In work, as in life, vision matters most

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In work, as in life, vision matters most

On Sunday morning, Dankook University High School was crowded with young men and women. They were there to take the Samsung Aptitude Test, commonly known as the SSAT. I asked one candidate how he was feeling, and he said, “I’m very nervous. Nearly a dozen people from my department are taking this test today, and I’m worried about the competition.” He had good reason to worry. More than 50,000 people took the SSAT that day at 46 sites nationwide.

So many people take the SSAT because Samsung’s recruiting process is a bit different from many companies that review resumes first to narrow the field of candidates. Graduates with less-than-popular majors and students with rather low GPAs and English test scores can apply. The test administration process costs a lot of money, but it is not a losing business for Samsung, either. The company can discover “hidden jewels” who may not have made it past the resume screening. Also, it is highly likely that candidates feel increasingly positive toward Samsung as they prepare for the test.

The scene on that morning was a product of the interests of the corporation and the job seekers, but I found it rather uncomfortable. Undoubtedly, Samsung is one of our leading companies. It surely offers good rewards, satisfaction and experience. But is it a place for everyone?

When you seek employment, you should take into account what you like, what you are good at, your values and your visions. Young people seeking their first jobs should be more faithful to these principles. In retrospect, many successful venture companies laid a foundation for growth during the 1998 financial crisis. It was thanks to the young entrepreneurs who chose vision and ambition over stable employment that the economy and society evolved.

The second venture boom started last year with the mobile revolution. Kim Jun-su, 26, a business major who will graduate from Korea University this year, joined Ablar Company last winter. His parents were not supportive of his choice, but he did not change his mind. When many of his classmates went to take the SSAT on Sunday, he was busy drafting a strategy for a new service. He is already one of the core members of the company. Hopefully, more young people will choose other workplaces, too, whether a workshop, a welfare agency or an art studio. Wouldn’t that be more lively than having more than 50,000 young people take a test to get into the same company all at once?

The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Lee Na-ree
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