While many Gaijin strive to make it to Japan, many do not wish to become English teachers. Whether it be due to not having the degree requirements or lack of passion for teaching among other reasons, Gaijin still want to become productive members of Japanese society. For those wishing to become a salaryman or insights into other options, this article may pertain to your desires
Working for a Japanese Company (Salaryman)
This will be advice for those wishing to become a salary man. Please note that I myself do not wish to become a salary man and all information in regard to being one is from various associates in Japan and my father in law who is a Japanese citizen and who happens to be in a higher ranking position in a Japanese company. Let’s break down just the general requirements. Everyone is required to at least have a bachelors degree. After you have obtained the bachelors degree you will need to have a resume and CV more geared toward why you want to join a certain company not your current skills. Once you become more senior you may change this to highlight you skill set. After this, you will need to of course apply and be given a interview. You wont traditionally do one interview, like you would in America, but many and these are again geared more towards why you want to join the company. If you land the job maybe for the first week it will be a 9-5 but after this you will need to stay longer. This is cultural, meaning if you leave early you look lazy and also if you stay longer you are ensuring that no errors have occurred in your current work dead lines. Even if you are able to finish without errors and become proficient you may need to interact with others in the form of drinking after work with bosses and coworkers. That means you will on average spend two to three hours at a dining and drinking location before traveling back home. Once you do make it back home if your company allows you to take your computer home you may find you will need to answer various emails and prepare for tomorrow. In this environment I ask you is it really worth it? If you believe it is I hope you have all of your suits ready for the longest journey of your life.
Besides Salesman Position
Next, lets assume you wish to work for any other position besides a traditional Japanese company salesman position. If you have the skills and degree qualifications, the jobs are borderline endless except for one caveat that I have not mentioned so far…Your Japanese proficiency! Without a high level of level of spoken and written Japanese proficiency, even with all other qualifications, it is unlikely that you will be given a job. I want you to think in the reverse of this situation, meaning that if a Japanese citizen came to America without any English speaking or writing ability he or she also wouldn’t get a job. If you can at least prove you are at the N2 level of Japanese capability you should not have a problem with employment in Japan.. Depending on your job of course… You should also try to become more proficient in Japanese during your off hours. Do not get lazy… Continously improve in Japanese as well as career certifications
I Don’t Have a Teaching Degree
So you have a degree in something unrelated to teaching but you want to become a teacher in Japan. The easiest method to do so is to get a TESOL, TEFL or an ESL related certificate. These could cost a couple thousand of dollars and you can do them all online. Once you finished you can apply to programs like JET, AEON, etc. The problem with only having the cert is that you are not eligible to go to higher paying institutions such as universities and international schools to teach thus you will be stuck teaching at public schools and maybe even limited to using other dispatch companies that further take more of your salary. It is possible to get directly hired by a school but you are at a disadvantage. I suggest continuing your education as you will eventually want to get paid better. I will say that with a TESOL cert you can get hired in China and for the cost of living the pay is way better but then again you are not in Japan.
One final option I can state that will get you to Japan is to work for a company in America that also has a branch in Japan. This is the option in which I know many people have done and will not require too much of spoken and written Japanese language proficiency. The problem with this option is that you will need to get promoted in your home location and prove yourself before a request for transfer is allowed. There are some positions that do not have as stringent requirements such as information technology and engineering but this is only because these professions are currently in high demand at the moment and you will need to be qualified to do those jobs.
Final Thoughts: You can get to Japan if you try hard enough. It is never easy to start over in a foreign country. If you want to get there it will take a lot of hard work..This is unavoidable.. Once you have completed everything though you will be happy and see that it was all worth it. Your dreams are possible and within your reach, you are just starting your race and your mental endurance will guide you to the finish line if you continue to perfect your craft. I know the journey is long but the quest is worthwhile.
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