Finding your dream job in Japan

Japan is a mysterious country of high technology, anime, manga with intriguing history and culture. Many Westerners are drawn to the land of the rising sun. Before you start planning your new exciting life there, looking for cargo export companies, etc., you need to find a job. Japan has always been a pretty closed-off country. Luckily for you and all foreigners who wish to live here, the Japanese government has made changes regarding immigration and visas. This means it is much easier to find a job in Japan than before. For this reason, here are all the tips for finding your dream job in Japan. 

Immigration Rules and Visa requirements  

As mentioned, before 2019, moving to Japan for work was challenging. Japan had very strict immigration policies which made finding a job and obtaining all the documents to seem like a mission impossible. However, Japan is an “old country” based on the average age of its population. There is a high demand for employees but not enough young people to hire. Therefore, Japan needs to import foreign workers. In addition to this, the 2020 Olympics should have been held in Tokyo but now they are postponed until 2021. Still, Japan will receive more attention than usual. Many tourists and sports enthusiasts will visit Japan but they are not fluent in Japanese. For this reason, many Japanese companies want foreigners, preferably fluent in English, to represent their business. Apart from this, nurses and blue-collar workers are most sought after in Japan.  

finding your dream job in Japan to walk the street of Tokyo
Japan is a land full of possibilities and opportunities

Things to consider before finding your dream job in Japan 

Every international move is difficult due to cultural differences between the two countries. Japan greatly differs from Western countries in almost every aspect. Therefore, make sure you are 100 percent on board and prepared to live in a foreign country. First, consider your skills and qualifications. See if you can join the Japanese industry based on your qualifications. Next, think about the Japanese work culture since it is very different from the Western one. First, they value teamwork. Second, they will expect that your long hours, aka, to work overtime. After work, you are not free to go home. You should socialize with your coworkers by drinking, partying, going to karaoke places, etc. Lastly, you have to be on your best polite behavior when working in Japan. Japanese people are not fans of direct communication as it is considered rude.  

Going to Japan for work without Japanese language skills 

If you plan to live and work in Japan for a long time, prepare yourself to learn a language. However, in the beginning, it is acceptable to come with basic or non-existing language skills. Unless you can find a job where you can use English (which is very rare), become an English teacher. This is the easiest way to receive a working visa. Many schools in Japan are looking for native speakers. Only requirements are any four years of a college degree and maybe a TEFL or TESOL. You can get these two certificates in three months. Japanese schools will arrange your accommodation and visa. Therefore, you basically only have to show up. However, maybe a teaching job is not your dream job, but you can earn money, learn the language and culture. In the meantime, become proficient enough in Japanese to seek another type of employment.  

white cherry blossoms
It is important to learn the Japanese language

Finding your dream job in Japan when speaking Japanese 

Contrary to the previous point, foreigners who are proficient in Japanese have more options. Finding your dream job in Japan will not be a problem. As mentioned, many companies need English speaking employees to manage the international side of their business. You can find a job in any sector you want, provided that you meet the required qualifications. This means video games companies, IT companies, fashion brands, tourism industry, and so on. In addition to this, usually, companies will take care of your accommodation and working visa, as well as assist you with medical and childcare services. However, test your Japanese language skills first. Most companies will require a high proficiency in Japanese. You need to understand and communicate with your coworkers in Japanese. This means passing the JLPT N2. Some IT companies will not insist so much on fluency, but rather on a terminology. 

Resume and Interview 

Just like with any job, you have to send in your resume. You have to make sure your resume stands out from the rest. How to write an effective resume? That depends on your future job and skills. You should emphasize your college/university education, personal skills, experience, strengths, and weakness. Since you are applying for a job in Japan, make sure to focus on your language skills, both in Japanese and English if you are not a native speaker. Add another language as well if you are proficient. Lastly, add a photo where you look presentable yet professional. Additionally, you will have to go through an interview, usually online via Skype. Interview tips are the following. 

  • Dress properly – usually, black suit for men, a black skirt and blazer for women 
  • Speak clearly 
  • Don’t eat or drink during an online interview 
  • Make eye contact 
  • Be confident and professional 
  • Sit straight 
a man sitting in a restaurant
If you want to get a job, prepare yourself for an interview

Finding your dream job in Japan – final thoughts 

Japan is a captivating country so it is not surprising that you wish to live and work there. When you receive an offer for a job, stay in close contact with your employers. Getting a working visa might be challenging. Therefore, having all the necessary documents from your employer will help tremendously. Then, it is time to prepare for the actual move. Book your plane tickets on time. Check your accommodation. See if you need to bring something. Do the research on your new city. Come prepared. In addition to this, expect to gain invaluable cultural and life experience. If you have an opportunity to live and work in Japan, take it. You will not regret it.  

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