In South Korea, the concept of jeong plays a critical role in the formulation of relationships and bonds; these bonds can often help aid in the job search process. Jeong is quite similar to the United States practice of networking, as they are both based, in part, on the shared bond between two or more individuals. Whether you build the concept of jeong into your daily life to form long-lasting personal relationships or utilize different approaches to building more transactional relationships with others, there are is no doubt that these relationships can have a direct impact on your future career goals. According to Going Global, a “grassroots employment intelligence” resource, “If you can gain the trust of Koreans and develop a sense of jeong with them, your chances for success increase significantly” in relation to the job search process. No matter if you are searching for jobs in the United States or South Korea, making connections and building new relationships can be difficult but they can also be quite fruitful- serving you (or others) in the present as well as the future. Here are a few things to consider as you begin to incorporate jeong/networking as part of your career search strategy.
Start with your inner-circle– Connect with the people closest to you like friends, family, and faculty members; tell them about your career interests and that you are open to networking. Many job seekers find opportunities through personal and professional connections, often referred to as the “hidden job market”, therefore including others on your search will increase the odds of finding opportunities that may not otherwise be available on public job boards.
Expand your reach– Once you have started sharing information with your immediate network begin connecting with associations and groups that may share similar personal or professional values as you. These groups vary in size and can have a large online presence on LinkedIn, like the National Association of Asian American Professionals, or reside within a company as an Employee Resource Group, like the Asian Society for Innovation and Achievement (ASIA) at Johnson & Johnson.
Avoid doing all your networking online– As social distancing protocols remain in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are left with no choice but to interact with others in a virtual format. However, as gathering bans are lifted consider becoming involved with local organizations and programs like KUBE, Pan Asian Council, and Kappa Phi Gamma, or attending in-person events like Asian Nite.
Need more tips on how to develop a networking strategy or spruce up your online networking profile? Schedule a 30-minute coaching appointment with a Center for Career Development staff member. We’d be happy to help you explore the many ways networking and the concepts of relationship building can be applied to your job search strategy.