for the Japanese Job Market
for a job in Japan is not so different from the rest of the world - the
main requirements being patience, determination, and an everlasting smile!!
The first place
to begin your search would have to CareerCross Japan's job search page
where there is a large selection of positions currently available that
can be applied for by the click of a button. Also by registering as a member
with CareerCross you can post your resume in the Resume Bank and receive
regular email up dates of new jobs as soon as they arrive.
There are of
course other recruitment sites out there on the web, but we believe ours
is the best, so we will not bore you with information on the others!
traditional print media is another good place to search out opportunities
and most newspapers carry a special classified section at least once a
week. For English language publications, the Japan Times on Mondays carries
the largest selection of general vacancies, with the Daily Yomiuri's Wednesday
edition carrying a smaller selection of ads both in English and Japanese.
In the Japanese press, The Nikkei, the Japanese equivalent of the Financial
Times or Wall Street Journal, carries a large selection of mostly finance
related positions on Sundays and for general vacancies the Asahi, Mainichi
and Yomiuri newspapers all carry job ads. on Sunday and Monday.
is also a wide selection of Japanese monthly and weekly magazines that
are dedicated to job hunting. Titles such as Be-ing, Tech Be-ing, Type,
Type Engineer, Travail to name but a few, and all can be purchased from
most Japanese bookstores and newsagents. There are not really any English
equivalents but certain magazines carry job opportunities in their classified
section - Japan Inc., and the Tokyo Classified are currently the obvious
choices but there are a lot of other magazines available such as the Tokyo
Journal, The Alien, Tokyo Noticeboard etc.
boasts a huge number of recruitment companies, all eager to assist you
in your search for a new career path. As a general rule they do not deal
in jobs such as English teaching or the like and quite often will specialize
in a few particular areas.
If using a
recruitment company to assist you in your job search always check them
out first. - while the majority of these companies are professional and
genuinely interested in assisting both you and their clients, unfortunately
there are some who have a different approach to their business. Sending
out resumes without the owners permission and pushing people into a job
just so they can collect their fee are common complaints so if you do not
feel comfortable with the company or the consultant you are dealing with,
just tell them that you do not wish to deal with them anymore and go elsewhere.
Offshore Resources Gallery
|As a general
rule the large global companies with a local Tokyo office (such as Robert
Walters Japan or Morgan and Banks) are a good place to start, as are local
companies that have been personally recommended to you.
suggestion would be the local Chambers of Commerce. In particular the American
Chamber (ACCJ) has a well-subscribed resume bank. For a few thousand yen
you can post you resume on their site where it can be viewed by their members,
most of whom are senior representatives of various foreign companies with
a presence in Japan. The other chambers (British, Australian etc) also
have a similar service but it is not so polished or subscribed to.
old fashioned networking. It is amazing what can be achieved by being in
the right place at the right time and this is amplified in Japan. Look
at your contacts and if appropriate give them a shout; most will be willing
to help out if they can. After all, who knows when they will need to call
on you to return the favor.
working day starts with the commute to the office. For the majority that
means over an hour of standing on trains packed to over 200% capacity,
where reading a newspaper is out of the question and each slowing down
or speeding up of the train results in a mass of bodies being swung from
side to side and back to front. Even with the horrendous crush of this
morning ritual leading to a very uncomfortable ride to work, very few people
ever complain or cause a fuss and apart from the odd pervert taking a grope,
no-one seems to abuse the situation either.
The first event
that will happen on a typical day will be the regular morning meeting.
takes the form of everyone within a certain division or section standing
and facing a group of managers, and will generally start with a selection
of company rituals, sometimes in the form of group exercise or the shouting
of the company slogans. New directives or procedures will be discussed,
as will updates on work in progress or on the horizon, followed by further
announcements and the final shouting of slogans and inspiring sayings.
The workers will then all troops back to their desks to start another long
and arduous day. In general, most Japanese "salarymen" employed with a
Japanese corporate environment work much longer hours than their western
counterparts in a western environment, as do their managers and female
assistants (commonly known as "office ladies" or "O.L." for short). Although
the law states a maximum number of hours per working week and most companies
officially work from around 9am to 6pm, in reality the majority of people
will be in their office at least 30 minutes earlier and then stay for several
hours after closing. A recently enacted law restricting the amount of overtime
an individual could work has unfortunately just resulted in employees not
reporting the extra hours they do.
is for an hour and is generally taken between the time of 11:30 - 1:30,
and may consist of a bento (lunch box) normally brought from home or at
the local convenience store and eaten at the desk, or alternatively the
lunch special eaten in a nearby restaurant.
At the end
of the day, your average Japanese worker will probably go out with his
colleagues from the office and partake in a session of drinking, eating
and singing. All will relax and let their feeling show and it is here as
much as in the office that the strong bonding that so typifies the Japanese
corporate world takes place. Public shows of drunkenness are not frowned
upon in Japan as they are in the west, and many displays of over indulgence
can be seen, from the crumpled salaryman sleeping on the train or bench
to the rather unpleasant piles of regurgitated noodles and beer found around
offices are "open plan" and based on the concept of group work and consensus
building as well as on the hierarchical structure of the company. Desks
are uniformly alike and arranged by teams, with members sitting in order
of authority and responsibility, with the highest -ranking member seated
furthest away from the door and closest to the section chief's desk. The
section chief is likely to have a desk at the front of the office facing
his subordinates, surveying all before him.
With only the
very senior managers likely to have their own office, the lack of privacy
produces a very real sense of belonging, with a great deal of communication
taking place between members of a team, usually without the hindrance of
dividers or cubicles. Managers can easily walk around and communicate with
all the groups and individuals within the operation and therefore can ensure
everyone, including themselves, are fully aware of all aspects of the work
at all times.
Japanese worker tends to view the use of time rather differently then a
western one. With the western approach, emphasis is placed on completing
a task in the most efficient manner and within the shortest time possible.
For the Japanese, it is considered more important for the whole team to
work together to accomplish a goal. Each individual will know the limit
of their responsibilities and what is expected of them, and will work selfishly
to complete that task in hand. Many meetings and discussions will take
place to ensure everything is going as planned and nothing will be rushed
or pushed through. The concept of "thinking out of the box" or looking
for a quick result are very rare indeed and are often frowned upon. However
the Japanese approach does ensure the end result will be something that
is unanimously acceptable to all and is as complete as possible. Because
of this group mentality, individuals feel a need to stay with a task as
long as necessary to provide their colleagues who are still working on
the assignment with all the help or support they may need. This sense of
solidarity often means that even those who have already completed their
work, stay late at the office.
reasons, many Japanese workers rarely use their vacation time to the full.
They feel it is their responsibility not to abandon others while they are
still working, regardless of whether one's work has been completed. Because
of this and to ensure that workers get some time with their families, Japanese
companies traditionally close down completely for a week in the spring
and summer and also over the New Year. Another common practice is the "company
trip" with everyone going away for a few days of fun together, either totally
or partially funded by the company.
any foreigner first faced with such a different working environment will
be somewhat taken aback and even shocked. Having said that, the situation
is beginning to change and the long working hours of old and rigid structures
are starting to disappear as the younger generation in particular start
to expect more leisure time and freedom. Just as western companies and
working practices have evolved and changed over the years, expect to see
the old ways of Japan slowly take a back seat to the forces of globalization
and international business.
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