Special Report

· Written by Kang Nam-gu
· Genre : self-improvement
· Published in March 2013
· 320 pages

These days many people console young people whose only goal is to find a job instead of pursuing their dreams. They say, “You have been hurt because you are just young.” However, many youths don’t want to be only consoled anymore. Now they hope for practical advice as opposed to mere consolation. Someone who gives practical advice is the author of Youth! Run without a Hitch, Mr. Kang Nam-gu. He says, “We are the youth because we haven’t been hurt yet.” and “If you have only time to lose, challenge yourself unconditionally.” Let’s hear what his practical advice is.

Kang Nam-gu has just a high school diploma and no TOEIC score. He doesn’t have the qualifications that many students and young applicants should have to find employment. Despite his lack of traditional credentials, he became the youngest team leader of Ticket Monster (Timon) at the age of 21 and became the youngest executive of Groupon in 49 countries at the age of 22. Now, he is the interviewer not the interviewee at the age of 23.

In this book, he provides three main kinds of advice for the reader. The first is: “The only thing young people have to lose is time”. He believes that young people have time to take risks to achieve their dreams. The second is: “Be a person with a story rather than spec”. “Spec” means specifications or qualifications. This means that knowledge gained through experiences and presented as a story is more important than a list of boring certificates and qualification on a resume. The third is: “Do membering, not mentoring”. “Membering” means making someone part of a group so group members can develop together.

Kang Nam-gu said he is not a special person who is exceptionally good at something. He admits himself that he is not special and he works hard to overcome his deficiencies. He wants to show himself in one word. For example, he wants to known as diligent. When people recall him or introduce him to others, they say he is a very diligent person. He tries to experience as much as possible and always looks for the positive in those experiences and focuses on them. He also has some advice for interviewees. One example is to be a person who people want to work with. It means be an irreplaceable person. He advises people to be valuable and someone who has real experience and clear thinking. They should know what parts of themselves have grown through experience rather than someone who has “spec”.

Another reason to recommend this book is that you can hear the stories of the many youths around him as well as the story of Kang Nam-gu. It is hard to say whether those youths have had tremendous success, but they have chosen to pursue their dreams instead of settling for a stable future. They say it is difficult and tiring at first, but it is better because they enjoy their work.

I don’t mean to say that young people who enter large companies to ensure a stable future are wrong. That also can be a goal and dream. I just want to tell people who see themselves as less valuable and settle for less to try. Challenge yourselves! Why not take a risk for once and seriously think about chasing your dream? Taking risks is the privilege of youth. I hope that everyone reading this article doesn’t miss out on that privilege.