Korean for the Work Place Part I : Words Related to Employment

Working in a foreign country, with foreign colleagues, and/or a foreign boss inevitably comes with a lot of personal adjustments needed from the company culture to its business practices. But another major challenge lies in the linguistic differences in the workplace. In addition to having to learn new words and phrases, there are often jargon that are unique to Korean workplaces which one will want to pick up quickly to make the transition smoother. So here are a few phrases, words, and terms commonly used within Korean workplaces and/or related to employment that should prove useful, if not at least impress a few of your Korean coworkers.

We’ll begin by looking at some words related to employment and its process:

1. Chae-yong or 채용

To recruit, employ, hire

You’ll usually find this word on company homepages, classified ads, recruitment sites, etc as 채용공고, or chae-yong-gong-go, which means a recruitment notice.


에크미 채용공고가 떴습니다.

Acme has posted its recruitment notice.

2. Gye-yak-jik or 계약직

A contract worker.

If this is in the job listing description it means that the position is contract-based work and not a full time position.


에크미는 계약직 사원을 모집하고 있습니다.

Acme is currently recruiting contract employees.

3. Jeong-gyu-jik or 정규직

A full time position.

If this word is in the job description, it means the position is an official, full time position.


에크미는 이번에 정규직 20명을 뽑았다.

For this round of hiring, Acme hired 20 full time employees.

4. Gyeong-ryeok or 경력

Career or work experience.

A job listing sometimes asks for your gyeong-ryeok, or work/career experience. If the company is looking for a gyeong-ryeok-jik or 경력직, this means they are looking for someone who has experience in the position and/or field (i.e.- a mid to senior level candidate).


제니퍼씨는 이 분야에 경력이 어느 정도 되나요?

How much experience do you have in this field, Ms. Jennifer?

5. Yeon-bong or 연봉

Image source: http://cfile23.uf.tistory.com/

Image source: http://cfile23.uf.tistory.com/

Annual income or salary. You can usually find this word within a job listing to state what the yearly salary of the position is.


에크미의 기본 연봉은 꽤 높은 편이다.

Acme’s annual salary is fairly high.

6. Shi-geub or 시급

Hourly pay. This is usually used to describe the hourly pay for part-time work.


영어 과외에 시급은 얼마나 받으나요?

What is your hourly rate in English tutoring?

7. Weol-geub or월급

The monthly pay.

Most companies will have a set wol-geub depending on the position, the work experience, and level of the individual.


취직하고 첫 월급을 타서 기분이 좋다.

I am happy because I received my first month’s pay after being employed.

8. Shin-ib or 신입.

New recruit, new employee.

If this is in the job description, this means they are looking to hire for an entry level position. Within the workplace, new employees of a company are also referred to as a shin-ib or shin-ib-sah-won (new employee).


존은 이번 우리 팀에 새로 들어온 신입사원이다.

John is the new employee joining our team.

10. I-ryeok-seo or 이력서

One’s resume or CV.

If a potential employer asks for this or lists it as a requirement for a position, they are asking for your resume or CV. However in Korea, most employers will ask, or expect, your CV to find out your academic background, experiences, any distinctions, etc. Some companies have their own resume/CV form they will ask you to fill out.


에크미에 지원하기 위해 이력서를 수정하고 있다.

I am editing my resume to apply for Acme.

11. Ji-won or 지원

To apply.

This is usually used in the context of applying for a position or company. Note, however, that alternatively ji-won also means to support someone or something.


이번 주에 회사를 4곳이나 지원 했다.

I applied to 4 companies this week.

12. Seo-ryu-shim-sa or서류심사

Application review.

The initial step usually taken by a company or potential employer after receiving applications is the seo-ryu-shim-sa where they will review applicants.


에크미는 채용 모집을 마치고 현재 서류심사 중이다.

Acme has finished receiving applications and is currently reviewing applicants.

13. Myeon-jeob or 면접0aa96dcbd013c91129e0c6cb9211b3ad

An interview.

Candidates found successful after having their resumes reviewed will be asked to come in for a myeon-jeob, or interview. Of course, depending on the company and position, there may be a series of interviews culminating with a chweh-jong-myeon-job, which means a final interview (usually with the company’s senior and/or executive level).


이번 주에 면접이 있어서 꽤 긴장된다.

I have an interview this week so I feel quite tense.

14. Shin-chae-geom-sah or 신체검사

A health exam/screening for admission.

Some companies will require a health screening prior to starting work. This is usually the final step before employment (after passing the application and interview steps).


면접은 통과했고 이제 신체검사만 남았다.

I passed the interview and now I only need to receive a health screening.

15. Ib-sa or 입사

To join a company.

Individual(s) successfully accepted for a position will ib-sah (입사) the company.


나는 작년에 이 회사에 입사했다.

I joined this company last year.

16. Joong-so-gi-eob or 중소기업

A small or medium-sized company.

Most companies and businesses in Korea fall into this category as a small and medium company.


한국의 대다수 기업들은 중소기업이다.

Most businesses in Korea are small and medium companies.

17. Dae-gi-eob or 대기업

A major company or conglomerate. Major companies and conglomerates- such as Samsung, LG, Lotte, CJ- fall in this category.


크리스티나는 대기업에 취직 하기를 원한다.

Christina wants to be hired at a large company.

18. Ah-reu-bi-teu (아르바이트)

Image source: http://file.thinkcontest.com/

Image source: http://file.thinkcontest.com/

Part-time job or position

This is actually the Korean pronunciation of the German word ‘arbeit’ and refers to part-time work or position. You’ll often see signs at restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, and other places where the business will advertise they are looking for a part-time worker. It’s sometimes shortened to simply al-ba or 알바.


방학 기간 동안 돈을 벌기 위해 아르바이트를 많이 했다.

To make some money during my school vacation, I did a lot of part-time jobs.

19. I-jik or 이직

To change or transfer one’s occupation or work to another company or profession.


그 녀는 작년에 우리 회사로 이직했다.

She transferred to our company last year.

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