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Is it hard for an American to find work in Japan?
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33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 7/17/12

I am curious, how hard is it for an American to find work in Japan? I have worked in IT at Universities for the last 13 years, I have taught a Computer Science course, and also have a Masters (MS) in Computer Science.

I'm curious, how hard would it be for an America like me to find work in Japan? Or, is their job market just as bad as it is here in the US?

I'm thinking of taking courses in Japanese, mastering it, and have the option if I wanted to to teach both Computer Science and English in Japan.

It's nothing more than a pipe-dream at this point... but I am certainly curious. Life just seems to be so boring and mundane lately.
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M / North Carolina, USA
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Posted 7/17/12 , edited 7/17/12
Computers/technology is one of the areas that make it easier to get work there.
Teaching is another big area so you are looking better than some.

Here is a site to look at to get some idea.
https://jobs.gaijinpot.com/

Some people will tell you it is very difficult, but there are plenty of people who have made it work.
Speaking the language is key as well as showing how willing you are to fit in.

Here is another site to bookmark until you get your Japanese down.
http://job.japantimes.com/
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33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 7/18/12 , edited 7/18/12

makingpickles wrote:

Also, are you aware of the JET program?
http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/jobs_alt.html


I am aware. But, I only have experience working and teaching in a university setting.
yonasu 
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25 / M / Sweden
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Posted 7/26/12
I have several friends who live in Japan and teach English, some of them had little to no experience in teaching before going to Japan. They just went there and looked for work and after a couple of months they had everything sorted out.

Especially if you want to teach English, it's easy to find jobs :)

It definitely helps if you have some friends in Japan too, none of the people I know decided go to Japan before they had been there a few times.
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Posted 7/27/12

makingpickles wrote:

Also, are you aware of the JET program?
http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/jobs_alt.html


Don't.

It's not as rewarding or even lucrative as they claim.
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27 / M / Indianapolis, Ind...
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Posted 7/27/12
isn't it even hard for the Japanese to find a job in the first place? let alone a foreigner.
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M / North Carolina, USA
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Posted 7/27/12

Kuro_Kiri wrote:

Don't.

It's not as rewarding or even lucrative as they claim.


For someone looking for a way to get to Japan, it IS absolutely one way to do so.
I personally have known people who have used the program to get over there, make connections, and end with with an immediate opportunity or one in the near future.

I am sure there are people on this web forum who would take a job that only paid room and board for just the chance to go to Japan for more than a short tourist stay.
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33 / M / Tokyo
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Posted 7/27/12
From my personal experience for having looked at a position in japan for the last 2 years (it could take time)


1. Having a profeciency in the language is almost a must (JLPT3 to JLPT1)

2. There is some exceptions if you work in an environment which requires special skill which are hard to find on the local market

3. Being locally actually helps a lot. Recruiters for instance prefer to talk to a person already onsite rather than abroad.
If you are ready to take the leap you can take couple of month here as a tourist and see what happen

4. Never give up and do some networking

5. Look at the following website which regroup recruiters websites and Job search websites

https://www.eyenoo.com/html/web_en/AgentsPortals.php

Good luck

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Posted 7/28/12

makingpickles wrote:


Kuro_Kiri wrote:

Don't.

It's not as rewarding or even lucrative as they claim.


For someone looking for a way to get to Japan, it IS absolutely one way to do so.
I personally have known people who have used the program to get over there, make connections, and end with with an immediate opportunity or one in the near future.

I am sure there are people on this web forum who would take a job that only paid room and board for just the chance to go to Japan for more than a short tourist stay.


It depends on how bad you wanna go. I know from a few people who did it, my sister included, saying the work routine is hard and the pay not so great. My sister worked for NOVA, and if you don't know this place was in bankruptcy and its founders accused of stealing from the business to fund lavish lifestyles. They stuck her up in Toyama on the western coast and set her up with a place to live but there were problems with that.She actually quit and found another teaching job in Tokyo with AEON that paid a little better but Tokyo is a bit more expensive to live in.

OR you could have an awesome time. I went, it's fun, I'm definitely going back next year, but I'm not so interested in living there anymore.


Whisky51 wrote:

From my personal experience for having looked at a position in japan for the last 2 years (it could take time)


1. Having a profeciency in the language is almost a must (JLPT3 to JLPT1)

2. There is some exceptions if you work in an environment which requires special skill which are hard to find on the local market



#2 is how I could have gotten work in Japan. I was offered a position teaching gemology to the sales staff of various Tiffany's locations in the country.

#1 is the reason I didn't take it.

Now I guess I could actually pull that off, but back then I didn't speak a word of Japanese and I thought I never would be able. Funny how things worked out.
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Posted 7/31/12
The majority of Japanese will not be able to speak English.
If you can speak Japanese...
You might become a school teacher of computer expertise.
However, the number of positions is small. ;(

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33 / M / Tokyo
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Posted 8/1/12
Well Actually the majority understand English but they tend to avoid using it :)

In the works place i am, half of the office is japanese and 80% have a very good english.

Then for sure when you go traveling, offices are not the kind of place you tend to go :)

In restaurants and sight seeing place it is true this become more difficult to find someone who do speak english. Therefore they would understand most of the time but stay away from answering/using it. Not that they are rude but, are more afraid to not use it correctly.

Jobwise, it is true that Language teacher and mostly english ones are the most popular way to find a job in japan. Therefore in areas such as technology, fashion and finance it is possible to find jobs.

On the other hands on these jobs it is very likely that the employer Foreign or Japanese will ask the candidate to have a proficiency in the language.

In most of recuitments ads you can find on Job sites such as Michael page, Robert walters and some others, they would require quite a high level in japanese though such as a JLPT2 to JLPT1 which is nearly native to native.

For some positions they are justified but, for some others they are not and actually if you don't get discouraged by the level requested you can still find a compromise with recruiters/employers to lower their expectations.

Again in some positions it is asked but not required so you should not stop to that detail when job hunting.

I currently have a JLPT4 and this was way below expectations. My current level doesn't allow me to use enough correct "business" japanese to use it day to day in the office and thus i use english most of the time.

Last but not least if you are determined to find a job in japan this will probably be a long process and you will probably face of lot hickups.
At least most of us had (not trying to be to generalist here) but, if you don't give up that could pay off.

Cheers
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M / California (Nor C...
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Posted 8/1/12 , edited 8/1/12
You could work in japan by join a U.S government agency that has need for people in Japan (and your skillsets)..if they have offices there. The government will pay for your lodging (pretty good amount)..I considered volunteering but 3-4 years (requirement stay) is way too long for me, nor do I have a good command of the language.

And no I'm not talking about the military, but as a civilian employee.

But sounds like you want to join a Japanese company, so maybe this isn't' a great option =P
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28 / M
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Posted 8/2/12

Suicidalducky wrote:

You could work in japan by join a U.S government agency that has need for people in Japan (and your skillsets)..if they have offices there. The government will pay for your lodging (pretty good amount)..I considered volunteering but 3-4 years (requirement stay) is way too long for me, nor do I have a good command of the language.

And no I'm not talking about the military, but as a civilian employee.

But sounds like you want to join a Japanese company, so maybe this isn't' a great option =P


The only thing I could think of is work for the US Foreign Service and that requires provable fluency.
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Posted 8/2/12
Find an American company that has branches in Japan.
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24 / M / Chesapeake, VA
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Posted 8/8/12
Short answer: Not if you have the qualifications. It's not like many employers discriminate anyway, so you won't have to worry about that.
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