How to Get a Job at a Startup and What to Expect

Two weeks after my college graduation, I was on a plane to Seoul to work for a start up as a marketing manager. I been at my current company for nearly three years and am constantly asked how on earth I found this job. Partially, it was luck, but now that I know where to find start up jobs in Korea, I’d like to share a few tips!



I was hired as a marketing and community manager based on past internships and part time jobs as anything from a forum moderator to a social media manager. Total, I had a few years of experience, but none from a full time position. The more experience the better, but most companies are looking for at least a year or a strong track record of social media or marketing work.


Developers should have a firm grasp on the languages required of them. Most developers need at least a year of experience beforehand, and will have to perform a test during their interview to prove their skills. The more experience the better, but you will also get a chance to prove yourself off of your resume, which is always a good thing.

Where to Find These Jobs

Job Boards:

There are plenty of job boards available such as here on HiExpat, but extra snooping around Facebook groups can get you some great leads. Groups like Non-Teaching Jobs for Foreigners in Korea or Startup Community for Foreigners in Korea are great resources. While they might not have jobs available, its a great networking opportunity.1

Cold Calling/Emailing:

After working in start ups for a while, I noticed that while we weren’t actively hiring, we would never pass up on a great talent that came our way. If you believe you have unique skills and you can add value to a company, it does absolutely no harm to send an email and your resume. The worst that could happen is they put your resume aside, the best is a job offer. Often someone from the company will have a casual interview with you at a coffee shop or their office to exchange business cards and get to know you.screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-3-34-06-pm


These vary, but hours tend to range from 9:30am-6:30pm or 10am-7pm though, as with any start up, you will probably work later than that on many nights. Often companies will offer to cover your dinner expenses if you’re working late, as well as paying your taxi fare if you work past when trains stop (though that is very rare, thankfully)


Salaries for start ups in Korea range, but an entry level position is similar to the salary of a teacher. 30 million is a safe bet, but every start up is different. Also, based on the number of employees, the company may struggle to get you a proper working visa. In this case, the company may try to convince you to work part-time (which is your choice) often for around 10,000 an hour.screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-3-36-25-pm

The start up world is a small one, so networking and talent will get you along way. Good luck on your job search!

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