Job seekers need friends, and to chill out alone

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Job seekers need friends, and to chill out alone

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Job seekers stand in line for an interview at an employment fair for foreign companies at COEX in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, on Monday. [NEWSIS]

The annual autumn job-hunting season has kicked off, and entry-level worker candidates either in college or freshly graduated show three key tendencies, according to big-data analysis by Innocean, an advertising arm of Hyundai Motor.

Job seekers tend to rely on each other in preparation groups - to share information and help each other stay motivated - but prefer to be on their own when it comes to relieving stress.

Due to a shortage of venues to congregate, they tend to meet and study in unconventional places such as bars and motels.

The results are based on 600,000 pieces of data from blogs, portal sites, web communities and social networks in the past year, collected through the keywords “youth employment.”

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As job candidates have little money and time, they ease their stress with the most economical methods, such as surfing the internet, exercising, playing with smartphones or stretching.

The job market is so competitive, young people seek consolation from people in the same position. But that exposes them to a different kind of mental stress, which prompts them to hide in their dens at night.

“In the afternoon, I look for information on the school’s community website or meet with my study group members, and at night, I drink alone or go the karaoke to sing to myself,” explained 26-year-old job seeker Choi Sung-sik.

“I joined a study group because I needed both the peer pressure and peer motivation,” said Park Si-on, a 25-year-old college senior. “But when it comes to relieving my stress, I prefer to spend time on my own. I usually download a movie on the weekend and watch it with a bottle of beer in my room. The quiet alone-time helps calm my mind.”

As study groups become an essential part of job seeking, people are finding it harder to find a place to meet up. Almost 6,500 pieces of the 600,000 bits of social media data show that space available for job seekers to congregate is limited - partly because not all of them are still in school. The most popular venue was cafes, where it’s free to hang around without a time limit. Other venues frequented by them include bars and motels.

“As the spaces for meeting and studying are scant, some private institutes or bars have devised the idea of renting space during non-operating hours to job seekers,” the report said. “Even some motels are catering to job candidates and have earned the nickname ‘study motels.’”

The challenging environment for young job seekers is undermining many people’s morale. Almost two in three people currently looking for a job are overwhelmed by their situations and wish that they could stop the search.

A survey conducted on 635 job seekers by Job Korea, a major portal website for job seekers, and Albamon, a part-time job agency website, revealed that 61.7 percent of the subjects indicated they would like to give up on their hunt.

Such pessimistic views were mostly due to not being able to find the right job (44.1 percent), job requirements were too high (37.5 percent) and no companies would hire them (36.0 percent).


BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]

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