Yeiseul realised she could connect her dream of being a freelancer with her passion for languages and fashion. Now Yeiseul balances a full-time job in South Korea with her role as Editorial Lead on Quill projects, and stresses the importance of trusting yourself and making sure you have fun along the way!
Hi Yeiseul! Where in the world are you based?
Hello! I am based in Anyang, South Korea. It is a small city right outside Seoul.
What does your average week look like?
I have a full-time job in addition to my freelance job as a Retail Store Operations Expert for Samsung. This involves providing expertise on opening and running Samsung Experience Stores all around the world. However, I am currently on a long-term leave from that position so these days I am fully focused as an Editorial Lead working from home. I am working on three different Quill projects so I don’t keep a strict schedule but constantly juggle my schedule around to meet the deadlines.
What inspired you to go down the route of freelance translation and editing?
I had an amazing opportunity to live in Singapore and New Zealand for many years and was fascinated by learning other languages, so I always wanted to work in a global environment. When I was in my 20s, I started to dream of becoming a freelancer, but I had not connected my childhood dream with this new dream yet. I followed my other passion for some years, which were fashion and retail, and I worked part time on a few translating jobs here and there. Then one day, I got an email from Quill with an offer as a freelance editor for a fashion retailer project – I immediately signed up and here I am.
How do you balance your freelance work with your full-time job?
I am not sure if I can confidently say I am efficiently balancing my freelance work with my full-time job because it isn’t easy at all. I think the fact that my full-time job was also not a standard 9-5 office job helped me balance the two.
My full-time job required constant back-to-back travel all around the world working in retail stores that operate for 12 hours a day on average. However, I had different working hours every day ranging from 4 hours to 12 hours so I was able to set aside time for my freelance work based on the full-time schedule.
At times where I had to work at the office for 8 hours, I utilised my commute and work on my phone because the time it took for me to commute was about 3 hours which is a lot. If I had some energy left, I would work 2-3 hours more after I got back home as well.
How has freelancing changed your attitude towards work?
Before I started freelancing, I had always been a perfectionist and overly responsible when it came to work, meaning I prioritised work and would submerge myself into it regardless of my situation or schedule. However, once I became a freelancer, I had to learn how wearing myself out with work is not the right way to grow my career, let alone live a happy life. I am trying to be smarter with time management and be more efficient with managing my workload so I can continue to do what I love and be happy while doing it.
As an Editorial Lead, how do you keep your project team engaged?
I believe that being positive and detailed when communicating with the team is important but what has really helped me is utilising multiple channels of communication based on the team’s situation and the team’s preference.
I create different sheets and documents in addition to the basic resources to accommodate the team’s needs and support areas of the team's opportunity in more depth. I also utilise both individual and group chat simultaneously to give detailed feedback to each team member as well as to bring consistency across all members at the same time.
I think these methods have been efficient so far for Korean teams, especially as due to huge time differences it has proved difficult to hold Webinars. I've also found that the team’s preference was to communicate individually rather than as a group.
"I believe that being positive and detailed when communicating with the team is important but what has really helped me is utilising multiple channels of communication based on the team’s situation and the team’s preference."
What do you spend your time doing outside of work?
I love watching movies! I always loved watching movies ever since I can remember. Then when I was in my early 20s, I came across a podcast (which does not exist anymore) that uploaded classic vintage movies and that is when I fell for cinema even more. A couple of years ago, I started keeping a list on IMDB of all the movies I watched and now it is at 756. I tend to re-watch movies that I love multiple times, so if I counted how many times I have actually sat down to watch movies I think the number would double!
What advice would you give to someone starting out as a freelance content creator?
I would to say two things:
1) Trust yourself - Unlike an office job or a full-time job, as a freelancer, you won’t have others to discuss your work with. All decisions and judgements will need to come directly from you. That may seem scary but remember, you are where you are because of who you are. So trust yourself!
2) Enjoy and relax - Time management can be tough especially when your workload keeps fluctuating or when you are working on multiple projects at a time. This may cause you to prioritise work over your personal life but it is important to set aside a time for yourself. Make time for a hot bath, Netflix in bed, or a nice short walk with your loved ones.