If you’re drawn to the idea of working in Japan but continue to be discouraged because you are under the notion that you can’t apply for positions from your home country — did you know that there are jobs you can actually apply to from overseas?
This may sound like a far-fetched idea, almost too good to be true, but let me be an example as to how it’s possible to work in Japan even through overseas application. I’ve been working in the country as an English instructor for almost 2 years now. I started searching for jobs I am qualified for online, going through a series of video call interviews, before being accepted for the position.
During the early stages of my job application, I was also in the same boat of confusion and doubt. I bet we all do at some point! But one thing you need to know is: various opportunities are within your reach in Japan if you possess the relevant experience and requirements required.
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A lot of full-time work in Japan requires applicants to have high proficiency in the local language. These jobs require you to be able to understand and communicate clearly with others, so one common requirement is passing the JLPT N3 exam before applying.
If you’re not as proficient in the Japanese language yet, fret not! There are other jobs in the IT industry and other technology-related fields that do not require an advanced proficiency in Japanese. What you need to have, however, is a strong working knowledge in the field.
Top Jobs in Japan You Can Apply to From Overseas
There’s no need to go to Japan to personally begin your job hunting process. In fact, here are some jobs you can consider applying to from overseas:
1. Web Developer / IT staff
There are many jobs in the IT industry for foreigners who want to work and live in Japan. I have a couple of friends who found career opportunities as web developers in the country. In most cases, they say you must have ample work experience in programming to be hired.
2. English Instructor
If you’re a native English speaker, working as an English teacher in Japan can be an opportunity you might want to explore! Fortunately, I was able to land a working visa sponsorship even when I applied for the teaching position back in my home country.
The job I’ve applied to requires me to teach English to kindergarten students. What made my application stand out from the rest is that I had experience teaching during summers, and I have also worked with children on a previous part-time job.
Many English teaching jobs welcome overseas applicants. The key to getting selected is to have the qualifications they are looking for, which you can easily find in job listings.
3. Sales Staff
International businesses in Japan are also looking for sales staff to join their dynamic teams. If you have work experience in sales and can meet customer satisfaction, this opportunity is perfect for you!
An ideal foreign sales staff must have professional industry knowledge. You’re tasked to improve the company’s current market position by targeting key demographics and driving campaign performance to increase sales.
4. Music Teacher
Japan always welcomes foreigners who are musically-inclined and possess the relevant teaching qualifications. You must have at least three years worth of related experience, with certificate or documentation to prove your record.
Music teachers in Japan usually work both independently and collaboratively with homeroom teachers. Together, they are tasked to handle classes from different grade levels. They are responsible for fostering connections between the core academic curriculum and music to support the students’ well-being.
5. Video Game Translator
If you’re into gaming and also fluent in languages like English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish — you can try to look for video game translation jobs in the country. Japan always goes big when it comes to video games. In fact, I can’t recall all the great Japanese RPG and gacha games that I’ve tried as there’s too many!
It’s imperative for these video game companies to expand their market outside Japan, and they would need the help of a native speaker to do that.
6. Front Desk Staff
There are front desk positions available all over the country, from hotels to resorts. If you have experience in the hospitality industry and possess business-level Japanese language proficiency, this is a good job to start with in Japan.
I have a friend whose first job in the country was being a front desk staff, and she doesn’t regret it at all. She was exposed to the Japanese way of hospitality and met new people which was crucial to her starting her life over in a new country.
New Visa and Immigration Policies to Benefit Foreign Workers
The Japanese government is actively seeking more opportunities for foreign workers to join local companies. As we all know, Japan is facing challenges due to an aging population and shrinking domestic workforce, so foreign workers are now able to stay in the country on a long-term basis.
The world is also turning towards Tokyo for the upcoming, highly-awaited 2020 Olympics. Hence, many companies are opening their doors to foreign employees to celebrate today’s inclusive and multilingual global market.
So where can you get started? Browse through your options on these websites:
- Go Overseas – Browse through their job board, where new opportunities are posted every day.
- The JET Program – One of the largest organizations for foreigners who are seeking opportunities to teach in Japan.
- GaijinPot – This website has a job board helpful for English speakers. It also provides helpful information for foreigners to know before moving to Japan for work.
- Jobs in Japan – Refine your job search on this website by using the filters for a variety of Japanese language levels.
I am a firm believer of the saying: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Before, I was intimidated and disheartened with the thought of jobs in Japan being out of reach for someone like me, who was living outside the country.
But now that I’m here, I can’t believe how life has taken a drastic turn for the better after I collected the courage to start my job application process online.
Let me be an example to you. Your dream to live and work in Japan one day isn’t really impossible! For now, why don’t you check out your options today? After all, you have to start somewhere.
Motto Japan, the community platform to support foreigners with the foundation for life in Japan, including Japanese study, job opportunities, and housing service. Motto Japan Media will provide a wide variety of information for Japanese fans all over the world, to create a cross-cultural environment and enrich the life of foreign residents in Japan!