Monday, October 18, 2010

Ask a Korean! Wiki: Freelancing in Korea?

Dear Korean,

What's the freelancing scene like in Korea? Here in NYC, most people I know in my circle are freelancers and the others are salaried folks. I'm wondering if it's the same way in Seoul or Daegu. This may be a candidate for the wiki.

Mike G.

Dear Mike,

Indeed it is! Readers, any thoughts?

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at


  1. I'd love to help... but the question is a bit vague. What exactly are you looking to do? It's very very rare for a foreigner (read: a non-F-series visa holder) to legitimately accept freelancing type jobs. Anecdotally speaking, some companies try to stay above reproach and check visa status, while others just want to pay you for the work you do.

    Writing gigs - especially paid ones - are hard to come by. Photography gigs aren't impossible, but there's already enough local talent that you'd need to define your niche, know Korean, or both.

    I did know a couple that seemed to do pretty well between busking and performing live shows around Seoul...

  2. These days, I'm running into a lot of freelancers, especially in entertainment and media, because companies outsource so much of their production. I'll have an Arirang PD give me a KBS business card and stuff like that.

    And there are a lot more Korean men with longer hairstyles. My highly uneducated guess is that they're not salarymen.

  3. In the arts yes....legally not likely unless your married to a korean or part korean yourself.

    Obviously most of the freelance work is in education(english and test prep)'s the limit on that work legally and non-legally.

    There are quite a few models and actors I know here....tough biz to make a living on due to cheap eastern european competition. Far easier than say New york or L.A. if you have decent potential and are willing to network like crazy(in korean).

    If you wanna feelance here, many get a job teaching english(at some point) to pay the bills, hit the ground running and making connections.

    I've only met a few purely commercial artist here living off their work who are foreign...and even then, they were brought here for that purpose or had alot of connections(one model I know comes to mind).

  4. I am a professional freelancer but my life has been completely destroyed after coming to korea the main problem is with PayPal account that it doesn't accept my national ID. Anyone please help me.


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