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I come across many people who are looking to move to Korea in the future.  Some are Koreans who miss how simple and loving life in Korea can be.  Others have fallen in love with Korea and want to start a new life there.  Whatever your reason is for wanting to move to Korea, one thing is certain: You’ll need to find a job before you go.  But what are some red flags that you’ll want to avoid when applying for a job?  Here are a few things to let you know that the job you seeing advertised may not be worth considering.

Count the Cost

To count the cost, you’ll need to understand how Korean money works.  You may see a job that is part time and pays 6000 Won an hour and think you’ve hit the jackpot, but not really.  That amount would be close to $6 U.S. per hour.  If you look at the prices of an apartment in Seoul, that’s not enough to cover your rent, let alone to allow you to have food or shop for other necessities.  The last thing you would want is to try and apply for a job that wouldn’t pay you enough to live off of.

Lower paying jobs also usually won’t sponsor work visas to bring someone over to Korea. To the best of your ability, try to figure out how much you will need to make to earn a living and to afford other things as well.  You may need to go to Korea to see how much food and other items will cost you.

How Often Do They Hire?

If you look on different job boards, you may see the same ads over and over again from the same company.  This is very true when it comes to some language companies in Seoul.  For many of these jobs, they advertise a desperate need for people to can speak a language foreign to Korea, such as English or Spanish, fluently to start right away.  But why do these companies put up that they are hiring every week?  It could be for a number of reasons.

For many of these companies, they do not want to take the time and effort to sponsor a work visa for the right person, so they will keep hiring the wrong people for their company.  They may be hopeful that someone who already has a visa will come work for them, making it easier for them.  Sometimes, companies that operate like this may have a history of not treating workers well.  Be careful about applying for a job where you may be miserable or mistreated from the beginning.

Very Few Details

Most reputable companies will give details about their jobs, such as where they are located, what will be your working hours, what your task will be and what are the qualifications.  Many of these companies will state if they will sponsor a work visa, or what visa they need you to have in order to work for them.  This way, they don’t waste your time or there time.  Companies that just want you to send them information about yourself, without telling you something about themselves, could be scams.  Be very careful about what information you send them.  Ask plenty of specific questions that an employee would have the right to know.  If they are defensive, you will want to look elsewhere.

Sample Test

Freelancers work hard to build up a portfolio as proof they are qualified for a job.  But there’s another reason for this.  You may be told that you have to take a sample test to show that you are indeed qualified.  This can be normal to make sure you can really understand Korean or translate documents into a target language for a company.  But what if you are told you have to take multiple test before you can get a job offer?  Sadly, some companies take projects from people and pass them off as “test” you need to pass in order to proceed forward.   If that is the case, you may be running on a hamster wheel.  Ask how many more test you’ll have to take.  If you don’t get an answer, you’re wasting your time.

Most companies are honest and are really looking for a qualified candidate(s) to fill their positions.  But others are looking to take advantage of people.  Do your best to educate yourself on Korean workplaces to better understand what type of situation you will be walking into if you get hired.  By arming yourself with knowledge, you will be less likely to be taken advantage of.