Korean job seekers’ desire for working abroad seems to have never been stronger. Young people have a different take on work than older generations. They start to leave hierarchical corporate structure behind and value the balance between work and life more. On top of that, unemployment rate hits highest point ever. With this reasons, 20s and 30s are turning their attention to overseas career opportunities.
In this situation, an English resume review startup ‘Rezi’ is acquiring popularity among Korean job seekers. Mobiinside interviewed Jacob about running startup in Korea and their service.
What is your company all about ?
Our generation is moving away from the traditional employment career path. The new generation is dominated by brilliant and highly-educated visionaries seeking authentic, unique, and more commonly, global work experiences. That’s where Rezi comes in: we help Korean job seekers start their global careers by giving rigorously-researched, accurate, and convenient resume solutions, career consolations, and more. We see Rezi as a bridge between the job seeker and their global aspirations.
When did you come to Korea?
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in August 2014, started Rezi in June 2015, and moved to Korea in November 2015 as an English teacher in Iksan. I actually worked full time as an English teacher for my VISA while also working on Rezi in the mornings and night-times for like a year and a half. Luckily, or the result of hard work, we were accepted into a couple of very competitive government programs which allowed Rezi to grow and me to transition to Rezi full time.
There are any reasons to build up the startup in Korea?
Sure, there are many, Korean is going through a country-wide epidemic of youth-unemployment. I encourage everyone to be aware of the numbers to put this in perspective – the current unemployment rate is close to 11.4% which is the highest it has been in over 19 years. There are approximately 1,200,000 unemployed young job seekers and now more than ever are pursuing global careers. Rezi is in a perfect position to help this transition; we’ve helped thousands in America, before coming to Korea, so we are confident in our vision for Korea.
I think you have had many hurdles. What is the most hard thing to operate business as foreigner in Korea and what did you do break out?
Realizing that the differences in business cultures would be a significant barrier to success was a challenge. Yet, understanding how to break down these barriers was equally as difficult. Luckily, we hired some pretty amazing Korean team members to help guide strategy and operations.
What do you think is the most important thing to survive as Startup in Korea.
Having a product that people actually want, or better, need — I’ve seen so many people pursue ideas without realistic exceptions about their market. They work very hard, but end up with little progress. But having a great product is only half of the solution. Other things to be considered are founder’s vision, business connections, resources, and understanding the Korean market & consumer behavior.
How did you find the time, money and people to get your business off the ground?
After seeing so many of my highly-educated peers enter the job market unprepared to make a competitive English resume, I realized the true potential of the idea and decided to get fully committed; it’s a great project mixing passions for applying our resume research to fight the issues of unemployment. We are lucky to have a “love brand” and have had many applicants who simply loved the idea and wanted to participate in its success so they tell their friends which creates a really powerful word-of-mouth network effect.
What has been your favorite part of founding and growing your business?
My favorite part of Rezi has really been to learn everyday and meet the people of this industry. The employment world is full of passion and it’s truly motivating. Building a team formed of passionate people is always very enriching as we all go in the same direction. Also, being an entrepreneur allows me to pursue my own goals and achievements in life. It also allows me to gain expertise in many different fields.
What has been the most frustrating part of founding and growing your business?
Not having enough time. The most frustrating part for me is when things take much longer than anticipated. This can be a partnership deal or simply a new technical feature. This has definitely taught me to be more realistic with my expectations.
Where do you hope to see your company 5 years from now? What are you going to do to make it happen?
I hope to see Rezi available everywhere in the world. Our goal is truly to give full access to global job seekers all over the world. It’s a huge industry and Rezi is there to open all its doors. In order to achieve this goal, we are growing an international team that shares the same passion and vision.