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Who considers themselves successful here?
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rabidcake



Joined: 10 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Who considers themselves successful here? Reply with quote

Of course, success has a different meaning for everyone.

To me, success means that you have done whatever life goals you wanted to do (or are on your way to completing them) and also have both a steady life and a promising future.

How many of you feel that you have this in Korea?

I have been wanting to move to Korea and develop a substantial amount of my career for a Korean company, but have found doing so extremely difficult. Of course I would not only have to invest an incredible amount of time in improving my Korean, but also the connections and opportunities are especially hard for non-engineers, aka business people.

I hope in the future I can come back to Korea and perhaps even consider doing the Yonsei GMBA program. I'm assuming that program is somewhat substantial considering that it's in the Economist's top 100 MBA programs, although by no means the best.

How many of you have got what you wanted from Korea? Did initially coming as an English teacher lead you to more and more opportunities to develop yourself in Korea?
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laynamarya



Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Location: Gwangjin-gu

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I got what I wanted. It's perfect for me. I love kids, I love teaching. I could probably find something more impressive-sounding or more lucrative, but I'd be miserable.

I also have a beautiful family, great friends, and a decent standard of living. Not a whole lot more I could ask for, really. I'd say I found my success.
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sublunari



Joined: 11 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a beautiful wife and child, a nice big apartment in a small city, a decent and respectable job as a professor (with enough tutoring on the side to provide us with a livable income), and a low intermediate ability with the Korean language. All we need now is a car.

When I came here three years ago all I wanted to do was escape a collapsing economy and avoid working in restaurants and kitchens, which is more or less what I was doing before I scored a degree in the useful uselessness of the liberal arts. Based on this goal I have definitely succeeded, though I didn't intend to stay in Korea more than a year and I certainly didn't mean to get married and start a family here, though I'm happy to have done so.

In spite of this I'm pretty anxious to get back to America---I've gone back three times since arriving---and I'm not really convinced that my success here will translate into success at home. I wonder what happens to professors who head back...?
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really am a complete failure at life. I am always miserable, push people away, every choice I have ever made I have regretted. I am currently over 30 and, yeah, I know everyone will say - "You are young and have so much life ahead of you!" - but I have been unhappy since college. I initially got an associates in Business Studies only to be offered a job where I couldnít even afford the bare necessities. I continued college and completed my B.A. and searched for almost 3 years with no good job. I even changed cities. At the time I ran a small lawn business that never paid all the bills and I kept having to ask my parents for money. Finally, I had to move overseas by myself in order to get a job teaching. I really thought that I was going to be a great teacher and get through to them because I was older but could still relate to them. I spend countless hours planning and making engaging lessons. After about 5 months I knew that I didnít want to be a teacher. If was like being in a room with 28 babies screaming all day. No matter what I tried to do to make things interesting, all I ever heard was this is boring, why do we have to do this? They failed every test I gave and didnít complete a full piece of homework. The entire school had to give 40 -50 grades every quarter just to make it possible for them to pass because, if we relied on tests, they would all fail. I was stuck teaching for 2 more years even though I hated it. I now am at a different school and the students are the same, except the school drops a hundred more things on us. I am trying so hard to get through to them and they just donít care. I have only once in 4 years heard that something I did was good, from the administration. They just told me they thought that if I donít have 88% of my kids pass the test then I might not be the right choice for the ADVANCED class. Yup, advanced, and they donít study, do homework or pay attention. I hate getting up to go to work. I have been going to bed around 1 or 2 in the morning just because I canít bear to deal with the screaming, fighting, and just utter chaos. As I walk down the hall all I hear are kids cursing and teachers screaming. After 4 years, Iím still stuck doing this. I haven't had a rise since my 2nd year and was told we wonít be getting one next year. I moved with some money from selling my lawn equipment and have spent all of it. I have not save 1 penny since I began my career. If any extra expense comes up I have to go asking my parents. The entire time I have been sending resumes any and everywhere and only got one Skype interview and didnít get the job. This job was for less money too. My parents had to help me buy a house back home, because I didnít have a dime to my name and they though it would be a good investment. It was also a little cheaper than paying rent. Well the way the economy is, if I sold it I would owe a lot of money. There are some weeks when I only eat dinner because I canít afford to go food shopping. Believe me when I tell you I have not gone out in 4 months because I donít have the money. I have also had to stop paying all but one of my credit cards because I just couldnít afford it. My parents had given me money to pay off my cards before I moved overseas, but with more than one paycheck going just to rent and now a mortgage I have racked them back up, just buying food and paying bills. Now Iím trying to go back to school just to be able to get another job and unless I go full time then I wonít receive financial aid and would have to pay ,000 per class. Where that would come from beats me. Bottom line is I have kept trying and my life is even worse now. Now because I have a house, Iím stuck and my job that is supposed to pay the bills keeps me from going back to school. If somehow I was able to pay for a class or two per semester it would take me years to complete and I would be forced to continue teaching. I really do think that it would be easier if I was dead. People talk about how killing yourself is selfish and will hurt the people around you. Well what about how I have been hurting for years and have pushed myself to go to counseling and even try different medications. Nothing has worked. Why, because I feel like anybody in these situations couldnít be happy. Maybe things would be different if I liked what I did, but I donít and that makes it even worse. At least if I made good money and hated my job, I could at least go on vacations or do things to get my mind off it. I used to think that I didnít have the guts to take my life, but the longer and longer it goes the easier I am finding it to think
so I am not quite sure how to reply to comments here, so I added these details. Itís not that I gave up over the years, in fact I kept pushing on by going back to school, working another job. All in an attempt to improve my life and sense of worth. There does come a time though that someone has to throw the towel in. I mean after all the years of trying to improve things through various means, I honestly can say that I am no further than I was 10 years ago. Just in debt, and I havenít used my cards in almost 2 years. That is actually why I donít always have money for food and bills. All Iím saying is that there comes a point when you give up.
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Zackback



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Location: Kyungbuk

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I felt really sad when I read Justin's story. Isn't your income in Korea enough to be ok with? When I was there I did somewhat ok with it. PM me if you want to unwind. This applies to you or anyone else. I love to talk with people that are having problems and offer help/advice.
There are times when I feel sky high and other times i feel like an absolute loser. If I could transfer my success with getting chicks to like me into income I'd be doing pretty well. Thing is though the hands of time keep moving and I am in my 40's now. Things will not be the same for me in ten years. Then what's left? Just memories of the great times and an empty bank account. I keep telling myself to get focused but I always seem to be deterred by the attention of the young pretty ladies. It's surreal. You wake up one day and you're like "Is this it? Is this what life's all about." I found myself repeating the lines of Tony Montana in Scarface during the restaurant scene with his wife and his friend. After the smiles of their faces go blank and their screams of excitement go silent what then?

Maybe I should just get married already.


Last edited by Zackback on Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Daelim



Joined: 18 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JustinC wrote:
I really am a complete failure at life. I am always miserable, push people away, every choice I have ever made I have regretted. I am currently over 30 and, yeah, I know everyone will say - "You are young and have so much life ahead of you!" - but I have been unhappy since college. I initially got an associates in Business Studies only to be offered a job where I couldnít even afford the bare necessities. I continued college and completed my B.A. and searched for almost 3 years with no good job. I even changed cities. At the time I ran a small lawn business that never paid all the bills and I kept having to ask my parents for money. Finally, I had to move overseas by myself in order to get a job teaching. I really thought that I was going to be a great teacher and get through to them because I was older but could still relate to them. I spend countless hours planning and making engaging lessons. After about 5 months I knew that I didnít want to be a teacher. If was like being in a room with 28 babies screaming all day. No matter what I tried to do to make things interesting, all I ever heard was this is boring, why do we have to do this? They failed every test I gave and didnít complete a full piece of homework. The entire school had to give 40 -50 grades every quarter just to make it possible for them to pass because, if we relied on tests, they would all fail. I was stuck teaching for 2 more years even though I hated it. I now am at a different school and the students are the same, except the school drops a hundred more things on us. I am trying so hard to get through to them and they just donít care. I have only once in 4 years heard that something I did was good, from the administration. They just told me they thought that if I donít have 88% of my kids pass the test then I might not be the right choice for the ADVANCED class. Yup, advanced, and they donít study, do homework or pay attention. I hate getting up to go to work. I have been going to bed around 1 or 2 in the morning just because I canít bear to deal with the screaming, fighting, and just utter chaos. As I walk down the hall all I hear are kids cursing and teachers screaming. After 4 years, Iím still stuck doing this. I haven't had a rise since my 2nd year and was told we wonít be getting one next year. I moved with some money from selling my lawn equipment and have spent all of it. I have not save 1 penny since I began my career. If any extra expense comes up I have to go asking my parents. The entire time I have been sending resumes any and everywhere and only got one Skype interview and didnít get the job. This job was for less money too. My parents had to help me buy a house back home, because I didnít have a dime to my name and they though it would be a good investment. It was also a little cheaper than paying rent. Well the way the economy is, if I sold it I would owe a lot of money. There are some weeks when I only eat dinner because I canít afford to go food shopping. Believe me when I tell you I have not gone out in 4 months because I donít have the money. I have also had to stop paying all but one of my credit cards because I just couldnít afford it. My parents had given me money to pay off my cards before I moved overseas, but with more than one paycheck going just to rent and now a mortgage I have racked them back up, just buying food and paying bills. Now Iím trying to go back to school just to be able to get another job and unless I go full time then I wonít receive financial aid and would have to pay ,000 per class. Where that would come from beats me. Bottom line is I have kept trying and my life is even worse now. Now because I have a house, Iím stuck and my job that is supposed to pay the bills keeps me from going back to school. If somehow I was able to pay for a class or two per semester it would take me years to complete and I would be forced to continue teaching. I really do think that it would be easier if I was dead. People talk about how killing yourself is selfish and will hurt the people around you. Well what about how I have been hurting for years and have pushed myself to go to counseling and even try different medications. Nothing has worked. Why, because I feel like anybody in these situations couldnít be happy. Maybe things would be different if I liked what I did, but I donít and that makes it even worse. At least if I made good money and hated my job, I could at least go on vacations or do things to get my mind off it. I used to think that I didnít have the guts to take my life, but the longer and longer it goes the easier I am finding it to think
so I am not quite sure how to reply to comments here, so I added these details. Itís not that I gave up over the years, in fact I kept pushing on by going back to school, working another job. All in an attempt to improve my life and sense of worth. There does come a time though that someone has to throw the towel in. I mean after all the years of trying to improve things through various means, I honestly can say that I am no further than I was 10 years ago. Just in debt, and I havenít used my cards in almost 2 years. That is actually why I donít always have money for food and bills. All Iím saying is that there comes a point when you give up.


Mate, life is ALWAYS better than than the other side. ALWAYS! There are people who clearly love you and are willing to help you so lean on them... they will appreciate being able to help.

If this is a real post (I can't tell with these things, sorry for doubting) then if you need someone to talk to please drop me a PM anytime. Don't give up.
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andrewchon



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Location: In my goshiwon cubicle. Seeking moksha.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a real post. Justin style has a history of posting Nietzsche-esque comments.
As for me: considering I was a complete laughing stock back in oz, I think I have made a moderate success.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Who considers themselves successful here? Reply with quote

rabidcake wrote:
Did initially coming as an English teacher lead you to more and more opportunities to develop yourself in Korea?


It has and it hasn't. I did have a pretty steady progression from English teacher to what I currently do for work here. And I am roughly in the line of work I've been intending to do for a while, editing and/or publishing. But I took a step back in terms of challenge that the work presents (i.e. I'm doing the kind of work I had back in 2008 in terms of mental stimulation) but, after slumming it at crap salary jobs, my current job was a refreshing boost. And most of the work I've done here will translate into at least a little something back home, or if I move on from where I am now to another job in Korea then I don't think I'll have to worry about my resume.

But at the same time, I've had a lot of luck on my side. My big break into the field came from out of the blue. While I'm more than capable of doing my current job, getting it rode almost exclusively on luck as well. And a combination of being picky about jobs and just plain old bad luck meant that I've had rather long stints of being unemployed. Things have come together but, even with luck on my side, there have been some painful periods.

So I would say I'm doing moderately successful right now. And I know others who are or have also been moderately successful.

Of course, like you said, everyone defines success differently. Some people would absolutely hate being in my shoes! And I don't like to talk about my job or career in Korea generally; I almost always end up downplaying it because I sincerely think staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day and editing English/writing material is not for everyone.


Last edited by Zyzyfer on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: The joy's in the ride.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JustinC wrote:
My parents had to help me buy a house back home...


My sympathy evaporated.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say I am, but that's using my own criteria, so I'm not sure what it's worth.

I'm married, have an awesome kid. Am doing work that I enjoy. Am able to travel.

Beyond winning the lotto, I feel like I've got it pretty good.
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Brooks



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a local spouse and perhaps a kid, your priorities change.
Without kids it is easier just to move and return to your own country.
And then you may ask yourself, "Can I do better in my own country?"

Sometimes I just think to myself, "What am I doing in this country?"
As I walk around and see people who don`t look like me.

I chose to leave my own country, and in the past, being abroad sounded cool.
But I think it probably is tougher. You have to work outside your culture and learn a foreign language and try to adapt to a different culture. Think of the people you went to high school with. How many have worked abroad? How many have taken the road less traveled?

I think when you just stay for the money, it makes it tough, and life can be a grind. Maybe having a goal would help. I think saving money to buy a house, or getting better at the local language are both good things to strive for.

I think life is a battle with yourself. Be patient, spend time reflecting, get exercise, and don`t abuse alcohol.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My sympathy evaporated.


I didn't really have much to begin with to be honest. Sounded like a bit of a self-pitying whine, without much cause. If the guy suffers from depression then fair enough but otherwise pull yourself together man!
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Seoulman69



Joined: 14 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not very successful but I am very lucky. I was born to a good family, in a rich country. I have never wanted for anything. I'm a white male who speaks fluent English. I have a girlfriend and friends who love me. I make enough money to live a decent life.

In conclusion - successful = no, lucky = yes.
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madoka



Joined: 27 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
I didn't really have much to begin with to be honest. Sounded like a bit of a self-pitying whine, without much cause. If the guy suffers from depression then fair enough but otherwise pull yourself together man!


Guy admits to seriously considering suicide, so you decide to kick him some more? Stay classy edward.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brooks wrote:
Sometimes I just think to myself, "What am I doing in this country?"
As I walk around and see people who don`t look like me.


It's your choice/business, but I find this an odd marker to judge by.
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