This is the second tip in my series about Korean culture for those looking for a university, hagwon or public school job in South Korea. It's an excerpt from my book, How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams, which you can get on Amazon for only $2.99 US for the Kindle version. Sure, you can get a lot of the material on this blog and from my guest entries on other sites, but that's annoying. Anyway, onwards to the cultural tip:
"Gifts and Favors are Important If a Korean goes out of their way to help you at your current job, or during your job search process be sure to repay them for the favor (s). Take them out for lunch or bring them a small gift. It really does not have to be a large thing but they will appreciate it and be willing to help you out again in the future."
This one more applies to the current job you're at, before you get a university job. You will need a solid recommendation from at least a couple people at your public school, hagwon or current uni job in order to move onwards and upwards in the teaching ESL world in Korea. You should always do your best to cultivate these relationships and part of that is gifts and favors. Don't think of it as a bribe, think of it as a necessary part of social interactions in South Korea. Always remember, relationships are way more important than anything that is written down on the piece of semi-useless paper that is a contract in South Korea.