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<Start to work in Japan in the early 30's

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Hello everybody, I know that this question has been written trillions of times but I still feel the urge to share my situation in order to receive a useful feedback.
I worked as an actor, writer, stage director, event and casting organiser and I also pursue my activity with a theatre company of my own (during these times I also worked as a waiter, web promoter, salesman and children entertainer), but I was forced to stop my artistic career and reinvent my life due to persistents health and family issues and the strong necessity to embark on a new path. After a harsh period of confusion and depression I finally found my way studying japanese. I started to study the language by my own completing all hiragana and katakana and I also studied more than 1100 kanji, an encouraging start that made me think to start a relative degree. (I never pursue university due to a mix of bad high school experiences and disinterestedness) After completing my undergraduate degree I'd like to continue my studies with a master in UK (I saw some interesting courses in japanese studies and east asian relations in Edinburgh and Warwick, just to say a couple) or in Japan. I'm aware that I should be open minded and I should't force myself to the idea to live in a specific place, but let's go back to the title: if I follow my described plans I'll complete my studies at 31/32 (I'll be 27 in september) and I want to know if, besides teaching my mother language, I could still have chances to work in Japan, even for interships and entry level positions. I specify that I'm italian (and sadly there's no working holiday visa reserved for my country...) with multilingual skill (I also speak french and I must study in my degree for a minimum of one year another asian language, and I think I'll choose korean) and I'm currently working as an instant messaging operator. (but I'm also consider the idea to juxtapose some freelance translations)
Thank You in Advance, I hope to receive some realistic but encouraging answers.
 

Mike Cash

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Your chances for work will be entirely dependent on your job skills and the demand for those skills. Acquire marketable job skills during your studies.
 
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After completing my undergraduate degree I'd like to continue my studies with a master in UK (I saw some interesting courses in japanese studies and east asian relations in Edinburgh and Warwick, just to say a couple)
Not exactly the types of majors that people are screaming for nowadays in most jobs.

...or in Japan.
Why?

if I follow my described plans I'll complete my studies at 31/32 (I'll be 27 in september) and I want to know if, besides teaching my mother language,
Italian is not a popular language to teach here. Check with Berlitz for the only employer that I know.

...I could still have chances to work in Japan, even for interships and entry level positions.
As Mike wrote, and as I'll restate, with a degree in Japanese studies or East Asian relations, what sort of work did you imagine you'd qualify for? Embassy job or diplomat? Translator/interpreter?

As for internships, yes, you'd probably be suitable material, but in what area? Marketing? Sales? HR? Do a Google search for internships and Japan, and see what's out there. If any of them appeal to you, keep them in mind for future opportunities, but also keep in mind as Mike wrote that a foreigner's chances at landing non-teaching work in Japan are limited to his skill set, work experience related to the job, absence of Japanese locals who can do the job, and a strong ability to communicate (spoken and in writing) in Japanese.

I'm currently working as an instant messaging operator. (but I'm also consider the idea to juxtapose some freelance translations)
Translating French or Italian isn't going to get you far. Neither is a common foreign language here. Perhaps in a tourist trade, but I can't think of anywhere else. It doesn't even sound like something you could live on. I have no clue what an instant messaging operator is or does or whether one is needed in Japan, let alone by a foreigner.
 
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Thank You for your replies, I try to comment any of your points.

Not exactly the types of majors that people are screaming for nowadays in most jobs.
I know that humanities could't be strong like, for example, engineering or business, but I felt like I could strenghten this degree with my working experience (I forgot to mention that in high school I was graduate in tourism services with two apprenticeships as a receptionist in a hotel) and I couldn't fake myself by doing something that I haven't skills just to live in a determined place. Maybe business could be an option, but I haven't really the predisposition to pursue a specifically undergraduate degree, especially with the study of the language and my job to carry on. By the way, I could consider to do something specific in my master degree (I saw also some courses in japanese business, east asian business and international management in Leeds, Sheffield and SOAS London) and I thought that doing a master abroad could prove me that I'm an ambitious, courage and open-minded person.

I thought that doing a master in Japan could be a useful idea to test the waters, but I also think that in this case I should enroll to an important university like Todai or Keio.

Italian is not a popular language to teach here. Check with Berlitz for the only employer that I know.
I know that working as an italian teacher is really tough, that's why I wrote "besides teaching my mother language"...

As Mike wrote, and as I'll restate, with a degree in Japanese studies or East Asian relations, what sort of work did you imagine you'd qualify for? Embassy job or diplomat? Translator/interpreter?

As for internships, yes, you'd probably be suitable material, but in what area? Marketing? Sales? HR? Do a Google search for internships and Japan, and see what's out there. If any of them appeal to you, keep them in mind for future opportunities, but also keep in mind as Mike wrote that a foreigner's chances at landing non-teaching work in Japan are limited to his skill set, work experience related to the job, absence of Japanese locals who can do the job, and a strong ability to communicate (spoken and in writing) in Japanese.
I'm trying to take more open doors as I could by thinking to pursue a job in the field of media, diplomacy, management, business, HR, interpreter and translation, with a special thought to foreign companies based in Japan. (not necessarily italians) I'm not confused by not mentioning a "specific job" like saying "I want to be a doctor, a lawyer etc...", but I learned in my life experience that I should focus primarily in a section instead on a specific role.

Translating French or Italian isn't going to get you far. Neither is a common foreign language here. Perhaps in a tourist trade, but I can't think of anywhere else. It doesn't even sound like something you could live on.
Even if I'm not a native speaker I could try to put english onto a similar job. By the way, I also know that I should take certifications like JLPT2, IELTS...

I have no clue what an instant messaging operator is or does or whether one is needed in Japan, let alone by a foreigner.
It's not very simple to explain and I don't know if I could mention my company, but I try: imagine some of those useless messaging services like "affinity pair" or "affinity of the zodiac sign", the point is similarly useless but the theme is different from those. I actually work at home with italian costumers but in case of emergency I'm allowed to work with foreign customers. (at the moment it happened once with french costumers) It's a foreign company based in Australia that offers many other services. Maybe they could offer me a promotion after my degree if they decide to open a branch in Japan, but it's actually a remote possibility.

Anyway, I also read in another forum (I don't know if I could mention the name of it) a topic similar to mine, and I read some useful advised and this closure:

"I know several people with a degreee in Japanese and those who are still in Japan work as
+ HR manager for a foreign company in Japan
+ a university professor
+ at the french chamber of commerce
+ at a German car company"

As you can read it's a variegated list of jobs, do you think that I could reach a similar result if I work hard?
Thank You again
 
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You are not going to get into Todai or Keio with your current level of Japanese, you know. Either schedule studies to get you up to the proper level (minimum of 2 years of hard work), or consider another uni for a masters.

You also need to decide which degree field you want to be in. Choose what you want, not merely what will get you a job today, because you will be happier.

As for those jobs you listed from another site, how many of those people were in situations similar to yours?
 
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You are not going to get into Todai or Keio with your current level of Japanese, you know. Either schedule studies to get you up to the proper level (minimum of 2 years of hard work), or consider another uni for a masters.
I know that I should improve my japanese level before to enroll in a japanese university (although I saw some courses taught in english), that's why I'm already working hard to reach the goal. I think I'll also try the JLPT2 test during these three years. (I know an italian blogger that has reached this goal in a similar time without setting foot in Japan, seriously)

You also need to decide which degree field you want to be in. Choose what you want, not merely what will get you a job today, because you will be happier.
As I wrote before I can't fake myself, and with that in mind I'm trying to do something that could really catch my interest. I really like to study japanese and I found the cited masters really interesting, I don't think that I'm trying to look only to something that could give me a job.

As for those jobs you listed from another site, how many of those people were in situations similar to yours?
That was a topic that I found in another forum. I don't know exactly how many persons are in a situation similar to mine, but from what I see in various internet sites I think that I'm not alone.
 

Mike Cash

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What *job skills* did those other people have in addition to their Japanese degrees?
 
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What *job skills* did those other people have in addition to their Japanese degrees?
Are your referring to the list of jobs that I've written a couple of posts ago? I don't know, it was just a closure of a topic that I've found on another forum and I don't know them personally. By the way I think the post is reliable, since it has so many useful informations about internships and work in Japan in general.

P.S. I forgot to mention that here in Italy isn't possible to do a minor in japanese and a major in something else, that's why I'm considering one of the masters degree that I've written before.
 
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If you can't learn what those other people's background and situations were, you don't have much to put your faith in because you can't compare yourself with their success. Hope is nice, but keep in mind what Mike wrote.

I'm trying to take more open doors as I could by thinking to pursue a job in the field of media, diplomacy, management, business, HR, interpreter and translation, with a special thought to foreign companies based in Japan.
These do not necessarily cover just one field, as you seem to think. Diplomacy is a job for politicians and diplomats. Management, business, and HR are lumped into a category by themselves, so focus on an MBA or something related. Translation and interpreting are separate entities to these other 2 fields, and you will need specialized training in them, whether you couple that to another degree or not.

Pick something more focused than saying these 7 areas are in just one field.
 
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These do not necessarily cover just one field, as you seem to think. Diplomacy is a job for politicians and diplomats. Management, business, and HR are lumped into a category by themselves, so focus on an MBA or something related. Translation and interpreting are separate entities to these other 2 fields, and you will need specialized training in them, whether you couple that to another degree or not.

Pick something more focused than saying these 7 areas are in just one field.
I know that these fields aren't closely related, but I thought that in my actual situation couldn't be very useful to close the circle considering fewer fields, althought I think that some of these fields will be excluded during my studies.
By the way I thank you for your useful replies, I think that I'll try to contact the author of the topic which I mentioned. (but I seems hard to do so, since that forum has disabled the inscriptions...)
 
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Slateman,

I recommend that before you enter into a degree program you look very carefully at what kind of jobs for which the degree will give you qualifications. I don't think the masters you've discussed will get you very far towards obtaining the qualifications for many of the jobs you listed.
You say you learned in life:
I'm not confused by not mentioning a "specific job" like saying "I want to be a doctor, a lawyer etc...", but I learned in my life experience that I should focus primarily in a section instead on a specific role.
Yet, having followed that advice, it doesn't sound like you've ended up where you want to be. It actually sounds like you ended up 26 years old with no qualifications to do anything other than work as an instant messaging operator, which you describe as "useless." Perhaps now is the time to change how you look at your future. Determine something specific you would enjoy and which offers at least a stable and reasonably well paying salary, and work back to see what degree or training you need to get that job.
Good luck with your goals, I hope you take my advice in the spirit of benevolence with which I send it!
 
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You have named several fields of interest, and I could group them into 3:
business/marketing
political science or something related
translation/interpreting

Each may have some overlapping coursework, but you really have to choose which one suits your overall goals. You could double or triple major, depending on what the university offers, but most people don't. Like I wrote earlier, choose something you truly have an interest for, or you may find yourself qualified/educated in something you don't end up liking.
 
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I would also advise that translation is not particularly well-paying, and usually very, very boring. Getting a business degree while studying Japanese language in your spare time sounds like a good idea to me. Someone with business sense (and a business degree) who speaks Japanese in addition to your other languages, will have a lot of opportunities available to him.
 
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