What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Planning for Future Employment in Japan

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Currently I am a college student with one year remaining until I finish my Computer Science Degree. I am hoping that I will be able to travel to Japan, and work in Japan in approximately 4 years. I do not know if this goal is too aggressive or not, and at this point it is just a long term goal for me, that is still completely flexible.

I currently have some Japanese experience, not anything that could go on a resume though. I am planning on improving this over the next 4 years.

My current career goal is to eventually be a software developer. Most of my remaining time in college will actually be spent working. I plan on having ~1 years worth of co-ops by the time I graduate, and I am hoping this will help me get a fairly interesting job in the US.

I also have never currently visited japan, but will be for the first time in a week. I plan on having more trips as a vacation, as well as a way to get to know more about Japan, and make sure it is really a place I would like to try living for extended periods of time.

I provided the above as background knowledge, if I am doing anything wrong then I would appreciate your help.

Though the main question, What else can I do over the next 4 years to make the possibility of finding a job easier?
 

anpan

先輩
Joined
23 May 2009
Messages
47
Reaction score
7
What else you can do over the next 4 years

Hi, Maybe you can not understand japanese language. what you should do over the next 4 years is to learn japanese language. in some japanese company provides their game program to foreign country. In these company, foreigners are working. However at least you should learn japanese language. because your boss is not able to english.
Or will you make your company in japan and acquire investor visa status ? And hire some japanese employee ? If so you do not have to learn japanese language. if you want to know how to make company in japan by conversational style, could you look at my website ?
Legal Assist in Japan

QUOTE=moeiful;712809]Currently I am a college student with one year remaining until I finish my Computer Science Degree. I am hoping that I will be able to travel to Japan, and work in Japan in approximately 4 years. I do not know if this goal is too aggressive or not, and at this point it is just a long term goal for me, that is still completely flexible.
I currently have some Japanese experience, not anything that could go on a resume though. I am planning on improving this over the next 4 years.
My current career goal is to eventually be a software developer. Most of my remaining time in college will actually be spent working. I plan on having ~1 years worth of co-ops by the time I graduate, and I am hoping this will help me get a fairly interesting job in the US.
I also have never currently visited japan, but will be for the first time in a week. I plan on having more trips as a vacation, as well as a way to get to know more about Japan, and make sure it is really a place I would like to try living for extended periods of time.
I provided the above as background knowledge, if I am doing anything wrong then I would appreciate your help.
Though the main question, What else can I do over the next 4 years to make the possibility of finding a job easier?[/QUOTE]
 

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Why Japan?

General interest, admittedly spurred on by anime and such. I have wanted to go to japan for half my life, more recently possibly working, living and maybe one day becoming a citizen. While I am still fairly young with relatively few responsibilities I would like to try going after what I consider something that is a fairly ambitious dream.

Hi, Maybe you can not understand japanese language. what you should do over the next 4 years is to learn japanese language. in some japanese company provides their game program to foreign country. In these company, foreigners are working. However at least you should learn japanese language. because your boss is not able to english.
Or will you make your company in japan and acquire investor visa status ? And hire some japanese employee ? If so you do not have to learn japanese language. if you want to know how to make company in japan by conversational style, could you look at my website ?
Legal Assist in Japan

I apologize for my inability to understand what you are saying. Though I will attempt a reply.

Over the next four years I do plan on attempting to learn the japanese language. I plan on starting formal education in one year. I am currently learning on my own.

Making my own company is interesting, but I am not interested in the possibility at the current time.
 
Last edited:

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
Basing your interest of a country on its cartoon characters is one thing, but using that interest as a decision to move and live/work there is not a very good one, IMO.

Computer programmers in Japan are a dime a dozen. Many come from India (and end up working more cheaply, which is unfair). What do you think you have to offer the industry as a foreigner that will look better on a resume than what is on a typical Japanese resume from a fresh college grad, someone who is fluent in the language and doesn't mind living with mama until he is 30 and who is willing to be molded into the company image and follow the company's policies on staying late just because the boss does?

Learn as much of the language as you possibly can.
Find out what skills are needed in your field here.
Learn about business practices and etiquette so that you can adapt more easily. You will always be considered an outsider, but at least make the effort.
Come here to visit. See what it's like, even as a tourist. Maybe even try to get an internship.
 

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Basing your interest of a country on its cartoon characters is one thing, but using that interest as a decision to move and live/work there is not a very good one, IMO.
Yeah, I don't really have a good reason and I have known that for awhile. That is why I am hoping to take this slowly, so that it doesn't end up being a bad decision, that I cannot recover from.
Computer programmers in Japan are a dime a dozen. Many come from India (and end up working more cheaply, which is unfair). What do you think you have to offer the industry as a foreigner that will look better on a resume than what is on a typical Japanese resume from a fresh college grad, someone who is fluent in the language and doesn't mind living with mama until he is 30 and who is willing to be molded into the company image and follow the company's policies on staying late just because the boss does?
Yeah, I know going to japan would probably end up being a substantial cut into my general quality of life. I am expecting to be paid about 1/2 the amount I generally would in the US and such. I am thinking I will probably have to live off of about the amount I make as a college intern in the US, and probably have to deal with increased expenses as well.

I don't think working late is much of a problem. I generally work longer than my boss does in the US, generally 10-12 hours (2-4 hours off the books), though I wouldn;t doubt if in japan the norm was more like 12-14.

I sort of expect to not be paid very well, so I plan on trying to save as much as possible before attempting to try and work in japan.

Ofcourse, the job offerings online look very appealing... much more than I expected to get in japan. Though I wouldn't doubt if this got dropped significantly after negotiating.

Also, I expected after working in the industry a few years, I would be in a slightly better position than a fresh college grad. Am I mistaken in this?

Learn as much of the language as you possibly can.
Find out what skills are needed in your field here.
Learn about business practices and etiquette so that you can adapt more easily. You will always be considered an outsider, but at least make the effort.
I expect to be treated fairly harshly. I also planning on learning as much japanese as possible before attempting to get a job... hopefully atleast at a conversational level.

Come here to visit. See what it's like, even as a tourist. Maybe even try to get an internship.

Yeah, I really want to make sure I am making a good decision, so I am planning on making multiple trips. Everything online kinda points to this being a long, difficult journey.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
So, you are willing to be treated like crap, live in squalor, and not get paid very well. Why is it you want this again?
 

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
So, you are willing to be treated like crap, live in squalor, and not get paid very well. Why is it you want this again?

Just, general interest. A few differences in culture, that are of general interest.

Again, no particular reason. I just want to try it for a bit, before letting myself get to an old age.

I only want a one room apartment, clothing, and food. If I can get the basic necessities of life that should be enough. A TV would be nice. Then internet access would be the great luxury. Should I be able to get this with a computer science-type job? It looks like I can by comparing housing and the amount a person makes... but I know there are probably fees I don;t know about.

After that I really have nothing left that I need. I am hoping that after a few years I can move up a little bit though, possibly save some incase I get sick or something.



Also, I have lived at the edge of poverty most of my life, so atleast right now, living in poverty does not seem too bad.
 

anpan

先輩
Joined
23 May 2009
Messages
47
Reaction score
7
HI, I can understand moeiful's mind. He likes Japan, so he wants to live in japan. It is possible that he will run to many difficulties in japan and return to his home country. But also it is possible he can get some skills that he can not get his home country. I am japanese, so I also want to live in unites states if i can. If i can earn enough money to keep my family in foreign country. I just want to live in foreign country. Maybe, he has same dream with me. But enough preparation is inevitable. when you decide to go to japan, or apply for specific job, could you tell me ? I will check the company for you.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
It's your life, of course. I would suggest that you think how a year or so in Japan at some crappy job will benefit your chances of fulfilling your dream of a career in the U.S. Don't plan on "moving up" in Japan, though, especially in a short period of time.

Otherwise, yes, you can very easily (and quite probably have to) get a 1-room apt and live off a meager income including internet, whether on a cell phone or laptop.

The trick now is in proving to an employer why he should hire you over a local person. Not my field, so all I can really say is best of luck.
 

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
HI, I can understand moeiful's mind. He likes Japan, so he wants to live in japan. It is possible that he will run to many difficulties in japan and return to his home country. But also it is possible he can get some skills that he can not get his home country. I am japanese, so I also want to live in unites states if i can. If i can earn enough money to keep my family in foreign country. I just want to live in foreign country. Maybe, he has same dream with me. But enough preparation is inevitable. when you decide to go to japan, or apply for specific job, could you tell me ? I will check the company for you.

Yeah, something like that seems about right. Though I don't have a family, so I don;t have that to worry about.

It's your life, of course. I would suggest that you think how a year or so in Japan at some crappy job will benefit your chances of fulfilling your dream of a career in the U.S. Don't plan on "moving up" in Japan, though, especially in a short period of time.

Otherwise, yes, you can very easily (and quite probably have to) get a 1-room apt and live off a meager income including internet, whether on a cell phone or laptop.

The trick now is in proving to an employer why he should hire you over a local person. Not my field, so all I can really say is best of luck.

Well, I want to try a year or so to make sure I don;t want to live in japan permanently. This could easily be a set back in my career, if I decide to return to the US, but again I believe I should atleast see if this is what I want to do.

I really don't have much of a dream of a career in the US. I would think that moving up in Japan would definitely take many years, just like everywhere else, though it would probably be slower for me, not being native and all.

Sounds good then, all I need. Ofcourse... this makes me wonder how people working at convenience stores live... though maybe computer scientists are on the same level as them...

Thanks for all of your help!
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,254
People working at convenience stores are either students, housewives, working a second job, living with their parents, or some combination thereof.

You do realize that cartoons are escapist fantasy entertainment and not particularly reflective of real ho-hum workaday life in Japan, don't you?

Drop the silly minimalist notions you've expressed about what sort of life you would expect to settle for here. If you have nothing more to bring to the table than what could provide no better than that for yourself then you are unemployable anyway. You sound like every other one of the endless procession of I'll-dig-ditches-and-be-happy-if-I-could-live-in-Japan starry-eyed melodramatic cartoon-struck teenagers we have parading through here....none of whom ever seem to do anything more about their big dream than just think about it. Be more mature; aim a lot higher.
 

Macrobiotic

後輩
Joined
12 Oct 2012
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
I actually know of a guy who probably ruined his chances of becoming employable in Sweden since he spent too many years neglecting any sort of education, doing no qualifications required low wage work (without even speaking japanese at a beginners level) in Japan as an overgrown teenager approaching his 30's. As would be expected he used a woman for his visa and work permit. I guess he went over there because of the popular culture and romantic idea of the country in the first place.
Now he seems willing to do anything to keep the bubble he built around himself from bursting. If he returns to Sweden he will have to work at a pizzeria or something and lose the facade of a "cosmopolitic vagabond" which Tokyo bestows in the eyes of some people. This superficial identity is the only thing covering up his failure to achieve a real career and seems to be his sole driving force in life. It seems important to him that people understand he finds his way on the subway and knows a lot of cool bars.

At least he actually was employable, maybe it was just luck, but now he seems stuck in that sort of life and will maybe even have to settle for less to be able to keep going and avoid crashing back into unemployment and public disgrace in his home country while his friends have prestige degrees from fine universities. To me at least it seems like a stupid thing to chose this fate and then spend your life trying to live a lie. Selling your soul and future just to eventually get that permanent residentship status in Japan.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
Well, I want to try a year or so to make sure I don;t want to live in japan permanently.
I think it would take a little longer than that, but everyone's different.

This could easily be a set back in my career, if I decide to return to the US, but again I believe I should atleast see if this is what I want to do.
I hope you realize I'm not telling you to stay there, but that I'm telling you that you will have a very poor life here, and that getting hired will still be hard, even if you get your J language skills up. You will have to bring some work skills and experience to the negotiations table, too. However, you confound me with the next statements...

I really don't have much of a dream of a career in the US. I would think that moving up in Japan would definitely take many years, just like everywhere else, though it would probably be slower for me, not being native and all.
It will be extremely hard to move up at all in Japan. But what puzzles me is that you think you can do it at all, yet you have no career goal at all in mind for working in your home country, where you know the business system far better than here, where you have no real problems with language (reading memos, reports, emails, etc.; writing the same; listening to boring meetings with a different level of language than in face-to-face conversation, etc.).

What exactly do you think at this point in your imaginings that you could accomplish here? More importantly, if you do somehow manage to get a job here, I really think you should actually set some goals, not just for what you can improve in yourself, but what you can learn about the life/work situation in Japan. Sound reasonable? I mention this only because despite Mike's accurate assessment of what we see on this and other forums, you don't really sound like you have any plan except to take in stride whatever may happen when/if you come here.

Ofcourse... this makes me wonder how people working at convenience stores live... though maybe computer scientists are on the same level as them.
How do they live in your country? I've done Seven-Eleven work. I know what it's like. No, thank you. I have friends who are programmers in the U.S. Their lives are NOWHERE NEAR that of a 7-11 employee!
 

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
People working at convenience stores are either students, housewives, working a second job, living with their parents, or some combination thereof.

You do realize that cartoons are escapist fantasy entertainment and not particularly reflective of real ho-hum workaday life in Japan, don't you?

Drop the silly minimalist notions you've expressed about what sort of life you would expect to settle for here. If you have nothing more to bring to the table than what could provide no better than that for yourself then you are unemployable anyway. You sound like every other one of the endless procession of I'll-dig-ditches-and-be-happy-if-I-could-live-in-Japan starry-eyed melodramatic cartoon-struck teenagers we have parading through here....none of whom ever seem to do anything more about their big dream than just think about it. Be more mature; aim a lot higher.

I do understand that cartoons have nothing to do with the normal everyday life in japan. That is why I have been fairly negative about the prospect of working in japan. I know I came off as very negative, but I was trying to convey that I am aware that things might not turn out well. Again, this is currently for planning for 1 year in japan.

I did not think ambition was welcome in this forum, so I did not try to convey it.

Also, my minimalist expectations were for my transition period. I just expect it to be a fairly painful experience.

I was mainly just trying to agree with Glenski's negative outlook, so I could get more information. Positive or negative, I am interested in whatever information I can receive. The information I can get from Glenski is fairly important, as Glenski seems to be living in japan, or at least knowledgeable about the area. From other posts I looked up, it looked like Glenski would disappear if I tried to be positive about the prospect.

I think it would take a little longer than that, but everyone's different.

I hope you realize I'm not telling you to stay there, but that I'm telling you that you will have a very poor life here, and that getting hired will still be hard, even if you get your J language skills up. You will have to bring some work skills and experience to the negotiations table, too. However, you confound me with the next statements...

It will be extremely hard to move up at all in Japan. But what puzzles me is that you think you can do it at all, yet you have no career goal at all in mind for working in your home country, where you know the business system far better than here, where you have no real problems with language (reading memos, reports, emails, etc.; writing the same; listening to boring meetings with a different level of language than in face-to-face conversation, etc.).

What exactly do you think at this point in your imaginings that you could accomplish here? More importantly, if you do somehow manage to get a job here, I really think you should actually set some goals, not just for what you can improve in yourself, but what you can learn about the life/work situation in Japan. Sound reasonable? I mention this only because despite Mike's accurate assessment of what we see on this and other forums, you don't really sound like you have any plan except to take in stride whatever may happen when/if you come here.

How do they live in your country? I've done Seven-Eleven work. I know what it's like. No, thank you. I have friends who are programmers in the U.S. Their lives are NOWHERE NEAR that of a 7-11 employee!

Oh, I mean during my first time employed I would think that I would not do so well, mainly just due to the lack of knowledge about the industry in japan. My second job would probably go a lot better overall. From what I have gathered before the way to "move up" in computer science in japan is to switch jobs, and apply for new ones.

My current career goals, are fairly abstract, mainly because my experience in an actual company is fairly limited. Though I know I want go into development, and want to focus on improving my technical skills instead of going into a strictly management position. From what I have gathered so far, taking the technical route isn't the best paying route, but it is what I enjoy.

Anyway, I am in Japan right now, enjoying my vacation, and it has been amazing in so many ways. Though one problem, non-alcoholic drinks are so tiny, though vending machines solve this problem. Currently replying to this because it has been raining and I can't go anywhere.
 
Last edited:

BrianLewis

先輩
Joined
27 Nov 2012
Messages
317
Reaction score
33
I don't really have much advice when it comes to computer science. When I was in college, that was the degree that everyone had, and later on everyone wanted to be psychology majors. I really don't know what the market is like now, but I can't see that working a year in Japan would hurt your career any. A company in the US might regard that year as an experience that differentiates you from all the others at their company. I guess it all depends on if you can land that job in Japan or not.

I would warn you that learning the language will take you quite a few years and a lot of time. If you are planning on being able to communicate effectively in 1 year while finishing your degree, you might want to rethink that idea. Japanese is as far from English that you can get, and takes quite a long while to become effective in it.

That aside, people tend to look negatively on this sort of thing in forums like this, but I would say that any experience in another country is a growing experience. I wish you the best of luck.
 

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
I don't really have much advice when it comes to computer science. When I was in college, that was the degree that everyone had, and later on everyone wanted to be psychology majors. I really don't know what the market is like now, but I can't see that working a year in Japan would hurt your career any. A company in the US might regard that year as an experience that differentiates you from all the others at their company. I guess it all depends on if you can land that job in Japan or not.

I would warn you that learning the language will take you quite a few years and a lot of time. If you are planning on being able to communicate effectively in 1 year while finishing your degree, you might want to rethink that idea. Japanese is as far from English that you can get, and takes quite a long while to become effective in it.

That aside, people tend to look negatively on this sort of thing in forums like this, but I would say that any experience in another country is a growing experience. I wish you the best of luck.

No, I plan on taking three years for japanese after 1 year while in college. Even then I know it might take longer than that.

Forums in general are fairly negative places. Though they do offer a bit of information.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,254
Before people blithely dismiss us as being a negative place based on short acquaintance, stop and look at the scene from our side of the fence first.

Year in and year out we sit here and field questions from youths who profess a desire to move to Japan based on a childhood fascination with Japanese cartoons and/or comic books, people who think all they have to do is get on a plane and show up, people who have never even visited but who are plotting Japanese citizenship already, people who have it in mind to do some jobs which aren't open to them as foreigners, people who think we're the visa help desk of the Japanese Embassy, people who love everything about Japanese culture but who when pressed can't write two sentences about anything that doesn't involve a character with green hair and eyes the size of dinner plates, people who say they love the language and have been fascinated with it for years though they have yet to actually sit down and actually start to study anything yet, etc etc etc repeat ad infinitum.

And like the good princess who just knows the next frog she kisses is going to be the prince, we keep puckering up and answering the questions. About half the time it turns out the person never even comes back to check for replies. I've been kissing drive-by frogs on this forum for at least a decade....answering questions for people who will just die if they can't come live the rest of their lives in Japan, who will (in all seriousness) profess a willingness to work the most menial jobs and live like a troll under a bridge so long as it is a bridge in Japan. Sounds pretty determined and dedicated, doncha think? Care to make a guess about how many of them are willing to do anything which would actually make them eligible to make their all-consuming dream a reality? Not a goddamned one of them so far....but we keep bending over and kissing them anyway, hoping one day we'll find a prince....somebody who was actually helped in a material way by our efforts. Somebody who cared about their own problem at least as much as they expected us to.

Meanwhile, we sit here and read cheap potshots about our being negative.
 

moeiful

後輩
Joined
18 Dec 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Oh, I'm sorry it I hope I didn't offend you personally, though I believe I did...

Yes, you are going to be negative because you have to put up with so many questions, really it is just what happens in forums. (Admittedly this is stereotyping)

I in no way did intend to make you seem like bad people. I just consider it a normal social occurrence, for the exact reasons stated in your post.

I haven't mentioned this... but I already have 2 years worth of formal study, I took these as private classes, because sadly I was not able to fit these into my regular schedule. It is not much, but its a start I guess.

Its just that I found the main way to get information out of a forum is to "agreeing" with people over and over, but it seems that this technique has backfired and cast me into a fairly negative position, without extracting very much information.

I will retreat from this forum now, as there really isn't much more for me to do, since I probably cannot extract anymore information, considering the horrible reputation I have already created for myself.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
Mike has been in Japan longer than me and is more fluent in the language because of his profession. He is probably more in contact with the everyday working people than me, so heed his words.

I would NOT disappear if you became positive about working here. Reread what Mike wrote. Carefully. Your leaving just repeats what others have done. Stick around and get some information, but be more realistic about things (or at least more open to the realism we try to dish out). That's all we ask. Optimism is all too often falsely based, and the only thing we could see yours based on was anime.

And, yes, you should have told us that you have already studied for 2 years.

I don't know the computer field, but from what I've been reading for my research, they actually don't use as much English on the job as many/most other engineering types. Meanwhile, that means knowing a lot of Japanese, and I suggest you look at places like Career Cross or daijobs for ads to show you what requirements there are for jobs in your field. You might also want to look around to confirm this next piece of information.

Also, many companies shuffle their staff around every year or 2 to different sections within the company, ostensibly to give them a more well-rounded experience for the company. That means going to sections where you don't even have the experience or desire to work. See if it happens with computer engineers. If so, that will limit your upward climb.

More related stuff.
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+64247
http://forum.gaijinpot.com/showthread.php?88386-Engineering-jobs-in-Japan

If you join IEEE, you can probably get articles like these for free or reduced prices, instead of relying on a university library for interlibrary loan. (Please take heed of the dates on these. Slightly old.)
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/logi...re.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=1010878
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/logi...ore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=951499
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/logi...ore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=166669
 
Last edited:

dalo34

後輩
Joined
10 Jan 2013
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Dear Friends

I am 40 and live in London with my Japanese wife and two kids. I have a BA (Hons) in English plus CELTA and a couple of years experience teaching English at a private academy in London to various levels and nationalities including Japanese students, I work full time in real estate but I am considering relocating to Japan. I am Anglo Spanish and fluent in both languages (no Japanese though) What is the best thing I could do before going to Japan to increase my chances of getting a well paid job (i.e. an MA in ELT? Linguistics?) Please advise

best regards
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
A master's will not be enough to get a university position. You need publications on top of that usually. Get published.

Also, start learning Japanese now.

When do you think you'll move here?
 
Top Bottom