This week Peter and his 10-year career of hiring people in Japan drop in and we hit various topics all about working in Japan in 2020. Enjoy.
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We’ve all been there.
We’re fully committed to our job. Maybe we even chose this company in Japan for its cross-cultural work environment. We prepare diligently for a project, using every tool we have. The execution goes well…or so we think.
Then, we learn that the boss, who is from a different culture, wasn’t satisfied. But the feedback doesn’t really help us to see what’s gone wrong. It consists of phrases like “be more results-oriented” or “be more proactive”… What does that even mean?
Cultural Differences In Japan: The Workplace Edition
This kind of frustration on the job isn’t unusual among people who work in international or cross-culture environments. Our manager asks for something we believe we’re already delivering, and we just can’t see what to do differently to satisfy him. There’s some kind of disconnect and we can’t figure out where or what it is.
In this situation, some people just keep plugging along doing as they’ve always done, hoping it will all work out. Others give up and change jobs, hoping to find a better environment elsewhere.
The Case of Japanese Business
Author Leland Gaskins suggests there’s another way to overcome these problems when it comes to cultural differences in Japan.
In his book, “Step Up: Overcoming Cross-Cultural Differences Between Japanese and Western Businesspeople,” Gaskins provides a roadmap for understanding when and why these disconnects arise and for figuring out how to work effectively in diverse environments, in spite of different values and different communication styles.
Overcoming Cultural Differences In Japan Through Fiction
One feature of Gaskins’s book that makes it appealing is that it is presented as a story, making it “real”, more palpable, rather than just theoretical.
When applying to jobs in Japan, you may have noticed that a majority of the jobs offered for foreigners are for teaching English as an ALT or in an Eikawa setting.
Fortunately, there are other options for those with a technical background who are interested in Japan but do not have a visa. Companies such as Lighthouse Global act as a middleman in the process to connect you with a Japanese company to start your career. However, it is quite different from a normal application. This process will be an internship to potential hire rather than a direct hire. This might sound bizarre or risky, but it allows an employer to have time with you before having to spend time and effort in providing a visa for you. This in turn allows companies to connect more frequently with foreigners, providing more opportunities for you.
In my case, I applied through the Japan Career Program that has a partnership with Lighthouse Global and was contacted within a month for an initial interview screening. During this interview, depending on the Japanese level that you indicated in the application, you will be interviewed in English or Japanese. You need to sell yourself to the recruiter as he is creating your profile that will be made public to your potential employers. If you have previous work experience, explain what you do or did and how that has benefited your previous employer, and co-workers. Discuss any skills that you have developed on your own or outside of work that may be of interest to potential employers. If you are fresh out of university, explain what you did in school, your skill sets, and technologies that you are interested in. Most importantly, explain to the recruiter why you want to work in Japan. Say more than, …continue reading
Source: Gaijin Pot
If you’re looking to work in Japan, check back here each week as we look through our database of top jobs in Japan posted to GaijinPot and showcase some of the most interesting ones. You can apply directly to these companies by creating a profile on GaijinPot Jobs!
OSF Global Services is looking for a Project Manager to coordinate the entire life cycle of projects within its e-commerce department.
You need at least two years’ experience in a project manager role. Knowledge about agile management methodologies would be a big plus.
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TeamLab, the Instagram famous digital art group, is recruiting English speaking operation staff to join its “Planets” facility in Toyosu.
Your main duty will be ticket reception, maintenance, and guidance of foreign visitors. Schedules start from three days per week or more depending on your availability.
Benefits include full social insurance, transportation allowance up to ¥30,000/month, additional compensation for overtime or late-night, and employee discounts for drinks and food on-site.
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ICT Operations and Support Engineer
The United Nations University, providing research on global problems such as human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare, is looking for a support engineer to identify, …continue reading