or artistic. I go to a science school and the path to it is kinda set out already and fully dedicate myself to studying to achieve it. I like science and I like knowing and learning I’m too young to decide. I’ll be in over my head if I try to determine my career path now. I went kinda off topic with this comment.

    5 years ago
    • Have you ever heard of the band Rupa and the April Fishes? They’re an alternative band that uses musical traditions from all over the world. Their lead singer Rupa is also a doctor. She started out doing the band as a hobby, but now it seems to have switched. The band is her job, and her goal is to do medicine for free. Follow your interests. You never know where they will take you.

      5 years ago
    • Cow-orkers. :D

      Find out what you like best, what you really get excited about. For me, I love languages, reading, movies, and music. My dream job ( in my comment here ) is to be a translator and interpreter, so I can put a hand in everything I love. Don’t go to school and waste your time and money studying something you hate, go for something you like. It’s okay if you don’t know what that is yet because you’ll find out in time. You’re never too young or too old to know or find out what you want to do with your life.

      5 years ago
  27. My dream job would be living in Korea as a translator, adding subtitles to tv shows and movies, translating lyrics, books, poetry, and occasionally getting to go out and do interpreting ( for interviews and other things ). I haven’t gotten to start on it yet because I’ve had medical issues, but school will start soon. I’ll be 32 before I get done and can start actually doing it, I feel kind of old already. I hope to see you guys there ( or maybe visit your future EatYourSushi headquarters in Japan? ).

    5 years ago
    • Hmm. I’m not sure if we’ll have a headquarters in Japan like we have one in Korea. We might just have a home instead :D

      5 years ago
      • Hmm, that might put a damper on things. I’m not really the stalker-type that visits people they fangirl over at their home. Ah well, I can do that at the cafe!

        5 years ago