You want to Work in Japan? 5 Steps to make it happen!
You want to work in Japan but are not sure what you need to get a job? Follow these 5 steps to cover your bases.
1. Study Japanese
Tourism, IT, English-speaking companies, there are many opportunities for people who don’t speak Japanese. But these are only a small fraction of the jobs available to foreigners.
If you are serious about working in Japan for more than a gap year, you need JLPT N2 to meet the minimum Japanese requirement for most positions. Go for it! With motivation anyone can achieve it (stoically tested this myself over 18 months).
If your speaking skills are strong you might get by without it, but most companies will feel assured when they have something solid like a JLPT score.
2. Have a university degree
To get a working visa in Japan you will need a university degree. The only other ways at the moment are to have close Japanese family or be an experienced professional in very specific fields.
From 2019 Japan will be issuing a new “specified skills” visa” for positions in nursing, construction, gastronomy, and other industries. You won’t need a university degree and conversational Japanese will be enough, but you still need to meet some industry-specific requirements.
Granted for 5 years, with the possibility to advance to permanent residency this new visa is a great opportunity. Still, how it will be implemented is still vague and getting a(ny) university degree remains to be the safest option and gives you the most freedom.
3. Get to know the country
I have met so many people that were crazy about Japan only to hate their experience when they visited. The pop-culture image delivered through games and anime, and the exotic lens we are used to watch Japan through, simply don’t prepare people much for what Japan is actually like.
If you want to work in Japan, give your dreams a reality check before embarking on your new life. Whether you visit the country or research online, picture yourself on the train to work every day, getting groceries at night, and exploring the country in your time off. Coming to Japan and experiencing everything first-hand remains the best option to make sure you are moving in the right direction
Japan being different is part of the reason you want to come here, right. Then don’t go about things the same way you would back home but find out how Japanese job-hunt and do things. Many Japanese companies consider whether a candidate will be able to adapt to the new environment before making hiring decisions. Regardless of where you are from, or what brought you to Japan, show that you understand Japanese business manners and can follow the rules.
Learn how the Japanese recruitment system works, time your applications correctly, know the manners, find out how to write a great resume, and figure out what companies here are looking for. Not only will you avoid rookie mistakes, you can show adaptability and respect, and the likelihood of successfully making it through your job interview goes through the roof.
5. Search in Japan
No matter how well you are prepared, getting a job from abroad is difficult. Many companies don’t even allow people from outside of Japan to apply. Why? Because it comes with a big risk and expenses for the company, to hire someone they never even met. If you are in Japan though, all opportunities are available for you.
Yes, coming to Japan without a job already lined up is a risk and won’t come cheap. On the other hand, networking and meeting people face-to-face is essential in Japan. Being here, used to the country, and able to just drop by for an interview will increase your chances to find work in Japan tremendously.
READ ON Job-sites to get you started.
Easy to get even from abroad, English teaching positions are the exception to the rule and a popular first job. Many others also found their jobs while staying in Japan as interns and exchange students. All these options give you time for your job-search and allow you to earn a steady income instead of burning through your savings.
From 2019, getting a job in Japan is easier than ever. If you really want to work in Japan, chances are you can make it happen!