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Getting a job in Japan other than English teaching.

NJ8812

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Hi, I'm interested in living and working in Japan. About a year ago I obtained a Bachelor of Business and was wondering what kind of work I can get other than English teaching. Probably a stupid question, but then again I am stupid so guess me asking a question like this would make sense!
 

Petaris

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The typical answer is that you can get any job that you can get someone to hire you for. This answer is of course correct but as they say, the devil is in the details.

Things to consider:
  • What type of visa are you eligible for? - What visa can you get that will allow you to work, and what restrictions (if any) does it place on the type and/or amount of work you are allowed to do.
  • What is your skill-set? - What are you capable of actually doing and do you have any real work experience doing it?
  • Is there any demand for your services? - This is two fold, are there jobs available in the field you wish to work for and is there a reason an employer would want to hire you instead of a local? (Equal opportunity employment is not really a thing and wouldn't apply to non-citizens even if it were.)
  • Are you prepared to make less money then you would likely make in your home country? - This is not a given, but a highly probable case.
  • What is your spoken Japanese language ability? - Outside of teaching English, and even including it to some degree, you will need to be able to converse in Japanese. The level of Japanese ability required will depend on the job but could range from conversational to business.
  • What is your Japanese reading/writing ability? - Outside of teaching English, and even including it to some degree, you will need to be able to converse in Japanese. The level of Japanese ability required will depend on the job but could range from casual correspondence or form filling to business letters, forms, etc.
  • Where do you want to live and for how long? - Some jobs will be more prevalent in certain areas (IT jobs that are open to foreigners are mostly around Tokyo for example) and some jobs may shy away from hiring and training a new person who is either not planning or just not likely to stick around.
  • Do you want to have your own business? - Good news is that you can, bad news is that unless you have Japanese citizenship you will need to hire a Japanese citizen to manage that business.
  • Have you ever been to Japan and for how long? - Japan is like any other country, there are positives and negatives. If you have never been to Japan then you should visit before deciding to move. If you have been to Japan, have you stayed long enough or visited enough times to really have a good idea of how it would be to live there?
  • Have you looked at the costs? - Japan is expensive. Just how expensive depends on where you are, and what your expected standard of living is. I suggest trying to figure out those expected costs if you haven't already.
  • Are you OK with living in very small accommodations? - Japan is not a big country so space is at a premium, even more so if you are going to live in the city.
  • Are you OK with having limited choices in accommodations? - Landlords may refuse to rent to foreigners outright. There are also several fees (security deposit, key money) that can be quite expensive. You may find your options are limited by one or both of these things.
  • Are you ready to be homesick for a while after the "honeymoon" period
  • This one is applies if you are a man - The women in Japan are like the women anywhere, some are attractive, some are not. Some are nice, some are not. Some like foreigners and some do not. They most definatly don't look like the girls in your favorite anime series.
  • This one is applies if you are a woman - Pretty much the same as above but replace women and girls with men and boys. Also, you may find that Japanese men are not as interested in a relationship with a foreign woman.
Hopefully this will help you out. I hope it doesn't come across as negative but it may, and probably should, be a reality check for you.

The more details you provide about these things the more the people here will be able to provide advise.

Take care and good luck! :)
 

mdchachi

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You're probably young enough and from a country where you could try the working holiday program. Once you're in Japan doing something like that you'll have a better chance of making connections that will lead you to a professional job.
 

Lothor

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Hi, I'm interested in living and working in Japan. About a year ago I obtained a Bachelor of Business and was wondering what kind of work I can get other than English teaching. Probably a stupid question, but then again I am stupid so guess me asking a question like this would make sense!
Hi and welcome to the forum. Not a stupid question at all but English teaching is what most people do in their first job in Japan unless they have a family-related reason to be in the country - like most countries Japan has restrictions on letting in foreign people to work, so you have to demonstrate that you have a skill desired by Japan, and that's probably going to be native English ability at your stage in life.

From the Facebook forums for foreigners in Japan, it's clear that non-Japanese people do a very wide range of jobs - I bought a crate of delicious ale from a British brewer in Hakuba earlier this year! - but such people are generally married to Japanese nationals or permanent residents without any restriction on the job they can do.

FWIW, I work as a proofreader/editor of academic papers but started as an English teacher at one of the English conversation schools.

Good luck!
 

Buntaro

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Hi NJ8812 and welcome to the forum. (Are you a pilot?)

There are two possibilities you should consider.

Japan’s culture and society are quite unique — there is nothing like them anywhere else in the world. You need to get to Japan, get a job, get a bank account, get an apartment (probably in Tokyo), learn how things are done in Japan, and start making business contacts. Learn how Japan works. Learn how to ride the trains. Learn what kinds of niceties are absolutely required in Japanese society. One of the best ways is take a job as an English teacher. This will get you into the country, get you established, give you a reference you can use for other potential employers, and give you a chance to learn to speak Japanese well (something that takes a couple of years). I know you do not want to teach English, but this is one of the best routes into the country and eventually getting a business job. Many people before you have taken this route. Spending a year doing this could turn out to be very much in your favor.

The other path I always recommend is working on base at a U. S. military base in Japan. Life on a U. S. military base is very ‘American’ and there are several not far from Tokyo. How about being a manager of a Burger King or Basin-Robbins on a military base near Tokyo? This has the same effect of getting you into Japan and getting you established.

I also have a couple of books about Japan I recommend you read, if you are interested.

I hope you are planning on learning Japanese.

What kind of business career is your long-term goal?
 
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