Finding directions to the new leisure cultureBy 2007 Koreans will be living for the weekend, assuming the government’s plan to introduce a five-day workweek goes as scheduled. Some Koreans are already enjoying Saturdays and Sundays off.
Having two days of freedom every week has made it easier for those folks to take in a wider variety of leisure and entertainment activities. With two-day weekends expected to become the norm, rather than the lot of a lucky few, the leisure industry is poised to increase sales.
Employers are seeking workers for jobs many Koreans had not heard of just a few months ago. Some Internet employment Web sites such as incruit.com, career.co.kr and joblink.co.kr, say the following careers are among the most promising.
These days, celebrities are not the only ones who need a hand managing their diets and health. With the increasing interest in healthful living, some people are looking for hands-on guidance in choosing a fitness regime and diet. Health managers recommend diets and exercise plans and usually act as personal trainers, joining clients for workouts.
As this is a fledgling profession in Korea, there are no formal qualifications. But an extensive knowledge of the human body and a personal dedication to health and fitness are required.
A tour coordinator helps clients choose vacation sites. Coming up with tailored tour plans is the main function of the job. Knowing good places to travel to and creativity are a plus. Professionalism is of supreme importance.
If you have seen the movie “Jerry Maguire,” you saw the extent to which sports have become a commercial product. Sports marketers consult with professional sports teams to attract more fans and organize events to generate interest in a specific sport, team, athlete or sports-related product. A love of sports, a gregarious personality and marketing skills are pluses in this career.
It is not just about having a plan. A party planner’s job includes managing all the details of a party, from drawing up a guest list to picking out the napkins. Creativity and a knack for organizing are essential.
Party planning can be lucrative; about 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost of a party normally goes straight into the planner’s pocket.
Again, this is a new industry in Korea, so there are no formal courses of study. But experience in event planning would be a plus.
The trend toward smaller families and an increasingly individualistic society are leaving some Koreans feeling isolated. To combat loneliness, more and more Koreans are keeping pets. At first, it was just dogs or cats. But recently people have started branching out, raising hamsters, turtles, birds, even lizards or snakes.
Pets not only need to be given food and water, but they also must become acclimated to their surroundings. Animal specialists take charge of a new pet’s adaptation. Naturally, a love of animals is a must.
An aquarist maintains an aquarium. Physical fitness is required since aquarists often need to scuba dive carrying heavy equipment used in the care of aquatic life. Most aquarists study fisheries sciences like marine biology. Experience in the field, like an apprenticeship at a large aquarium, is a plus.
by Park Jong-geun