If you plan to work in Korea, it makes perfect sense to learn how to introduce yourself correctly.  Professional society in Korea is notoriously hierarchical.  You should be constantly aware of the relative power level of the person you are speaking to, and apply appropriate register of respect and formality in your speech, as well as in your facial expressions.  Particularly if you are a fresh graduate or new in an organization, there is a certain ritualistic “code” that you would have to know first.  Your job begins with introducing yourself correctly to your new boss or superiors, and to your new colleagues as well.  The typical way to introduce yourself in such a professional situation is a lot different from other general social situations where your basic “textbook” expressions apply:

  1. Call your new boss and superiors by his/her job title + “님.”  Never, never call your boss’s name +“씨.” ( name + “씨” is what your boss (and peers) call you and subordinates, not the other way around.  Unlike some other languages, name + “씨” is NOT considered particularly respectful in Korean.) 
  • 안녕하십니까, 부사장님.  제 소개 드려도 되겠읍니까? = Hello, Mr. Vice President.  May I introduce myself, Sir?
  1. Never say “만나서 반갑습니다. (Nice to meet you)” to your superiors. 
  1. To say your name along with your job title, try a typical Korean introduction pattern with a “Relative clause (verb ending -ㄴ) + Your name +(이)라고 합니다.”  
  • 오늘부터 인턴 사원으로 일하게 된 김미소라고 합니다. = My name is Kim Miso (who started to work as an intern today.)  
  • An alternative would be to separate them into two sentences, as in English: 제 이름은 김미소입니다.  오늘부터 인턴으로 일하게 되었읍니다.  = My name is Kim Miso.  I started to work as an intern today.
  1. End your self-introduction by saying “잘 부탁드립니다,” for which there is no equivalent English translation.  It is a very typical diplomatic expression of greetings in Korean, implying “My work depends on your support and care.  So, please be supportive and kind to me.”   
  1. Koreans value passion and teamwork.  To show your enthusiasm, it is always a good idea to add sentences like “열심히 하겠습니다” ( = I will work hard; I will do my best.)

Please watch the following scene from “김비서가 왜 그럴까 (What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, 2018.)”  It shows a humorous and useful example of self-introduction to a new boss.  Note that Koreans don’t do such a deep 90-degree bow.  The appropriate Korean etiquette is to bow to 30 degrees, 45 at maximum, saying diplomatic expressions as shown above (Never bow silently.)  Obviously, the actress 박민영’s bow is only exaggerative, just to add a comical effect to this utterly enjoyable drama. 

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