When I was young, I used to wonder where I would end up in life. On some days, I wanted to be an astronaut, just floating on space stations and watching our beautiful blue planet from outer space. Other times, I wanted to be a policeman, catching bad guys, and being the hero that saves the day. But never in my wildest dreams did I think I would work for a big firm here in Japan.
It’s understandable why I took this path, though. When I grew a little bit older, I realized how beautiful the country is, and I became aware of the opportunities that awaited me here. The wide array of jobs available in Japan is enticing for a majority of foreigners. Most gaijin apply for jobs like English teachers, IT professionals, translators, sales staff, bankers, nurses, caregivers, service staff, military personnel, and engineers.
I, on the other hand, applied for a huge company 2 years ago (the details of which I cannot disclose due to confidentiality reasons). But before I worked here, I had a tough time choosing which field is better suited for me to broaden my career. So, for part 2 of my “How Did I Get a Job” series, I’ll be narrating how I found my job here in Japan.
While some foreigners prefer the traditional method of looking for jobs in person, I chose a different route. The main problem for me was that I had to find a job first before I could even consider moving to Japan. So, browsing for career growth opportunities online was a great help for this part of the process.
Websites like Jobs in Japan, GaijinPot, and Daijob were all bookmarked for my job hunt, as hundreds of thousands of foreigners use them. I found the process easy and smooth since I was able to easily search and apply for most of my prospective positions with just a few clicks.
When I finally found the perfect job, I sent my application using one of those sites and voila, I had made my first concrete move to start my life in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Aside from signing up on job search websites, I also tried to build up my network by befriending locals online and expanding my connections. I used forums and Reddit threads to engage in conversations with other foreigners and Japanese locals. This has proven to be beneficial for me, as one of my constant internet forum pals suggested the place that I’m currently residing in.
I also read somewhere before that companies are more likely to hire foreigners like me if a Japanese national working within the company can personally vouch for our established work experience and competence. So, I tried to befriend some people on online forums and even in social media. I eventually managed to make friends, but none of them worked for the firm that I am currently employed in.
When I made acquaintances with individuals who were already in Japan, I asked them tons of questions regarding which jobs are best suited for a person with my skill set and what the business culture is like in Japan. The tips and advice I gathered from them were essential in preparing for my life in Japan.
My other options
Because I was so determined and in love with the thought of moving to this magnificent country, I made sure to prepare a plan B in case it did not work out as I intended.
My first option was to apply for a tourist visa and explore must-visit prefectures for a few days. This required me to shoulder the travel expenses myself, and I didn’t have much savings because I was terrible with budgeting back then.
The other possibility was for me to get a working holiday visa. This meant that I’d still visit the country, but I’d have to work for the money to be used for the trip. I wanted to do this to get an early taste of what living in Japan is like. Afterward, I would have decided whether to ask my company to sponsor my working visa or go back to my home country and ponder upon my next move.
I eventually applied for a full-time working visa instead of settling to stay in the country for just a few months of vacation. Luckily, I immediately found my footing with the help of my company and a few pals.
Ever since moving to Japan, I have always wondered what I would be doing if I weren’t working and living here right now. Who knows? In an alternate universe, I could be an astronaut working in an international space station, or perhaps in another parallel world, I could be taking names and kicking you-know-whats as a policeman.
But one thing is for sure, I am content with my job right now. I have made a lot of friends and memories within the company, and this country still never ceases to amaze me. And if given a chance, I wouldn’t change that for anything in this world.
This is only part 2 out of 5 of the “How Did I Get a Job” series. I hope I’ll be seeing you for part 3. Until next time. Too-da-loo!
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