The benefits of being a Coupang power couple
When her husband Il-hwa Kim made the decision to quit his job of 15 years as a footwear store manager to work as a driver at Coupang, Seul-gi Lee had her doubts. “My husband is not young. Is there a long-term vision?” she wondered. It was true that finances were a continual concern for their family of four, and the Coupang position paid significantly higher than her husband’s other job. Nevertheless, Seul-gi, who worked various jobs such as insurance agent and fast-food manager to supplement their family income, still wasn’t sure about adding another major unknown variable in their lives.
How times change. Less than two years later, Seul-gi even joined her husband to work as a Coupang Friend, and she can’t imagine going back to the life they once had. “In the past, our future was always so unclear. Now, our lives have completely changed, and the quality of our family life has improved as well.” With generous salaries, the two more than doubled their combined annual income, paid off nearly half their loans of over 50 million won (around 40 thousand dollars), and moved to a new apartment nearly double the size of their old one.
Their flexible work schedules also enable Seul-gi and Il-hwa to raise their two daughters, ages 5 and 7, with ease. “First, I finish my night deliveries and go home at 7:30 AM,” said Seul-gi. When her husband goes to work, she takes her daughters to their school in the morning, goes to sleep, then wakes up to pick them up once they finish. When her husband gets home in the evening, the family has dinner together before Seul-gi goes to work herself. “I have a habit of waking up at dawn from breastfeeding my children, so the hours weren’t unfamiliar to me. My shift has the advantage of letting me work while my children are sleeping and then spend time with them during the day,” said Seul-gi.
Another advantage of Coupang’s schedule is that the couple can spread out their two days off each week to maximize the time their kids have with at least one parent. “Most dual income couples have only two days off, Saturdays and Sundays. However, with Coupang, our days off can be flexibly adjusted,” said Seul-gi. “For example, I tend to split the days off with my husband, such as ‘Wednesday/Saturday’ and ‘Tuesday/Sunday,’ so our kids get 4 days with their parents each week. It’s really great.” She added, “I can play with my kids at a children’s café or the park and send them off to school, and during the weekdays, I eat out with my husband or go on dates together.” They even traveled together as a family to Jeju Island recently, something that was a rare luxury before they joined Coupang.
And because they work in the same workplace near their home, Seul-gi and Il-hwa end up having lots to share with each other. “For example, we’ll ask each other, ‘Have you been to X? How do I ship there?’ Cheesy things like that,” said Seul-gi. “And as we solved each other’s problems, our relationship became stronger. Sometimes we even have delivery competitions to see who can deliver more,” she added with a laugh.
“I had never been praised in my previous jobs, but I’m being recognized for the first time at Coupang. It’s the best job of my life,” Seul-gi said.