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Has moving away from Korea worked out for you?
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, and it's not all about the college degrees. My young cousin and her husband are certified welders and make bank. They keep going for extra welding certs to keep pace with even higher paying opportunities.

THREE other cousins are government contractors overseas, two in Afghaniland and one in Germany. One does transportation and logistics and two are nurses and nurse practitioners. aLL are prior service, which is how the found the opportunities to begin with.

The military isn't the right stepping stone or career for everybody. And not everybody can do it even if they want. But if there's one thing that life has taught me is that people shouldn't be victims. Can't find a job where you are? Move. Don't think a job will be waiting for you if you're a 300 pound modern dance major? Don't freakin major in it. Not everyone has the benefit of family money and connections. Not fair! Tough shite, that's reality.
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: Victoria, Canada.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shaunew wrote:
I can go to my sons school and not be yelled at our pointed at while walking down the street.
No one stares at you are makes any comments about having half blood kids.


That alone is worth a million dollars.
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bcjinseoul



Joined: 13 Jan 2010
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRagic wrote:
I loathe the comparison to Sweden, a county with a population smaller than New York....CITY! If you want to draw comparisons to Obama's policies and their economic impacts, look to Italy and France. Not good.

Three are jobs in the US, but different sectors have been impacted differently. I have a good buddy in educational consulting, specializing in charter schools, and he's never been busier. He had his best year ever in 2011-2012, and the SOB only works 8 months a year! Both of my brothers, one in health care management and finance, and one in finance and marketing both changed jobs twice over the past 5 years, and both times for a lot more coin and benefits. Sister-in-law in sales? changed companies and has been promoted to VP. Cousin with a Ph.D. in social work? She's been so busy that they're trying to find someone else to bring on full time. She works with vets and is one herself, as are many in my family. I often wonder how many young Americans bitching about jobs and what they feel they should have coming to them have served their country in the armed forces, or have at least given it serious thought. IMHO, jobs go to vets first other things being equal.

Some should, in fact, consider getting certified in concealing. There is a shortage of professionals needed to aid our troops transitioning home. There are a ton of jobs in intelligence, too, but you need the training, experience, and clearance to get them.

These people all work in small cities, too. My friend in petroleum engineering has written his own ticket since he finished his undergrad degree in that. Try telling him that he needs to be paying more taxes. Try telling any of these people that those with little or no education, or those with

There was just a comment in the NY Times from a manufacturer who wanted to hire 15 workers but couldn't get any takers. People had figured out that with the current unemployment tax credits and extended benefits, it was more worthwhile to NOT work. And those were no 11 bucks an hour jobs! That doesn't bode well for other small businesses.


This whole thing reads like Republican commenting on an article in the Huffington Post online. It's like Paul Ryan's small business malarkey during the VP debate...you sound like you're 45 and from Texas. Yeah, hurrah for small government, the Constitution and Biblical fundamentalism, Rick Perry. And guns don't kill people, right? Get the big Gubnment off our backs...except for outlawing abortion, we get it. And climate change isn't man made (cough, cough...). Also, we already spend billions of years on intelligence; how much more should we spend there? Most people don't even know the bloody history of the CIA; like how they overthrew Iran in 1953, Indonesia in 1965, multiple governments in South America over the decades, installed Pinochet in Chile and had Milton Friedman do his trickle down economic experiment there (another far-right guy who headed the Cato institute which is sponsored by the Koch bros, like the Heritage Foundation - same a$$holes who want to end social security and tell us the benefits of global warming, and convince the right to gut medicaid/medicare spending); and nevermind all the innocents slaughtered in southeast Asia during and after the Vietnam war in the name of "Intelligence Gathering." If only Americans would realize the world hates us simply because of our foreign policy. Check out 'Charlie Wilson's War' for a glimpse of Afghanistan in the 80s and how the CIA turned the Muhadeen into the Al Qaeda. Wars, wars, wars...we are slaves to the Military Industrial Complex. The only thing about Obama I don't like is the collateral damage via drone strikes in Pakistan.

Most of the people you mentioned seemed to have the right degrees/background/training all along...unlike most of us who end up in Korea sooner or later. Social Work seems to be a scarce and low paying field; my sister has an MA in Rec Therapy and only makes around $30K a year. People in education are still let go and struggle to find work in many parts of the country. There are jobs in healthcare, but they are not for everyone. Finance jobs (outside of financial planning/sales) require a degree in Accounting/Finance. Yes, there are a BILLION sales jobs hiring every second on careerbuilder and craigslist; I had a few sales jobs after college...not fun work at all.

They guy in Petroleum engineering...what's good for America short term (fracking) is not good for the world long term (global warming), and like you said - he has a degree in engineering, something almost no expat in Korea has in ESL.

Maybe the guy in manufacturing didn't have any takers, but then again maybe he didn't want to hire people with GED's and criminal records.

I've got my sights set on a GOOD office job...the only thing that would keep me from going back to Korea or school. Something like say a Paralegal, HR generalist, PR guy, marketing research/coordinator guy, insurance adjuster/underwriter, mortgage processor/underwriter, title clerk/examiner/processor, better paying admin job at a local college...just not the admin assistant that makes $10-12 an hour....
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shaunew



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Location: Calgary

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weigookin74 wrote:
shaunew wrote:
I have been out of Korea for almost a year. It was the best decision I have ever made. I spent 7 years in Korea, teaching and working in non teaching roles.

I came back and started to work in finance. The first interview I went to hired me. One of the largest banks in Canada as an Analyst. I was there for 5 months when a better opportunity came along. I was headhunted by another firm that is a major player in the oil industry. Being in Calgary that is the best industry to be in.

I went from being an analyst to being an economist for the largest oil company in Canada.

I was able to purchase a brand new home in Calgary in the NW.

My kids love it here and my Korean wife is enjoying Calgary. She loves the feel of downtown and the city.

We are about 45 mins from the mountains and can see them from our backyard.

The non monetary reasons are just as important. I can go to my sons school and not be yelled at our pointed at while walking down the street.
No one stares at you are makes any comments about having half blood kids.
I have my own home with no neighbours pounding upstairs and all of the noise of Seoul.

My advise to those who want to leave. Start planning early. I planned everything for a year before we left. Start a LinkedIn account and start to get known in an industry that you want to be in.


But did you already have training in this field? How do you end up in finance? Is the economy that good in Calgary nowadays??


I started at TD bank. The pay was alright. However, their training is excellent and after it you end up with a bunch of licenses that every other company wants. I spent my time working there and getting my stuff and the opportunity to move up and double my income came I took it.
I also think the economy in Alberta is this good. I'm from Ontario and my parents always ask me to move back home. I have no idea what I would do there, three of my family members have lost well paying jobs.
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TK421



Joined: 05 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a terrible experience in Korea working with terrible excuses for human beings who cared not a single bit for myself or my foreign colleagues, after experiencing 50s-era discrimination, after severe depression and the darkest phase of my entire life, after being illegally fired and forced to leave my apartment and job with two days noticed from my hagwon for NO reason other than they wanted to put one teaching couple in my tiny studio instead of just me, I moved to Chicago and I am happier than I've ever been. I am successful and I have an awesome job as a video editor at a post production company and I will never again set foot in what I truly consider the worst country I've ever been in the world (out of 20+ countries).

These are my opinions and my experiences. Don't let them offend you.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@bcjinseoul...

Lighten up, Francis. Actually, I'm not a Republican and I'm not from Texas, but that's only part of the reason it took more than a little effort to get through your first paragraph.

Don't confuse the issue. We aren't talking about global warming, abortion, foreign policy, gun control, or religion. In fact, part of the problem is that many of these tertiary subjects obfuscate discussions pertaining to the economy, job creation, and social welfare. You played right into that, unfortunately. Focus.

But you did say, "I've got my sights set on a GOOD office job...the only thing that would keep me from going back to Korea or school. Something like say a Paralegal, HR generalist, PR guy, marketing research/coordinator guy, insurance adjuster/underwriter, mortgage processor/underwriter, title clerk/examiner/processor, better paying admin job at a local college...just not the admin assistant that makes $10-12 an hour...."

Does this mean that you currently have the credentials to get one of these jobs? That you are planning to acquire the credentials of you don't have them? I hope so, because you need targeted degrees and/or certs for most of those jobs. I sincerley hope you're not one of those people who complain when they don't get hired, that it's 'not fair', even when they're not qualified for the job to begin with. And if you are qualified (or planning on pursuing that), then you're exactly like the people I described in my last post. Good on you.

And that was part of my point when writing the previous post. There are opportunities for those with skills to match demand. Those skills do NOT have to be backed up by a college degree depending on the sector. And, yes, some jobs in some sectors pay better than others, much as it has always been and much as it always will be in capitalist economies.

Sometimes you have to move to where opportunities exist. Many here in Korea moved here so that they could start earning money. Here, their skills and qualifications meet a demand. When and if they 'go home', then they'll be faced with that reality again - matching skills and qualifications to place-specific job markets. I say place specific because I might WANT to live near family, but if there are no jobs in my profession where my family lives, then I may HAVE TO move to where the jobs exist.

And please don't use the word 'malarkey.' That just reminds us all of Biden, and he looked like a complete tool in the debate. What an embarrassment.
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Ginormousaurus



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Location: 700 Ft. Pulpit

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Korea 2003-2009 and I absolutely loved it. What was originally supposed to be one or two years stretched into more than six. During which I studied Korean at a few universities and eventually met the woman who would become my fiancÚ. Now we're living in Canada.

I left Korea and immediately began my engineering degree. I'm now a little over half-way done and am employed by Canada's largest oil company in a student (co-op) position. I'll work here in Ft. McMurray for the next 16 months then go back and finish my degree.

Leaving Korea was definitely hard to do. But I'm fortunate in that my fiancÚ has adjusted really well to life in Canada and is very supportive of me spending all my time studying. We are in the latter stages of getting her permanent resident status. Everything has folded out just as I planned way back in 2008.

On a side note, some people on this forum have be known to say that it's pointless to learn Korean since once you leave Korea, you'll never use it. Well, my boss is Korean and the fact that we chatted in Korean during the job interview may well have played a role in me landing this sweet job!
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No
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WadRUG'naDoo



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes.
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Newbie



Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps this is too personal, but for those of you who have left Korea with a a spouse, how is your spouse doing? What kind of employment did they get into; how are they adjusting culturally; do they make friends easily with Westerners?

I lived in Korea from 2003-2008 and then moved to Canada with my wife and daughter.

In Korea, my wife was known as one of the most non-Korean Koreans around (not just by me, but by other Koreans and Westerners alike). She was one of those rare, refreshing Koreans who laughed at Korean nationalism/silliness, had a Western Education, and was not at all bothered by the thought of moving to Canada when I first brought it up.

In Canada, it's been a rough go for her. Part of this stems from the fact that the very nice job I had lined up when moving here fell through. So for our first two years I was working a crappy job, and she was working two jobs (Korean restaurant and Korean travel agency - both of which have made her really hate Korean business people in Canada).

Now, I'm working a better job (but long hours compared to my 5 hour gig in Korea) and she's in school completing her ECE degree. She's definitely doing better than the first two years, but it's also obvious she'd love for me to get to the point where I turn to her and say, "Hey, do you wanna give Korea another go?" Thankfully though, she also thinks that Canada is 1000X better for our daughter, so she doesn't really want to go back to Korea.

Despite what seemed to be a very "Western" personality while we were in Korea and the fact that she preferred the company of Westerners then, she hasn't really hit it off with Canadians here, yet. Again, part of this comes from the first two years of her working with only shady Korean people (read: "the koreans she worked with were shady" ... not "Koreans are shady") and most of the Canadians she was meeting were old friends of mine, so a little hard to break in to. But, now that she's in school, she seems to be hitting it off with non-Koreans again.

Just wondering how other Korean spouses have done since making the move.
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newbie wrote:
Perhaps this is too personal, but for those of you who have left Korea with a a spouse, how is your spouse doing? What kind of employment did they get into; how are they adjusting culturally; do they make friends easily with Westerners?



You'd be surprised at how many Korean women with university degrees have joined the U.S. Military and are thriving in the officer corps. There's a group of them online at one of the Korean networks - forget the name. There are thousands of them in all branches of the military. The old days of American soldiers marrying Korean women of low class are giving way to educated Koreans joining the officer corps and making a good living.
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Jarome_Turner



Joined: 10 Sep 2004

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent 4 years in Korea from 2004 - 2008. Moved back to Canada in '08 with my then Korean girlfriend, now wife. I, like others who have already commented in this thread, have successfully taken advantage of the hot economy in Alberta. I managed to get a job immediately after arriving here, as an "Onboarding Advisor" for the largest Caterpillar heavy equipment dealership in the world. My experience in Korea certainly helped me land this gig as the hiring manager was looking for somebody with an adult educaiton background. That coupled with my HR degree gave me the foot in the door that I needed. Starting out, I was making $80-ish grand a year, which is literally below the poverty line in Fort McMurray, but still allowed us to live comfortably. From there, I enrolled in a number of Safety & Project Management courses at the local college (all paid for by employer), and eventually moved into the field of Safety. My T4 this year will read north of $160K, I work 7-days on and 7-days off so loads of time to spend with my wife and 4-month old baby.

My wife has adjusted pretty well. She attained her PR status about 2 years after we arrived. She bounced around to a few different jobs, administrative-type roles that were always contract-short term. Since we've had the baby, she's content to play the role of stay-at-home mommy, and my salary more than allows her to do that and us to still be comfortable.

We both miss Korea for our own obvious reasons. She misses her friends and family, and the familiarity of her homeland. I miss the free-wheeling life style and carefree attitude I was able to assume during the 4 years there. I also know, however, that there certainly would be a huge difference living there as a 31-year old with a wife and kid (my current situation), as opposed to a 22-year old new college-grad with zero responsibility (which is exactly what I was when I moved there the first time around). I miss those days, but know I could never re-capture them.
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Newbie



Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jarome_Turner wrote:


We both miss Korea for our own obvious reasons. She misses her friends and family, and the familiarity of her homeland. I miss the free-wheeling life style and carefree attitude I was able to assume during the 4 years there. I also know, however, that there certainly would be a huge difference living there as a 31-year old with a wife and kid (my current situation), as opposed to a 22-year old new college-grad with zero responsibility (which is exactly what I was when I moved there the first time around). I miss those days, but know I could never re-capture them.


Wow. That exactly sums of where we (especially me) are.

When I get nostalgic over Korea it's because of the fun I had there as a 23, 24, 25 year old. I have to remind myself that if I went back now it wouldn't be the same.
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Cartman



Joined: 30 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Newbie - I am back in Canada with my K-wife... she was similar to your wife, as you mentioned - laughs at the silly k-traditions, which are still carried out in Toronto by all-Korean groups hanging together - such as splitting the bill at a bar evenly across everyone, even if someone drank 8 beers and vs 1 beer, or ordered full meals vs none. She has a preference to avoid Koreans who are just here on a short term work or tourist visa, because she finds them to be a bit more judgmental, less open minded. She started working for a Korean boss, which in her mind treated all the employees far worse than any boss she's worked for in Korea... her boss even chatted with me on the phone to assure me that he is not like a 'real' Korean, expecting long hours, etc... he basically LIED to me directly and soon after was roping her into working late and at least 1 day out of the weekend!

She gets along best with other Koreans, only who are westernized or are in the same situation as her (new here with North American husband). Otherwise she feels most comfortable making friends with others where English is their second language as well. She still feels a bit tense around my close friends and family, always worrying about trying to speak perfectly, or worried about not understanding 100% if they speak fast...

Anyway, she's juggling some part time work and school.. she did leave a decent career in Seoul, and seemed happy with her insane work hours back home, which I'll never understand. We have thought about moving back to Korea, maybe start a business... but right now life is good as I have a good job and don't need her to make any money until she figures out what she wants. If we go back to K-town, then we'll both be sacrificing big time...

The grass always seems greener doesn't it? I wish life wasn't like that...
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of people who did well after leaving Korea, but ended up coming back (and I'm not just saying this). People say they missed the expat scene, camaraderie, not being called an alcoholic because they had more than two beers, the travel within Asia, and a host of other factors.

Quite a few of the ones I know who are still in the U.S. say they really miss Korea and would like to come back one day.

Then you have the ones who do miss it but know that in the long term, staying at home is better for family and financial reasons. Korea has improved quite a bit in many areas but corporate culture and common sense are NOT among them.
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