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Frustrated Job Seeker Finds Work at Last

Posted September. 16, 2005 06:34,   


Ha Man-jae (30), a job seeker who had been to more than 100 job interviews without finding work, is busy these days.

“Rather than going the easy way, I decided to find my way as a professional interpreter/translator. It feels like I have gone a long way round, but now I found the right job that I can really excel in,” he said

He graduated last August from the Japanese department of the Pusan University of Foreign Studies (PUFS), where he had transferred to after graduating from a two-year college. His story was made public after winning the first prize in an unemployment story contest held by Incruit, a recruitment company.

Five months later, contrary to the expectations that he might have been a new recruit, Ha is doing some Japanese interpretations, preparing for the translator qualification test.

“Since Dong-A Ilbo published an article on me, over 10 companies have contacted me to offer a job interview. I actually had some interviews, and one big business and several small and mid-sized enterprises offered me jobs.”

At last, the “exit from joblessness” that he had long dreamed of was just around the corner. At the decisive moment, however, he fell into an agony.

“Honestly, I was at a loss, feeling that I found opportunity all too easily. I was also worried if I could do a job well even when it has nothing to do with my major. It might be easy for some time, but I felt that I might eventually regret it if I chose a way I have not taken into consideration at all.”

After spending a couple of days giving the jobs serious considerations, Ha finally gave up the job.

“People around me reproached me, saying I am ‘not serious enough’ or ‘crazy.’ My parents also encouraged me to join a large company. But I felt that a job simply given to me in an easy way could not be mine,” he said.

Instead, he decided to be an interpreter/translator, a professional who can work for the entire life regardless of retirement age.

“I am confident that this is something that I can do the best, something that I might never regret choosing. It feels a little bit belated, but now I have finally found my way.”

Ha explained his thoughts to his parents and got their consent. In June, he kicked off his interpretation job in earnest.

Ha is currently doing interpretation for a Japanese buyer in Incheon. As his job continues until the end of this month, he cannot visit his hometown, Busan, during this year’s Chuseok holidays.

“In exchange for failing to visit my parents back home, I am planning to give them the money that I am earning as an interpreter. This is the first time that I have ever given money to them on the Chuseok holidays. Though I cannot visit my hometown this year, I find this year’s Chuseok holidays happier than ever, developing a clear picture of my future and giving my parents some money.

Ha says that for the rest of his life, he will cherish deep inside his heart a sense of gratefulness for people that have been so kind to him.

“I really thank them for paying attention to me and endeavoring to help me though I have nothing special about myself. One gentleman asked me to meet him in person and advised me things that I have to prepare for getting a job and how to create a human network. I will definitely realize my dream of being a professional interpreter/translator and live a vigorous and hardworking life.”

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com