Hello, my Workshift username is Vannsok. First of all, I would like tell you a little about myself and my country. I’m from Cambodia, a country which has its boarder next to Thailand. I’m living in Phnom Penh which is the capital city of Cambodia. My mother tongue is Khmer. Khmer is the official language with 15 million native speakers in Cambodia.
Cambodia is one of the poor nations in South East Asia but it is well-recognized as the oldest nation in the region with a rich culture and famous civilization. As a consequence, this country has many World Heritage sites and places with beautiful nature such as the Angkor Wat temples, beaches and waterfalls.
On the other hand, my country was tragically torn apart by a civil war for 30 years that ended in the loss of 2 million lives during the Pol Pot regime from 1975 to 1979. When I was a child, I had a dream to show two important points to the world about my country. The first point was convey the wonder and charming culture which were inherited from our past civilizations, and second point was tell the world about our poverty that my fellow Cambodian people are trying hard to eliminate.
Cambodian beach of Koh Kong province in April
Angkor Wat: the world’s largest relegious structure built in 12 century
Thus, I started to study foreign languages when I was 17 years old in order to tell the world what I had wished and to communicate with foreigners to get their wisdom to help develop my country.
Hence, I majored in Japanese and minored in English for four years in university. Consequently, I acquired N3 on the Japanese language proficiency Test and 500 scores in TOEFL-ITP. I studied English and Japanese in my home country, Cambodia, a country few native speakers of those languages. Eventually, I flew to Nagoya city in 2014 to earn my master’s degree as well as to improve my Japanese language ability. As a result, I successfully graduated from Tokyo University of Social Welfare and have held a master’s degree in Education since 2017. I passed level N2, the second highest level, of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test while I was studying in Japan.
I spent 3 years at this university researching about education and studying Japanese language
Cambodian flag under Sakura blossom with Nagoya castle in the background
MY WORK EXPERIENCE
I mostly used Japanese language for my living. Previously, I worked for 1 year as a translator in a Japanese factory in Cambodia. Translation jobs taught me much about how to effectively transfer the messages from a native speaker to listeners and change Japanese meaning to Khmer meaning. At that time, I had to improve my Japanese words and expressions for conversational purpose. Anyway, I had to abandon my beloved job, for pursuing my higher education in Japan.
My place of work: The Royal University of Phnom Penh
While I was studying in Japan, I had many experiences in part-time jobs like selling retailing products in Japanese convenience stores and serving food to Japanese customers in restaurants. Occasionally, I provided interpretation services to Cambodian workers and internees through various factories and companies in Japan. For 3 years, work experiences from part time jobs in Japanese companies such as Seven Eleven, Lawson, Nagoya Dome and Torikizoku were the workplaces where I have many memories.
An iconic landmark of The Royal University of Phnom Penh
I left Japan in 2017 to return to my country, Cambodia, to apply the knowledge and experience that I acquired in Japan, such as the Japanese language and academic research to share with the Cambodian younger generation and to help guide them to be the future builders of Cambodia. In fact, after returning to my country in 2017, I began my new career as a Japanese language lecturer at the Institute of Foreign Languages, at the Royal University of Phnom Penh where I now work as you are reading my story.
My students and I during the university’s Sports Day (運動会) event
WORKING WITH WORKSHIFT
Now that I am a lecturer at the university, I don’t usually work in a permanent room as I used to do in Japan when I served many customers in Japanese shops or restaurants. In contrast, I often switch locations from one class to another class. In addition, I constantly shift from school to school according to my schedule.
Besides teaching students at regular class time, I also take some online classes from my living room at home or in a cafe. Likewise, most of my students often need counseling and discussion with me for some lessons via social network service tools such as Zoom, Facebook, Meet or Line. In short, my daily work is on a table in front of a PC with high-speed Wi-fi every day.
As a result, this allows me to do freelancer jobs such as translation and transcription from Japanese to Khmer and vice versa or from Khmer to English and vice versa with Workshift. Workshift is the only the website that provides freelancing jobs that fit my abilities. Even though I have only recently discovered Workshift, I have already successfully finished two projects for clients with some help from Workshift. Thanks to the nearby time zone, my freelancing work is simply a matter of working fast and then submitting the work to clients in Japan. The work, so far, is always on time and with admirable results.
At work at my desk
FREELANCING FITS MY LIFESTLE
I undoubtedly prefer freelancing work to office work. The classic style of working in an office seems to result in much pressure on me from senior managers or from my head office. In addition, working in an office means transportation fees must be paid every day. In Phnom Penh, traffic jams are a serious issue that will likely affect work’s effectiveness and time management.
By contrast, modern style freelancing work is more suitable to me. I don’t have to pay attention to other people except for the freelancing work which I’m doing. As long as there is no one to interrupt my work, I am able to concentrate and complete the work quickly with reliability and no mistakes. Above all, if readers or clients want to get help from me for any work regarding Japanese/Khmer/English, please don’t be hesitate to contact me on Workshift.
Apart from my Japanese ability, I must also develop my English proficiency. Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult to find English native speakers to practice with in Cambodia. Besides the freelancing jobs that I have gotten on Workshift, in the future, I want to own an internet-based service company in Cambodia to give jobs to Cambodian people so that this country can overcome poverty.
Therefore, I plan to visit or pursue another degree in an English speaking country such as the USA, Australia or UK. This time, not only a doctoral degree for English language proficiency, but also to learn entrepreneurial start-up and business management from the western world. Finally, I wish I could travel throughout the world with my family.