The following was extracted from a recent interview with me about how to thrive in a Korean company.
“So, it’s my first day at my new job in a Korean company that just moved into my town. What do I need to know so I don’t ruin my chances the very first day?”
“In many cases, managers of local Korean organizations try to adapt to the local culture. But frankly, the results of these efforts are limited and local employees often feel frustrated.
One key reason is the influence of head office, which restricts how much flexible the overseas office can be. For example, Korean companies are very top-down hierarchical, and established plans frequently change. Employees dispatched to run those overseas offices are sometimes switched out with surprisingly little advance warning. All this can be unsettling to a non-Korean employee without access to what’s really going on.
On your first day on the job, and probably for quite awhile after that, you’d be well-advised to watch and learn. You’re going to see some things you don’t understand; maybe a few aspects you don’t like and want to change. Trying to achieve change in the wrong way is likely to cause trouble; you should be looking for resources and a network to help you reach your goals within the existing structure.
Remember that help is only a few clicks away on Korea Business Central, where you can find information and reach out for support, training and advice.”