Published 08 Oct,2020 via The Korea Times News
Kang Tae-kwon, an office worker from Seoul in his 30s, has his own YouTube channel with more than 100,000 subscribers. Its main focus is on introducing Korean culture to non-Koreans, which is unrelated to his job at a state-owned company in the agricultural sector.
"I've always wanted to make interesting content of my own and communicate with people across the world using my language skills. As I couldn't achieve my dream in my workplace, I created my own thing."
He did not expect his channel to get so big when he started it in 2018. So he was surprised when it actually led to additional income. At its peak, he was making around 2 million won (AED 6425 or US$1,726) a month.
"I seriously considered quitting my job to become a professional YouTuber, which may have led to higher income. But I decided to leave it as a hobby," he said.
Kang is not the only office worker in Korea to own a YouTube channel as a sideline or a hobby in addition to their main job.
Thousands of 'office worker vlogs' are posted on YouTube from South Korea. Ordinary people with various careers such as teachers, marketing directors, nurses or web designers share their daily lives by showing what they eat, wear and how they work.
A recent survey conducted in September by Incruit among 735 office employees in South Korea showed that 29 percent of them have a YouTube channel.
The reasons why they became YouTubers were "To keep a record of my daily life and share it with others" chosen by 47 percent and "For additional income" by 36 percent, followed by "Career development and self-promotion" by 10 percent.
Among them, 30 percent said the channel has actually led to additional profit. The average income was 140,000 won ( AED 450 or US$123) per month, adding up to around 1.7 million won ( AED 5461 or US$ 1587) a year.
A vast majority of the respondents appeared to be quite enthusiastic about their channels, as 83 percent replied they spend money to make high-quality content, by buying cameras for instance.
"Uploading a video is not only time-consuming with all the editing process which takes several hours, but it also requires money sometimes. I recently bought a camera worth 400,000 won( AED 1285). But I'm happy to do so as it's my biggest hobby these days," said an office worker from South Korea who posts vlogs on her channel with approximately 22,000 followers.
But many seem to keep their 'double life' a secret in the workplace, as 68 percent said they did not let their colleagues know about it. They were mostly worried that their superiors might be reluctant about their activities unrelated to their duties at work.
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