Where To Start Looking For a Job in Japan !
January 14, 2020
For those of you reading this, you are probably feeling a rush of different emotions throughout the past few days. Should I stay, should I go? What can I do next? Do I want to be a teacher again?
No worries, we all go through those emotions, and if you don’t have a game plan, the emotions will only become less bearable. After you finish reading this article, you will have a better idea of where you can start looking for jobs in Japan. So sit back an…no don’t relax, get ready to search!
Where to begin
When you realize you have a few months left before your job contract is up, the first place you look up is probably gaijinpot.com. I remember looking at Gaijinpot religiously when I first arrived in Japan in 2014. I wanted to know what kind of jobs were out there besides teaching English.
There’s a big difference when you know you will be contracted in Japan for another year and when you don’t have anything lined up for next year. Gaijinpot, is a marvelous place to start, but it’s not the only place!
The most important point you need to remember when you start looking for your next jobs is you just got to do it!
Nevertheless, you need to devote at least some time(30-1hour) of job searching/preparation per day. If you stay consistent with this schedule your job searching experience will become much less cumbersome.
Here’s a list of places you can search for jobs in no particular order:
The most popular, and most used job search engine for searching for jobs in Japan. I recommend you spend the time, constructing your profile and updating it constantly. The more work you put into it the easier it will be to apply to jobs that are interesting to you. Also create cover letters for each job you apply to. You can use different resumes and cover letters. This is beneficial for those who are not completely sure of what field you want to work in and are most likely to apply to various types of work.Keep in mind: With popularity comes an increase amount of competition. Most jobs that seem great to work at for you, will also seem great to other people. Be prepared to compete with a min. of 100 other applicants.
- JET Career Fair ( Tokyo, Osaka, Fukouka; only JET/alumni participants can join.)
For those who are on the JET program, if you haven’t already signed up for the Osaka, Tokyo, or the Fukuoka career fair, get on that right away. I was fortunate enough to attend the Tokyo career fair. You can read a detailed explanation about what happens here. Perfect place to actually meet Japanese companies that are already willing to expand their company internationally. Half of the work is already done. You have all of the companies in one space, all you need to do is prepare, practice, and participate.Keep in mind: Use your time wisely. Companies that have chosen to participate in the career fair already understand where you work and what you have been doing at school for the most part. Skip saying that in the introduction and start with saying what you have been doing in Japan since you arrived.
- Career fairs in general
In major cities, there are tons of career fairs that happen almost every week. With an influx of people from abroad wanting to continue their career in Japan, companies are starting to realize the benefit of hiring non-Japanese staff. Some places to look up career fairs would be, gaijinpot, pasona, and recruitment agencies. The JET program also sponsors other career fairs in Iwate and GunmaKeep in mind: I suggest you got to more than one career fair if possible. It might sound a little tedious, but you will get a chance to actually speak with Japanese companies. It will also help you with any nerves you may have initially. The more you speak with these Japanese companies the more confident you will become. That is a big game changer when you are promoting yourself to a company that you are interested in.
- Hellowork.com (written in Japanese only)
An extremely useful search engine to look for jobs all around Japan. I will share the process of how to actually use the website later if requested, but if you can speak at least at a JLPT N3 level, I highly suggest you go to their offices. They are located everywhere. The search engine itself makes it simple to find a job in a specific prefecture, career, and even desired salary bracket.Keep in mind:This website was originally intended for Japanese people to search for jobs in Japan. Nevertheless, the international community has started to use this website more and Japanese companies are becoming more aware. Companies can post here their job description on here for free and before you decide to send in an application you have to go through an approval process by the hellowork staff. This makes the competition less of an obstacle.
Can’t say much about Daijob except for the fact that it’s another strong job search engine. What was said earlier about Gaijinpot applies to Daijob.
Keep in mind: If you came this far, remember to relax and take a breather.
- Recruitment agencies
I understand the stigma of using one of these agencies. I was the same, I didn’t want to use these agencies because I thought they were sneaky and were just out to make a quick yen. Most of them aren’t. Why? How do I know? Well I work for one, but recruitment agencies don’t get paid until the person the job applicant completes at least 6 months of their job duties. If the job applicant were to quit before then, recruitment agencies don’t get a yen.Keep in mind: Try more than one, I would say at least apply to 3. These agencies help you look for jobs, help you with preparing your resume, and even help you with interview prep. for the price of zero! You might feel pressured at times to apply to a job they suggest to you but be firm in your decision and do your research!
- Your currently employer
I worked for the board of education, so I asked my head teacher, my principal, my colleagues, and even their friends if they knew of anyone hiring. In a bigger city this might be a little bit more difficult to do, but in the rural side of Japan, if you tell one person you are looking for a job, it will feel like the whole prefecture is your recruitment agency.Keep In mind: If you mention that you are looking for a job, be descriptive in the type of job you want to do. Also, be open to meet with people to see what type of job they are offering. I received an offer to work at a grocery store. Even though I wasn’t interested in the job, I still went. Why? Any chance you receive to get free interviewing practice is a plus! You also get to make a new connection and that’s always nice.
There’s a few more places, but like the title says, this is a “where to begin” article. If you have any questions feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and happy searching!