I Quit My Job in Korea | Non-Teaching Job in Seoul Q&A

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Okay! I don’t know why I’m so nervous to film
this. Hi guys, it’s Cari. If you read the title of this video, you know the big announcement
is – I quit my full time job here in Korea. And I asked you guys for a lot of questions
and I’m very thankful for them all however, a lot of them I had answered in my previous
working in Korea Q&A so if I don’t answer your questions here, it’s because I’m trying
to answer some new ones and go into more detail that I couldn’t – that I didn’t feel comfortable
talking about while I was still working there. I even give you a tour of my old office. Go
check that out, I’ll link it wherever it goes. Number one, I did answer this before but just
in case, what was my job? I was technically a marketing manager, or a community manager
for a social media start up here in Seoul. And I started working there in 2014 and I
officially left at the end of 2019. So it was about 5.5….5.5 years! It was exactly
5.5 years since the day that I started so I was there for quite a long time. A lot of
my work was like content creation, social media management, very loose translation and
localization, stuff like that. I wore a lot of hats basically, as anyone in marketing
does. And all of my work was in English because I was on the English marketing team, but most
of our communication was in Korean. So that kind of gives you the background, now to the
more juicy questions. First and foremost, why did I quit? Well, like I had mentioned
before when I did my whole ‘I’m married’ announcement, Kurt and I were planning to move to America
so I really was mentally prepared to leave this job anyway and then we ended up not moving,
we ended up staying here so I went down to part time and then I eventually went down
to remote, and then I eventually went down to quitting all together [I’m on a marriage
visa now] There wasn’t any bad blood or anything, it was just that I’ve been doing kind of the
same job – minute changes but kind of the same job same people same office for five
and a half years and I wanted to see if I could do other things and so that’s why I
left, it’s not any hot goss, it’s just I – I was ready to move on. Kind of related to that:
am I moving? No. Short answer, no. I’m not moving, I just left because it was my time.
Okay kind of grouping these all together: Am I a full time youtuber now? what am I going
to do next? Am I lonely without work? I’ve mentioned this once before but I absolutely
do not ever want to be a full time youtuber, I would go absolutely insane. I’ve been doing
youtube for three years with a full time job and so I’ve gotten really good at managing
my time. Having all this extra time is wonderful, I know it’s a luxury that I don’t have to
go into an office every single day. That honestly has lifted such a weight off my shoulders
and I’m so thankful for it, but I’m the kind of person that likes to have a lot of work,
I like to be constantly busy. Because I got really good at doing YouTube with very little
time, having all this extra time…I don’t need it. It’s really helpful for me because
I want to focus a lot on traveling more and bringing you guys to more interesting places
but there’s a lot of me sitting at home. This is the first couple of weeks that I’ve really
been just home. When I went to America that’s kind of when I quit so going to America it
felt like just a vacation so once I came back here at the end of December it’s hitting me
that I’m not working a full time job anymore. And I’m getting real bored. I’m currently
doing a few but I’m picking up some more freelance opportunities. I kind of have always been
a freelance content writer on the side, like minimal, real minimal. I’m hopefully going
to pick up some more of those jobs, I do like being in an office, I think anybody who works
remote understands. I would like to do something where I’m more face-to-face with people again
because it’s a little lonesome. Another really popular question: could I have your old job?
No lol. So I was really protective of what I had built and I didn’t want to leave it
empty handed, like just walk out and have my position be empty, so before I left I actually
interviewed people and trained and passed on my job to someone else so yeah fully trained
my replacement, sorry, my position is taken. Okay this one: Salary. Compared to the US
and compared to men. So in the marketing area and really in almost any other area, your
salary is going to be less than the United States. But you also kind of need to consider
cost of living (I meant living, not life haha) Is much less here as well. So rent is going
to be lower (sort of) your healthcare, your transportation, the price of a lot of different
foods, stuff like that. In America you’re going to have to buy like insurance for everything
you own. You’re going to have to pay a lot for your health insurance even if you don’t
use it and then if you use it you have to pay more – stuff like that. It doesn’t 100%
even out but it’s certainly not as big of a gap as it will sound like once I tell you
the normal salaries. And so the normal salary if you are joining a marketing team especially
for a start up, entry level – 2.5 – 3 million won, 2.5 and up into the low 30s would be
a very good offer. The only problem is that, just coming from – I only know American standards
– in America we like to give yearly reviews/raises maybe a bonus, maybe a promotion, in Korea
it’s not as common. So I actually really really had to fight, I was in conversation with my
manager and my CEO for probably like 4 months to get a raise for my team. It ended up being
quite a small raise but at that point I had been fighting for 4 months, I was tired, I
was just like ‘screw it’ so in the course of my 5 years – well let’s say 4 years because
the last year I was kind of working part time, in the course of my 4 years there I only got
2 raises and they were small. For the amount of work that we were doing the raises weren’t
enough so that is something to think about – your salary probably won’t scale unless
you really push. I’m not financially driven and so I felt very greedy asking for it but
it is – you deserve it! You are making your company a lot of money if you’re doing your
job very well. I could very comfortably live and save here just because my rent was $400,
we had free breakfast for the first 2 years. If you stayed after 7pm they would pay for
your dinner. So there were a lot of other financial incentives, but salary is lower
than America for sure. Finally about salary compared to men. I don’t know about corporate
world or anything other than my start up world, but rather than it being salary based on gender,
it’s often salary based on your team and the teams tend to be more gender segregated [that’s
another issue in itself! we need more female engineers!] My engineering team – front end,
back end – is 100% male. We had one female engineer at one time but now it’s 100% male.
For example marketing team members get paid less than engineers. Developers just naturally
have higher salaries, I’m pretty sure that’s kind of the same in America. So yes, a lot
of men in my company were making more than me, but it wasn’t because I’m a woman, it
was because they were developers. We did have men on the marketing team and they were very
much in the same realm as we were. Which leads me to Gender Issues. Did they exist, lots
of questions about sexism and stuff. Please see my old video, but my CEO was a woman.
I think a lot of people just assume that all CEOs are male- it is not true! My CEO was
a woman, and we had lots of women in power positions, we also had a cabinet stacked – we
had this female group chat and we just stocked this cabinet, we had like a unlimited budget,
for pain medication, pads, anything we needed for that time of the month. I think we had
hot packs stuff like that. It’s actually a law in all of Korea but I hear that some companies
try to discourage it, but my company we totally used it – women get one day per month to use
if they are having a really hard time during that time of the month. See my old video,
I think I go into more detail but yeah! Okay, this one is going to kind of be a weird jumble.
So lots of questions about benefits, pension, days off, taxes. So benefits, I kind of mentioned
it already as far as little perks, free breakfast, free snacks, there is also national health
care that you get with your company. I think they overcharged me or something for a checkup
that I went to and so for months they would send me mail asking ‘please give us your bank
information so we could send you 30 cents cause we overcharged you 30 cents’ The health
care industry in America would never. So days off: it’s a law that you must have 12 days
of vacation plus you get all of the national holidays. And with my company, every year
that you worked there you would accrue another .5 days or a full day? What my company did
and I think a lot of start ups do, you’re able to work on holidays and save those for
later so for example in the beginning, Kayla and I would work during Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)
so let’s say you get 4 days off (it changed every year cause it’s the lunar calendar)
Kayla and I would go into the office for 4 days and we would work those days even when
everybody else is gone. Everything would be closed during Chuseok, if we wanted to take
those 4 days and fly to Japan or something tickets were so expensive, if we wanted to
go to Busan you couldn’t get train tickets so we would work those days and then we would
save those 4 days and use them maybe in November when the flight tickets were cheaper and we
would just randomly go to Japan like in the middle of the week and have a great time.
If you were to take more days off than you had, it wouldn’t really be a big issue except
for it would eventually be taken off of your pension. So Korea does have a national pension
which is really cool. Instead of going by year, for example so saying ‘you started in
June 2014 and left at the end of 2019 so that means you worked 5.5 years’ they do it by
the day. So they literally count exactly how many days you were in the office and that’s
how much your pension is worth. So if you take off extra vacation days it will just
shave off a little bit of your pension but it’s not really a huge financial cut. And
then if you are foreign and you leave the country, you aren’t planning on coming back
to Korea before you legally can get your pension, they will give it to you I’m pretty sure you
do it at the airport. Taxes! Oh taxes. How fun. The thing that drives me insane is that
America especially, I don’t know about everything other country but I hope they know – America
knows how much you owe them. The IRS knows which is why you get penalized if you don’t
pay the correct amount. So basically they make you do all this paperwork and then we’re
going to charge you if you get it wrong, it’s like a horrible math test. But in Korea it’s
a beautiful system. Basically all I am in charge of doing is once a year, I basically
sign into this government website, and I have to insert my baking information. Download
a PDF from that government website that has been tracking my spending and has shuffled
it into the correct categories. I upload the PDF to my HR, and then my HR does my taxes.
The first time I had to do it I thought they were kidding, like I thought that was just
the first step. But it’s literally that easy, it is beautiful. Which brings me to actually
something I want to talk about today which is Skillshare who sponsored this video, that
you guys so much as I transition to freelancing. Y’all really helping a girl out. Skillshare
as you know is an online community that has a bunch of different classes ranging from
business to art to photography to design. I actually delved into their freelancing and
entrepreneurship section. The first one that I started, it’s actually a really short class
and it’s really great, it’s about pricing like how to set a price as a freelancer, as
a creative freelancer. Peggy the teacher kind of walks you through how you can realistically
set a price, and feel good about sending someone your estimate and how to defend your estimate
and your worth. and then, speaking of taxes, I also started taking this course about bookkeeping.
So since last year I’ve had to do my American taxes as a self employed individual which
reminds me if you are watching this on the day that it is posted, it is January 15 hi
hello, your quarterly taxes are due. She just really walks you through and gives you so
much information about what apps or what websites you can use to really help your bookkeeping,
stuff like that. And Skillshare is actually giving you 2 months of the free premium membership
meaning that you have access to all the classes unlimited absolutely for 2 months and then
it’s about $10 a month after that if you click my link so please follow that, it’s really
worth it a lot of these classes are really quick especially the entrepreneur ones. It
has made America’s really annoying taxes feel a little bit more manageable. If only it could
be like Korea’s that’d be real nice. Back to the questions: a lot of questions about
was I forced to stay late, and the interestingly a lot of people asking about if I had to wait
to leave until my boss left which I found really funny because my bosses, like it’s
a start up, they’re constantly out of the office meeting with VCs, no there was – I
never ever felt any pressure to stay late, the only times that I would is because if
we were releasing a new update and I needed to get English wording done but the Korean
wording wasn’t done like I just needed to wait for somebody else to get something done.
If I ever stayed late it was usually on my own accord. I did have a manager who was American,
first of all, a narcissist, a sociopath, I will have to talk about him another time because
I’m not even ready to talk about him but the only times that I did feel pressure to stay
was he would be very judgmental if I were to leave but that was because he was an emotional
abuser. And like I said, he was American this wasn’t like a Korean work culture thing it
was like really just a sociopath controlling, manipulative, gah. Okay, is it hard to find
work? Where can I find work? So talked about this in my other video so please go watch
that but is it hard? Yes. It’s really really hard. And if there are jobs, they’re all in
the same fields. Finding work, you’re probably going to find it in marketing, engineering,
design, translation, in content creation, you’re not going to find it in pretty much
any other field (that will sponsor your visa) Which is frustrating but that’s just what
the need is here right now. I will link some resources down below but um yeah it’s hmm.
Linked to that: will it be easier to get a job here if you go to a Korean university?
Yes and no. With a Korean university degree if you complete your studies there you don’t
need to have all of the other requirements to get the E7 working visa. So for me, I had
to have 2 years of work experience outside of Korea, I needed to have lots of letters
of recommendation, I needed to have my degree directly match my job title. Which is annoying
and I talk more about that in my other video. So you do get to skip that, but the hurdle
of still finding the job is there. So I know a lot of people who have graduated and they
have gone back to their home countries because either the job that they did find was horrible
working conditions or they never found a job. It’s really common. Just know that, like before
you decide that you really love Korea and so you’re going to go to a Korean university
so you can live here, it’s not – you’re still a foreigner. It’s really hard. And then the
last one: was I treated differently, did I experience alienation, and then I want to
end on this note and I’m really glad someone asked this, what was the kindest thing someone
did for you at the workplace? First of all, was I treated differently? Yes, because I
was different. I never felt alienation, there would be times when the conversation would
be going so fast or would veer to something that I didn’t understand and I’d definitely
be a little like ahhhhhh like at lunch sometimes I’d just find myself like, wow I’m lost. It’s
not like my coworkers ever tried to make me feel um – oh no why am I going to cry? – my
coworkers never wanted to make me feel not welcome or not part of the team it’s just
that they’re talking about their lives and they were talking really fast in their native
language it’s fine. But usually like especially I can think of 3 or 4 of my coworkers would
always checking up on me and looking at me especially if we were to go out for a meal,
they would always be sure if I wasn’t talking for a while they’d veer the conversation back
to a place I was comfortable and stuff like that. So there were times when I felt left
out or something like that but it was never malicious it was never intended for that to
be like that. It was just I’m not fluent in Korean and I don’t know certain things that
they’re talking about. And if I was treated differently it’s just because I was different
– people would ask me questions about America or people would just ask my opinion or something
and I thought it was great. It’s fine, I am different I was ~the foreigner in the office~
you know so um yeah it was fine. And then as far as like the kindest things people have
done for me, there are so many and I don’t want to cry. I cried a lot on the day that
I left, I really was holding it together but my company has this really horrible tradition
of everyone going to the elevators when the person is leaving and they just crowd around
and say bye and whatever so I was totally fine until that point and then I just started
sobbing cause like :’) Yeah my coworkers were basically like my family. Because I didn’t
have any family here. I’m the kind of person that can’t walk through tears so I need to
get a handle on myself for a second. My coworkers were really my family, like they really looked
after me, they knew that my family wasn’t around so they really cared and were like
always checking that I was eating my fruits and vegetables. They were really how I first
made friends, they’re all still my friends. and I’m really thankful for them. One concrete
example: I had a really big health scare in 2015? 2016? I needed to go to the hospital.
My coworker called the emergency room for me and I ended up having to get surgery and
everybody was texting me and checking on me and one of our engineers, his wife is a doctor
at the place where I was getting my surgery so he was like ‘just tell me where you are
and I’ll send her up, she’s the best” I’m just really really thankful for them I wish
I could say more without sobbing but every time I want to talk about something specific
I end up crying. One really cute thing was after I got, when Kurt and I got married,
we didn’t do anything we didn’t have any party. Our company would have “play days” like you
would have ‘going out for dinner’ or something – every team would have a budget to have a
day of fun that didn’t have to be going out drinking. One day my coworker emailed me and
was like ‘hey we’re thinking of going to a movie on Thursday would you be interested
in seeing Aquaman with the team?’ and I was like ok…ay? sure? So we go and we go to
a buffet beforehand and then we walk to the movie theatre and as we’re walking in, there’s
a cafe that we’re going to go to while we wait for our movie to start, and one of my
coworkers disappeared. And I was like ‘oh no where did she go?’ but I didn’t want to
ask a lot because I thought we just went to aa seafood buffet like what if she got really
sick. It looked like the other people knew where she was so I didn’t want to make them
be like ‘she’s in the bathroom, she’s sick, shut up lol’ so I just kind of dropped it
and then as we were sitting in the cafe that coworker shows up behind me with a big bouquet
of flowers and it turns out that this was like a little ‘congratulations cari wedding
party’ which I thought was so cute, it was also a really good excuse to not work for
the whole day so I’m sure they were thankful to me too for getting married. But it was
just really cute, they didn’t have to do that it was really nice so. Yeah I had some of
the lowest lows of my life in that company. I had some of the, absolutely the worst time
of my life while I was working there thanks to certain people but I also made so many
friends and I’m so thankful for them, I met Kurt there. Like I said they’re my family
– you REALLY hate some of them and you really love some of them so. I will calm down, omg.
I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life. I’m thankful for the last 5,5 years
of my life but I’m excited to see what I can do by myself and yeah I wish you guys the
best of luck with your job search. I wish the best of luck to anybody who is currently
working here. I mean anywhere, any job is going to be really mentally and physically
and emotionally hard but I hope you do find people that you love through it and that you
learn things and you grow. So yeah I wish I wasn’t ending this on such a crying note
but I don’t know if Skillshare has some classes about controlling your emotions haha If you
want to check it out hit my link in the description box for 2 months of free premium membership.
I’ll talk more about how I’m going to deal with that with youtube and finances and sponsorships
and all that stuff maybe in another video or I’ll just talk about it on Instagram probably.
That’s definitely something I’m going to have to think hard about and balance well and stuff
like that so yeah. I thank you guys so much for being on this journey with me, 3 years
of full time and YouTube on the side was a trip and I really learned how much I love
YouTube because I was able to find the energy to do YouTube no matter what. So yeah I’m
just really really thankful, you guys this channel genuinely helped me recover from that
really really dark time which maybe I will talk about later once I’m able to not cry,
but yeah you guys have no idea how much even now you’re really helping me so much so I’m
always thankful for you guys and I hope that this helped in any way. I’m so sorry that
I’m a mess. If you have any more questions definitely check out my other video that I
made and then any specifics I’ll try and answer down below but definitely check that video
first, cause I did a lot of questions. And yeah I really need to stop this, I’m going
to go fix myself. But yeah I really really love you guys and thank you thank you thank
you thank you. See you next time! Bye!

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