K-Pop fans might wonder, “What would it be like to work in an artist management agency in the entertainment field?” Could it create opportunities for them to work closer to their biases? Would it bring more love and passion into supporting K-Pop and the industry? On a Korean forum, anonymous employees who have worked or is working at idol group agencies shared the truth behind the scenes. They revealed that these are the 5 hardest things they encounter at work.
1. Working Overtime And On Holidays
The employees shared that, since the entertainment business is “happening” 24/7, the agencies get no time off. Even on the weekends, past business hours, and during the holiday seasons, the employees must keep their eyes on their artists. Some agencies ask their employees to attend fan meetings, music program shoots, concerts, and other artist-related events. These take time away from the employees’ nights, weekends, and personal life in general.
2. Being Under Too Much Pressure
According to the employees, there is an indescribable pressure to “not mess up” — especially now that we live in the time of mega-speed internet. As one typo, one wrong message, one incorrectly linked URL, one Tweet, one comment, one anything could “set off” the fans, the employees are on the edges of their seats 365 days of the year. Being always this extra-extra sensitive about everything eventually takes a toll on their mental health. They shared, “This may sound easy, but it is essentially asking the employees to be perfect. So the pressure is unreal. No one wants to be in charge of the artists’ social media accounts because that is where the most risk happens.”
3. Dealing With Unreasonable Hate
One netizen pointed out, “My friend used to work at an agency. As her time with the agency grew, the fans somehow found out my friend’s name and she became a familiar face. From then on, when anything went awry, they blamed her. Even when she or her division had nothing to do with an incident, she would be publicly hated on a first name basis. Now, when anyone searches her name, the results include extremely angry and hateful messages from the fans.” This netizen shared the “friend” ended up developing a severe case of anxiety.
4. Realizing The Work Goes Unnoticed
The employees also agreed that a lot of the work they put in often go completely unnoticed — and in the long run, that becomes the most discouraging factor for them to continue working in the industry. A former employee quoted, “If, for example, an artist creates some sort of a controversy, that artist will not be the one apologizing. I am. The artist will go on about his/her life, take some time off until things cool down or whatever, but I will be glued to the monitor trying to respond to the crisis. Will I be thanked for being chaos control? No. Will I be paid? No. It’s a part of the job, even if I didn’t exactly sign up for this job.”
5. Receiving Mediocre Pay
Finally, the employees all commented that the average salary for the administrative end in the industry is not at all worth the above mentioned hardships. Most netizens with experience in the field shared, “There is no extra pay for working overtime or on the holidays. There is no extra pay for working on anything and everything as a multiplayer.” They called the work “a severely low-paying physical and mental labor position”.