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Few career guide 2010 Few career guide 2010 Document Transcript

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  • Introduction The For Empowering Women (FEW) Career Guide 2010This Guide has been produced primarily as a supplementary resource for participants of the 16th FEW CareerStrategies Seminar and, as such, features details of keynote and workshop speakers for the spring 2010 event.The Guide has been compiled by the members of FEW, with the invaluable assistance of many other foreignwomen working in Japan. These women have already trodden the path you are taking – whether you are justbeginning to settle into a new life and career, or have been here for some time and are looking for a changeof direction.There are numerous books and websites available to help you settle into life and work in a foreign country.This Guide does not aim to replicate or replace these resources, but instead looks to present you withfirst-hand accounts of how industries operate in Japan and how foreign women are thriving in these industries.Some additional aims are as follows: Ÿ to reassure you that a move to Japan does not have to mean the end of pursuing a rewarding career (even if you do not speak Japanese) Ÿ to provide you with tried and tested hints and tips on how to have an enjoyable and rewarding working life in Japan Ÿ to provide you with an extensive, but by no means exhaustive, list of useful resources that can help you achieve your dreams here Ÿ to help you appreciate that you are not aloneFirstly, the Guide provides you with a brief overview of 16th CSS workshop speakers. It then offers someadvice on evaluating your career, going job hunting, dealing with recruiters and handling job negotiations. Italso provides tips for “staying sane” in Japan while you’re dealing with all of the above. Throughout the Guideyou will find success stories of other women who are living and working here; these personal accounts reflectthe writers’ own experiences and opinions and are not necessarily those of FEW.We very much hope that the 16th CSS and this accompanying Guide will prove useful for you, and that yourtime in Japan will bring you much success and happiness. 3 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Contents Acknowledgements .................................................................................... 05 Sponsors ..................................................................................................... 06 Keynote Speaker ......................................................................................... 10 Workshop Speakers .................................................................................... 10 Careers in Focus ......................................................................................... 14 Consulting Advertising Entrepreneurship Finance Human Resources/Training Information Technology Web design Marketing Public Relations Writing/Editing/Publishing Job Hunting .......................................................................................... 35 Getting into the Marketplace in Japan Networking Researching the Japanese Job Market Resume Writing Interviewing Interviewing – The Japanese Experience Getting an Offer Immigration and Visas .............................................................................. 49 Career Development .................................................................................... 51 Staying in Your Own Field Volunteer Work Career Management Japan Market Expansion Competition Temple University School of Continuing Education Continuing Opportunities Financial Planning .................................................................................... 68 Culture Shock – On the Job ................................................................... 70 Resources ..................................................................................................... 71 Recruitment Firms Job Listings and Information Business Information Organizations Advisory Services Other Helpful Resources About FEW ......................................................................................... 79 4FEW Career Guide 2010
  • AcknowledgementsAs a non-profit organization whose mission is to help women in Japan support each other in their creativeand career goals, FEW would like to express its sincere thanks to all of those who made this CSS event andGuide possible. Seminar Committee Chairperson Mary Fidler Career Guide Committee Lori Henderson, Geetanjali Singh, Monika Surma Career Guide Design and Layout Geetanjali Singh Publicity Kirsten Adachi Speakers Committee Mary Fidler, Lauren Shannon Administrators Michelle McKee Sponsorship Liaisons Andrea Mori, Minako Okuma, Florence Roca Website Administration Lauren Shannon Catering To the Moon and Back, Carolyn Pieroway Facilities Temple University Japan Special AcknowledgmentsFEW would especially like to thank Lizzie Murray of Studio Number 3 for designing all promotional materialsand folders for the 16th CSS. Special thanks also goes to the France Travel Center for their generous donationof a two night stay at Kyoto. Finally, FEW would like to extend its appreciation to Geetanjali Singh for thedesign and layout of the 2010 Guide, and Lori Henderson for compiling and editing the Guide contents. 5 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • FEW SponsorsFEW thanks the following sponsors for their donations to the 16th CSS. We encourage you to contact thesevendors when shopping for goods and services in Tokyo.ACCJ Journalhttp://www.accj.or.jp/ANA International Hotelhttp://www.anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/e/BIVIO Sports Clubwww.megalos.jp/bivioChanel Japanhttp://www.chanel.com/ja_JPChez Olivier, Olivier Oddoswww.chezolivier.co.jpElectronic Artswww.ea.comEureka!www.eurekamoments.netFrance Travel Centerhttp://francetravel.co.jpFBC (Foreign Buyers Club)www.fbcusa.comFriends Provident Internationalwww.fpinternational.com 6FEW Career Guide 2010
  • FEW SponsorsFusion GOLhttp://www.gol.com/en/biz/Generali Internationalhttp://www.generali-gi.com/Hooplovershttp://www.hooplovers.com/index.htmlIFG Financial Serviceshttp://www.ifg-asia.comKUDOS First Benefithttp://www.firstbenefit.jp/Le Cordon Bleuwww.cordonbleu.co.jp/L’oreal Produits de Luxehttp://www.lorealparisjapan.jp/main.htmlLugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais French RestaurantChristophe Paucodhttp://www.lyondelyon.com/en/index.phpMetropolis Magazinewww.metropolis.co.jp/Nama Kiss Raw Vegan Dessertshttp://lucina-livefruitfully.blogspot.com/2009/07/lucinas-april-pure-living-news.htmlRoyal Londonhttp://www.royal-london.co.uk/ 7 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • FEW SponsorsStudio Number 3http://studionumberthree.com/Temple University, Japan Campushttp://www.tuj.ac.jp/Tokyo Hacker Spacewww.tokyohackerspace.orgTokyo Yoga Circlewww.rajay.orgTo The Moon And Back Cateringhttp://www.tothemoonandback.jp 8FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Few Sponsors9 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Speakers & PresentersKeynote Speaker Workshop Presenters (alphabetical order)Yukiko Ogasawara Amanda CennonYukiko Ogasawara is President and RepresentativeDirector of The Japan Times, Limited; she also sits on With 10 years of international business, sales, andthe board of Nifco Inc., the parent company of the organizational development experience, Amanda hasJapan Times. The Japan Times, founded in 1898, is worked across a variety of industries and career levelsJapan’s oldest English language newspaper, and with workshop participants from around the world.currently serves the foreign and English-reading Interested in motivation, goal setting, and globalJapanese community nationwide. leadership, Amanda is also accredited to run workshops on team building, 360° feedback andYukiko was born in Japan in 1961 but spent most of strategic selling. Amanda runs Action Coaching Tokyoher childhood in the United States of America. She (a mastermind group for women entrepreneurs), isgraduated from Evergreen State College, Olympia, an enthusiastic member of FEW, an avid hiker andWashington with a B.A. in Art and pursued her artistic enjoys balancing things out with yoga. She holds anstudies with an M.F.A. from the California College of MSc from the London School of Economics, a B.A.Arts and Crafts in San Francisco, California. from the University of Saskatchewan and certificates from the American Society for Training &She has been awarded a fellowship from The San Development, Team Management Systems, and MillerFrancisco Foundation and has exhibited several Heiman. She is originally from the Canadian prairiescollections of her art work in California. and has worked in the U.K, Canada and Japan.After graduation, she spent some time teaching art Katie Deckerand crafts to children whilst she was Artist-in- Katie Decker is a twenty-something American gal whoResidence at the Francisco Middle School in San has spent five years living and working in Japan.Francisco at the invitation of the S.F. Arts Education Inspired since childhood to learn more about theProgram. Throughout her creative activities she has country, Katie studied Japanese language at themade great efforts to introduce art and artwork to University of Michigan and spent a semester abroadchildren. In Tokyo, she now continues these activities in Kyoto. After graduation, she returned to Japan toin a private capacity and was recently asked to work at the U.S. Pavilion at the Aichi World Expobecome a director of the Children’s Express, a non- where she explained U.S. public diplomacy initiativesprofit organization which seeks to educate children in to more than 10,000 visitors everyday. Shortlywriting, self-expression and artistic expression. following the conclusion of the Expo, Katie moved to Tokyo where she worked at the U.S. Embassy asIn 2003, Yukiko Ogasawara returned to Tokyo to take Special Assistant to the Ambassador for three years.up a position as Assistant General Manager of the In March 2009, she accepted an offer to work at TokyoInternational Division in Nifco Inc. and was elected a Electric Power Company (TEPCO), where she is thedirector of the company in 2005. She was appointed only foreigner among 40,000 employees, and isPresident of The Japan Times in March 2006. responsible for communicating with TEPCO’s international counterparts in the G8 countries. WhenYukiko now has residences in Tokyo and Los Angeles. not caught up in the daily grind, Katie can usually be found chatting with her girlfriends at a local café or dancing the night away. She loves Tokyo’s unique international vibe, and considers the city her home- away-from-home. Anne Good Anne is an HR professional with in-depth knowledge of, and experience in, business strategies and training 10FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Speakers & Presenterspractices. She operates her own coaching and of Oak’s Human Resources Solutions team, whichpersonal development business in Japan called Eureka! offers HR consulting services in areas such as Corporate Training & Development, HR Outsourcing,She moved to Japan in 2003 and has worked with a Executive Coaching & Career Consulting andvariety of businesses ranging from large Orientation & Relocation.multinationals to smaller entrepreneurial enterpriseswith a particular focus on foreign companies investing Renee Kidain Japan. Renee came to Japan over twelve years ago, after graduating with a degree in Japanese Studies fromAnne has an MA in Educational Management, San Francisco State University. She began working atCertificate in Post Compulsory Education and Training, an American orthopedic medical device company withUniversity of Hertfordshire, England and is a Certified rudimentary Japanese skills, right in the middle of aMyers Briggs Professional and Certified Keirsey company merger, and had no real idea of what sheTemperament Sorter II Professional. was going to be doing! She found herself one of three foreigners working in a company of approximately 700Anne has well-developed skills as a facilitator and has employees, in an industry known for being verymanaged teams of trainers in a wide variety of training conservative, with a difficult customer target –fields. She has a strong commitment to helping Japanese doctors. After finding her way slowly in theindividuals and organisations achieve their maximum organization she achieved some success and apotential. promotion, and began leading a team of two foreigners. Approximately six years into her time inIn the UK, Anne worked with Spring Group plc, a UK Japan she married a Japanese man, and decided tobased consultancy, recruitment and training make this her home. But she had hit a wall in hercompany, where she further developed business- career. So, after 8 years she parted from her firstplanning skills including strategic direction, company in Japan, and took some steps to reinventcompetitor analysis and financial planning & analysis. her career. She received her MBA through distanceShe gained additional experience in managing start learning, and currently she is the HR and Operationalup projects including Education Learning Centres. Manager IKEA Japan’s Contact Center, leading a team of approximately 90 Japanese staff. In her personalAnne set up her own executive career and life time, she likes catching up with friends, meeting newcoaching business in January 2008 and works with people, cooking, travel, getting massages and recentlypeople from all walks of life to support their personal has gotten into Twitter.and professional developmental needs. Anna Kunnecke Anna Kunnecke talks a lot, writes stuff, and coachesCarolyn Gaskins people around the world by phone.Originally from North Carolina, Carolyn has lived inTokyo for over 13 years. In the U.S., with Roadway She graduated from Bryn Mawr College and put thatExpress, Carolyn assumed management and sales excellent education to questionable use: as flowerroles, with hands-on experience in facility operations, shop girl, cleaning lady, bookstore clerk, andclient relationship management and supervision of unemployed beatnik. (Obviously, she needed a lifeunion employees. When she moved to Japan in 1995, coach in the worst way.) She also had “real jobs” atCarolyn worked as an instructor for Nova Group; she a foundation, at international consulting andthen became involved in the training and marketing firms, and as a professional theater actressdevelopment of new employees, the supervision of and MC. She continues to do voice-overs for TVinstructors and in the management of HR generalist commercials, video games, and documentaries.functions at head office. After briefly returning to theUS, Carolyn and her husband came back to Tokyo in Since she had made every career misstep possible and2001, when she joined Oak Associates K.K. through a survived (even thrived), she decided to help othersreferral from a former colleague. After working for avoid some of her early mistakes. She trained as a lifethe first year as a Search Consultant, Carolyn is coach with Dr. Martha Beck, author of Expectingcurrently a partner in the company and the manager Adam and monthly columnist at O, the Oprah 11 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Speakers & PresentersMagazine, and was certified as a Martha Beck life artistic pursuits and enjoys working collaboratively oncoach in November of 2009. She likes to coach different advertising and creative projects. She isrenegades, who she defines as anyone ready to make currently based in Tokyo, Japan, where she runs hertheir own joy and live by their own lights. She is agency from a shared studio at the Ikejiri Institute ofcurrently writing a memoir, and writes a daily blog Design. Lizzie is always looking for ways to promoteabout her life as the working mother of a 3-year-old: talented artists and designers, and loves that art andwww.sitatmytable.com. design are an important part of everyday life in Japan.Check out her upcoming telecourse, How To Shine In Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Lizzie has aFront Of People, at www.annakunnecke.com. Bachelor of Fine Art (Photography) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Interactive Media. She enjoysTerri MacMillan the freedom of working for herself, especially becauseTerri was born in Harlem, New York in January 1958. it enables her to collaborate with a broad range ofShe attended the High School of Music and Art as a talented contributors on various projects.Voice major, was Manager of Business Affairs for CBSRecords International for 10 years, Director of Ad- She likes cats, cafes, gardens, art, and Heathcoteministration for Prince’s Paisley Park Music for 2 shiraz.years, Director of Sales for Kampo Cultural Center,then moved to Japan to co-manage Pizzicato Five. Kristin NewtonAmong other artists and musicians, Terri has worked Kristin is an artist and facilitator and has deliveredwith Laurie Anderson, Don Alias, Onaje Allan Gumbs, workshops for a long list of global clients, includingMark Egan and Danny Gottlieb, Boom Boom Satel- Ogilvy & Mather, SAP, AIG, UNITAR Hiroshima, Fujilites, Hisaishi Joe, GAO, Asian Kung-fu Generation, Electric, MI Associates, Fuji Kasai, Shinsei Bank, andChitose Hajime, Feed produced by Lenny Kaye, and Pro-Active Learning. She studied for many years withKayoko. She managed Pizzicato Five’s international Dr. Georgi Lozanov, considered the "father ofcareer, signing them to Matador Records, and was accelerated learning", and Betty Edwards, the authorinstrumental in exposing their music in commercials of “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. Kristin isand films in countries outside of Japan. well known in Tokyo for teaching a 5-day workshop by the same name. She holds a degree in Fine Art and,As a new media producer, Terri has produced pod- in 1993, founded RBR, an art school inTokyo. She wascast series garnering hundreds of thousands of originally invited to Japan in 1980 to make glassdownloads. She has also worked with some of the sculptures and teach glass design, and still considersmost prominent social media communities in Ameri- glass her favorite medium.can progressive politics.Julia MaedaJulia is an experienced management consultant, Sarajean Rossittotrainer and coach who has had extensive experience Sarajean is a Tokyo-based nonprofit NGO consultant.working with cross-functional teams, particularly She facilitates workshops, seminars and projectswithin organisations undergoing transformation. aimed at developing skills, organizational capacity and an understanding of global issues through effectiveJulia juggles being an independent management partnerships. For more than 10 years she has workedconsultant and interim manager, with being a mother with organizations in Japan, running training and skillsto two very lively boys. She is also an active member development programs for nonprofit NGOof the local and ex-pat community. As well as being professionals, and has assisted with linking differentPresident of FEW, she is also Chair of the British School communities to Japanese organizations. Sarajean alsoPTA and has been involved in work for a number of facilitates internal organizational planning meetingslocal charities. and corporate community engagement programs. She spent close to four years coordinating bilateralLizzie Murray exchange of nonprofit professionals between the USLizzie is a creative director and producer for her own and Japan for Japan-U.S. Community Exchangecompany Studio Number Three. She loves art and (JUCEE). She also worked for 6 years with the Tokyo 12FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Speakers & PresentersYMCA. Sarajean holds a Columbia University Mastersof International Affairs degree with a focus on humanrights in East Asia. Her undergraduate degree is inSociology with a focus on social movements.Lauren ShannonLauren Shannon is the president of the Tokyo-basedSapphire Restaurant Management Group,chairwoman of Democrats Abroad Japan, founder ofTokyo Writer’s Salon, vice-president of ForEmpowering Women (FEW), and a start-up memberof Tokyo Hacker Space. Until recently, thePennsylvania native and 12-year Japan resident wasalso the general manager at Fujimamas, the late,much-lamented restaurant in Harajuku. With herformer Fujimamas staff, she runs the cateringcompany To The Moon And Back and is in the processof re-opening her popular new hangout for fine winesand good food called the Kimono Wine Bar.Eriko TalleyEriko has held various Human Resources roles for thepast 20 years in the Silicon Valley (California) andJapan, overseeing global HR in more than 20 countriesover the years. She is currently based in Tokyo as theHR Director of a major US company, and co-chairs theHRM Committee of the American Chamber ofCommerce in Japan (ACCJ). She holds a BachelorsDegree from Notre Dame de Namur University.Deanne TonkinDeanne is passionate about bringing the art of hoopdance to the diverse international scene in Tokyo. Herdesire to connect people through dance, music andfun fueled the creation of Hoop Loverswww.hooplovers.com. Deannes mission is to inspireglobal beings to find their true potential throughmovement and self-expression, and is passionateabout the encompassing benefits of hoop dance.Deanne currently teaches weekly Hoop Dance classesin Tokyo, including active and creative lessons foradults and children. She regularly performs HoopDance shows for corporate and private parties as wellas kids events and a variety of other celebrations. Shehas traveled the world sharing her individual style ofhoop love and has performed on stages in Sydney,Thailand and San Francisco. 13 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in FocusConsulting very much focused on providing expertise that could not be provided by a native Japanese speaker.Consultants provide a company with expertise and Examples of these areas of expertise could be bringingadvice in areas that the company itself lacks, or does a new foreign business or idea into the Japanesenot have the free resources to deal with. That market or helping a Japanese company manageexpertise can be in any area, from marketing to image relations with their native country. Consultants advisebuilding, accounting, IT services, strategy and on many aspects that in their home country wouldplanning, post merger management and managing often be handled in-house, including office location,change, business process reengineering, or even banking facilities, staffing, market analysis, marketing,changing direction entirely. communications, management and even recommending potential business partners.One area of expertise that is in particular demandhere is dealing with and handling the Japanese Good interpersonal skills are clearly essential, as is theregulatory process. The regulatory process in Japan is ability to see through the tangle of corporate,unique; being walked through the process is an almost governmental and market data, create strongessential service for many foreign companies and quantitative analysis to backup recommendations andbusinesses hoping to enter the market in Japan. the courage and ability to make realistic, rather than optimistic or pessimistic, assessments andConsultancies come in all shapes and sizes, from recommendations.corporate giants like Accenture to solo operators,from highly specialized niche practices for IT or Networking is also an essential tool for consultants,marketing to “one-stop shopping” conglomerates. In in order to build and strengthen their networks, aspractice, most fall somewhere in-between. well as broaden their knowledge and awareness of the current climate. This can increasingly be doneIn addition to the private consultancies, government- online, as well as in the real world.backed trade commissions also offer a number ofsimilar fee-based services, including JETRO, the US Japanese language ability is generally required toDepartment of Commerce, the Australian Trade successfully move into the larger consulting firmsCommission and the German Chamber of Commerce here. This is because junior to mid-level positionsand Industry, just to name a few. These tend to charge essentially are involved in interviewing the client andon a project or hourly basis, while private working together with local staff on the project. Someconsultancies will usually charge on a flat fee or senior level managers are expatriates but are moreretainer basis. commonly bilingual local staff, and few positions at this level are available here.Consulting can be entered via several levels. Often,an entry-level position can be obtained with an Recommended Resourcesundergraduate degree from a prestigious school or a Organizations:strong educational background in a particular field, Management Consulting Network Internationalsuch as IT. The next level up will usually require an http://www.mcninet.com/onassociations.htmlMBA, according to accepted wisdom. However, manyconsultants are successful purely and simply becauseof their experience, and the expertise they have builtup in their chosen field of specialization – they willhave an extremely in-depth knowledge of their field,they can predict and navigate potential pitfalls andproblems successfully and they have a wide range ofvaluable contacts with whom they have a high degreeof credibility. Consultants like these may be able towork independently on per project basis for largecompanies (often international).Without bilingual skills, consultancy here in Japan is 14FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in FocusAdvertising account manager who must decide when to persuade the client to accept something different from what heThe Japanese advertising industry is witnessing a had envisaged and at a different cost – in effect sellingrecent trend of gradual recovery as advertisers’ total the creative team’s idea back to the client.spending increases, while clients are starting to focuson building brands and turning to more experienced For anyone in advertising, good interpersonal skillsforeign advertisers. On the other hand, clients are are paramount, as well as a creative turn of mind andlooking for an integrated approach to their marketing, the ability to accept scathing criticism. For ameaning that advertisers have to consider all the copywriter, the ability to write concisely, as well asdifferent ways that people connect to and experience the ability to work under pressure and to adaptbrands, including Internet, mobile phones, out-of- oneself to the client’s demands, is essential.home media, in-store activities, and events. At thesame time the industry is continually becoming more A degree in marketing could be helpful these days,high-tech with the Internet advertising expenditures though good experience may still win the day, and anshowing a rapid expansion, although it still remains account manager will also need the ability to controlbehind television and newspaper ads. A lot of a team and to empathize with the client.expenditure is also being sent to in-store marketing,as the retail environment continues to grow as a In Japan, many of the opportunities in this field are inmedia to capture consumers’ attention and interest the area of bridging foreign and Japanesewhere the actual purchase happens, to drive cross- advertisements. Global brand advertisers more andsales and even unexpected purchases. more seek for consistency in advertising campaigns worldwide. This could mean that the concept of anIn simple terms, the types of jobs in advertising are advertising campaign is built at one office, usually thedivided into three areas, as in “Client Service headquarters, and creative executions are adapted toDepartment”, “Creative department” and “Planning local context. Your language skills and cross-culturalDepartment” and within these sections, the different understanding may help in this type of environment.job descriptions range from Account Executives,Account Supervisor or Manager, Account Director, Interactive advertising for the Internet is now also onthen Account Planner or also called Strategic Planner, mobile phones, being a growing area in Japan and alsoMedia Planner and then going to creative part, a new field of advertising that offers manyCreative Director, Art Director, Designer, Copywriter. opportunities for those willing to take a chance and branch out, since there is still a limited number ofIt is said that good copywriters are made, not born – experienced people in this area.being able to write is not a guarantee that they willmake a good copywriter – it takes time, and just as You should never underestimate the power of yourimportantly, requires an ability to write concisely, native communication skills, but more important thanoften wittily and with a good and usually original turn your language abilities, your main competitiveof phrase. Of course, advertising positions are not just advantage could be your bicultural skills. Clients tendlimited to copywriting, there are many other positions to be more internationally oriented and appreciateavailable too. Japanese Advertising agencies different ways of thinking, expecting to be exposedoutsource almost everything of the work, leaving their and stirred up by new ideas. By understanding andoffices to deal with Client Service and Creative, appreciating both cultures, you clearly have anhowever this is not the case for Foreign Advertising opportunity to contribute as a bridge betweenagencies which have full services in-house and it is a cultures. So, consider your status of being a foreigntrend that is starting to be embraced by Japanese woman in Japan as your advantage and use it asagencies also. leverage.Account managers are the key point of contact with Recommended Resourcesthe client, managing the day-to day business Organizations:relationship, and ensuring that the creative team Forum for Corporate Communication (FCC)meets the client’s expectations in terms of creative http://www.fcctokyo.comexecutions, scheduling and budgeting. It is the 15 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in FocusJapan Advertisers Association, Inc. (JAA) EntrepreneurshipAn industry organization aimed at improving thequality and efficiency of advertisers’ activities. For whatever reason some people were born to seekIncludes a list of related organizations. risk, adventure and challenge; for those folks, workinghttp://www.jaa.or.jp/jaa_eng/index.html in a corporation or for a boss can be stifling. As an alternative, they feel the need to recreate their lives,Japan Advertising Agencies Association (JAAA) make their careers more independent. One way thatIncludes membership list. many women in Japan – foreign and Japanese – havehttp://www.jaaa.ne.jp/english/ achieved this is by starting their own business. In some ways, Japan seems a very daunting environment for entrepreneurship. There is, of course, the language barrier and costs can potentially be very high - though these costs are coming down in the new global environment. Also, the business culture in Japan is often difficult to understand, regardless of your level of Japanese. However, these challenges are by no means insurmountable and, if you are determined, you can even use some of these perceived barriers to your advantage. One common theme to hundreds of business books, seminars and conferences is that starting your own business demands passion. To make a business successful, you need passion to drive you through the ups and downs, so it’s essential that you are doing what you love. You cannot just “like” your business idea, model or product; “like” will not sustain you during the hard times especially when getting started. If you want to read a great and funny book about finding passion and taking it to great heights, check out Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk. His three principals for entrepreneurship, which set the tone for the whole book, can’t be underestimated: Love you family, work super hard, and live your passion. For a more feminine approach to going it alone, SEED is a great resource. This is an empowerment tool for the advancement of 21st century women, and the recognized authority on the feminine way to do b u s i n e s s : http://www.seednetwork.com/php/summary.php?id =1. Through its learning programmes, support networks, group events and unique tools, SEED enables women to live and work according to the feminine principles of community, connection and collaboration. A piece of advice to potential entrepreneurs in Japan is: look for possibilities - and don’t let the bad economy of the 2009-2010 scare you off. The 16FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focuseconomic situation is apparently so grim that some Finally, a good rule of thumb for any entrepreneur is:experts fear we may be in for a stretch as bad as the Give back. One way we can all succeed as women inmid-seventies. But you know what? That is when business is if we help each other. We should activelythese two companies were formed: Microsoft and seek out and support other women in Japan! TwoApple. There is an even longer list of household known ways to do this are to check out women’s businessnames that started during and just after the great groups and buy from female-owned companies. Or,depression of the 1930s. A recession may not be such if you have been running your own company for aa bad time to launch a startup - what matters is who while why not mentor a new woman entrepreneur?you are, not when you do it. If youre the right sort ofperson, youll win even in a bad economy. An upside Being your own boss is highly rewarding and a lot ofto a down economy is that sometimes, starting costs, work but for many of us in Japan it is the best matchrent and other daunting bills may be lower than in for our personalities and passion!boom times. Everyone knows youre supposed to buywhen times are bad and sell when times are good. Written by Lauren ShannonBut, even in bad times, if you run your own companyas cheaply as possible you’ll be off to a good solid Recommended Resourcesstart. Entrepreneurs have a great ability to see Organizations:potential. Seeing potential and coming up withsomething new means being out there on your own EA-Tokyosometimes – and this is difficult in Japan. But The Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo was foundedremember there are lots of resources and online sites to promote and support entrepreneurship in Japan.to help! http://www.ea-tokyo.com/index.phpHaving a viable business plan is also important to your Tokyo Small Business Meetupendeavor. If you have a strong business background, The focus of the Tokyo Small Business meetup, is onuse all of what you know to make your plan viable; if getting managers the tools they need to do their jobyou don’t, get in touch with people who do, and get better. Every month, one of the members or anlots of feedback before setting up. With a strong external speaker, presents their business idea, orbusiness plan, you may be able to find partners or introduces their service, or gives a workshop relatedinvestors to help you get started in Japan. to business, hopefully with a specific focus on Japan. http://www.meetup.com/TokyoBusiness/about/Obviously, individual talents and skills are the mostimportant things for starting your own business. And, Chambers of Commerce:no matter what your educational background and Contact your local one through the phone directorywork experience, while you’re in Japan, you must or phone operator. The chambers can answer manycontinue to build your skills, develop yourself, and questions about how to get started, where to findtake stock of what you are learning. Striking out on networks and more. Some examples of activeyour own means pooling all your resources from every chambers in Tokyo include:area of your life, so that you can continue to buildyour experience and skills. And, as with anything Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japanworthwhile, building your own business requires http://www.cccj.or.jpcontinual efforts. The accumulation of hard work ona day-to-day level is essential to success. British Chamber of Commerce in Japan http://www.bccjapan.com/Being in business for yourself can be stressful, so it’svital to take care of your health and, as much as you American Chamber of Commerce in Japancan, try to maintain a good work/life balance. Look http://www.accj.or.jp/for positive ways of dealing with the ups and downsof entrepreneurship, like joining an entrepreneur’s Online:organization for example. http://www.womanowned.com/ WomanOwned was formed in 1998, and since then we have provided the information, tools, networking 17 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusopportunities and advice that have helped hundreds Financeof thousands of women. Women just like you -starting or growing their business. The financial services (FS) industry encompasses a huge range of professions and employers throughSmallbiz Japan different strains of finance. A career in finance couldA Yahoo group for foreign people starting or running mean working anywhere from a multinationalsmall businesses in Japan. securities house as a trader to a small manufacturinghttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/SmallBizJapan/ enterprise as an in-house accountant. Each sector offers different levels of client contact or individualReading/Research: or team working. Most offer attainable careerGlobal Entrepreneurship Monitor progression and some, more than others, the needhttp://www.gemconsortium.org/ for specific qualifications to enter.Entrepreneur.com Magazine Typically career entry is either at graduate level,http://www.entrepreneur.com/ although a finance or economics related degree is not always required, or at school-leaver level. As withBooks: many industries, opportunities may presentThe Anti- 9-5 Guide themselves to those people who prove that they arehttp://www.amazon.co.jp/Anti-Guide-Practical-Career- willing to work hard and have the skills to adapt to theOutside/dp/1580051863/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=en environment. Many posts are recruited throughglish-books&qid=1268978115&sr=1-1 company websites or through financial headhunters, the local and international press or recruitment. SomeThe Boss of You positions require many years of experience and ahttp://www.amazon.co.jp/Boss-You-Everything- good reputation in the market place whilst otherM a i n t a i n - positions are best filled by unqualified novices whoBusiness/dp/1580052363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid= can be molded to fit the company ideal. The best1268978033&sr=8-1 opportunities in Japan at the moment, as with many other industries, are gained through contacts andKick Start Your Dream Business: Getting It Started and networking. The financial services industry isKeeping You Going reasonably self contained giving rise to manyhttp://www.amazon.co.jp/Kick-Start-Your-Dream- opportunities for experienced or inexperiencedBusiness/dp/1580082513/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=en administrators, data input clerks, telephoneglish-books&qid=1268978477&sr=1-1 representatives and other junior positions, all of which may lead to other professional opportunities or long term rewarding jobs in these fields. If you already have industry qualifications it is likely that, if gained abroad, they will not be recognized in Japan. You will probably have to become a chartered member or register with the relevant institution in Japan before you may work. The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Financial Services Agency are two examples. However, many of the chartered associations of Japan offer fast track accreditation for those who are chartered abroad. Japanese language is not always required within the FS industry although accountancy and real estate professionals could not function without strong language skills, particularly written, and a knowledge of Japanese laws. As such, a premium is paid for candidates with these skills. Japanese firms operating 18FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusin foreign markets do not always require Japanese underwriter who assesses an applicant’s level oflanguage skills if business acumen is strong. exposure to risk and determines the provision or price of cover. There has been an increase recently in theGreatest employment is within the commercial banks number of insurance policies sold through banks,that offer banking services to individuals and however, specialist insurance companies continue tobusinesses. Opportunities range from branch clerks be the largest employers in this field. Lloyds of Londonand administration assistants to financial planners, offers a worldwide benchmark for insurers with Themortgage advisors and managerial positions. Other Prudential, Zurich and Mitsui Sumitomo being otherroles within this sector include credit analyst, loan key companies in Japan.officer and trust officer. Because these tend to belarge companies, completing many tasks in-house, Fund Management involves the creation andthere are also opportunities for other careers, which management of a portfolio of stocks and shares foryou may not associate with these firms such as human institutes or private clients. Opportunities includeresources, marketing and advertising. This is very portfolio management, portfolio managementmuch a customer based environment and your career marketing, investment advisory, mutual fund analystprogression is likely to see you perform a number of and hedge fund management. This is rarely an entry-different roles, meet many different clients and give level career and often one pursed after a goodyou the opportunity to learn about various aspects of reputation and personal style has been establishedthe business. Career goals in this field are relatively through for example insurance or other trust fundeasy to identify, track and achieve due to the rigid roles. Fund management requires a strong sense oforganizational structure of this type of company. In belief and a keen eye for the volatility andJapan, Citigroup, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and opportunities of the stock markets. EmploymentMizuho bank have good market presence. options here range from the large investment houses to small funds. Entry to this career is most likelyThe real estate or property sector is also a large through word of mouth or recommendation althoughemployer. It is a far-reaching sector and fascinating opportunities may exist for trainees. Top firms in thisbecause of the number of people worldwide who are field are Citigroup, UBS and Merrill Lynch.involved and because of the relationship between realestate and the economy and social development. Investment Banking is probably the area which firstAgain many opportunities exist within the sector; springs to mind when talking about the financialproperty brokers, commercial property, property sector. This sector incorporates a huge range ofappraisal, property management, real estate advisory services, some of which may be offered by specialistand development and construction. Roles range from firms, in-house teams in other industries ormanaging tenants in properties for real estate agents, multinational investment banks. Some of the servicesto assessing the validity of property investment offered are summarized below.opportunities for investment banks, to creating loanspackages for a commercial banks or mortgage brokers. Corporate finance: financial planning for businesses either for growth or expansion, or management ofProperty in Japan can be a complicated business assets. This involves the financial analysis of projects,because of the level of administration involved and assets, credits and debts, competition and markets.consequently the language and cultural barriers. It can be hugely rewarding and interesting work which is often carried out in teams.The insurance industry is growing dramatically at themoment, thanks in part to, with the worlds’ aging Mergers and Acquisitions: Investment banks arepopulation, the constant threat of terrorism and the often involved in valuation and assessments when oneincreasing frequency of litigation. Careers in insurance firm attempts to buy out or merge with another. Thisinclude actuary, broker, claims adjuster, service usually involves modeling and structuring of deals andrepresentative and risk manager. Insurance involves negotiations. Project Finance – This usually relates toassessing exposure to risk and providing adequate infrastructure or capital projects and the assessmentcover to insure against losses. Your part may be as an of project proposals and the validity of revenueactuary who analyzes statistics to determine the risk projections. This field usually involves co-ordinationof writing a particular insurance policy, or as an with multinational engineering consultants and 19 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusregional, national or local governments or 1. Financial accounting, which involves the reportinginternational regulatory bodies. of financial information to institutions outside the company.Trading: Equities, bonds, options, futures and 2. Auditing, which tests the reliability of financialcurrencies are all exchanged between investment information.banks, commercial banks, stockbrokers and other 3. Managerial accounting, which involves theinstitutional investors by traders. This field involves creation of internal reports to assist managers inin-depth knowledge of specific markets, politics and their decision and strategy processes and finallyeconomics and the ability to carryout transactions to 4. Tax accounting, which helps businesses plan theircreate a profitable, dynamic and adequate inventory strategy based on tax consequences and assistsof these items. the reporting of finances to government bodies.Research: Analysts in this field use computer International accountants KPMG and Sakuma CPAprograms, contacts in specific markets or within operate in Japan and Japanese consumer brands arespecific companies and their analytical skills to often recruiting.provide market, economic and political informationto various parties from traders and fund managers to Financial planning is big business in Japan with ancorporate financiers and venture capitalists. Clients increasing number of relatively wealthy expatriateswill pay considerable sums to proven research offering an ideal client base for foreign executives.specialists and their importance in modern markets Whilst most commercial banks offer investment andgrows as competition increases. financial planning advice, an increasing number of small practices are opening up with a view to offeringStock broking: This covers only a small section of the investment and financial planning advice in Japan andopportunities within investment banking. For further abroad. This can involve anything from pension andinformation see investment banks’ websites. Nomura college funds to estate planning and taxHoldings is the leading Japanese investment house considerations. Experience levels can vary but youbut other international firms include Goldman Sachs, may enter this field either at entry level and thus gainMerrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers. experience through a company by setting up alone, or by invitation to set up such a venture with otherInformation Communication Technology: This is a partners. Trust is key in this industry, which is usuallyhuge growth area with the increasing importance of gained through experience. Just as you would needimmediate access to, and manipulation of, to be certified at home the Japan Association ofinformation. Careers in this field span from software Financial Planners offers certification in Japan that isdevelopment of, for example, trading tools or pricing a great indicator or early career goal in this field.software to database management and development.This is of particular interest to those who require The Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan is responsible for ensuring the stability of the financialaccess to statistical information particularly in theinsurance and trading fields. In addition to keen system in Japan. It is linked to the Ministry of Financeinterest in those who have the knowledge and flare and is charged with protecting financial institutionsto create the technology is the need for those who and transactions through such measures as planning and policymaking regarding the financial system andare able to update and maintain it. Careers in this fieldare not always limited to those with degrees in the inspection and supervision of the private sector.Information Technology or Electronic Engineering Japan ’s economy grew rapidly in comparison to thebecause of the increasing importance of rest of the developed world and has suffered numerous economic setbacks in the last two decades.understanding the needs of those in the finance field.Employers range from small specialist emerging firmsThe FSA acts to guard against future setbacks. Mostto news agencies such as Bloomberg and Reuters. careers in the finance industry in Japan require registration with this authority as they would withAccounting: Accountants record and report financial similar authorities in your home country but thetransactions. Accountancy can be broken down into association itself offers an interesting opportunity.four main areas: The Japanese economy has shown signs of recovery 20FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusand sustainable growth since2005 and it is still proving Human Resources/Trainingto be an economy to be involved in. Competition forjobs has increased and there are many opportunities Though many people associate human resources witharising in all sectors for all levels of experience. payroll, recruiting and administrative matters, the field has been taking on an increasingly strategic roleRecommended Resources within organizations over the past several years. ThereOrganizations: are a wide variety of positions and specializations,Association of Women in Finance with jobs available in the public, private and non-http://www.awftokyo.com/ profit sectors.Financial Services Agency Human Resources consists of several areas, mainly:http://www.fsa.go.jp/en/index.html compensation and benefits; training and professional development; employee/labor relations; andCareers Information and Opportunities recruiting.http://www.careers-in-finance.com/ Many Japanese companies have large humanCommerical Banking resources departments, covering nearly everythinghttp://www.citigroup.com/citi/global/ in-house, but smaller companies and foreign companies often prefer to streamline and outsourceProperty some of their responsibilities. As a result, positionshttp://www.fudousan-kanteishi.or.jp/english/ are often available in firms that specialize in HR consulting, training and development, recruiting andInsurance other HR functions. Most often, companies choosehttp://www.lloyds.com/ the combination of a small HR department,http://www.seiho.or.jp/english/ supplemented by outsourced support. Somehttp://www.manulife.com/public/article/index/0,,la organizations add HR functions to positions withinng=en&artId=145007&navId=610017,00.html business units to act as liaisons with corporate HR departments.Fund Managementhttp://www.ml.com So, how does a budding HR professional break into the field and what types of jobs can she expect toInvestment Banking encounter?http://www.nomura.com/Asiahttp://www.db.com/index_e.htm Types of Jobs in Human Resources Those working in smaller organizations may wearFinancial News several hats, and handle a wide array of duties. If youhttp://www.reuters.com/ are starting out in the field, you may want to considerhttp://www.bloomberg.com starting with a smaller organization so that you can get a solid grounding in all areas of the field beforeAccountancy deciding to specialize.http://www.azsa.or.jp/english/index.htmlhttp://www.tohmatsu.com/view/en_JP/jp A partial, but by no means complete, list of HR jobs is as follows:Financial Planninghttp://www.jafp.or.jp/english/ HR generalists are common in small to midsize organizations and act as a contact for a variety of HR functions, such as compensation, benefits, compliance, employee relations and performance management. Compensation specialists are responsible for evaluating positions and administering job grade 21 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focussystems to monitor pay scales. They may also handle development needs of the individual, the overallpayroll processing, though this function may be part resource requirements of the project and the over allof the accounting department in some organizations. resource needs of the firm. They may also manage the yearly evaluation processes, provide general coachingBenefits specialists manage and administer health and feedback to aid an employee’s career path andinsurance, pension, profit-sharing and other benefit run team effectiveness sessions.programs in the organization. HR jobs with an international flavorTraining and professional development specialists Global HR specialists manage internationaldesign and deliver courses to employees based on the assignment programs, including rules and regulations,results of needs assessment consultations with assignee compensation and benefits, internationalbusiness units and upper management. They may also relocation issues, staffing, and other related issues.work with employees on career development plans, These positions are often, but not always based atconducting things like Myers-Briggs tests and general corporate headquarters. Some major Japanesecommunication or soft skills. Training is often corporations specifically seek out non-Japaneseoutsourced to firms that specialize in human resource candidates for positions in this area, to act as liaisonsdevelopment programs. with group companies worldwide.Employee relations specialists mediate labor conflicts Cross-cultural (or intercultural) trainers design andand liaise with labor unions. conduct programs for international assignees and for those who work on global management teams or inRecruiters work with business units to assess the need culturally diverse workplaces. Some training andfor new positions and new employees, followed up development specialists conduct interculturalwith advertising positions, conducting interviews and management programs as part of their other dutiesnegotiations with job candidates. Some recruiters in-house, but these programs are often outsourcedtravel the country hosting information sessions at to firms or independent consultants who areuniversities or job fairs. Many companies choose to specialists in the field.outsource this function, and work with firms thatspecialize in recruiting and executive search. International relocation specialists provide assistance for issues related to international assignees, includingCareer development specialists work in large the shipment of personal belongings, home finding,corporations, HR consulting firms, university career school visits and area familiarization tours. There arecenters or as independent consultants. When some large relocation firms that handle all of thisemployed in-house by a large organization, they assist in-house, but there are several smaller firms in thecurrent employees develop a career path within that Tokyo area that have alliances with real estateorganization. At consulting firms and universities, they agencies and moving companies.work with career changers and new graduatesthroughout the process of finding suitable careers, Salary ranges vary widely according to the position,job-hunting and interviewing skills and other the candidate’s experience, the industry and the sizetechniques to help make their transition a success. of the organization.Career development specialists are also employed by In Japan, another growing area in human resources isoutplacement firms to assist people who have lost HR consulting services, provided by consulting firmstheir jobs as a result of corporate restructuring. or individuals. Many mid to senior level corporate HR professionals choose to move into HR Consulting workLarger and medium size consulting firms will often after gaining experience in the corporatehave Staffing and Professional Development environment. HR consultants are hired to partner withpositions. The role of a Staffing and Professional their clients to solve HR issues within the corporateDevelopment Coordinator can be varied but generally environment, and to help companies & organizationsinvolves working with the upper level management build and improve their HR related processes. The HRand partners to appropriately staff client consultant brings value to organizations throughengagements. This includes considering the increased efficiency of HR functions, improved 22FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusemployee relations and morale, external analysis and information to those interested in learning moreview, and reduction of operating costs. HR consulting about the field.work may touch on all aspects of human resources,from compensation to training & development to Japanese Language Requirementsrecruiting. As with many other positions in Japan, the higher your Japanese level, the more opportunities will beExamples of projects a HR Consultant may be involved available to you. Human resources positions with ain include: primarily domestic focus will often require native or Ÿ Establish a human resources department for a near-native Japanese language skills. Upper small, growing company management positions in non-Japanese companies Ÿ Audit the effectiveness and efficiency of a client’s may not require fluency in Japanese but often you human resources functions must already be an employee of the company and are Ÿ Advise senior management on a strategic brought over to create a link to the home office. approach to HR within their firm Positions with a more international focus may often Ÿ Temporarily manage HR functions within an have more flexible requirements. organization Ÿ Assess future development needs of employees Recommended Resources and build a training plan Organizations: Ÿ Orientation of new employees to business & World Federation of Personnel Management cultural practices in Japan Associations http://www.wfpma.com/Finally, a very common HR related field in Japan is thatof recruiting and executive search. There are Society for Human Resources Managementnumerous companies both large and small, http://www.shrm.orgmultinational and Japan specific which compete inthis field. While Japanese is often not necessary in SHRM Globalsuch firms, a willingness to spend a lot of time on the http://www.shrmglobal.orgphone, searching for and talking to potential recruitsis a must. American Society for Training and Development http://www.astd.orgRequirementsSome universities offer bachelor’s degrees in human Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developmentresources management, but this is not an absolute http://www.cipd.co.ukrequirement to enter the field. Some HR professionalschoose to further their education with a master’s Japan Management Associationdegree or certificate in human resources management http://www.jma.or.jp/en/or an MBA. Continuing education courses in finance,marketing and other fields enhance the ability of HR Society for Intercultural Training and Researchprofessionals with non-business academic (SIETAR) Japanbackgrounds to work with upper management on the http://www.sietar-japan.org/en/index.htmlorganization’s business strategies. Personnel TodayTemple University Japan offers business courses, http://www.personneltoday.comincluding human resources management in theircontinuing education course catalog. Additionally, Workforcesome HR professionals based in Japan enroll in http://www.workforce.comdistance learning programs for master’s degrees orcertificates in HR management. HR.com http://www.hr.comHuman resource management textbooks are availableat large international bookstores in Tokyo and on the Monster HRInternet, and provide an additional source of http://hr.monster.com 23 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in FocusInformation Technology courses in programming languages, operating systems, software design, and computer networkingMore commonly call IT, this area encompasses all are beneficial and assist in picking up new skills in theaspects of the information creation, access, use, workplace. Ongoing education is essential in IT. Evenstorage, transport, and management, as well as the in Japan, it is possible to find companies that offerdesign, development, installations, and continuing IT and tech certification classes in English.implementation of the systems and applications tostore, retrieve, and use that information. Given the Software developers (programmers) design andscope of that description, it becomes clear that IT implement computer software or tailor existingcovers a wide range of possible careers, from the software to a particular business’s needs. Proficiencyhighly technical (programming database creation) to in at least one programming language, strongthe creative (web design, user interface design) and analytical skill, and an in-depth knowledge of thethe analytical (network design, troubleshooting). operating systems being worked on are important.Overall, many in the IT industry are self-taught, and System integrators ensure that the different systemsthe shortage of specific skills has led in the past to used by a business or industry work smoothlyemployer’s willingness to train fairly inexperienced together, and may write interfacing programmingworkers in-house. As the IT industry grows and between different systems to ensure this harmony.becomes more mature, this trend is changing. Although if something major is needed, the task willDepending on the company, Japanese-language be handed to a full-fledged programmer. A successfulability is essential in the workplace here. You may find systems integrator needs to have a full understandingthat being computer literate with an in-depth of a number of products and systems and of the wayknowledge of Windows, and/or other operating they will work in the business environment. Keepingsystems, together with corresponding applications, abreast of current developments and how they canwill get you in the door. The hard truth, however, is be used is essential.that your competition in the Japanese market is anative Japanese speaker who has been trained with Project managers have a similar role to systemsthe same skills that you have. Given this environment; integrators, but are usually brought in from outsideyou will have to come to the table with an advantage to manage a specific project. They ensure thatover your competition. These advantages include appropriate “tech” solutions are found andfluency in English (depending on the environment) or implemented to secure the smooth running of thea mastery of a specific and highly specialized project. Project Managers have to know whattechnology. products are available to help with the project (and which ones will not) and what interfacing programsFor non-Japanese speakers, the creative side of IT need to be written (although these are usuallycould prove to be most beneficial. There is a lucrative outsourced). They are often the interface betweenmarket for Western-based start-up companies geared the business and the engineers. Japanese is almostto the foreign community in Japan. Many web essential in this role, as project managers have to dealspecialists offer their service in the English web site with Japanese companies that offer the productsdesign and creation as freelancers to such businesses. being used. Equally, they must be computer literate,Of course, thorough and up-to the date knowledge of with a strong knowledge of the various operatingweb technologies is essential for these roles. systems available, such as UNIX, Windows, and Linux. They should also have a good command of theFor more technical jobs, a thorough knowledge of applications the various systems use and ancomputer architecture and data structure is essential. understanding of network connectivity. NetworkWhile a degree in computer science or electrical engineers are responsible for setting up andengineering would be extremely helpful, proven maintaining a company’s computer network, whetherability in the field is likely to prove far more important within one building (LAN) or linking different officesto a potential employer in the long run. (WAN). To succeed, a network engineer must have a good working knowledge of available products andA strong interest in, and a willingness to learn about services and a thorough understanding of thecomputers and new technology are vital. Additional company’s business needs. In Japan, many such 24FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusengineers are employed by IT consulting companies. Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Homesite, or other widelyTheir engineers are then outsourced to sites to used HTML editors. Web page developers create theprovide IT support. Project managers tend to be hired code necessary to bring theby companies such as Accenture and pages together, and keep them managed andPricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out consulting work. organized with a logical design structure. While knowledge of HTML is a solid prerequisite, familiaritySystems administrators decide how the computer with technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, and XMLsystem will function in practical terms-which are big plusses for web page developers.computers will share resources, how end users willaccess files and information, and how information will If a website is to be more than simply an onlinebe backed up. Again, a thorough knowledge of the brochure with web pages and graphics, such as ansystems’ abilities, coupled with a clear understanding e-commerce site handling customer transactions,of the business needs and priorities of the company back end development is necessary. Back endis essential. System Admins are usually responsible developers are the people who develop any neededalso for data security and should be able to Java programs, CGI and Perl scripts, and connect thedemonstrate good knowledge in this area as well. frond end web pages to a database. Often, back end expertise is split functionally into applicationUser support is often the most visible part of a developers and database experts. In addition tocompany’s IT department. User support staff assist having expertise with popular programmingend users of the systems, offer training and advice languages, people interested in back endwhen problems arise, and set up the operating development should also familiarize themselves withsystem. Apart from a good knowledge of the product-specific API (Application Programmingoperating system used, and a sympathetic Interface) tools for widely used packaged solutionsunderstanding of the end users’ needs, an ability to for the web. Those produced by Broadvision and BEAdeal calmly and quickly with irate end users is essential. Systems are examples. For database connectivity, the pre-requisite is usually knowledge of Oracle, SQL, orWeb Design Sybase relational database management systemsLarge web design companies usually split the different (RDBMS). Back end developers generally possess aparts of web design into what is called the front end degree in computer science or a related field.and the back end. Web designers in the front end deal Standard certification as a developer with a particularwith the more creative aspects of the process. They technology is a big plus on a resume and is mandatoryare responsible for giving the web page a good look with a few companies.and feel. They should know HTML, even if they use adesign package like Dreamweaver, Frontpage, or Although Japanese-language skills help in theHomesite, in order to create really great pages marketplace, they are still not essential-goodwithout simply following what the package can do. experience and a proven ability to do the job are moreThese days they should also be good with at least one important.product like Flash or Shockwave. Recommended ResourcesThe back end people are usually the ones that make Organizations:Java programs or connect the front end to the International Computer Association (ICA)database. They are essentially programmers who http://www.icajapan.jpknow Java, NET, PHP, Java Script, Perl, CGI scripts, etc. Bar Camp TokyoGraphic Designers specialize in the creation and http://barcamp.orgmanipulation of the graphical images that appear ona web page. Expertise with industry standard graphics Tokyo Hacker Spacemanipulation packages such as Photoshop and Tokyo HackerSpace is an open community lab, studio,Fireworks is usually a pre-requisite to get into web workbench, sewing circle, machine shop+, wheregraphic design. Creative and artistic flair is also people with common interests in technology, buildingessential. Web page developers must know HTML and things, gardening, cooking, science, sewing, digital art,be adept with software packages such as 25 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusgaming+, can find the space, the like-minded people, Marketingand the infrastructure needed for these activities.http://www.tokyohackerspace.org/ Debbie Howard, President of Japan Market Resource Network, states that there are a number ofTokyo 2.0 personality traits an individual must have in order tohttp://www.tokyo2point0.net/ be successful in the marketing field. These include creativity, good communication skills (both writtenTokyo Startup Weekend and verbal), persuasive ability, and an interest inhttp://tokyo.startupweekend.org/ people and human psychology. A lively, enthusiastic personality doesn’t hurt either. Having graduated withDigital Eve Japan a BA in advertising and marketing from the Journalismhttp://www.digitalevejapan.org School of the University of South Carolina, and with a 30-year career overall in marketing andJapan Electronics and Information Technology communications, Howard is somewhat of an expert.Industries Association Of those 30 years, she has spent the last 20 in JapanAn industry organization in Japan with activities and has been president of her own market researchcovering both the electronics and information company for the past 17.technology (IT) fields.http://www.jeita.or.jp/english/index.htm To get into the Japanese marketing arena, says Debbie, you will not only need all of the skillsInternet Association Japan (IAJapan) mentioned above, but a few others as well. The firstA non-profit and industry-based organization is Japanese-language skills. As Howard points out,providing leadership in promoting advanced systems marketing is selling—and it is difficult to sell to aof the Internet and solving problems that ISPs Japanese target market without speaking Japanese.encounter when they operate services. As an alternative, or until you hone your Japanese-http://www.iajapan.org/index-en.html language skills, you might try getting into sales that focus on a foreign target market (i.e., telemarketingEducation: or selling advertising space that targets foreignTemple University School of Continuing Education customers, or assisting in a section of a company thatCourses in database design and creation, desktop services a small but elite number of foreign customerspublishing, networking, web page design, etc. in addition to its Japanese customers—such as retailhttp://www.tuj.ac.jp banking, hotels, financial planning and international schools). If you already have solid marketing skillsReading: from your career back home, you may be able to findCool Careers for Girls in Computers work in your field without Japanese-language skills—Ceel Pasternak, Linda Thomburg, 1999 but such positions are few and far between.Japan Internet Report (JIR) Another skill that will benefit you greatly in Japan isFree, monthly e-mail newsletter featuring news and patience. You will need to keep in mind that thingscommentary on Japan’s Internet industry. are going to take a lot longer to happen here and youhttp://www.jir.net have to be prepared for that. The fact that decisions and actions take longer to occur means the processNikkei BizTech of marketing is likely to cost more time and money.http://www.asiabiztech.com The third skill you will need to develop is cultural sensitivity. This entails the need to acknowledge that business is not going to be transacted using the same formula as “back home.” People are going to have different expectations and experiences—and these will need to be factored into any marketing plan. Howard points out that Japanese culture is subtler in many ways. As an example, she says that comparative 26FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusadvertising does not always go over well here as in countries as well. Don’t overlook smaller NGOsAmerica. Many ads in the US blatantly state how and however, since these may offer the chance to work atwhy product A is superior to product B, but in Japan, a higher level because they need more “peoplethat can lead to a feeling of sympathy for the product power.” Another opportunity for volunteering andbeing sullied. Therefore, the way a message is acquiring skills is via the foreign business chamberscommunicated in a Japanese marketing campaign here in Japan, such as the American Chamber ofmay well have to be more nuanced. Commerce (ACCJ), the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), the Canadian Chamber of CommerceSo how do you go about getting into the field of in Japan (CCCJ), the German Chamber of Commercemarketing? As Howard reminds us, marketing is a and Industry in Japan (GCCIJ), and so forth. Each ofrather large field, encompassing advertising, direct these organizations has a variety of committeesmarketing, marketing research, public relations, and through which you can demonstrate your marketingsales, so the first step is to identify companies that skills by volunteering. Not only will you be able tohave such departments, or companies that provide build your portfolio, you will also be presented withthese services to other companies (advertising or PR great networking opportunities.agencies, marketing research companies, etc.).However, this may not be as simple as just finding a In addition to volunteering, you can build your skillsparticular department in the company’s directory. by taking additional courses according to your specificAlthough marketing is essential, Howard says, the role area of interest. There are a number of distance andis not as transparent in Japanese companies as it is in continuing education institutions that offer coursesnon-Japanese companies. Even if you look at a in marketing and communications. Yet anotherparticular company, it may not have a “VP of strategy is to take a lower level position at a companyMarketing,” or a “marketing department” per se, but and then work your way into the marketing area bythat does not mean the function is not included within demonstrating your interest and talents internally.another department, such as “planning” or “new Although it may not be exactly what you wanted atbusiness development.” Generally speaking, the first, at least you will have your foot in the door anddiscipline of marketing is not as developed in Japan— you can develop relationships from the inside.and this translates into the fact that there are fewerjobs to be found. Of course getting a position is the first step, but once employed there are a few quirks to be aware of whenAs Debbie points out, the marketing field is very entering the marketing field in Japan. The first is thatcompetitive in Japan, just as it is in the United States booms can occur in Japan in a very big way comparedand Europe. It is the same old adage: you cannot get to other markets. Howard uses the “tamagotchia job without the skills, but it is difficult to acquire the craze” of several years back as an example, pointingskills without having a job. If you find that you are not out that it became huge very quickly, yet the buzzhaving much luck entering the area of marketing, dissipated not long afterwards. Should you succeedhowever, there are a few steps that you can take to with such a hit, your company will enjoy a big burstmake yourself more attractive to a prospective of sales for a short time, but then you will have toemployer. In short, you must be able to demonstrate come up with the next idea quickly. In any case, suchthat you have skills that will allow you to make an booms do not occur as often as people in marketingimmediate contribution, since things move fast in the would like and, as Howard states, there is a lot ofworld of marketing—but Howard stresses that this is “product churn” in Japan, with notable short producttrue for career seekers in marketing anywhere in the life cycles in comparison to Western markets. Sheworld. One way to do this is to start building (or cites vending machines and convenience store shelvesexpanding) your portfolio by offering to volunteer as an example—you can see new drinks beingyour services. There are a number of organizations launched almost every week. A second differentiatingwith international ties in Japan, such as FEW, that can point of marketing in Japan is the fact that it is analways use help with their PR. Howard suggests extremely expensive advertising market. This meansgetting yourself involved with an NGO that has global that ad and marketing budgets must be far larger hererecognition (e.g., Refugees International, World than in the US or Europe in order to achieve the sameWildlife Fund, etc.) so that your efforts will be penetration.recognized not only here in Japan but in other 27 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in FocusAlthough a career in marketing is not easy to attain in Public RelationsJapan, it is not impossible. As Howard states, “thesame rules apply here as in the US or Europe. You just Public relations, is the art of influencing opinions inhave to push harder and faster. I fully believe that order to motivate desired behaviors. It is aboutthose who keep at it can find rewarding work in the reputation - the result of what you do, what you sayfield of marketing in Japan.” and what others say about you. There are two types of operation within public relations:Recommended ResourcesOrganizations: Within an organization - the in-house public relationsForum for Corporate Communications (FCC) department works for one company or organizationhttp://www.fcctokyo.com/ exclusively, originating and implementing a PR program geared to its management’s requirements.Japan Direct Marketing Association (JADMA)Information on direct marketing in Japan with links to A PR agency or consultancy - a public relations agencymembers’ sites. provides an independent service to several clienthttp://www.jadma.org/indexs/error organizations, often working within very different market sectors. Public relations specialists handleJapan Marketing Research Association (JMRA) organizational functions such as media, community,Information on marketing research in Japan with links consumer, industry, and governmental relations;to members’ sites. political campaigns; interest-group representation;http://www.jmra-net.or.jp/index-e.html conflict mediation; or employee and investor relations. They help an organization and its publicReading: adapt mutually to each other. However, publicKnowThis.com relations are not only about “telling the organization’sSource for market research, marketing plans, Internet story.” Understanding the attitudes and concerns ofmarketing, marketing careers, etc. consumers, employees, and various other groups alsohttp://www.knowthis.com/ is a vital part of the job. To improve communication, public relations specialists establish and maintain cooperative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, and public interest groups, and with representatives from print and broadcast media. Informing the general public, interest groups, and stockholders of an organization’s policies, activities, and accomplishments is an important part of a public relations specialist’s job. The work also involves keeping management aware of public attitudes and the concerns of the many groups and organizations with which they deal. Public relations strategies include identifying key messages about the client, analyzing target audiences and customers, and tailoring corporate communications to that client base. This may include carrying out or obtaining market research as to the profile of the client base or the current perception of the client and/or its product, and producing corporate magazines and other material. It may also include conducting a wide range of negotiations on behalf of the client, for example locating and negotiating with writers for the production of company brochures and other marketing materials, advising on suitable advertising companies and proposed advertisements, 28FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusconducting mutual gain negotiations with the mediaand, not least of all, crisis management. The latter has Most major corporations will have their own in-houseproduced a separate breed of specialists within PR PR/communications function as well as an outside PRwho not only respond positively to a crisis but who agency. The demand for native English speakers tocan also recognize and deal with potential crises edit/re-write press releases/company reports andbefore they happen. other important documents remains significant. Even highly qualified translators still require the assistanceThe following are essential skills needed in this of native English speakers to ensure that all reportsindustry: and documents read easily and fluently in English. Ÿ Strong oral and written communication skills in English and/or Japanese Finally, some words of advice: Ÿ Attention to detail Ÿ Target global companies and international PR firms Ÿ Good project management skills Ÿ All global companies and PR firms need Ÿ Outgoing personality international thinkers to serve as an intermediary Ÿ Organizational skills and ability to handle multiple with their headquarters and international clients tasks so do not let your limited Japanese skills get in the Ÿ Creative, strategic and proactive thinking way Ÿ Ability to work under pressure Ÿ Ability to lead a team and delegate Women are Natural PR Professionals by Kay Hattori “What is the difference between Public Relations (PR) and Advertising?” was the first interview question I was asked by the president of the PR consulting firm that I currently work for in Tokyo. The answer for me was not clear back then, and I believe it is still a difficult question for many to answer. What I have learned since that interview is that the PR industry is constantly reinventing itself - and women are well-equipped to be the ones to manage this change. I guess the best way to put it is that PR involves strengthening, protecting, and stimulating a brand’s image by facilitating communications between the organizations different branches, and its various stakeholders. This is usually achieved through a variety of communications channels. The major ways in which PR differs from advertising are as follows: 1. There is no direct payment for media exposure 2. There is no creative control over space and 3. There is exposure from third-party endorsements that reach a wide audience. This final point is what gives PR its power and credibility. Japan, however, remains one of the more under-developed first-world countries in terms of its appreciation of, and reliance on, PR. It is still a big challenge to move Japanese executives away from the rules of traditional advertising in which the number of clips / ads per month is how a company quantifies its investment. This stands in direct contrast to countries where PR is more developed and the quality of the message matters far more than the quantity of clips. Recently though, I have found that more and more Japanese companies are starting to take notice of the value of PR especially as, due to various cutbacks, companies are limited by their decreased advertising budgets. From time to time the trends and structure of communications changes and the role of PR also has been shifting to match this change. Traditionally, public relations professionals worked with reporters and 29 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focus Ÿ Do learn enough Japanese to communicate by http://www.prsa.org phone, introduce yourself to clients and converse informally with Japanese colleagues Chartered Institute of Public Relations Ÿ Stay informed of the latest Japanese financial and http://www.ipr.org.uk/ business trends as well as current news related to the industry you work in The Association for Women in Communications Ÿ Familiarize yourself with all the major Japanese http://www.womcom.org/ and international publications in Japan Poynter Online - Everything You Need to be a BetterRecommended Resources JournalistOrganizations in Japan: http://www.poynter.orgForum for Corporate Communications (FCC)http://www.fcctokyo.com The Society of Writers, Editors and Translators (SWET) http://www.swet.jp/International Women in Communications (IWIC)http://iwic.wordpress.com/ International Women in Communications (IWIC) http://iwic.wordpress.com/Online and abroad:Public Relations Society of America Reading: journalists to build a positive image for an organization or product through stories in print and broadcast media. People now have more convenient tools, such as PCs and Smartphones, to access the latest product information, connect with friends, and / or read news whenever they want. Consequently, traditional media channels, such as print, radio and TV, are on the decline. Now social media, such as SNSs (mixi / Facebook), blogs, movie sharing (NicoNico Douga / YouTube) and microblogging (Twitter) has become an increasingly important and essential conduit of information. Correspondingly, PR is expanding its scope to employ with social media, which is now considered to be beneficial for not only consumer focused businesses but for corporate communications and B2B businesses too. PR is an industry in which the number of women largely outweighs the number of men. For example, 80% of employees in our firm are female. This is not because PR is a glamorous job, with constant partying and networking to find new contacts: the reality is usually long hours, hard work and stress due to the simultaneous demands of many stakeholders. However, women are generally proficient at communicating and networking, building rapport with key stakeholders, exercising flexibility and tolerating stress. Also, I would argue that women are better able to deal with detail oriented work and multitasking under strict time constraints, which are fundamental to the operations of a PR company. Pitching stories to the media is often challenging, especially when the story itself does not have a high or immediate impact. The information must be carefully planned and structured, while bearing in mind the needs of the client. Sometimes, even after all the careful planning, extending a certain story to the media may not result in the headline that one would envision. Being creative enough to reconstruct the story in an interesting manner for the target audience takes time, careful consideration and hard work. Because of all this, I believe – especially given the various dynamics in play – women are natural PR professionals. Working for an international PR firm in Japan may not lead to a peaceful or indulgent life. But it is always exciting to be surrounded and stimulated by the brains of prominent global companies, by the latest unreleased information and by creative and innovative minds. It is also thrilling to be involved in changing the perceptions of the market and in showcasing the power of PR in a country where advertising has been seen as the one and only means for influencing and motivating. Kay continues to enjoy working for Edelman PR in Tokyo 30FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in FocusThe AP Stylebook 2005, edited by Norm Goldstein Writing/Editing/PublishingThe Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Job opportunities in the publishing industry in JapanPress are as varied as the people looking for them. AlongThe Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything you with writers, editors, and graphic designers,need to know to write, publish, promote and sell your publications often need artists, illustrators,own book, Tom Ross, Marilyn J. Ross (contributor), photographers, and translators. Magazine, journal,1994 and book publishers are also keen to find marketingThe Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr., E. B. White, and advertising sales professionals, so goal-drivenRoger Angell, 2000 creativity and personality can also open doors for you along with writing skills. Getting a job in any one of these areas will give you a chance to rub shoulders with others in the industry and to learn what you need to know in order to apply for a job you would like to move into eventually. Printing, warehousing, and distribution services are usually outsourced locally or overseas and don’t provide many job opportunities for foreigners in Japan. Check the Monday classifieds in The Japan Times for publishing job listings. Writing If you were ever praised for the poem or story you wrote in grade school, or were fortunate enough to have an inspirational language teacher along the way, you may just have the passion and enthusiasm of a wordsmith. Living in Japan may ignite that long-held dream you had to write your first novel, or a work of nonfiction. Or maybe you’d like to try journalism. New media companies also look for freelance writers and content providers to meet the information needs of mobile subscribers. Author: If your chosen subject area or target readership is limited, say, to people living in Japan, you might want to consider self-publishing. If your subject matter appeals to a broader audience and you want access to a major publishers’ global distribution network of bookstores and libraries, as well as to their marketing machine, it is advisable to complete a book proposal form (see sample below) and find a literary agent to represent you. Most global publishing houses refuse to look at unsolicited manuscripts and prefer to work with agents they know and trust. Alternatively, you may find someone who will introduce you directly to an acquisitions editor at one of the local English-language publishers. Cold calling is usually frowned upon in Japan, and introductions are all-important for successful publishing or business transactions. Journalist: If you have had some writing experience and have built up some expertise on a particular topic, you may decide that now is the time to embark on a 31 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focuscareer as a freelance journalist or foreign SAMPLEcorrespondent. Your hometown or national Book Proposal Guidelinesnewspaper, for example, may have a bureau in Japan,where you could also work as a researcher or stringer. A thoughtful and detailed response to the questionsFreelance writing for the local English magazines, below will allow publishers to evaluate your booknewspapers, and journals is a good way to hone your proposal effectively and to arrive at a publishingskills and to delve into Japanese society and cultural decision. Please remember that proposals areissues. usually sent to three reviewers (e.g., specialists or analysts in the field, in the case of STM titles).EditingAttention to detail and a good grasp of syntax, Please make every effort to explain:spelling, and grammar are characteristic of Ÿ exactly what you are trying to doprofessional editors, along with their own well- Ÿ exactly why it is worth doing, andmarked up, dog-eared copy of a style guide. English- Ÿ why you think the resulting book will belanguage publishing houses in Japan, like Kodansha marketable and to whomInternational or Tuttle Publishing, use The ChicagoManual of Style as their editorial guideline. I. General InformationNewspapers use the AP or UPI style manuals. 1. Working Title/Subtitle:Independent magazines, journals, and corporate 2. Author(s)/Editor(s): Name, Address, Affiliation,in-house publications often create their own style Phone number, Fax number, and E-mail address:sheets. If you have a scientific background, or a 3. Expected month and year of completion:familiarity with academic-style guidelines (e.g., Kate 4. Estimated length in double-spaced manuscriptTurabian), several global STM publishers (scientific, pages OR printed book pages (one printed booktechnical, and medical) have local offices and often page is equivalent to approximately 500 words):offer editing and rewriting services to the Japanese 5. Estimated number of drawings/diagrams. Willresearchers serving on the editorial boards of their they be sketches or camera-ready copy (draftedjournals and reference works. You may be able to get or computer generated)? Estimated number offreelance work by sending your resume, pointing out photographs:your area of expertise and giving a price-per-page costestimate for editorial and rewriting services II. About Your Book(generally, from 1,500 yen per page for editing, 3,000 1. Provide a brief and concise overview of youryen per page for rewriting, and from 7,000 yen per book’s subject and purpose and a preliminarypage for translating). table of contents. 2. Why is your book needed? What is yourAdvertising, PR, and IR (investor relations) firms offer rationale for writing it? What groups are theopportunities for editing and rewriting marketing intended audience? In what ways will your bookmaterials and corporate brochures and annual directly benefit this audience?reports. You will likely find that the interview process 3. What will be the most outstanding features offor either writing or editing jobs includes a test of your book?those skills. Some companies in Tokyo have applicants 4. Competition (any books that you think cover thetake a test of two hours or more. Although experience same material as your book, and why your bookis a key consideration for employers, ability is usually is better. Please cite Author, title, Publisher andthe most important factor. Pay and salary conditions year of publication.in these fields vary widely, as does the range of jobs.As well as freelance work, volunteering your editingand writing skills for organizations such as FEW canalso boost your experience, confidence, and portfolio.Even if English isn’t your first language, chambers ofcommerce, embassies, and the corporatecommunications departments of global multinationals 32FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusalso offer opportunities to write or edit in other Coachinglanguages, for example, for promotional videos andPR publications. Translation firms may also offer Coaching as a profession is growing quickly infreelance jobs for everything from movie dubbing and Japan. More and more people are realizing the valuenarration to translating video arcade and computer of having a trained coach to work with to help themgames into several languages. achieve their goals. Therefore the demand is growing. There is a great network of coaches in JapanRecommended Resources many of whom attend Coaches of the RoundtableOrganizations: meetings held quarterly in Tokyo. For moreThe Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan information on this contact Anne Good.http://www.fccj.or.jp There are many coach training companies, be surePoynter Online - Everything You Need to be a Better that you train with a reputable one that provides allJournalist necessary training and maintains high standards andhttp://www.poynter.org is accredited by the International Coach Federation. (See resources below.)The Society of Writers, Editors and Translators (SWET)http://www.swet.jp/ Being trained as a coach will enable you to coach people more effectively. Youll learn the coreInternational Women in Communications (IWIC) competencies and skills required to be a proficienthttp://www2.gol.com/users/iwic coach. Training will give you more confidence in your ability to coach using proven processes to work with.Reading:The AP Stylebook 2005, edited by Norm Goldstein As a coach, you work one-on-one to help clientsThe Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago discover what is truly important to them and achievePress the outcomes they most desire. It is wonderfullyThe Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr., E. B. White, rewarding work which is typically done face to face,Roger Angell, 2000 but can be conducted over the phone. With proper training and a consistent effort you can create a personally enriching and profitable business. How long does it take to become a Coach? It is different for everyone and like any new endeavor, the first few months will be slow. Typically you will be spending 90% of your time learning to coach and doing your marketing. However many diligent coaches are able to begin coaching (and generate some income) within a few months and make the transition into full time coaching within 6 months to a year. Types of Coaching Career Coaching Coaching activities focus on the individual’s career concerns, with the coach eliciting and using feedback on the individual’s capabilities as part of a discussion of career options. The process should lead to increased clarity, personal change and forward action. Personal or Life Coaching This form of coaching provides support to individuals wishing to make some form of significant changes happen within their lives. Coaches help individuals to 33 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Careers in Focusexplore what they want in life and how they might support the coaching youre doing with other people.achieve their aspirations and fulfill their needs. Theyll know what it takes to build a coachingPersonal or life coaching generally takes the business. This will shorten your learning curve andindividual’s agenda as its start point. youll discover ways to build your business that fit for you personally. When you experience being coachedPerformance Coaching for yourself, youll find it much easier to identify whatCoaching activities here are aimed at enhancing an coaching offers its benefit. This will help whenindividual’s performance in their current role at work, speaking with potential clients. Anyway, if you trulyto increase their effectiveness and productivity at believe in the power of coaching why wouldnt youwork. Generally, performance coaching derives its want it for yourself?theoretical underpinnings and models from business Stage Five - Sign up for a coaching course online or atand sports psychology as well as general psychological a local college. These classes will give you the toolstheory. you need to become a certified coach. Step Six - Become accredited once you finish aSkills Coaching coaching course. This step is particularly importantThis form of coaching focuses on the core skills an since many clients and businesses will not hire a coachemployee needs to perform in their role. Skills coach- who odes not possess the relevant credentials.ing provides a flexible, adaptive, ‘just-in-time’ ap-proach to skills development. Coaching programs are Resources Organizations :tailored specifically to the individual and are general-ly focused on achieving a number of skill develop- The International Coach Federation (ICF)ment objectives that are linked to the needs of the ICF is the largest worldwide resource for business andorganization. personal coaches, and the source for those who are seeking a coach. The ICF is a nonprofit, individualExecutive Coaching membership organization formed by professionalsOne to one performance coaching is increasingly worldwide who practice business and personalbeing recognized as the way for organizations and coaching.individuals to improve performance. By improving the www.coachfederation.orgperformance of the most influential people within theorganization, the theory goes that business results Coach Ushould improve. Executive coaching is often delivered A leading global provider of coach trainingby coaches operating from outside the organization http://www.coachinc.com/CoachU/default.asp?s=1whose services are requested for an agreed durationor number of coaching sessions. 24-7 Coaching Provides coach training all over the worldA step-by-step approach to becoming a coach http://www.247coaching.com/coachtraining/Step One - Decide on which area of coaching youwould like to specialize. Choose the area that you Coachvillethink you will be best suited to and set out to get Great coaching resources and training informationtraining in that field. http://www.coachville.com/home/indexStep Two - Attend a coaching seminar to get an ideaon how coaching works. Most seminars will give its Reading:attendees advice on how to reach their goals and Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching Peoplesucceed in life. Pay close attention to how the coach Toward Success in Work and Life by Laurainteracts with the crowd. WhitworthStep Three - Speak to the coach following the seminar http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/089106or class. Ask them for advice on how to break into the 1231/businessandpersofield and other tips for succeeding in the career.Step Four - Find your own coach. A coach who is Coaching for Performance: Growing People,experienced in coaching and building a coaching Performance and Purpose by John Whitmorebusiness will move you forward much quicker. Theyll http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/185788work with you to develop your coaching skills and 3039/businessandperso 34FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job HuntingL ooking for a job in any country can be a challenge. In Japan, with linguistic, business, and cultural barriers to overcome, job hunting canbe an even more daunting prospect. The reality is thathere, there is less choice across most industries and Ÿ limited. Prioritizing the components may open up avenues and close down others. What do you NOT want in a job? Don’t only look at what you dislike about your current or previous careers (though that is important), but also thinksome industries are not represented at all. If you have about things that would make you unhappy orleft behind a highly-specialized career in your home dissatisfied if they were a part of your working lifecountry, it may be challenging to find a similar type from now. Again, prioritizing is important here.or level of position in Japan. This being said, living and Ÿ Who do you know? Make a list of the people youworking in a foreign country does open up new know whose opinion you trust and respect, andopportunities and, if you approach your job search then tell them you’re thinking of making a careercreatively and are open to using your skills in other change. Ask them for which job they think youfields, there are promising opportunities to be found. would be ideally suited. Networking is particularlyThe following section provides some advice on what important in Japan, so it is certainly worthto consider, and what steps to take, when looking to spending time on this exercise.secure a new job in Japan. Ÿ Write your ideal job description. Then ask yourself what job would fit the description. And THEN askTo get you started, consider the following: yourself why you don’t have that job already! Ÿ Carry out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Ÿ What kind of working environment do you enjoy? Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. This can be Do you prefer to work independently, or as part done for different industry streams / career of a team? Do you prefer to manage or to be a alternatives. Strengths and weaknesses are factors worker? Do you prefer working for a big business related to the individual in question. Questions with support networks; a small business where that need to be addressed include those you might be able to contribute more; or do you concerned with technical skills and personal have the discipline to work for yourself? qualities. The questions have to be connected to Ÿ What are you good at? What skills do you have? the industry and position in question, so some What skills do you enjoy using? Think outside your background knowledge about the target job is work environment - you are aiming at generating needed before proceeding. Opportunities and as wide a list of skills as possible. This list will form threats usually concern the market environment a basis for exploring new careers. Are you good at and, in this context, Japan. Questions must be technical work? Can you sell, teach or write? Are about current market conditions, trends and you creative? Do you like working with people, factors that can adversely impact the industry. You and do you have good people skills? Don’t worry can only really complete the market analysis by about what careers these skills bring to mind and reading the press and by talking to people (i.e. don’t dismiss a skill just because the career you networking). Once you understand where the associate with that skill is one you don’t like the opportunities are, you can “pitch” your skills to sound of – you are simply listing your skills. that area. You have to be prepared to be honest Ÿ What components of a job are most important to and acknowledge your weaknesses, and be aware you? This is trickier, and requires a lot of thought, of the downside or risks associated with that but it is easier to make the right career move industry. Several women who attended a previous having clarified these thoughts. This stage requires FEW Career Strategies Seminar commented that a degree of honesty, leading us to answers which undertaking an honest SWOT analysis (often we might otherwise wish to avoid. For example, having their friends give suggestions and if money or status is important, then having a job feedback) helped them to focus on what they that is “worthy” but poorly paid and has no really wanted, which led to their subsequent prestige will not make you happy (even if it uses career successes in Japan. This is a proven your skills) unless you change your priorities. If technique that can work for you at any stage of you want a job that is extremely well paid, your career. creative, and with short, set hours, it may not be impossible to achieve, but your choices will be 35 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job HuntingRecommended Resources “Women in Career and Life Transitions”, SandyThe Internet contains many resource tools to help you Anderson, 2000in your research. Simply search “career”, “careerchange” or “career advice”. Just a few of the many “Now, Discover Your Strengths”, Marcus Buckingham,useful sites to help guide you in evaluating your career Donald O. Clifton, 2001or when you are considering a career change are: “Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Dealhttp://www.jobhuntersbible.com with Change in Your Work and in Your Life”, Spencerthe site of the author of “What Color is Your Johnson, 1998Parachute?” includes a good list of recommendedbooks “Changing Careers for Dummies” (Paperback), Carol L. McClellandhttp://career-intelligence.comspecial career site for women “Occupational Outlook Handbook 2006-2007”, US Department of Laborhttp://about.com/careersgeneral information “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”, (Paperback), Susan Jeffershttp://www.entrepreneur.com/help with business planning and starting a business Online Tests There are numerous online career, strengths andhttp://www.mindtools.com personality tests available online. Many are free, butadvice on time management, stress management, etc most of the more highly rated tests require a small, payment.http://www.wetfeet.comhelp with making career decisions http://www.careerkey.org/ one of the more reliable tests based on six HollandReading: personality types“What Color is Your Parachute?” A Practical Manualfor Job Hunters and Career Changers”, Richard Nelson http://www.myersbriggs.org/Bolles, 2004 take the Myers Briggs test online“Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for http://www.self-directed-search.comYou Through the Secrets of Personality Type”, Paul D. Dr. John Holland’s SDS testTieger, Barbara Barron-Tieger, 2001 http://www.assessment.com/“Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide the MAPP career personality testto Creative Career Design”, Laurence G. Boldt, 1999 http://www.advisorteam.org/ the Keirsey Temperament sorter complements Myers Briggs Good Isn’t Good Enough by Anna Kunnecke Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you should do it. I, for example, was once a truly excellent administrative assistant. Shockingly, nobody seemed to care that I found this job so boring that I wanted to eat the paper clips. The people around me would have been happy to see me function successfully for years in that position because I was ‘just so good at.’ I kept waiting for someone to see how overqualified I was, how I could do so much more. Guess what? That didn’t happen. 36FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job HuntingI’m sure you’re not nearly as naïve as I was, and yet many women find themselves slogging along in acareer that excites them about as much as turtle food. They’re waiting: for their work to be acknowledged,for their potential to be discovered, for their loyalty to be rewarded, or for someone to pick them out ofthe crowd and say, “You in the purple skirt! This is your moment!”There is a juicy archetypal story that goes like this: the lovely girl is just going along her way, minding herown business, sitting in an airport or milking the cows or writing term papers when—boom!—someonespots her true worth. Sometimes it’s a prince, or a boss, or a light shining down from the heavens.Sometimes it’s a professor, or a talent scout, or Oprah. In every case, the girl is called out of obscuritythrough no ambition or initiative of her own. We love this story; it’s such a convenient one, because thenthe humble woman can blush and step reluctantly into the limelight. Oh gosh, she didn’t intend to attractall this attention, but gee, I guess since she’s here she’ll smile bravely and step up to the challenge!Historically, enterprising women have employed this little fiction to avoid being accused of arrogance,scheming, or unladylike ambition. Dr. Debra Condren points out in her book Ambition Is Not A Dirty Wordthat even today, ambitious men are called go-getters with initiative, while ambitious women are knownas greedy bitches. (If this seems terribly dated, think about the media’s portrayal of Hillary Clinton orMartha Stewart.) So this tale, of the hapless woman being plucked out of the masses, still functions as agood talisman against public scorn. It’s a harmless story, really—as long as you don’t believe it.Some of my favorite fantasies have lost their sparkle as I learn more about my heroes. The actress whowas ‘discovered’ in an airport? She’d been auditioning for three years before that. The writer whose book‘just flowed’? She then rewrote it nine times. The teacher who was asked to step up as headmaster inspite of her youth? She adored teaching and put more time, money, and effort into her own growth asan educator than did any of her colleagues.In his book The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle argues that talent isn’t born, it’s grown. He believes that there’sno such thing as ‘natural talent.’ He examined people at the top of their fields and found that what theyshare is not inherent ability, but something he calls ‘deep practice.’ We’ve all heard that practice makesperfect, but according to Coyle, practice simply makes permanent. What produces mastery is thewillingness to do your best, fail, then examine what you did wrong and fix it the next time. Sustained deeppractice causes a substance called myelin to form around the neural pathways associated with that task,increasing speed and accuracy. (Apparently Einstein’s brain contained a perfectly ordinary number ofsynapses, to researchers’ great disappointment. What it did contain was large amounts of this mysteriousfatty tissue called myelin.) Myelin is not inherited, like bone structure; the way you use your brain causesit to multiply or shrink.It’s not enough to slug away dutifully at something you feel ambivalent about. Coyle pinpoints passion,almost a primal longing, as another key ingredient for mastery. In other words, he’s saying that the onlyway to be truly excellent at something is to really want it, and then work really consciously at it.This is pretty much the opposite of conventional career wisdom, which says that you should stick with amarketable version of something that comes easily to you. (Oh, but you’re so good with numbers—youshould be an accountant, because you can! Not everyone can be a lawyer, you know—you shouldn’t wastethat. You’re so good with kids—you have a natural gift for it!) This well-meaning advice is based on fear.Fear says that it’s better to stick with something safe so that you don’t risk failure, embarrassment, ordisappointment.But Dr. Martha Beck says that if something is worth doing well, it’s worth doing badly. In other words,deep practice your heart out! It won’t be comfortable, and you might in fact fail, be embarrassed, andfeel disappointment. Pardon me, but so what? Everyone experiences those unpleasant sensations atsome point, so you might as well use them in the service of something that sounds really delicious to you. 37 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Hunting skills. If you like the idea of working in a fast-paced, professional environment, and having the opportunity So how do you find the thing worth shooting for? to work with leading US and European companies, it Listen to your secret self, your heart’s deepest may be a career option worth consideration. Laura longings. Find the thing that calls to you, that Cope, who found a job as an Executive Search makes your heart sing, and then go out and do it Consultant whilst in Tokyo says, “Having left my career really badly about a million times. You’ll get a little as a Marketing Manager behind, and moved to Tokyo bit better each time until suddenly people will look to join my boyfriend, I was faced with the prospect of at you and say, “Oh look at that. She must be a finding a new career. Recruitment was not something born leader.” Or, “she must have always known I’d thought of before coming to Japan, but without she was meant to be a water-skiing purple-haired Japanese language skills, I soon realized my career real-estate lawyer, some people are just lucky like options were limited. I initially approached several that.” And then you can smile knowingly and tell Executive Search firms as a candidate, but discussions your own ‘big break’ story—how you pulled soon led to me considering Recruitment as a career yourself out of the crowd and said, “You. You, my option. Three months after arriving in Tokyo, I joined dear, are going to be great.” an Executive Search firm as a Consultant in their Consumer search practice. I’m really enjoying my new Anna Kunnecke is a life coach who lives in Tokyo role – I love being able to work with senior level and coaches clients around the world by phone or people across many different organizations, and I’ve skype. You can contact her through her website, learnt a huge amount about business in Japan. I’d www.annakunnecke.com highly recommend it as a career option. Companies all have different compensation systems and different cultures so I would advise speaking to lots of different firms to ensure that you find one that’s best suited toGetting into the Marketplace in Japan you”.Recruitment Consultants/HeadhuntersThere are several Recruitment/Headhunter firms in NetworkingTokyo, ranging from large global Executive Search When looking for a new job in Japan, networking isfirms, to small one-man bands. (Please see Resource perhaps the single most important activity you cansection at the end of this guide for a list of engage in. Before you arrive, make the most of yourRecruitment firms in Tokyo.) Most companies will network in your home country. Since you are keenlyeither specialize in one specific industry sector, or familiar with your own hometown and home country,have specialized practice groups for a number of why not ask your local newspaper editor if he or shedifferent industry sectors. Recruitment Consultants would be interested in periodic business- or culture-often have access to positions that are not advertised related reports from Japan? You could also check withelsewhere, especially those at the high end of the your hometown business council or chamber ofmarket. Bear in mind however, that most of these commerce to see if they would be interested infirms will place Japanese bilinguals, and without market research reports or business information.Japanese language skills, your opportunities as a Some people have even found themselves as theforeigner will be limited. Japan representative for a hometown business or product, and have set up the overseas headquarters.It is a useful exercise to meet with a recruitment firm Most U.S. states have trade representatives in Japan.to find out about the market in Japan; it is also goodinterview practice. A FEW member says, “I met with As one FEW member said “People often talk aboutabout six headhunters but they mostly specialized in the power of networking in Tokyo, and for those newvery senior level positions. It was a valuable exercise, to our city, it can be rather daunting to put yourselfthough, to practice my interview skills and learn more and your business cards out there. I know when Iabout the marketplace. It helped me narrow down started my first business, I was intimidated by thewhat it was I truly wanted to do”. Tokyo business scene, but eight years later I can say that I have met some of my closest friends throughBecoming a Recruitment Consultant is one career mingling in Tokyo”.option that doesn’t always require Japanese language 38FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job HuntingEmily Dixon, also found informational interviewing 6. What kind of challenges or problems do you havewas a useful and important stage in her job search. to deal with in this job?She recommends the book What Color is Your 7. What skills do you need to deal with theseParachute?, which helped her find a career that challenges?matched her personality and experience. 8. Do you know of anyone else I can talk to that has this job?She enlisted FEW members for help and asked themthe following questions about their work: Informational interviewing has many benefits. Emily learned about different industries and what a typical1. What is a typical day for you like? day looks like for employees. She also gained useful2. What aspects do you like about the job? information about competitors and up-coming job3. What aspects don’t you like about the job? openings. She learned about potential pitfalls in4. How did you get this job? certain industries and how to avoid them. And finally,5. What qualifications do you need for this job? she learned what qualities and skills she needed to develop in order to be a success in a particular field. 10 Tips for Dealing with Recruiters Being headhunted by a recruitment firm may sound glamorous, but the reality of a typical successful search process involves thorough research, confidential market networking, detailed screening and selection, and careful negotiation. Be aware that most recruitment firms focus on placing Japanese native speakers with business level English skills; without Japanese, your chances of finding a job through an Executive search firm are limited. 1. Develop and be prepared to articulate a vision of your career path and where you want to be 5-7 years from now. Do your homework on the industries/companies you are targeting. 2. If you are contacted by a recruitment firm you don’t know, don’t send your resume before checking them out. Check their website, find out (if possible) what clients they work with, ask about their confidentiality policy, etc. 3. Never lie or stretch the truth on your resume. Be upfront with the recruiter about things like current salary, reason for changing jobs, etc. 4. Remember that recruiters are paid for and work for the clients, not for you. 5. Feel free to ask detailed questions about a specific opportunity, but understand that recruiters don’t always have all the answers or may not be able to reveal all details of the company at the early stages of a search. 6. Know the difference between retained searches (recruiter receives a portion of the fee upfront before the search begins and the remainder is paid after successful placement) and contingency searches (recruiter works without being paid upfront and receives full payment upon successful placement at the end of the search). 7. Recruiters are not resume-writing services. Always keep your resume up-to-date and make the effort to have a high-quality resume, even if you have to pay a professional to help you. A high-quality resume is one printed on quality paper, without spelling or grammatical errors, well written (succinct/markets your skills well) and which can survive a 30-second scan. Also, recruiters prefer to have your resume in Word format or similar, so they are able to remove your contact details before sending to their client 8. Practice reciting a concise summary of your career history for verbal presentations — including reasons for leaving positions and motivations for changing jobs. 9. Many recruiters are busy handling multiple assignments and working with multiple candidates, so they may not always be able to be on top of everything, especially if they don’t have an immediate opening for you. Pestering doesn’t help, but an occasional follow-up email is a good idea. 10. If it’s urgent and important, please call. Good recruiters are drowning in email and things do fall through the cracks. Don’t let a communication breakdown cause you to miss a great opportunity. 39 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Hunting Researching the Japanese Job MarketPrepare questions you think you’ll need to make a Researching your chosen field is important to any jobdecision about entering a specific industry. Ask search — use the Internet, libraries, trade leaflets andwhatever you’re dying to know! information produced by professional bodies. Join any organization relevant to your sector, takingFor a list of Networking Groups in Tokyo, please refer advantage of any information it produces as well asto resource section at the end of this guide. using the opportunity to make useful personal contacts in the field. Combing the trade press and the media generally may reveal vacancies that you could fill. Using the Internet as a Career Tool The Internet has become a valuable resource for today’s job seekers. It is a fast, efficient and Making it in Tokyo - Advice from one twenty-something gal to another By Katie Decker Starting a career is difficult. You already know this. Everyday, you read the daunting headlines trumpeting mass unemployment, a shrinking economy, and a fiercely competitive job market. When displaced executives are settling for middle management positions, managers aren’t getting promoted and PhD candidates are snatching up entry-level slots, you wonder how you and your recent college degree and limited professional experience are supposed to get ahead. When you throw “Tokyo” into the equation, things seem even more overwhelming. You think that Tokyo wants only lawyers, bankers, businessmen and bilinguals. Oh, and maybe an English teacher or two. But what if you are none of these things? Is there any hope for a gal who is trying to make it in Tokyo? The answer is Yes. Starting your professional career in Tokyo can be done, and it can be done with unparalleled success. It is true that it won’t be the easiest thing youve ever done. It is also true that your first paycheck might not cover for the credit card tab for those Jimmy Choo shoes you bought to celebrate your new job. But have perseverance my friend because those boots were made for walking and you’re going places! Networking is key to finding the good jobs in Tokyo. Professional organizations like FEW, chambers of commerce and alumni associations are great places to start. Diplomatic events are aplenty in Tokyo, and many embassies host events that are open to the public. Get creative about networking - your place of worship, the gym and the coffee shop can all be potential hotbeds of people who want to help you. Once you start talking to others, you will be surprised to discover that the job market in Tokyo is uniquely tailored to people just like you - ambitious, enterprising and resourceful foreign women who are determined to make it in Japan. One key element that sets you apart from the masses is your foreignness: specifically, your ability to speak English and to understand the world as it relates to Japan. I cannot tell you how many jobs I have come across where the main skill the employer was looking for was an ability to communicate with foreign counterparts and clients. In fact, that is exactly what I do in my current position at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). You may be shocked to learn that, as the only foreign employee out of 40,000 at TEPCO, I am not required to speak Japanese on the job (I am living proof that you do not need to be bilingual in order to land a great job in Tokyo!). Nor am I an energy specialist or an engineer. Rather, I was hired to communicate: to give presentations to non-Japanese audiences, write documents for public distribution, and participate in 40FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Huntinginexpensive tool for those who wish to find a job; the posted only in Japanese but there are exceptions tobenefits are even greater if you are trying to find a job this. Remember to check that the information hasin other parts of the world. been recently updated to ensure that you don’t waste your time submitting applications for jobs that haveThere are several career/job information websites already been filled. And don’t forget to the check thespecializing in opportunities in Japan, and internet website of your embassy. Many of the largerresume-posting services have also become popular in embassies post openings on their sites.recent years (see Resources for recommended sites).Executive Search/Recruitment firms will also often Classifiedsadvertise opportunities on these websites. Another The Monday edition of the Japan Times features a joboption to consider is corporate websites. Many openings section. The Daily Yomiuri and Asahimultinational companies post information on Shimbun also have a smaller classified section in theiravailable job openings at overseas offices on their Wednesday and Monday editions. Magazines such aswebsites. Often in Japan this information will be Metropolis or Japanzine have job listings sections too. international meetings. Many Japanese corporations have plenty of employees who speak English as a second language, but they prefer to have a native speaker present at their public international activities to ward off any potential miscommunication. So how did I get to where I am now? I studied Japanese as a student - not because I had a grand desire to go to Japan, but simply because I wanted a tangible asset upon graduation. I then spent a semester abroad in Japan and, upon completion, swore on my life that I would never come back. I didn’t like eating miso soup for breakfast, the language left me completely befuddled, and every time I heard someone exclaim “kawaii!” when they caught sight of my blonde hair I wanted to die of embarrassment. But, fate took its course and it wasn’t long before I found myself in Japan again. Upon returning to the U.S. after my ill-fated study abroad experience, I took a job teaching English to Japanese children at a public school and immediately realized that me + dozens of small children = less-than-optimal career. While desperately scanning the classifieds, I came across an advertisement looking for volunteers at the World Expo, which was held in Japan in 2005. I took a risk and faced the unknown, accepting a non-paying job with the hope that somehow I would be able to turn it into something more. While working at the Expo, I networked, took on extra responsibilities, and put my heart into everything I did. Someone who happened to be in-the-know noticed my efforts and tipped me off to a job opening at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Staying in Japan wasn’t exactly at the top of my to-do list, but, remember that goal of turning my volunteer experience into something more…? I aced the Embassy interview and, before I knew it, three rewarding years had passed, my contract was up and I was back on the job market in the middle of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. I decided to stay in Tokyo where I had contacts rather than risk facing unemployment in the U.S., and I talked to everyone I knew who I thought might be able to give me career advice. Soon after, I was introduced to a young woman my age; she happened to know about the opening for my current position at TEPCO. This spring, I plan to leave Japan to return to the U.S. to go to graduate school, where I plan to roll all of my Japan experiences into one professional degree. There is no doubt in my mind that life will carry me back to Japan someday and, looking back on my unexpected successes here, I am confident that any gal who is willing to take risks and occasionally extend herself beyond her comfort zone will make it in Tokyo. Embark on a non-conventional job search and keep in mind that everyone you meet - even other women who are starting out just like you - is a potential resource. With all this in mind, you will reach great heights in Tokyo. 41 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Hunting with detail provided about eachRecommended Resources position/responsibilities, and a rirekisho, whichInternet recruiting sites are a good resource to get an follows a set format, providing summary informationidea of the latest trends in positions and salaries. For about your education and the companies you havepositions within Japan, try the following: worked at/positions you have held. A passport photo is also attached to the rirekisho. Many of the onlineDaijob/Work in Japan job search sites have resume building tools and tipshttp://www.daijob.com/dj/en/index.html and if you have a Japanese friend, it may be worth asking them to help you with style guidelines. SomeACCJ E-Central companies may ask you to complete a cover letterhttp://www.ecentral.jp although this practice is not widespread. Reference letters are also likely to be required at a later stage inGaijin Pot the application process.http://www.gaijinpot.com It is worth remembering that the Japanese generallyCareerCross Japan put a high value on the overall person, and not justhttp://www.careercross.com his/her ability to perform in a job. In Japan, long-term employment is still important and personalBeing A Broad information provided on a resume is used to betterhttp://www.being-a-broad.com/ evaluate a candidate’s propensity for long-term commitment to the company. In some cases, age isResume Writing used to help determine level of pay and responsibility.A resume is an essential part of any job search in anycountry. There are several books/websites (see InterviewingResource section) that provide advice on how to write Whatever country you’re in and whatever positiona resume. you’re applying for, the main steps for successful interviews can be summed up in four words —Layout, style and even resume content are all the Prepare, Practice, Perform and Follow-up.subject of personal and cultural preferences.Whatever job you’re applying for there are certain Prepare for the interview by researching thegeneral principles that apply. For example: organization and its current market position and preparing questions to ask so that you appear Ÿ Your resume should be written and laid out in a interested in and knowledgeable about the company. clear and concise way so that it can be read quickly Do not limit your questions to the information readily and easily. available about the company, but consider broader- Ÿ You should prepare the resume for the specific job based questions as to the company’s goals, business and employer in question. In deciding how much direction, philosophy, management style, and career and what information to put in, consider the paths. Prepare, too, for the questions you may market you are addressing. be asked — paying special attention to the standard questions where the employer is looking at how youIf you are applying for a job at a Japanese company, respond, rather than what you say: How are youparticularly one that requires Japanese language qualified for the position? What are your strengthsability, you may be requested to submit a Japanese and weaknesses? What makes you think you are theresume in addition to an English resume. If you are right candidate for the job?applying to a foreign owned firm you will certainly berequired to submit an English resume, but it is unlikely Practice your interview techniques. Try to appearthat you will be asked for a Japanese resume – it is quietly positive and assured — most interviewerscertainly worth making enquiries to find out whether make a decision within minutes of your appearance,or not this is a requirement. so a firm handshake, looking your interviewer in the eye, avoiding “um’s” and “uh’s”, are all important.There are two types of Japanese resume, a Confidence is important and practicing beforehandshokumukeireki, similar to a Western style resume will increase your confidence, as will dressing 42FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Huntingappropriately. also expect to be asked fairly candid questions about your abilities, past experience andPerform during the interview. Remember you are capability to handle the current position. Also,there to persuade the employer you can meet his or don’t be surprised if you are asked personalher needs and goals. Be enthusiastic, be positive questions as to marital status, plans to have(never be negative about any previous employer) and children, etc. You don’t have to be specific but iffocus on your strengths and accomplishments. you don’t answer the question, or appear hostile, it will not be appreciated.Follow-up the interview promptly with a short letter Ÿ Depending on the company you may beof thanks, restating briefly any point that you feel you interviewed in English, Japanese, or both (ormay not have communicated effectively. indeed another language if relevant to the position). For interviews in Japanese ensure thatInterviewing - The Japanese Experience you use the formal masu/desu form. If yourNow, onto interviews in Japan. Interview practices Japanese skills are minimal, gauge the formalityvary here, just as in other countries. Below, we discuss of the interview before using them – you may bepoints for consideration when interviewing in Japan. better off expressing yourself in your ownPlease note that these are relevant whether you’re language.applying for a Japanese firm, or a foreign owned firm– in either case, it is highly likely that the people you Recommended Resourcesare interviewed by will be Japanese. Many websites will guide you in drafting a resume. Here are a few: Ÿ Punctuality - Being on time for an interview is standard practice in any country but in Japan it is http://www.jobhuntersbible.com essential that you are on time. It is not acceptable http://damngood.com/ to be late, even by one minute – punctuality is http://www.resume-resource.com highly regarded and indeed expected. Ÿ Appearance and demeanor are extremely Some good books: important in the Japanese interview process. Be Power Resumes presentable, which in Japanese terms means Ron Tepper impeccable. Ÿ Dress conservatively – avoid heavy make up or Resumes for Mid Career Job Changes excessive jewelry. VGM Horizons ISBN 0-8442-2950-4 Ÿ Use calm movements and speech, to show confidence and poise, and avoid sharp gestures Resumes That Mean Business David R Eyler and overly animated speech or expressions. ISBN 0-375-70469-8 Ÿ What may be interpreted as a confident, “can-do” attitude, can be interpreted as arrogance in Japan. The Global Resume and CV Guide Mary Anne Ÿ Be positive, polite and respectful and show special Thompson respect and deference to any older persons ISBN0-471-38076-8 present. Ÿ During the interview try not to talk too much or The 101 Toughest Interview Questions Daniel Porot too quickly – remember that if the interview is ISBN 1-58008-068-5 with a Japanese person, and the interview is in English, that person is speaking his or her second Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked language. Interview Questions Matthew L DeLuca Ÿ The group dynamic is an important concept in ISBN 0-07-016357-X Japan. Your interviewer will be looking for someone whose personality fits and who is willing Working for a Japanese Company Robert M March and interested to be part of the team. That being ISBN 4-7700-2085-6 said, whereas in the past interview questions would have focused more on your personality/characteristics, these days you can 43 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Hunting Recruitment: A Female Perspective by Toni Kitchaixankul Having been raised in a traditional Thai-Chinese family, I always appreciated any opportunity to gain equality in the workplace. I grew up surrounded by the view that my male relatives deserved to go onto higher education and well-paid jobs, whereas we girls should simply prepare to get married. Gaining a career, let alone an MBA or Master’s degree, wasn’t necessary or desirable for females – or so I was told. But, that is not what I believed. So, in Thailand, I worked hard to gain my finance degree and then entered the male-dominated world of investment banking. After two years I changed direction and began working as a brand manager for a fashion company. But soon after, even though I had already reached my education and work experience “quota” as a Thai girl, I knew I was looking for something more. So, through the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, I applied for and was awarded a scholarship, which allowed me to take my MBA at Waseda Business School in Japan. At the end of my studies, I weighed up my options: go back to my family in Thailand or carve out a career for myself in Tokyo? I stayed. Becoming a recruiter was not something I had ever considered; entering the world of HR seemed like a bit of a spin off career to me. However, I was looking to use my interpersonal skills, networking know-how, and industry knowledge in a new environment, so I decided to join a Tokyo-based recruitment company. I now specialize in finance recruitment. There are big advantages to being a woman in recruitment. Although I am not as cut throat as the guys in my office, I am definitely a better judge of character, which is vital when matching clients with candidates. I am also more patient, and maybe even more persistent, with people. Often, the female ability to listen deeply to a person’s needs becomes a big factor in being able to seal the deal. Also, I feel that, as a woman I am better able to deal with inconsistencies in daily routines (such as people being late or unprepared) and with the unexpected factors of the industry (such as the recent stressful ups and downs in the economy). I would say that my male counterparts are often less flexible and find it more difficult to multitask than I do. Through good times and bad, I think I can coordinate even the most challenging of people and situations AND keep my cool. I think the key for me is using what I have to the fullest capacity and turning my weaknesses into strengths. For example, at the beginning of my career in recruitment, I frequently over-compensated for my “femaleness” by preparing and researching far more for a client meeting than the male recruiters did. But, because of this, I soon made those clients feel more comfortable and more quickly earned their trust. I think that the expression “handling situations with a velvet glove rather than with an iron fist” is appropriate for my style of recruiting. On saying all this, not every woman is made to be a recruiter. A career in this industry is probably best suited to someone who has a solid background in the specialized area which they’re recruiting for – in my case, finance. Having such a background helps you get a head start with marketing mapping and candidate interviewing processes. My biggest tip for those of you who are interested in becoming a recruiter is to send your resume to as many recruitment companies as possible. During your interviews, ask questions not only about compensation and benefits but also about the culture of the company. For example, does the company promote equality in the workplace? What is their degree of diversity? What is the ratio of male to female management? Another question to ask is whether or not (when the time comes for you to be a mother) they are open to the idea of you working a flextime schedule. You may feel that this is a difficult question to ask during an interview, but it may save you anxiety in the long-term. Ultimately, interviewing with a variety of companies gives you a better chance of finding the right fit. A golden rule for interviews is: never pretend to be something you are not. Selling yourself as aggressive, cut-throat, or anything else particularly “male” is never going to be the right strategy. Rather, you must 44FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Hunting show your own strengths and believe in the value YOU can bring to a company. Are you a great networker? Can you speak any other languages? Are you good at organizing events? Don’t be afraid to stand up and say so. In my work as a recruiter, I often meet female candidates who are concerned about how much worth they will have in the workplace. One of the most common questions they ask is: “Even with the same qualifications, experience and potential, will I be given the same career path as a male candidate?” Although it saddens me to say so, my answer is “most likely no”. Many companies award female employees lower salaries and, if these employees are married, label them as “no longer career driven”. Still, this does not apply to all companies in Japan, and there are ways to get ahead. In order to make your way in the corporate world, you really need to find what you’re good at and then put your heart and soul into making that skill or personality trait better. In this way, you will become much more valuable to a company. As women, there is no way we can be the same as men. But that’s OK: we were not made to be the same. Rather, we have our own unique set of strengths which we have to learn to use to our advantage. I realized back in Thailand that I should not waste energy fighting for equality. Instead I channeled my energy into making my skills the best they could be. In Japan, slowly but surely I found my own working pace and learned to compete only against myself. Sometimes, as a woman, you have to work a little harder to succeed, but most importantly of all, you have to work smarter.Getting an offer When you receive a written job offer, consult withWhilst pay and benefits are not usually discussed until somebody who understands the local rules andthe final stages of the interview process, you may be regulations. And, please take the following intoasked in the first interview what your salary consideration when you are contemplating acceptingexpectations are. Be prepared to state your bottom such an offer.line figure, in both annual and monthly terms. Local hire versus ExpatriateBefore you accept an offer, decide for yourself what If you are hired locally you will be treated the sameyou think you would like to earn, what value you bring as a Japanese employee both from a tax and ato your employer and what it is that you look for in a company rules perspective. You will also have fulljob besides a salary. Entering salary and contract protection under the Japanese Labor Law. Annegotiations in Japan can be a daunting experience expatriate is an employee of an office outside ofand often we undersell ourselves and accept Japan, normally Head Office, transferred to the Japanconditions we would never accept in our home- Office for a limited period of time. Expatriates are notcountries simply because we lack comparable data or exempt from tax obligations in Japan, but can reduceare unfamiliar with local habits and regulations. their taxable income considerable by having a largerRemember that an employer will always hire you part of their package paid as non-taxable allowancesbecause you offer something of value, never because – not available to local hires- such as housing, clubyou are cheaper than a local hire due to lack of memberships, schooling, and home leave airfare.experience in this country. It is also worth bearing in Many firms also arrange for tax equalization for theirmind that, if you are set to replace an expatriated expatriates. If you are a local hire it is very hard toemployee, and therefore will not receive the perks of negotiate expat perks that are not available to otheran expat packate, your lower cost to the employer can local employees.in some cases compensate for your lack of experience;this may be a negotiating tool. Consult with others. Rules of EmploymentTalk to people in similar positions and establish It is a requirement under Japanese Labor Law for allreasonable expectations for a compensation package companies with more than 9 employees to createfor the position you are considering. Rules of Employment (Shugyo Kisoku). These are approved by and filed with the Ministry of Labor. This document describes all company rules and regulations 45 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Huntingsuch as holidays, working hours, overtime, rules of In the past, most companies in Japan had a systemconduct, safety, bonuses, ranks, allowances, etc, as whereby a portion of the annual salary was paid as athey apply to all of its regular employees. It is a joint twice-a-year summer and winter bonus; this hadagreement with the employer and approved by the financial benefits for both employer and employee.employees. The company needs to give you a copy When this benefit disappeared with changes in thewhen you join. When you join as a permanent or social insurance system in 2004, some companies keptregular employee you are bound by these rules and the old system in place, while some firms changed tobasically no exceptions can be made for you. The a 12-month salary system or changed to a new fixedRules normally do not apply to contract workers. bonus system. Although called “bonuses” these payouts are really part of the fixed annual salary.Permanent/Regular versus Contract Employment Companies have a right to pay out less when overallAre you to be employed as a permanent employee or financial performance is bad but in general will onlyon a fixed-term contract basis? A fixed-term contract do so when in extremely bad financial shape and withmay result in greater flexibility for you by, for permission of the Ministry of Labor. When you areexample, allowing the employer to treat your bound by the Rules of Employment, you have toemployment terms differently from those of other accept the company’s salary system. Contract workersemployees. Also, renewal of a fixed-term contract are normally paid in 12 months installments orprovides you with an opportunity to improve the installments equally divided over the term of theterms and conditions of your employment. Most contract for contracts less than 12 months.locally hired foreigners are employed initially on afixed-term contract. A work visa is required for any Deductionsemployer, even for fixed-term contracts, and these Employers need to deduct income tax, labor insuranceare renewed either annually or every three years. and social insurances (health and pension) for regular, and sometimes contract, employees. Most employersBase Salary will also deduct ward tax, although you can choose toYou should expect a salary appropriate for the pay this yourself.position that you are asked to fill. This will notnecessarily be based on the number of years or type Social Insuranceof experience that you have, but rather on what the With the exception of very small companies, allcompany pay scale dictates for that particular companies in Japan need to enrol their regularposition. It may be particularly difficult for a Japanese employees in the social insurance (shakai hoken)company to determine where you fit into the system. This covers both national health and nationalcompany pay scale, as salary is generally based on age pension - which cannot be separated. A percentageand seniority. In such a case, it may be fitting to of costs are deducted from your salary and theresearch what an appropriate salary is for the position company pays the remaining amount. Broadlyand then request that salary. It is misleading to speaking if you do not plan to retire in Japan, it isdirectly compare your yen salary to your former better to stay out of the system, since pensionsalary. Salaries everywhere are driven by the local cost contributions are not insignificant and notof living, market demand and many other factors. transferable to other countries - but often this is notAlthough your yen salary may not equate to your possible. Some firms are willing to make an exceptionprevious salary, remember that the cost of living in for you especially with shorter-term contracts, and itTokyo is likely different from where you were is a good idea to discuss this possibility before signingbefore. The important question is: What is the a contract. The health system in Japan is good, butappropriate salary in Japan is for the particular many hospitals and doctors do not speak English. Ifposition? Are there regular salary increases? Are there you have been paying into the Japanese nationalopportunities for advancement and therefore a merit- pension system, upon leaving Japan, you can get backbased salary increase? Local hires are almost always some of what you paid from the government. Makepaid in yen. Transferred expatriates may be paid in sure to ask your employer about this upon resignationtheir home country currency or otherwise protected and before leaving Japan.from foreign exchange risk. Health InsuranceSalary System Health insurance coverage is required for all persons 46FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Huntingresiding in Japan beyond ninety days, the length of a Japanese employees traditionally do not take muchtourist visa. If your employer does not arrange for time off, normally no more than a full week a year.health insurance for you (see above), you can join the Vacation entitlement in Japanese companies is notvoluntary National Health Insurance program through generous, often not more than 15 days per year, butyour ward office or get your own private insurance. there are a large number of public holidays (aroundThe latter might be a better option for you, though 15 per year) to supplement vacation entitlement, sothis is a hot topic of debate in Japan. Private insurancecheck carefully how much vacation time you willand medical costs can often be tax-deductible. Most actually receive. Japanese Labor Law states that ainternational clinics (with Western or Western-trained minimum of 10 days vacation must be offered to allJapanese doctors) do not accept National Health full time permanent employees. Also be aware thatInsurance. You may also want to try for private health some firms do no offer sick leave and will deduct sickinsurance since the coverage, especially for overseas days from your vacation days. If you are bound by themedical needs, is greater. Rules of Employment you have very little space for negotiation. You may wish to ask for unpaid leave inPerformance Bonuses advance if you know you will want to have moreMost foreign-capital and an increasing number of vacation days. It is not possible in Japan to haveJapanese firms offer performance bonuses. For vacation days paid out, but many firms have a “carry-contract-workers it may be possible to negotiate a over to the next year” system in place.sign-up or a completion bonus, payable on completionof your contract or other specified term. Bonuses are Commuting Allowancetreated as regular salary from a tax and social Under the Japanese Labor Law your employer mustinsurance perspective. pay for your commuting costs. Up to 100,000 yen a month is a non-taxable benefitRetirement Allowance(Taishokkin) Housing AllowanceMany firms, especially larger ones, have a retirement A housing allowance is generally only for expatriatesallowance system in place for their regular employees. transferred to Japan, but it is worth asking yourDepending on the number of years of employment employers if you can receive such benefits. Favorable(normally a minimum of three), you are entitled to a treatment is provided under Japanese tax laws if thelump-sum payment upon resigning or retiring from employer enters into the lease. Therefore, even if thethe company. The amount will be cut considerably if employer is not willing to bear the cost of housing,you resign voluntarily. If the company asks you to you may want to ask them to enter into the lease forresign (the Japanese equivalent of being fired) you are you. If the employer enters into the lease and the rentnormally entitled to full payment under the is deducted from your salary, it could reduce yourcompany’s rules. Companies also use the system as a taxable income and result in significant savings to you.bargaining tool to convince regular employees toresign since it is extremely difficult to fire people in Special PerksJapan. Bad performance for instance is not a reason Special perks such as club membership, movingto let somebody go. It is not uncommon to receive the expenses, paid home leave and school costs for yourequivalent of one to three months salary even if children are considered expatriate fringe benefits andemployed less than a year. in general are hard to negotiate when you are a local hire. Even if you manage to get such perks rememberOvertime Compensation that mostly these will be considered as part of yourOvertime is normally only paid to non-managerial salary from a tax perspective and thus be taxable.employees and must be described in the Rules of Membership of professional organizations such asEmployment. Most firms also have a system in place chambers of commerce and FEW should be muchfor time-off to compensate for overtime or working easier to obtain if you stress to the employer the valuein the weekends or on public holidays. Under the of making contacts through these memberships. TheLabor Law, midnight overtime between 22.00 pm and memberships are generally not considered a taxable5.00 am must be compensated by pay to all employees. benefit. Therefore, even if the employer is not willing to bear the cost of membership, if the cost is deductedVacation Entitlement and Sick Leave from your salary and thus reduces your taxable 47 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Job Huntingincome. Some employers will offer Japanese language to take your lessons outside of company hours. Somelessons, considering this to be employee training and companies may also pay for professional taxthus a company expense. It is worthwhile asking your assistance. These fees may be considered a taxableemployer about this, though often you are expected benefit. 48FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Immigration and VisasVisa Status Upon Entering Japan suggest, the single-entry visa can only be used on oneIf you enter Japan without a visa, and if you are a occasion; the multiple-entry permit on any numbercitizen of a country that has a mutual visa exemption of occasions within its period of validity. Applicationagreement with Japan, you may receive temporary for re-entry must be made in person with yourvisitor status (known informally as a tourist visa) from passport and alien registration card at an Immigrationofficials at your port of entry. This temporary visitor Bureau. A re-entry permit will be stamped or affixedpermit is granted for a period of stay of either 15 or to your passport on the same day you apply.90 days and generally cannot be extended. Someexceptions include UK, Irish, Swiss and German h t t p : / / w w w . i m m i -passport holders who may usually extend for a second moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/kanri/shyorui/06.html90-day period. For work, student or dependent visas,an application for a Certificate of Eligibility is Outline of New Immigration Procedures:necessary. It is recommended that foreigners apply Requirements for the Provision of Personalfor and receive a Certificate of Eligibility from an InformationImmigration Bureau (nyukoku kanri kyoku) in Japanprior to applying for the visa. On November 20, 2007 a new law amending parts of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition ActChanging Employers commenced establishing a framework forIdeally, before changing your employer in Japan, you preventative measures against acts of terrorism. Asshould visit the Immigration Bureau with the proper part of this framework, a new anti-terrorism measure,documentation from both your current and your new which requires the submission of personalemployer. If this is not possible, and you leave one job identification information at immigration control, wasbefore securing another, you should obtain a taishoku implemented. Under the new immigrationshomeisho (certificate of release) from your old procedures, when foreign nationals are applying foremployer. This document is necessary for the landing, fingerprints and a facial photograph and angovernment to grant any changes in your employment interview will be conducted. In the event of anystatus. foreign national, who is required by the new law to be fingerprinted and photographed, refusing toVisa for Spouse/Dependent of Non-Japanese submit to these new provisions, that person will notNationals be permitted to enter Japan, and will be required toA dependent status does not give a spouse the right leave the country. This applies to all foreign nationalsto work in Japan. Dependents must either apply for a entering Japan apart from the following:work permit, in the case of part-time employment, orfor a change of status of residence in the case of 1. Special permanent residentsfull-time work. For the part-time work permit, use 2. Persons under 16 years of agethe application form for permission to engage in an 3. Those persons performing activities which fallactivity other than that permitted by the status of under the status of residence for ‘Diplomat’ orresidence previously granted. A copy of your ‘Official’employment contract is usually required for this 4. Those persons who have been invited by the headprocedure. Your status as a dependent will not change of any national administrative organizationwith the part-time work permit. Be aware, however, 5. Those persons who are prescribed by the Ministrythat changing to full-time work status may affect you of Justice ordinance as equivalent to either (3) orin terms of tax, pension, healthcare, etc. Therefore, (4)be sure to inform your spouse’s employer of anychanges of status. Recommended ResourcesRe-Entry Permit Tokyo Regional Immigration BureauOnce you have a valid work status or residence visa, 108-0075, 5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku,Tokyoyou will need a re-entry permit, issued for either TEL 03-5796-7111single (3000 yen) or multiple (6000 yen) entries, in For a map, go toorder to leave and return to Japan without http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/information/iic-invalidating your status of residence. As their names 01.html 49 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Immigration and VisasMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Japan Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau (representativehttp://www.mofa.go.jp/ number): 03-5796-7111; or Immigration Information Center: 03-5796-7112. 50FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career DevelopmentDifferent Career Directions led by a change of direction, it is likely thatIt is no secret that looking for and finding a job in somewhere along the journey you will pick up newJapan can be tough. But at the same time this process and valuable life experiences.offers an opportunity to review your careerobjectives, explore new fields, meet new people and Setting up Your Own Businessget If you have ever dreamt about being your own bossnew experiences. Many FEW members have this might be the time go for it. Many women havesuccessfully found jobs within their own field; many found Japan to be a paradise of opportunities. Someothers have changed career direction entirely; some women have even come to Japan with the solehave even set up their own businesses. intention of setting up their own businesses. The fields in which these independent women work are asChanging Careers diverse as the individuals themselves. In Tokyo aloneMoving to a new country can often force women into you’ll find web designers, writers, translators, privatea change of career. There may not be any jobs teachers, management consultants, corporateavailable in a desired field, so finding an alternative trainers, musicians, artists, actors, caterers, anddirection is inevitable. However, this need not be a countless others who work on a freelance or projectbad thing. A great number of FEW members tell a basis. Others have set up businesses that sell productssimilar story: “I never in a million years thought I’d be or provide services. Whether they become freelancersdoing this job”; “I feel so lucky to have been given this or independent consultants, sell products or set upunique opportunity”; “You just never know what’s full-scale operations, what these women share is anaround the corner in Japan . . .”. Wherever you are Confessions of a Curious Mind by Lori Henderson “I saw an advert in a newspaper” has become my stock response to the ubiquitous question “why you come to Japan [sic]?” Sometimes, when my listener probes a little further, I go on to explain that, six years ago, sitting in my parents’ living room, having recently finished my Master’s degree in Mediaeval English and Scots (now THERE’S a handy qualification to have in your back pocket), I had little desire to join a graduate job scheme in the UK or, indeed, anywhere else. “SO!” I announced dramatically to my mother, tossing aside The Guardian, “I will live in JAPAN for a year”. “Dinnae be silly” was her response. Eight weeks on, I touched down in Kyushu to begin my new job as an English teacher. Six years, countless challenges, and too many “is this really a suitable life for a 20-something Scot” days later, here I am typing my story, excited to think I have something valuable to share, though mindful that the transferable skill applied most often throughout my journey has been “a sense of curiosity”, a.k.a “not being afraid to ask”. I landed in Japan at the end of 2003 with little more than a sense of adventure and an open mind. I had no professional experience to speak of, no career anchors, and no husband with an expat position. I was going it alone. My only “policy” was to say yes to (almost) everything that came my way and be ready when opportunity knocked. So, that is what I did. I soon found myself caught up in a social and cultural whirlwind, eating out with students and colleagues most evenings and exploring Kyushu with local Japanese at weekends. Although teaching was never where my heart lay, the whole eikaiwa experience gave me real insight into Japan – its people, its work practices and its emphasis on ‘nominication’ (if this is the first time you’ve heard this word, be sure to put it in your vocabulary book, as it may well be the greatest weapon in your job-hunting arsenal). After 18 jam-packed months I cornered our regional HR manager at a social event and explained my desire to move on from the classroom. He gave me what some might say was an unusual response: “Perfect, how about becoming a substitute teacher?” Never one to turn down a challenge (polite speak for “crazy job, often said to reduce grown men to tears”), I jumped at the chance. 51 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development The new role allowed me to tear around western Japan, from Hiroshima to Okinawa, making new contacts and sniffing out new skills by the day - useful skills such as how to recruit and motivate cross-cultural teams, as well as not-so-useful skills like how to pour drinks so that people swear you’re bilingual. A year into the job I was physically and mentally exhausted. Sure, it was fun being on the road, but there was something unsettling about meeting new colleagues and securing new students every day (and night) of the week. So, from a hotel room in Naha, I called our new HR manager to tell him that I needed a change. With 365 days of troubleshooting behind me, during each of which I’d worked hard to learn as much as I could about the company and its people, I felt I was in a position to ask for more responsibility within a specialized area. Two and a half months later, I flew to Tokyo to become the “Executive Assistant to the President’s Office” - a great job title for which, as a genki foreign girl with a growing interest in global communications, I was perfectly suited. The job was exciting. Every other month, I had to hop on and off planes to meet overseas clients and personnel, to excel in my main “strength” – being an English speaker who could help demystify the business practices of a Japanese company. For 18 months, I worked hard to create value for the organization by connecting individuals, departments and regions with the information and resources they needed to become more engaged with their work. Most importantly perhaps, during that time, I taught myself the basics of graphic design – a transferable skill that allowed me to present corporate information in a much more dynamic way, via the internet and company-wide seminars. Then, something told me I was ready for the next step. Just as at the start of my journey to Japan, that “something” was a newspaper (well, actually, it was “Metropolis”, but please grant me some artistic license here). This time, the advertisement was for the 2008 FEW Career Strategy Seminar. Although I knew I ticked the first and last boxes set out by the “FEW” acronym, I was intrigued by what it was exactly that “executive” women were doing in Tokyo. So, I reserved my space and showed up at Temple University, notepad and biro in hand, with little idea of what was in store for me. Once there, I listened carefully to every presentation, took notes, asked questions, gathered business cards like a mad thing, and talked to as many people as I could. My follow-up mission was to email each and every one of the 22 women I’d spoken with, to thank them for their time and to find out more about their lives and careers in Japan. The seminar changed my life. One week later, my soon-to-be manager replied, wondering if I would be interested in some occasional work as an interviewer on her global management education program (at this first juncture she said that she thought I was inquisitive – later she explained it was my nosiness that got me a foot in the door!). From there, the big ball of my current career in media started rolling. Two years on and I’m still working for that very same organization, but am now producing an online English culture program for Japanese people living around the world. The job allows me to, among other things, use my interpersonal and information gathering skills to secure guests and lead a team, as well as utilize my knowledge of graphic design and explore my newfound passion for digital media. It is a perfect fit for me. Looking back, I feel that I have not done anything particularly exceptional during my time in Japan, except asked for opportunities, thrown myself into every subsequent chance that came my way and attempted to emerge smiling, ready for the next one. In large part, it’s a sense of curiosity that has led me down roads that I otherwise would not have travelled, and brought me into contact with people I otherwise would not have met. There have been many bumps in those roads, but, more often than not, the hardest times were what gave me the motivation to speak up, ask questions, and / or get ready for a change in location or circumstance. For me, curiosity is the greatest energizer – a force that can mobilize and open up a whole new world of adventures. In fact, so highly do I rate this quality that, when the time comes for me to take the next step in my career, my résumé may well cite my biggest asset as “a curious mind”. 52FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Developmententrepreneurial spirit, self-confidence and great ideas. Staying in Your Own Field A great number of non-Japanese-speaking foreignIf you don’t have a working or other valid visa but can women in Japan find positions within their own field.provide evidence of your income and client base, you It might take them some time - maybe in the regioncan apply for self-sponsorship. Check with of six to twelve months - but what these women haveimmigration or use the services of one of the many in common is a strong desire to continue with avisa support law firms to support you in this process. chosen career-path – and a belief that it is possible. Here are some tips for pursuing your career in Japan:Always check with a tax advisor. If you have legalrevenues in Japan you will have to pay taxes. And as Ÿ Start early. Your job search can start in your hometax treaties differ from country to country, it is country while you are preparing for your move.advisable to research the possible consequences of Contact firms that have operations in Japan; talkyour self-employment in your own country. Setting to your current employer and see if they areup a legal entity in Japan, even if you do not yet have interested in you representing them in Japan; lookincome, could have benefits for future tax exemptions. for Japanese firms that have international projects in or outside of Japan; contact the JapanIt is slowly becoming a viable option to start your own subsidiaries of foreign-capital firms in your fieldbusiness in Japan, but there is still a lot of red tape, and find out if they have an interest in hiring annot to mention cost, involved. The regulations international liaison. Significantly, some firms mayregarding entrepreneurship and starting a business be interested in hiring you as a replacement of ancan be found at the Japan External Trade expensive expatriate. A general piece of advice isOrganization’s website. (See also the section on to decide upon your unique value as anentrepreneurship under the “Careers in Focus” international person and sell this value to thesection of this Guide.) companies you are targeting. Ÿ Do not rely on job advertisements alone. UnlikeRecommended Resources in some countries, jobs do not have to be advertised in Japan. This is the country of hiddenTokyo Business Entry Point positions - and positions that are not even thoughthttp://www.tokyo-business.jp/eng/index.html of yet! So you have to seek out these hidden posts. Networking is key. Do your research and meet asEntrepreneur Association of Tokyo many people as you can. Be bold and ask forhttp://www.ea-tokyo.com introductions. In general you will find people are helpful, willing to share their knowledge and toJMEC program refer you on to other contacts.http://www.jmec.gr.jp/about-jmec Ÿ Appreciate the culture. You may think you can identify a Japanese company just by its name orJapan tax information where it’s registered. But what really defines ahttp://www.worldwide-tax.com/japan/japan_tax.asp company Japanese is its corporate culture. This means that even the Japan subsidiary of a foreignJETRO firm may in effect be run like a traditionalhttp://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/setting_up/. Japanese company. Working under a Japanese boss with primarily Japanese teammates in aVenture Japan Japanese corporate culture can be anhttp://www.venturejapan.com/index.htm overwhelming experience with lots of unknowns, frustrations and surprises. But at the same time itEnglish-language discussion forum for entrepreneurs can also be an extremely enriching experience.in Japan You will learn new perspectives on businesshttp://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=smallbizja behavior, be able to add your own uniquepan international value, and get on-the-job cross- cultural training free of charge. Ÿ Work on communication. Language is often a major stumbling block for foreign employees in 53 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development Japan. Although most Japanese study English for to a highly-structured work environment may find at least six years at junior and senior high school, it difficult to adjust to a Japanese style company, the teaching is mainly geared toward reading and “but if you are a motivated person, self-starter writing, which leaves many of them nervous and and not a person who gives up easily, a Japanese reluctant to talk. Be aware of this, and be company can give you many considerate. Talk slowly and use simple sentences. opportunities”. Communication isn’t just about language: a Ÿ Be patient. Many foreigners feel limited by willingness to communicate is most important of Japanese firms. Their efforts to introduce new all. It is interesting to note that many foreign business methods are rejected on the basis that women feel they have an advantage over foreign “this Japan – we don’t do things that way here”. men in this respect, because they’re often viewed Still, just as every person is different, every as being less threatening and more open, so company is different, so there are also those firms Japanese feel more comfortable talking to and who welcome the opinion and experience of working with them. Even so, if you have a very foreigners. In any case, what you do is not nearly direct style of communication, you may find that as important as how you do it. Playing the game Japanese will respond better to you if you soften the Japanese way, by creating consensus and this tendency a little. gaining trust, is often the best way to proceed. Ÿ Think about the group. Considering how Ÿ Accept that there will be challenges. A foreign important it is in Japan to be accepted as part of woman who has worked at two Japanese firms the group, it’s a good idea to take the time to says she feels that getting her voice heard by cultivate a sense of unity and harmony with your management in Japanese company is hard: coworkers. Sometimes, a coworker’s reluctance “Officially, there probably aren’t many more to get along with you may really have very little hierarchical levels than in foreign firms, but in to do with you at all, but instead stem from a effect there are more gatekeepers that can often difference in perspective. From the traditional, but prevent you from getting your opinion across. fading, Japanese viewpoint of lifetime Japanese employees tend to predict how their line employment, local employees can be suspicious managers will react to ideas and discourage those of foreigners and view them as short-term they think will not be well accepted. We, as employees who will probably leave Japan before foreigners, are not used to employing this kind of too long. Hand in hand with this belief goes the intuition in work relationships”. notion that giving foreigners responsibilities and Ÿ Be aware of gender divisions. Many Japanese benefits based on the same long-term plan as firms still have strict gender divisions. However, if Japanese employees is not the best approach the company is willing to hire you — a foreign either for them or the firm. On top of this, woman — in a key position, this is likely not the foreigners are often employed for their skills in case. The inertia of old cultural values may be all the short-term rather than their potential for that’s really keeping those gender values in place. long-term dedication to the company – this may Ÿ Sometimes, admit defeat. The new language, mean that they are viewed as being separate from culture and social rules with which you are the group. Don’t take any of this personally. Just confronted in Japan make it harder to get a handle slowly, and sincerely, prove your worth. on the nature of a potential employer. And those Ÿ Write your own plan. It may be that a job extra variables that you can’t understand mean description does not exist when you are hired for that working here may indeed be tougher than in a Japanese company. A FEW member explains: your home country. Don’t be afraid to throw in “When you first get hired, and start in the the towel if a work environment is just too company, you may have a project or two, or stressful and is causing harm to your health — it sometimes you may not. Basically it is up to you doesn’t mean that you’ve failed; it just means that to learn about the company and the industry and you’ve learned something and it’s time to move figure out what you want to do or what you think on to another opportunity. you can do, and try to move yourself in that direction. If you are successful, the company will support you”. For that reason, she suggests that people accustomed 54FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career DevelopmentDONT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?THEN KNOW WHAT YOU DONT WANT TO DO!by Ai UchidaGrowing up, I wanted to be a rock star.In a Seattle high school during the height of the grunge-rock music scene, I wanted nothing more than tobe in a band. From the moment I began singing in public I couldnt stop. I tried a little bit of everything:from garage bands to the Seattle Symphony Chorale, from singing a cappella at college to crooning bossanova at bars. I felt like nothing could stop me. During a year of study abroad in Tokyo, a couple of friendsand I made a demo and circulated it around some record labels. One company showed interest and, muchto the horror of my family and friends back home, I decided to quit college and pursue my dream – I wasgoing to be a rock star.My twenties were busy. Our band scored a gig as the house band at one of the biggest all-night clubs inTokyo. Then someone who knew someone (who knew someone who knew someone) at a record labelinvited us to enter a song-writing competition. Much to our surprise, both songs we submitted werecommissioned to be sung by a Japanese pop singer. From there, the catalogue of musicians and singerswe collaborated with expanded by the year. We wrote and sang songs for commercials and composedtheme music for dramas; our venues changed from smoky bars at two in the morning to corporatereceptions for BMW. We were on MTV, signed with an overseas label, and worked with the best namesin Japan and the US. While I was no Madonna, I made a living singing—heck, I was a rock star!Then one day I got an offer to sign with one of the biggest record labels in Tokyo. Exactly what I wanted!Or so I thought. But, after reading the fine print on the contract, specifying that we should compose asong – though not necessarily be the ones to perform it - almost every day, I realized that it wasnt.The problem was: I didnt know what it was that I wanted. I badly needed direction. So, I sat down andwrote of list of things I didn’t want. I knew I didnt want to give up the freedom of writing and makingmusic on my own terms, and I knew that I didn’t want to be under pressure to write songs for other people.So, along with one of my band mates, I took the plunge and started a small production company and recordlabel in Tokyo, managing other bands in the city. It took a while for us to be recognized, but eventuallywe struck a deal to become a national distributor for an indie music label. We soon moved into the domainof digital music and expanded our networks into the worlds of video and web production. However, aftera few years, I stepped back and asked myself if I was really doing what I wanted. Well, was I? I just didntknow.Around the same time, my business partner and I began arguing about company direction and I was forcedto admit to myself that I was having trouble steering things toward what I’d envisioned. I wanted to placemore emphasis on the business side of our operations – collaborating with event organizers, becominginvolved with community projects, introducing Japanese clients to foreign businesses in Tokyo (and viceversa); my partner was interested in pursuing our direction as a production house. As the lesserstakeholder, I decided it was time for me to go.I had no idea what to do, or even what I could do in Tokyo. So, again I sat down and listed my “didntwants”. As before, I didnt want to be in the music industry if I was writing songs for other people and Ididnt want to be singing if I wasnt achieving a certain level of success. I also didnt want to find myselffighting with business partners on a daily basis and I didn’t want to be restricted to one area of business.So, in order to get a grasp on how a large corporation made and moved its money, I decided that I would,at last, become an employee! Because I was looking to build up my resume now, I knew the company 55 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development you have mastered the basics of how to organize would ideally be well-known and Japanese. By a yourself, a new country will only offer fresh stroke of fate, I received notice from my singing opportunities. The simplest form of freelancing is to agency that Japans national broadcaster was hiring offer a service such as my own for example, or in for their newly launched English channel. The job graphic design, fitness instruction, teaching, was creative and in an area that I loved: television. translation, business and IT consultancy etc. You know I jumped at the chance and quickly buried myself your skills: think about whether you can sell them neck-deep in a brand new world called "being an from home. employee". Lo and behold, I loved every minute of it. In six months I will start my third year at NHK. Freelancing, however, is not for everyone. With freedom from a boss comes responsibility to a client. I’ve learned that my goals are always evolving. Working from home does not mean being less That’s why every year, I evaluate where I am and professional. where Im headed—and where I don’t want to be—by making a list of dont wants’ right alongside Ÿ You must be well organized: if you are to meet my list of ‘wants.’ Both sides of this coin are just as your deadlines, your family must understand that conducive when searching for the next stage in life. you have a job to do. I think it is vital to have And I find it’s often the dont wants which are dedicated workspace, preferably a room of your easier to identify and act upon. own (but in Tokyo, I know, that isn’t always possible), so that you are ready to start orIt’s Good to be Me – a Freelancer continue a project without having to searchSusan E Gittins around for your papers and files. Ÿ You must be a good time-manager: after all it isIf you have come to Japan accompanying your spouse, time you are selling. Generally, I have found thatthe chances are that the two of you made the decision working from home without the distractions ofto move based on your not having to earn an income. people popping into your office for a chat meantThis is a very pleasant position to be in. You are free that I could do my usual day’s work in literallyto enjoy Japan, spend more time with your children hours less.if you have them and even join your partner on trips Ÿ You must be able to communicate well: in additionto all the exciting countries close by. Frankly, who to technical skills appropriate to your intendedwould want to give up such freedom? “It’s good to be working area, your most important skill is theme” as one of my friends puts it. ability to sell your services to many different potential clients.However, perhaps you would like to earn somemoney, to stay connected in the business world or to Generally working from home on a computer willkeep your skills up-to-date while not sacrificing all the create no problems with your landlord. If, however,joys of your new lifestyle. If so, freelancing from home you expect to receive large deliveries or have frequentcould well be your answer. Flexible working allows business visitors, such as students for instruction, oryou to design your own day, week and month. You do anything that is obviously non-residential you mustdecide how much work you want to take on and when check the terms of your lease.you want to do it. So, you can schedule in meeting thechildren from school, visiting a shrine and spending a Getting a permitlong weekend in Bangkok. If you are here accompanying your spouse, you need to apply for permission ‘to engage in activity otherThere are many areas in which you can freelance. I than that permitted by the status of residencework as a freelance copywriter, editor and proof- previously granted’. You can download a simplereader and have worked from home in my native 1-page application form in English atEngland and for eight years in Singapore, and am now www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-8-1.pdf.in the process of starting again in Japan. As can be Complete this form and take it to the Immigrationseen from this, freelancing is a very portable business Office along with your passport and alien registrationand if you are likely to be moving from country to card. Unless you aim to arrive there at the start ofcountry it is a good way to keep on working. And, once business, take a book as you could be waiting for 2-3 56FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Developmenthours because of the sheer number of people beingdealt with. The application itself only takes a matter If you are offering a service you should have littleof minutes to process and you’ll be asked to fill in a financial outlay other than ‘wear and tear’postcard with your address which will be sent to you (depreciation) of any equipment you are using in thewithin 2-3 weeks telling you when you can collect your course of your business. If you need to buy anythingpermit. This requires another visit to the Immigration specifically for a client’s project, which you intend toOffice but this time it will not be such a long wait. bill to that client, insist that they pay for it upfront orThere’s nothing to pay for this permit. buy it themselves. This reduces your financial risk if you do get a defaulter. The most you will lose is yourGetting work time.You could be offered project work with manyindividual clients or find contract work on a retainer Taxable income is your earnings minus your expensesbasis with one or two clients, or a mixture of the two. i.e. the cost of doing business. You must keep receiptsSo, how to find those clients? Prepare a document for everything you intend to claim for. I set up a simpledetailing your skills and experience and post it online spreadsheet on my computer, which itemizes myon whatever job sites, such as www.being-a- expenditure in terms of travel costs, office expenses,broad.com, you can find. Have business cards printed business entertainment etc., and my income, andin English and Japanese. Join networking groups such update it on a weekly basis. I also separate my receiptsas FEW and take advantage of all your friends, your into envelopes on the same basis and clip themspouse’s business associates and everyone you meet together in date order. My invoices are numbered andto promote what you are doing. It is all about I keep copies in three folders according to whethernetworking in Japan but don’t neglect such obvious they have been paid, are due/overdue for paymentactions as checking the careers adverts in the Japan or are not yet due. Before you start work with a newTimes. www.anyworkanywhere.com/jcg_jp.html has client establish what their payment terms are – somelinks to Japanese sites, newspapers and career guides. companies may not normally pay invoices for as long as three months so try to negotiate a shorter periodBe patient. It may take some months for the first paid for yourself as a self-employed person. Get this inwork to arrive but hopefully you’ll find that one writing. Invoice promptly and follow up insistently ifcontract will lead to another as people pass on your payment is not made by the due date. In over 12 yearsname and skills. After just one year in Singapore I of freelancing I have never had a client not pay at allnever actively sought work for the next seven years but many were, to put it mildly, reluctant payees andas my name was passed around by word of mouth. I heard every version of “the check is in the post”.In the meantime (and even thereafter), consider some As a freelancer you do not need to register a businessvoluntary work where you can use your skills. This is or a business name, and payment can be madenot only a highly worthwhile thing to do but will also directly to you. Whether you set up a separate bankprovide you with a new set of networking account so as to keep this money apart from youropportunities. other finances is a matter of choice. I had a separate account in England but not in Singapore.Getting paidSo how much should you charge? It’s important to Getting taxedresearch what someone with your experience and The income tax rate for an individual in Japan isskills could expect to be paid if working full-time in currently from 5% up to 40%, plus 6% municipal taxJapan. Your hourly rate should then be more, by about and 4% prefectural tax. So, please bear this in mind40%, than the hourly rate of a permanent employee before you head off to the shops with your firstto cover the lack of benefits and bonus. I find it best freelance payment. I usually set aside one-third ofto base my fees on an hourly rate and assess how long each payment for tax and then, after final settlement,a project should take and then quote accordingly. It’s enjoy what is left as an almost unexpected bonus.easy to underestimate how long you will spend doingsomething so be honest with yourself. Also, keep track A self-employed person is obliged to report and payof how long a project does take you, and adjust your tax each year for the calendar year ending onnext quotes if necessary. December 31st. If you are already in the system, you 57 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Developmentwill get your package in the mail. If you are not in the 3. Raising money for nonprofit organizations -system, you must go to the tax office that handles supporting Japan-based nonprofitsyour area of residency in February to get a final Many of the organizations FEW supports work withincome tax return form. The tax office offers guidance women and vulnerable populations.to those who do not know how to fill this out. Themunicipal office in your area of residency will receive To help facilitate our work, FEW has been publishingnotice of the total amount of income tax paid by you, a Volunteering Directory since 1995 for those who areand will then send you a separate request for payment interested in volunteering in the Tokyo Area. Whenof the local tax. For more information, an ‘Income Tax Anita first arrived in Japan she started to volunteerGuide for Foreigners’ can be downloaded from and she found the vacancies through the FEWwww.nta.go.jp/foreign_language/index.htm Community Service Directory. “I would definitely recommend that newcomers try to perform someThe appeal of becoming a freelancer is to have the volunteer work in Japan. There is so much to do here,freedom to create your own life/work balance. In and it is a great way to meet people you otherwiseaddition, there are: no office politics; no having to would not meet - and to practice your Japanese”.work with or for someone you dislike; no time wastedon commuting. Even at work, it can still be good to be The 2010 edition, now called the FEW Community Service Directory, available online from April 2010,you! lists a wide array of organizations and provides information on all aspects of volunteering. For the firstVolunteer Work time, it also lists ideas for other types of community engagement projects. If you do not plan to work full-time in Japan,volunteering is a great way to share your skills and tolearn about your new cultural environment. It is worth Volunteering and community service is a serious ded- ication of time and effort, and one should expect tobearing in mind that doing volunteer work in Japancan facilitate the creation of larger networks for job Ÿ Share skills and ideashunting and, sometimes, directly to a job itself. Ÿ Learn about an organization’s priorities and needs Ÿ Be open to learning new thingsCommunity service and Volunteer Work Ÿ Follow through on commitmentsCommunity service is an option worth considering for But that does not mean that volunteering is not funpeople who want to get more involved locally and or that it does not bring benefits to volunteers! Sincemake a difference in people’s lives. Whether you work there are few paid positions in non-profits in Japan,full-time, part-time or are just getting used to living often the people selected for these positions are thein Japan, community service provides you with many volunteers who have worked hard on successfulnew opportunities to meet new people, learn new projects in the past. It’s also not unusual forskills and hone others. volunteering work to lead to other job contacts.In Japan, as in many other countries there are manycommunity based and international non-profit Your new social circle should also provide you withorganizations in need of volunteers. Becoming active many new opportunities to enjoy your life in Japan.is a great way to be part of your local community. Whether it be relishing the celebration of a project well done or enjoying the monthly volunteer nomikai,FEW and its Community Service Committee has for you are sure to make new friends who care aboutthe past decade served the Tokyo community at largeand enabled FEW members to explore and utilize their similar social concerns.skills for the benefit of others. Its mission is toorganize, support and facilitate community-based, FEW’s Community Service Directory has informationnonprofit and charitable activities in the Tokyo area. on charitable organizations and tips for those of you just getting started in community service. For moreThe committee has focused it activities on 3 areas: information, visit the FEW community Service pages: 1. Promotion of volunteering and community engagement programs http://www.fewjapan.com/index.php/commservice/ 2. Awareness raising of key issues both locally faq and internationally 58FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career DevelopmentFreelancing in the nonprofit NGO SectorWritten by Sarajean RossittoI worked for 6 years at the Tokyo YMCA and, from 2001, I was hired by Katsuji Imata, the founder anddirector of JUCEE (Japan-US Community Education and Exchange) to do graduate research on thevolunteering development of Japanese NGOs, my real beginning in the Japanese nonprofit NGO sector.For close to 4 years I coordinated US-Japan nonprofit collaborative projects. During that time, I traveledfrom Sendai to Hiroshima speaking to nonprofit leaders and giving presentations. I also supported leadersin the US and Japanese nonprofit sector in their efforts to work together to bring about social change whilesharing know-how and best practices. Using that experience as a base, since 2005, I have been working asa freelancer in the non-profit sector, on a project basis.My work is currently concentrated in 5 areas. Firstly in the area of organizational capacity development, Irun various skills development workshops and trainings aimed at professionals working in communitybased organizations as well as larger nonprofit NGOs. Secondly, for the general public, I give presentationsto a wide array of audiences on social issues and the nonprofit organizations tackling them. Thirdly, I doproject development and support work by linking people and organizations groups overseas to those here,as well as develop corporate-community partnerships. . I have also done some publication development- writing and editing articles about the Japanese nonprofit NGO sector. Lastly, I arranging networking andinformation sharing opportunities several times years for nonprofits and people who want to get moreinvolved.I started doing this work without having a big plan and actually only have one year experience in the forprofit sector – I worked in the fashion business while studying theatre. However, I have always beensurrounded by community involvement though. My parents were active in various groups related toeducation, health and poverty. Acting when there was a disaster or collecting toys every year at Christmaswas a given in my childhood. One of my earliest memories was making “charity kid boxes” in the secondgrade when each child was to prepare a box of goods for another kid in a developing country completewith socks, soap, pencils, school tablets and other necessities. Many of us tried to send chocolates orcandies but then learned from our teachers why this would not be appropriate.This was not, however, what inspired my career. I went to university to study drama and was inspired byNelson Mandela. I then changed my major to social movement theory. In the 1980’s I was inspired by AIDSactivists and then in 1989 by those in Tiananmen Square. My first real job as a community organizer witha crazy schedule traveling throughout the State of New York developed out of my student activist daysand led me to where I am.Where I have ended up isSince then everything has developed based on my passion, experience, knowledgeand work ethic. Since I am terribly independent and like an irregular schedule, working freelance is suitedto me, but it is not for everyone. There are very busy days and very slow weeks.Ideas to shareTo build a career in the Japanese nonprofit NGO you must do your research and understand both the issuesand context. No matter what your experience somewhere else, that is not enough. You needCommunication skills are only one of the necessary skill sets.But there are many ways to contribute. The level of participation has a lot to do with your interests, skillsand availability. You can give as much or as little as you choose. 1. Join and learn: Find out what is going on, improve your skills and join a variety of events and workshops: 59 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development 2. Volunteer: Commit some time to particular cause and a particular organizations by giving your time: 3. Support in your own way: through your school, a group you are involved in or with friends, select a project or group to do something for 4. Collaborate: Through your work place develop a community service program To be an effective supporter, volunteer or intern, we must understand organizational goals and needs, not just our own interests and goals. I tell everyone who asks me about getting a job here, “start small and commit yourself”. Groups are often faced with volunteers who do not follow through. Find an area in which you are interested and develop useful skill sets for groups doing that work. In my mind the most useful skills (besides language of course!) are media, outreach, strategic planning and communications. By volunteering, you show how committed you are while also developing skills and building your own specialization. It requires an investment of time to do the research and networking but once you discover the options available, I am sure most people can discover a group that matches their interest. You can also just use your own network and associations to promote organizations and causes to which you are driven. It is possible to make some small efforts that will have a positive impact on both organizations here in Japan and the people they serve whether they be local or global. It can be as simple as selecting a project and developing a simple event around what they do. Community groups are always looking for new outreach opportunities so invite organizational leaders to give a talk to your members. By promoting organizations and causes to your network or organizations you are helping them enlist new supporters and enhance the understanding of issues by the people in your group. You can contribute in a meaningful way to the local community by creating volunteer committee or study group at your work place. Nothing needs to be created from scratch. Collaboration is undoubtedly important for capacity development of the sector in Japan; nonprofits want not just financial support but resource sharing. Regular professional volunteers bringing know-how to achieve organizational goals have a deeper impact than once-a-year coporate volunteer-days. If done effectively this will result in organizational capacity development, corporate team building, community engagement and a duo awareness-raising. Besides all of the ideas and reasons listed above – it feels good to help others. With all the problems in the world, it is satisfying to know that in our own way we have made a contribution to solving social ills. So, taking on the responsibility and following through is the key. Good intentions and a pure heart are not enough. Whether as an individual or group, whether you volunteer for one party, help one day a week doing mailings or decide to hold a home party to benefit people recovering from an earthquake, the key thing is to do what you promised. It might not be a paid job but their are people in need and not showing up not only hurts an organization but hurts the persons – people living with AIDS, bullied youth or DV survivors – we say we are interested in supporting. Now is your chance to get involved and take pride in your social contribution. Sarajean Rossitto is a Tokyo based independent consultant working on nonprofit NGO capacity development who believes you can make the world a better place. Find out more at http://sarajeanr.wordpress.com/ 60FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career DevelopmentCareer Management exploring. Stay up-to-date with the latest information that affects your job and organization, whether it beManaging Your Career technology, team management or task-handlingThe good news is that whether or not your career techniques. By staying efficient and up to date with the latest news, you will not only expand your skill set,remains interesting and fulfilling is entirely up to you!It is true that, sometimes, having to be your own but bring fresh innovation to your job andcareer counselor can sound like a lot of work. But organization tookeeping your career on track – or putting it back oncourse - may not require a complete overhaul: a little To help you maximize your professional development:adjustment may be all that’s needed. The followinginformation may help you identify what needs to be 1. Recognize your strengthsrevised in your current circumstances. 2. Know you weaknesses 3. Learn from successes and failuresUnderstanding Job Cycles 4. Set realistic learning goalsWorking in the “real world” has probably helped 5. Enlist coaches/mentorsredefine what you want in a job. Perhaps your current 6. Seek feedback from multiple sources and willinglyposition or career doesn’t hold your interest anymore, accept feedbackor maybe you feel like you’ve “done it all”, and want 7. Ask questions to ensure understandingto explore your options. Maybe you don’t know what 8. Be receptive to diverse idesyour ideal job is, but you think your current position 9. Take responsibility for your ongoing learningisn’t it. Your focus should be to figure out your nextstep – whether it be a new job, career, or even a minor Since your boss will likely have a great deal ofchange within your current work situation. information about how your organization works, try turning to him or her for support. Try these ideas:Understanding Organization Culture – ManagingWork Issues 1. Ask for an appointment to discuss your career.Are you reporting to the right people? Are you voicing Don’t just wait until your performance evaluation.concerns, ideas, and progress to the proper 2. Take responsibility. Make it clear that you expectdepartment or individuals? Is redundancy a problem? to manage your own career and aren’t dumpingIf you manage a team, is it efficient, or do your team your development in the lap of your boss.members have problems finding the answers to the 3. Get to know him or her. Ask, “How did youquestions above? Organizational culture is more than accomplish….?” “What have been the keyjust who reports to who – it involves dress code, ingredients in your success?”scheduling flexibility, mandatory events, company 4. Be prepared. Have two or three specific ideaspicnics, and professional and personal relationships about what you want, where you want to go andin the organization. In other words, it is knowing what how your boss might help. Try to focus on at leastmakes your organization’s work environment tick. one area that will enhance your performance in your current job.Maintaining Balance 5. Ask for advice. Ask, “How can I get experience inDo you know where to set your priorities between other areas?”home, work and personal life? What is the balance 6. Make your boss a partner. Ask, “Is there a way forbetween a happy home life and earning an income to us to achieve that?”support that life? Maintaining a balance allows you to 7. Request feedback. Ask, “What are two or threeapply the right amount of energy to the correct pieces things I need to learn or improve?”of your life. Figure out how to maintain this balance 8. Ask for suggestions. Ask, “Can you give me awithout a job change, or if you are willing, make a suggestion or two about how to go about that?”job/career change that better suits your lifestyle. 9. Give him or her crystal ball. Ask where he or she sees the organization – especially in areas you’reProfessional Development interested in – going in the next five years.Explore your work environment and learn more about 10. Enlist support for development activities.your fields by discovering what methods people in Determine what time and money are available.your position practice and what areas they are 61 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development Create your annual development plan and get his 11. Point out what you’re doing. Show that you’re or her commitment. following through on his or her suggestions and advice.Keep Moving and Track your Progress language and culture but to the other gaijin I foundBy Rachel Ferguson myself surrounded by. I felt like a small-town girl thrust into New York thrust into Tokyo. It was aI have kept a personal diary for about ten years. I view challenge even to find my feet in ex-pat circles.my journal writing as a way of being able to learnabout who I am. Because we human beings are I had always dreamed of having a career in broadcastnaturally biased and have very selective memories, media but never thought of it as a serious possibility.it’s often hard to be objective. I find that by reading In the Scotland I grew up in, if you’re talking aboutback through old diary entries I can view myself from dreams you’re talking about football. Repressedthe outside and recognize weaknesses, tendencies, ambition was something I struggled with for a longand patterns of behaviour. I think that, during my time time and then just accepted. Similarly, when I arrivedin Japan, this perspective has helped me to make in Japan I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldbetter decisions about my life, my relationships with never be capable of living outside of the convenienceother people, and my career. and safety of the eikaiwa web and would not in a million years get a handle on the local language. ButMy career path in Japan, the short version: I underestimated myself.Year one: full-time English instructor for NovaYear two: editor and writer for a small free paper and My life and career began to take a different turnfreelance English teacher when, in 2006, I started using my journal to writeYear three: part-time newsreader for NHK World TV, down my thoughts and, more significantly, set goalsfreelance English teacher, narrator and singer for myself. Not life ambitions - those I could not yetYear four: full-time weather anchor for NHK World TV, articulate – but smaller, more manageable targets. Ifreelance narrator and singer started small with yearly goals (move out of teaching;Year five: full-time weather anchor for NHK World TV, see my name in print) then biannual goals (findpart-time MA student (Japanese Language and enough narration and singing work to make up half ofSociology) my income; contact free English magazines). By breaking down the bigger goals into monthly (visit oneFrom the above, some may see a swift progression agency; create package of writing samples) andthat was carefully planned and executed. Others may weekly tasks (gather contact info for three agencies;imagine that I have been very lucky. I would say that pick up free magazines from bars and restaurants), Iboth assumptions are somewhat true. I attribute my found myself with something more akin to a to-do listsuccesses in Japan to a mixture of opportunity and than a wish list. It seemed more reasonable to expecttenacity. I had no idea, waving goodbye to my parents of myself these smaller wins.at the airport in 2005, that a few years later theywould be watching me on TV every day. I landed in I do not always meet all of the personal deadlines onJapan on a whim almost five years ago. While my to-do list, but thats ok. I just roll them forwarddespondently surfing graduate websites in Scotland, onto the next page and I try again. When I reach alooking for something interesting to do with my shiny target, I raise the bar and set a new one. In Japan wenew literature degree, I took five minutes to respond all lead very busy lives, but being busy is not the sameto a call for English teachers. A few months later I was as being productive. If I feel I havent been productivespending eight hours a day in a cubicle working for a for a time, I can read through my diary entries andmassive corporation on the periphery of the daunting investigate the cause. I truly believe that the successesurban sprawl that is Tokyo. It was depressing and I during my time in Japan can be traced back to thiswas very sad. system of self-supervision. When I look at my diaries from the past five years I can see the evidence in blackI had ideas about what I wanted to do but they didn’t and white. My advice to anyone looking to find herseem realistic. Everything was so foreign - and by this way in Japan would be break down your goals, keepI’m not referring just to the indecipherable Japanese moving and monitor your progress. 62FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development12. Say thank you. Let your boss know how much you Japan Market Expansion Competition appreciate his or her support, guidance and help, By Tanja Bach and how much you look forward to future conversations. Are you looking for a way to enhance your business skills, learn more about business in Japan and expand your professional network? The Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) offers you all of the above and the chance to win fabulous prizes. Five years ago, I was contemplating the idea of running my own business. I had a lot of ideas but really no clue where to start. That is when I came across the JMEC program. JMEC is an annual program with two main objectives. It is a practical training program for young executives working in Japan, and a business resource for companies planning to enter the Japanese market. Individuals attend lectures given in English by local business leaders and work on projects for participating client companies. This was just what I was looking for – an opportunity to build a wider network of professionals in various industries as well as the chance to learn what is necessary to build a successful business in Japan. I was able to gain all this without risking my own finances, because I was writing a business plan for someone else. Global Education By Lisa Chung Lisa Chung, Programme Manager at the Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Business, has been in Japan for 8 years. Here, she explains how her passion for education and travel have led her to her dream job. Curiosity about the discoveries awaiting outside my hometown led me to venture to the UK capital, London, and study for my undergraduate degree at a university that permitted a 3 year sojourn in France, a double degree, one from each country, as well as the opportunity to work in Hong Kong. I dreamt of living in the Big Apple after graduation, but instead accepted a job in Hong Kong due to its promise of a posting overseas, to Japan within 2 years. The prospect of exposure to life in another foreign country was exciting. After 3 years with that company - including 1 year in Tokyo, where I helped establish the Japan subsidiary - I felt the need to leave the start-up environment and receive more formal training from a large corporation. This resulted in my reentering investment banking – an industry I had previously crossed paths with during internships in Paris and Hong Kong. Despite the generous salary at 27 years old, I was unable to justify to myself it being worth the 80 hour work weeks, or, moreover, the way my soul was yearning for more. And so I left banking. 63 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development Still intrigued by Japan and ready to experience more adventures here, it dawned on me that, should I choose to stay, I would be required to make a major decision between country of abode and rapid career advancement. Common knowledge to all, there is a limitation in Japan to the types of positions foreigners are needed for. Those without Japanese language ability have even less choice. At that time, I had trouble with reading simple restaurant menus, albeit having studied Japanese for 2 years. After weeks of contemplation, juggling thoughts of returning to the UK, France or HK, where I might more easily find rewarding career paths, I decided to follow my instinct, take a chance, and enable myself to eventually find my dream role in Japan. And my dream role was? . . . I had no idea. All I knew was that I wanted to be fluent in Japanese first. I delved into the language, found a school outside of Tokyo, away from my foreign friends, away from English being a possible mode of communication, and embarked on a homestay in Okasaki. I thought, speaking 3 languages already, how difficult could it be to learn Japanese? But, how foolish to imagine 3 months would be sufficient. I thus thereafter headed to Obihiro, Tokachi, in Hokkaido, a town, again, sparse of foreigners, and dug my head in the books for a minimum of 8 hours a day, every day for one year. Six very arduous months in, tears flooded from immense joy when I passed JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) level 2. Was that sufficient study? NO. Too naïve once more. I was far from the level of communication required to find the perfect job in Japan. So JLPT level 1 was to be the next milestone. Funds running out, I returned to Tokyo, and commenced work at an accounting firm. At the same time, I began studying for 2 years on Hitotsubashi Graduate School’s Japanese and business courses and successfully (with the tears again) got JLPT Level 1 in pocket. During my time at Hitotsubashi, I was sometimes bewildered when, upon trips back to England, I met longtime friends who had never left the country and had made huge achievements in their work, and reached management level. I reflected. . . and couldn’t help but compare. Should I have gone back to the UK? What was I chasing here? I had spent the last 3 years pursing my love of language, but lacked a concrete career goal. Staying in accounting was a stable option but my heart wasn’t there. The self-reflection was deprecating but beneficial, nudging me into a thorough analysis into the future direction of my career – and my life. This involved numerous career and personality tests, such as Career Ladder and Myers Briggs. Done properly, these are pretty challenging. You spend hours and hours posing yourself questions with the ultimate goal of creating a match between your personality and your ambitions. The results of the tests are unimportant, what is crucial is the process of self-questioning, self-reflection, and self-understanding. This is where self-enlightenment can occur. I came away from my analysis determined that a marketing role was the next step for me. I continued working for the accounting firm, but also enrolled into Waseda Business School, where I was able to specialize in marketing studies and obtain further fluency in Japanese as well as a professional qualification (MBA). Self-reflection continued . . . which industry would I want to market for? Feeling no particular affection towards luxury brands, nor to FMCGs, I narrowed the selection down to either education or tourism. Both of these were industries which had been, and would be for the foreseeable future, a large part of my life and which I could embrace boundless passion for. 64FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development The annual program begins in autumn with a seriesI started a job search 6 months prior to graduating of business lectures, followed by several months ofand came across an advertisement in The Japan project work in teams. The final results or theTimes for the position I currently hold. I competition are announced and prizes awarded theinterviewed, started upon receiving the offer and following June, but the knowledge gained during thefinished my MBA studies in conjunction. That was program may be the biggest reward for the2.5 years ago. participants.My role at the Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of The most challenging and yet most rewarding part ofBusiness now encompasses project management JMEC for me was the team work writing the actualfor an MBA programme which was created for business plan. Working in multicultural teams of 5-7Japanese people who are aiming for international people with various backgrounds and workcareers and global management positions. The experience, you are guided by a mentor and aprojects I am involved in range from marketing to consultant to help your team to write a realistic andforecasting and budgeting, from production to implementable business plan.curriculum development, and to the hiring ofprofessors. My desire for travel is also fulfilled in I learned a lot during the course of the program. Ithis position. I am actually writing this whilst on a 3 learned the obvious hard skills around writing aweek business trip to our partner institution, Bond business plan, such as market research, how to createUniversity, in Australia, where our students a finance plan, time and project management. Thecomplete their 2 years of study with an intensive information received during the lecture series is stillworkshop. valuable to me today. In addition, I also gained a new appreciation of soft skills around team dynamics,To avoid reaching a plateau in Japanese, I continue leadership and communication. But the biggestto study and sit and re-sit exams – this June I will revelation of it all was what I learned about myself,take the BJT (Business Japanese Test) for the second my working style outside of the office environment,time. my strengths and weaknesses.Most millionaires I have met tell me, “you will never It can be a challenge to balance JMEC obligations withget rich working for someone else”. Although being a full-time job, but the opportunities for networking,rich is far from the first item on my agenda, having the experience of working with your team membersfinancial freedom and the flexibility to work from and the “top-quality” lectures make it a worthwhileany country I so desire would be my paradise. My investment of time and effort.whole family consists of entrepreneurs and I believethat will be the path I also eventually take. In Application Deadline for JMEC17 is October 22, 2010.preparation for that, and to reinforce the Those interested in learning more about the programknowledge acquired during my MBA, I recently are highly encouraged to attend one of theentered JMEC (Japan Market Entry Competition), a information sessions in September and October, 2010.business plan contest held in Tokyo. Much to my The schedule for these sessions will be posted on thesurprise (and to gloat just a little) my team came in JMEC website at www.jmec.gr.jp in July, 2010.2nd place. My next goal is to head to the US to studyfor a DBA or a PhD. For more general information about JMEC, visit www.jmec.gr.jp or contact Assistant Program DirectorThe message to take away from all of this? Tanja Bach at tanja@jmec.gr.jp or (03)5562-1444.Whatever may be worth taking. My motto? Followyour instincts and where your passion lies - for methat was, and still is, education and global exposure. 65 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career DevelopmentContinuing Opportunities TUJ’s Continuing Education department has sinceby Margaret Grant developed relationships with embassies and corporations. There are now close to 300 companies,“Foreign women face a lot of obstacles, but the (including many large multinationals) registered withopportunities in Tokyo are amazing.” the department’s “Friend of TUJ” discount program, which offers a good value discount to students whoseSo says Genie Medrano, Director of Continuing companies are registered. When students sign up forEducation at Temple University Japan. Ms. Medrano courses they are informed about this discount andis herself a wonderful example of a successful foreign asked to pass the word on to their HR managers.woman in Tokyo. She identifies Japanese languageability as a key to her success. A native of the Genie talks to HR managers and conducts studentPhilippines, love first brought her here thirty-four surveys to ascertain needs. She feels that her trainingyears ago. At that time she didn’t speak Japanese and in social work is really coming in to play at last for thehad to rely on her husband to translate for her - but principle behind social work is matching communitythere is only so much time a Japanese salary man can needs with resources (precisely what she is doingdevote to interpreting for his wife. With two children now). At the same time, her masters in Education hasattending Japanese schools, she quickly realised that been invaluable in helping her face the daunting taskif she didn’t speak Japanese her children would suffer, of program development.and so learned the language out of sheer necessity. Teachers in the Continuing Education program areGenie was fresh out of college with a degree in social required to hold a master’s degree or above in thework before coming to Japan. With almost no subject they are to teach. However 10-20 yearsJapanese ability, this was not a career path that was experience working in the field may also beopen to her in Japan. When people started asking her considered equivalent to a master’s degree. Many ofto teach English, she decided to obtain a Masters the teachers are successful executives from thedegree in TESOL at Temple University, Japan Campus industry. They have many tips and tricks of the tradein order to formalize her qualifications. Later, while to share with students, valuable experience that can’tteaching at TUJ, she was offered the position of be found in textbooks. These teachers may also proveLiaison Coordinator for the Extension Programs, as useful contacts. Classmates may also prove usefulthey needed somebody who could deal with both the contacts. Dan Bourque, a young American who isoffice and academic staff - someone bilingual. “It studying magazine and article writing here in order topractically fell on my lap”, she says. From being gain confidence in writing about his passion – gamingcoordinator, she then became assistant director as - was surprised to make a very useful contact in class,the program grew. When Temple University moved a classmate who “has a lot of experience in the gamingfrom Minami Osawa to the present location in Minami field”. As Genie says; “In Continuing Education, youAzabu in 1996, she was asked by the Dean to start the do get to meet people who may be windows ofContinuing Education program. Starting from scratch, opportunity for you”.it is, as they say, her baby. Teachers also learn from their students. Iris Georlette,The Continuing Education Department was little a foreign correspondent for the Israeli press, whoknown at first since TUJ had just moved in the teaches a class on Magazine/Feature Article Writingneighborhood. Then people started to notice lights in the Continuing Education program, says that sheon in the building in the evening and started inquiring teaches in order to get a better understanding of herabout Temple ’s Continuing Education program. News job and finds; “The combination of writing to theof the program soon spread largely through word of media and teaching people to write to the media ismouth as students made referrals to friends and the optimal way to become a better journalist. I getfamily. From 78 students and 15 classes in the first insights. I learn from them as much as they learn fromsemester, the continuing education department has me”. Iris feels that it would be impossible to teachgrown to offer around 900 students about 130 journalism without being a journalist, but finds beingdifferent classes on an annual basis. part of the academic world here at Temple, while also working as a journalist somehow completes the whole. 66FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Career Development solution to an obstacle”. Acquiring some JapaneseStudents in Continuing Education do not earn formal language ability and sensitivity to the culture makesdegrees; they can, however, earn Continuing it easier to overcome such obstacles, and greatlyEducation Units (CEUs) and certificates so long as they enhances work opportunities.complete their course requirements. CEUs areevidence of training and knowledge and Changing the mindset of both Japanese and foreignersare recognized and valued by employers. Students is what Continuing Education is all about. This canalso gain confidence through their studies and some only be achieved by getting both sides together,decide to pursue an MBA or a law degree later on. where they can start experiencing each other and becoming friends with a common goal. There is muchStudents come from diverse backgrounds. Ninety-five to be gained in both camps. Learning at TUJ bringspercent (95%) are working professionals, coming you into contact with people from differentstraight from work in the evening. Sixty-one percent corporations, different countries, different cultures(61% ) are women. Several Ambassadors and and different mindsets. This can be an enriching andmembers of their families have also studied broadening experience. As Charles Hirst, an Americanhere. Company executives, IT professionals, HR who teaches at Keio University ’s Shonan campus andmanagers and English teachers are all represented in travels two and a half hours each way to attend athe student body. Even recruitment agencies send Continuing education class here says; “If you are in atheir clients here to boost their skills and improve company, relationships are limited. Coming here givestheir candidacy in the job market. Over half the you a chance to meet people you wouldn’t normallystudents are non-Japanese, and individuals come from meet, people with different perspectives.”more than 110 different countries. The one thing allthe students have in common is that they are serious Despite the obstacles facing foreign women, theabout academics, work and career. Director of Continuing Education doesn’t feel that she had to do any strenuous ladder climbing to get toThe courses on offer in the Continuing Education where she is today. She feels that people here are veryprogram are as diverse as the student body. There is helpful, and if they feel good about you, they will refera wide array of language courses, professional you to others. Of course, the more skills andprograms in business, law, education, Information knowledge you have, the more willing people will beTechnology, communications and art. The most to refer you. Being open and out there is the key:popular courses at present are; financial accounting, “You have to get out of your shell and improvehuman resources, project management and wine yourself. Then things just come your way, just fall ontasting. As life is not just about career, money and your lap.... Japan is really a land of opportunities”.profit, Genie hopes that through some of the cultureand arts courses available, “students will feel the So, why not crawl out of your shell, and sign up for aspiritual and aesthetic sense that is part of our Continuing Education course at TUJ. Improve yourworld.” Indeed she feels that courses like business skills, meet new people and wait for the opportunitiesnegotiation, teamwork and creative thinking “change that will fall your way soon.the heart as well as the mind”. While these coursesare geared for business, the skills learned can be Margaret Grant is a Student in the Magazine/Featureapplied to family relationships, friendships and life in Article Writing class, Continuing Education program,general. Temple University, Japan CampusMs. Medrano feels that the language barrier, culturaldifferences and the gender imbalance are majorobstacles facing foreign women in Japan. She says thatthe first step towards breaking down these barriersmust be made by the gaijin: “Firstly because she hascome here for a purpose and would like to achievethat purpose. Secondly, because she needs to in orderto survive, and thirdly because she is probably morecomfortable creating dialogue and trying to find a 67 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Financial PlanningA Financial Check-up – Does Your Future Look come after you have paid the rent or mortgage,Healthy? utility bills, and have estimated your living and leisureBy Lisa Gravestock, IFG Asia Limited costs for the month. Because living and leisure costs tend to differ each month, many women do not saveWomen have come a long way in achieving financial because they believe that they will not be able toindependence. But this achievement is typically afford to save in a disciplined manner on a regularaccompanied by great demands on our time, be they basis. To prevent falling into this pattern, split thework or pleasure, resulting in fewer opportunities to investment of your disposable income between shortreview and manage our personal financial planning and long-term goals.objectives. If your situation has changed recently -you’ve just arrived in Japan, are out of work, looking 3. Develop an action planto change jobs, start a new career, or have had a child Once you have a goal and have established what you- it’s vital that you give your financial situation a can afford to invest, think about the timescale overcheck-up and formulate a personal financial planning which you want to achieve it - and be realistic, as thisstrategy. will motivate you to save. Create a time line and mark on it what you want to achieve and by when. Set upFinancial planning is essential to help us to get where a budget and also consider a longer term savingswe want to be, especially when we want to get there strategy as an essential part of your planning. Therein the most efficient way possible. This planning is a crude calculation for the amount you shouldshould be undertaken with the least risk and by using invest for retirement: take your age, divide it by twothe, sometimes limited, resources at hand. As wom- and that is the percentage of your income you shoulden, although we live longer than men, we often re- be setting aside for the longer term. However a moreceive less in retirement benefits, so we should, in accurate calculation can be derived by consultationtheory, be more proactive when it comes to savings with a financial planning professional.and investments. However, many women are guiltyof procrastinating and finding excuses not to save. 4. Put your plan into actionThe question is: can we really afford this type of This is where a financial planner will be able to help.stalling? For example, for every 5 years that you Not only will he or she be able to calculate any short-delay your retirement planning, you may have to falls you may have in achieving your goals, but candouble the amount you save each month to achieve also provide specific investment advice which willthe same retirement pot. enable this to happen.So where do we begin? As with business planning, 5. Monitor your progresspersonal financial planning has a process and review It’s easy to lose track of things once the wheels ofcycle. The fundamental steps of this cycle are listed personal financial planning are set in motion, butbelow. Taken together these steps will assist in over- don’t forget to review your investments. Enlist thecoming the obstacles that prevent many women help of a professional financial planner who canfrom achieving their financial goals: monitor your investment program and meet with you regularly to ensure that you are on track.1. Identify your needs & objectivesFirstly, what exactly are you saving for? A down- When choosing your financial planner you should askpayment on a home, a comfortable retirement, or to the following questions:ensure that you have enough funds for your children’scollege education? If you’re already saving, is your Ÿ Is the Firm registered with a Regulator to givecurrent savings plan sufficient to meet your long-term investment advice?goals while inflation eats into the real value of your Ÿ Does the financial planner hold relevantmoney? financial qualifications and what is his/her experience?2. Assess your current situation Ÿ Can the Firm offer broad-based investmentThe second question to ask is ’how much can I afford advice in order that you diversify your assetsto save to achieve these objectives?’ Your invest- and risk?ment capability is derived from your disposable in- 68FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Financial PlanningŸ Is the Firm represented in other countries if Whether you are motivated by money or not is you decide to leave Japan? irrelevant. These days, most of us are looking to gainŸ Has the financial planner taken time to fully a sense of security, and that is what formulating a understand your objectives? Do you feel personal financial strategy can do. You work hard, so comfortable with the planner and has he or make your money work hard for you - and for your she really listened to your needs? future!Ÿ What is the Firms commitment to you for ongoing servicing? We suggest conducting a formal review of your investments at least twice a year. 69 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Culture ShockCulture Shock - On the Job Elisabeth Marx, 1999If you have ever spent any extended time abroad, no A Practical Guide to Living in Japan: Everything Youdoubt you have run into the term Culture Shock. We Need to Know to Successfully Settle Inknow this is a phenomenon, also sometimes called Jarrell D. Sieff, 2003Culture Surprise or Cultural Adjustment that happensto all of us at some point to a greater or lesser extent. The Japanese Have a Word for It: The Complete GuideWhat we may not remember is the idea that Culture to Japanese Thought and CultureShock not only happens again and again as we move Boye Lafayette De Mente, 1997through the different stages of our new life abroadbut it can also take place every time we make a major Culture Shock! Japanchange in our lives such as starting a new job or new Rex Shelley, 2004business. The same feelings of discomfort anddisorientation, leading to anxiety, irritation andfrustration, that one experiences when one enters anew culture also takes place when one enters a newjob environment and encounters different rules oroffice behavior.Like the typical Culture Shock cycle, you are bound tomove through the various stages: Honeymoon-InitialExcitement, Irritation and Hostility, GradualAdjustment and finally Adaptation as you settle intoyou new job. And also like the typical cycle, it isimportant to recognize those stages for what they areand take time to familiarize yourself with your newsurroundings. Make an effort to communicate withyour new colleagues, as they will provide an importantnetwork of support for you as your work termprogresses. Also, outside of work take time foryourself by exercising regularly, eating well, relaxingand keeping in touch with friends and family so thatyou are in good physical and emotional shape. Usuallyfrustration can be dealt with by merely recognizingthat what you are going through is perfectly naturaland just another bout of Culture Shock. Thatrecognition is often enough to put things back intoperspective and allow you to get on with the job.Recommended ResourcesInternet Resources:http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/CGuanipa/cultshok.htmhttp://www.worldwide.edu/planning_guide/Culture_Re-entry_ShockReading:Survival Kit for Overseas LivingRobert Kohls, 2001Breaking Through Culture Shock : What You Need toSucceed in International Business 70FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended Resources of all nationalities, language abilities (in English andInternet Resources: Japanese), and backgrounds to contact us.http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/CGuanipa/cultshok.htm CDS K.K.http://www.worldwide.edu/planning_guide/Culture Tel: 03-5766-5820; Fax: 03-5766-5821_Re-entry_Shock http://www.cds-consulting.com Fields: CDS mainly focuses on two industries:Reading: Information Technology and Consumer Goods (FMCG,Survival Kit for Overseas Living Retail, Apparel, Luxury). Functionally, we focus onRobert Kohls, 2001 Sales & Marketing, HR/Admin, Operations, and Finance at the managerial level and above.Breaking Through Culture Shock : What You Need to Target Group: Manager to Country Manager; mustSucceed in International Business be completely bilingual (English/Japanese).Elisabeth Marx, 1999 ConnectedGroup LtdA Practical Guide to Living in Japan: Everything You Tel: +852-2201-4514; Fax: +852-2530-4751Need to Know to Successfully Settle In by Jarrell D. http://www.connectedgroup.comSieff, 2003 Fields: IT in the investment banking and tech sectorsThe Japanese Have a Word for It: The Complete Guide in Tokyo.to Japanese Thought and Culture Boye Lafayette De Target Group: Candidates with fluent English andMente, 1997 Japanese language skills.Culture Shock! Japan Rex Shelley, 2004 Create International CorporationRecruiting Firms Tel: 03-3358-0234; Fax: 03-3358-0230Recruitment consultants and search firms may help http://www.create-int.co.jpyou find a job. Companies seeking skilled personnel Fields: No specific fields but is part of a Machinerypay these headhunters to find appropriate Group, including Automobile/Parts, Chemicals andcandidates to fill their vacancies. To get the best various kinds kind of Machinery.match, contact recruitment firms that specialize in Target Group: Machinery.your chosen field. DaiJob, Inc.The Bridge Group KK Tel: 03-3499-3110; Fax: 03-3499-3180Tel: 03-5413-4655; Fax: 03-5413-4656 http://www.daijob.com/en/http://www.bridgegroup.co.jp Fields: Job bank for a variety of fields includingFields: All foreign capital firms; strong in IT, Finance, General Affairs, Administrative, Engineering,Financial and Consumer Goods industry. IT, Sales, Marketing and PR.Target Group: Bilingual executives, managers and Target Group: Bilingual candidates.professionals. Career ForumBroad-Minded Business http://www.careerforum.net/index.asp?lang=EJob information and placement service for women Fields: Recruits for a variety of fields including IT,Tel: 03-5549-2038; Fax: 03-5549-2039 Electrical, Sales, Creativehttp://www.being-a- Target Group: Japanese-English bilinguals.broad.com/index.php/bmb/index East West ConsultingFields: Due to our diverse client list, we are looking Tel: 03-3222-5531; Fax: 03-3222-5535for candidates to fill positions in a variety of industries http://www.ewc.co.jpsuch as technology, financial services, marketing, Fields: Industrial-Manufacturing/Legal/Consultingadvertising, fashion, biotechnology and (strategic and IT)administration. Target Group: Professionals.Target Group: Dynamic, motivated, internationally-minded women living in Japan. We welcome women HRA Trust Co., Ltd. 71 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended ResourcesTel: 03-5468-2680; Fax: 03-5468-2681 Robert Halfhttp://www.exe-search.net Tel: 81-(0)3-5219-6633; Fax: 81-(0)3-5219-6634Fields: Securities and Banking in the areas of tokyo@roberthalf.jpCorporate Finance and/or Merger and Acquisitions http://www.roberthalf.jpCandidate must be bilingual and have had client Fields: Finance, HR, IT and Sales & Marketing.responsibilities within the last 6 months. Target Group: Japanese/English bilingual professionalsTarget Group: Women who have held management with industry experience.positions in an investment or commercial bank andhave experience dealing with Japanese institutional Robert Waltersclients involved in underwriting of securities. http://www.robertwalters.com/en-jp/default.do Fields: A variety of industries including Finance, HR,The Ingenium Group Inc. Legal, Sales & Marketing, Secretarial and Supply Chain.Tel: 03-4560-1000; Fax: 03-4560-1049 Target Group: Candidates with industry experience.http://www.ingeniumgroup.comFields: Finance, Technology, Consumer/Advertising, The Specialized GroupLife Sciences, Professional Services, Industrial. Tel: +81-3-4520-6800; Fax: +81-3-5798-5401By function: Sales/Marketing, Finance/Accounting, E-Mail: contact_us@specialized-group.comIT/Engineering, HR, Legal, etc. http://www.specialized-group.com/en/Target Group: Japanese/English bilingual professionals Fields: Finance, HR, IT Accountingwith industry experience. Target Group: Japanese/English bilingual professionals with industry experience.Legal FuturesTel: 81(3) 3580 3101; Fax: 81(3) 3580 3116 Sterling International Inc.japan@legalfutures.com Tel: 03-5360-1123; Fax: 03-5360-1130http://www.legalfutures.com/Default.aspx?tabid=67 http://www.sterlinghrconsulting.com&language=en-US Fields: Specializing in Life Sciences, Consumer Goods,Fields: Legal, Finance, Compliance. Financial, Technology and Industrial.Target Group: Professionals across the Private Target group: IT specialists.Practice, Commerce & Industry and the Banking &Finance sectors. Veritas International Inc. Tel: 03-3440-8404; Fax: 03-3440-8474Michael Page International (Japan) http://www.veritas-int.comTel 03-5733-7166; Fax 03-5733-71 Fields: Marketing, Sales, HR, Accounting,http://www.michaelpage.co.jp/changeLanguage/lan Finance, IT, Banking/Finance, Pharmaceutical,guage/en.html Advertising/Media, Consumer, Semiconductor,Fields: Finance, Banking, Accounting, Law, Sales, Internet/Multimedia, Real Estate.Marketing, HR. Target group: Bilingual foreign businesspeopleTarget Group: Bilinguals with experience in any of our (CEO/COO/CFO). Also provide guidance forspecialist areas. new graduates.Oak Associates K.K. Wall Street AssociatesTel: 03-5472-7072; Fax: 03-5472-7076 Tel: 03-5537-7211; Fax: 03-5537-7213http://www.oakassociates.co.jp/ http://www.wallstreetjapan.comFields: Healthcare, Consumer, IT, Industrial, Fields: We are searching for bilingual/biculturalLegal and Finance. professionals in the fields of Accounting, HumanTarget Group: Main focus is on finding bilingual Resources, IT, Sales & Marketing, Compliance, and(Japanese/English) professionals for executive and Banking and Finance individuals.senior specialist positions. Oak also offers services Target group: Japanese Nationals who are in middlein HR Consulting, Training & Development, Executive management.Coaching & Career Consulting and Orientation &Relocation. 72FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended ResourcesJob Listings and Information Reviews of job resources, lists of job openings and info on executive search firms, teaching English, workingThe following sites provide job listings and holiday programs, and clubs and associations.information about job-hunting in Japan and/or Asia. http://www.tokyoconnections.comBroad-Minded Business The Japan TimesSends job information to those on the Being A Broad Job listings every Monday (online and in print).mailing list. http://job.japantimes.comEmail: broads@gol.comh t t p : / / w w w . b e i n g - a - Career Forumbroad.com/index.php/bmb/job_index For Japanese/English Bilinguals. http://www.careerforum.net/index.asp?lang=E&gcliCareerCrossJapan d=CJjg0JCsxY8CFQcugwodYD8xYQComprehensive bilingual online resource dedicatedto jobs in Japan and Japan-related positions overseas. Japan Jobs Guidehttp://www.careercross.com/en/ Lists recruiters, temporary jobs, internships and job directories.Daijob.com, Inc. http://www.japanjobsguide.com/A bilingual site that includes timely articles, resumepreparation and bulletin board services, as well as a Japanese Jobsweekly newsletter, for those who want to live and Online recruiter for Japanese/English bilinguals.work in Japan. http://www.japanesejobs.com/http://www.daijob.comhttp://www.daijob.com/dj/en/index.html Job Seek Japan Japan-based employment information.Employment Central http://www.jobseekjapan.com/The ACCJ’s Employment Central features the latestjob information for foreigners and Japanese/English Business Informationbilinguals in Japan.http://www.ecentral.jp/index.php?l=e Corporate Information Subscribe for information on various industries inEscapeartist.com Japan; searchResources and links for finding jobs in Japan. company profiles, links.http://www.escapeartist.com/japan/japan5.htm http://www.corporateinformation.com/Gaijin Pot Hoovers OnlineFeatures up-to-the-minute job postings and Comprehensive company, industry, and marketinformation for intelligence.foreigners and Japanese/English bilinguals in Japan. http://www.hoovers.comhttp://www.gaijinpot.com The Japan News.NetJobs in Japan Headline news for each day and links to the JapanJob listings, postings and links: “The Motherlode” of Times, Asahi Shimbun, Daily Yomiuri, Mainichi DailyJapan Job Info”. News, and One World Japan News.http://www.jobsinjapan.com http://www.thejapannews.netNewsOnJapan.com Japan Inc. MagazineLinks to job and career sites in Japan as well as Reports on business and technological innovation inJapanese top news stories. Japan.http://www.newsonjapan.com http://www.japaninc.netTokyo Connections Organizations 73 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended ResourcesNetworking is perhaps the single most important Email: few@gol.comaction you can take when job-hunting. Below is a list http://www.fewjapan.comof some organizations that offer excellent networkingopportunities. Some of the organizations offer free Foreign Women Lawyer’s Association (FWLA)membership; The Foreign Women Lawyer’s Association is a diverseothers require yearly fees. In addition, the classified group of foreign woman lawyers and legal alumnaesection of Metropolis Magazine regularly offers a from across the globe. Meetings are held on the firstcomprehensive listing of clubs and Tuesday of every month.O r g a n i z a t i o n s : Email: fwla@gol.comhttp://classifieds.metropolis.co.jp/y,50.htm. http://www2.gol.com/users/fwlaAssociation for Women in Finance (AWF) Forum for Corporate Communications (FCC)The Association for Women in Finance Tokyo, Japan, FCC members work mainly in the fields of advertising,is a multicultural, non-political and not-for-profit PR, marketing and design. Monthly dinner meetingsorganization that advocates greater cooperation include appearances by guest speakers and provideamong women in finance. It is a voluntary group for good networking opportunities.women who are working in the financial sector or Email: info@fcctokyo.cominterested in the financial world. Meetings are held http://www.fcctokyo.comon the third Thursday of every month.Email: awftokyo@yahoo.com International Computer Association (ICA)http://www.awftokyo.com/ One of Japan’s largest, most influential organizations focusing on Information Technology and Business inCollege Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) Japan, the ICA provides a forum for informationAn international, non-profit, volunteer organization exchange, networking, and identification of businessrun by women committed to education and cross- expansion opportunities.cultural exchange. Luncheons are held at the Tokyo Email: ica@icajapan.jpAmerican Club, usually on the second Wednesday of http://www.icajapan.jpevery month. Reservations required.Email: membership@cwaj.org International Women in Communications (IWIC)http://www.cwaj.org A non-profit group promoting professionalism, the free flow of information and the advancement ofDigital Eve Japan women in communications.Digital Eve Japan is an international organization of Email: iwic@gol.comwomen interested in computing, the internet and http://iwic.wordpress.com/digital lifestyles. Events and newsletters focus on howwomen can maximize the use of IT in their workplace Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT)and in their everyday lives. Members are Japanese An organization that promotes excellence in languageand foreign women living in Japan, and represent a learning and teaching, with nearly 3,000 memberswide range of ages, technical abilities, cultural across Japan and abroad.backgrounds, and lifestyles. Monthly DigitalEVEnings, Tel: 03-3837-1630are held on the 10th of each month. Members can opt Fax: 03-3837-1631into an announcement only mailing list and an online http://jalt.orgdiscussion board.Email: info@digitalevejapan.org The Society of Writers, Editors and Translators (SWET)http://www.digitalevejapan.org Comprised of people engaged not only in writing, editing, and translating, but also in teaching, research,Foreign Executive Women (FEW) rewriting, design and production, copywriting, andA business and social networking organization whose other areas related to the written word in Japan.aim is to help foreign women in Japan achieve their Email: swet@infopage.netfull professional and personal potential. Meetings are http://www.swet.jpheld on the second Thursday of every month. See thelast section of this Guide for more information. Tokyo PC Users Group 74FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended ResourcesA club for technology enthusiasts, from beginners to There are a number of advisory services for foreignseasoned pros, in Tokyo, with a particular focus on residents in Japan, offering information and supportbilingual computing. Holds regular monthly meetings, on career and life issues. The following is a short listoffers a newsletter and a number of mailing lists of some of the most prominent organizations.dedicated to specialized fields of PC usage.http://www.tokyopc.org/ Tokyo Metropolitan Government Foreign Residents’ Advisory Center. Available to answer questions inTokyo Toastmasters Club English and other languages.Provides members with a chance to improve their Tel: 03-5320-7744public speaking skills and overcome stage fright. The http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ENGLISH/RESIDENT/LIVIClub meets on the first and third Thursday of every NGIN/index.htmmonth.http://tokyotmc.freetoasthost.info/ Japan Helpline 24-hour nationwide emergency assistance service.Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo NPO Tel: 0570-000-911Membership is open to those who have an interest in http://jhelp.com/en/jhlp.htmldeveloping or enhancing their own businesses.People of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities are Google Web Directory “Tokyo Wards”welcome. Provides a link to a number of ward offices’ homepages(http://www.ea-tokyo.com in English http://directory.google.com/Top/Regional/Asia/JapaJapan Events n/Prefectures/Tokyo/Government/WardsA calendar of business, community and networkingevents in Japan, comprised of a variety of 3rd party Police Counseling Hotline for Foreignerscalendars. Will assist foreigners with any police, emergency orhttp://www.japanevents.net/ safety issues. Can also provide interpreters for those who are visiting a police station and cannot speakTokyo2Point0 Japanese.A not-for-profit monthly seminar and networking Tel: 03-3503-8484event, run by a steering committee of volunteers,for people who are working and / or interested in Tokyo English Life Line (TELL)online technologies in Tokyo. A community serving organization that provides freehttp://www.tokyo2point0.net/ and effective counseling for the international community in Tokyo.Pink Cow Conspiracy Daily 9:00am-4:00pm and 7:00pm-11:00pm.A free monthly seminar and networking event Tel: 03-5774-0992focusing on business and technology topics. http://www.telljp.comhttp://www.thepinkcow.com/NewPCC_e.htm The Tokyo Labor Standards Office, Advisory for ForeignWindows Mobile in Japan Workers (Tokyo)Web site and online community for Windows Mobile Offers consultation on labor matters in English.users in Japan and anyone interested in related news Tel: 03-3814-5311and reviews.http://community.mobileinjapan.com/group/windo Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureauwsmobileinjapan Offers consultation on tax matters in English. Tel: 03-3821-9070JET Alumni Group for Eastern JapanOrganization of former participants of the Japan Tokyo Business Entry Point Commerce and IndustryExchange Teaching program. A service launched by the Bureau of Industrial andhttp://www.jetaa.com Labor Affairs which aims to help foreign companies establish firm roots in Tokyo. The service providesAdvisory Services foreign firms and foreign nationals posted in Tokyo 75 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended Resourceswith comprehensive information on business and recommend a suitable doctor. Also operates andaily life. Professional consulting on issues such as tax emergency translation service if you are with a doctorand law are provided via teleconferencing. Tokyo and cannot speak Japanese.Business Entry Point can provide professional AMDA 03-5285-8088consultations at all times. Translation 03-5285-8185Address: Tokyo Business Entry Point Commerce and http://www.amda.or.jp/eng/index.htmIndustry, Division Bureau of Industrial and LaborAffairs North, 30F, No. 1 Bldg., Tokyo Metropolitan Japan Health HandbookGovernment Office A comprehensive overview of all facets of health careOpening hours: 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.- in Japan, from going through childbirth to finding5:30 p.m. specialists. Includes English-Japanese vocabulary listsServices are available Monday-Friday and phrases, and addresses of hospitals and clinics(closed on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and the throughout Japan. Widely regarded as the best sourceyear-end/New Year holiday) of information on the Japanese healthcare system inFurther information available at English.http://www.tokyo-business.jp or Japan Health Handbook, Louise Picon Shimizu,http://www.tokyo-business.jp/eng/index.html Meredit Eruman Maruyama, Nancy Smith Tsurumaki http://www.amazon.com/Japan-Health-Handbook-Other Helpful Resources Louise-Shimizu/dp/4770023561Moving to a new country is never easy. However,there are a number of things you can do to feel more Fitnessat ease in Tokyo and take care of your mental and Most of the well-known sports clubs in Tokyo employphysical well being. Below are just some of the English-speaking staff members. Local wards eachresources that foreign women in Japan have used to have their own public sports centers that providecope with their new surroundings and manage their inexpensive alternatives to a gym.stress levels. If none of these possibilities interest you, BIVIOmake sure you talk to your friends about what they Ebisu’s women-only fitness club.are doing almost everyone does something to relax 2-4 Ebisu-Minami, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5773-5100.and / or recharge. Open Mon-Thu 10am-11pm, Sat 11am-9pm, Sun & hols 11am-8pm, closed Fri. Nearest stn: Ebisu.Japanese Language Schools www.megalos.jp/bivioThere is an abundance of private Japanese languageschools throughout Tokyo that offer a variety of Gold’s Gymcourses: full-time and part-time; daytime and The world’s biggest fitness clubevening; small group or private lessons; at your home Harajuku branch: 4F 6-31-17 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku./ office or at the school. Business Japanese classes Tel: 03-5766-3131.are also readily available but these normally require Open 24 hours. Nearest stn: Harajuku or Meiji-Jingusome prior knowledge of Japanese. Many private mae.Japanese language schools advertise in English www.goldsgym.jppublications such as Metropolis magazine:http://classifieds.metropolis.co.jp/. In addition to List of other gyms located throughout the city:these private schools, local ward or volunteer groups http://www.realestate-tokyo.com/info/fitness/may offer Japanese language classes. Flyers or signscan often be found at your local ward office or in yourneighborhood. Beauty The following salons either have at least one English-Health speaking staff member or are experienced in handlingAssociation of Medical Doctors in Asia (AMDA) Western hair/skin.A telephone support system for foreigners. Patientscan call to describe a medical problem and, after Sindendetermining the patient’s native language and Foreign and Japanese hair cutters and color correctionlocation in Tokyo, the AMDA will call back to specialists located in Jingumae. 76FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended ResourcesTel: 03-3405-4409 Accommodation in JapanEmail: hair@sinden.comhttp://www.sinden.com http://www.japanhotels.com/ http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/index.htmBoudoirFull-body massage, facials, pedicures and full-bodywaxing located in Jingumae. Japanese Government & Foreign EntitiesTel: 03-3478-5898http://www.boudoirtokyo.com Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Collects and provides a diverse range of information through its 80 overseas offices, domestic headquartersChildren in Tokyo and Osaka, and 36 regional offices nationwide.Tokyo with Kids http://www.jetro.go.jpAn interactive online community for English speakingparents in Japan. Also has an email mailing list Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry(automatic newsletter) for pregnant and new mothers. Provides links to various organizations andhttp://www.tokyowithkids.com associations. http://www.jcci.or.jp/home-e.htmlChildbirth Education Center provides information toprepare women and their partners for the journey British Embassythrough pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood. http://www.uknow.or.jp/be_e/http://www.birthinjapan.com Canadian EmbassyTokyo Pregnancy Group http://japan.gc.caAn informal group set up to offer support andinformation for pregnant women living in Tokyo. United States EmbassyMembership is free and open to all pregnant women. http://japan.usembassy.govhttp://tokyopregnancygroup.blogspot.com/ List of other Embassies in TokyoJapan for Kids: The Ultimate Guide for Parents and http://www.tokyoembassy.comTheir Children Diane and Jeanne Huey Wiltshire, http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/japan2.Kodansha International, 2nd Edition, 2000. htmProvides information on everything from having a babyin Japan to educating the kids. An extremely useful American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)book for parents. http://www.accj.or.jpTravel Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCCJ)The Japan National Tourist Organization Website http://www.anzccj.jp/Monthly specials; travel tips; culture and traditions;weather; dining and drinking. British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ)http://www.jnto.go.jp http://www.bccjapan.comNarita Airport Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ)Departures and arrivals – updated every ten minutes. http://www.cccj.or.jphttp://www.narita-airport.jp/en/ French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in JapanHyperdia http://www.ccifj.or.jpRoutes and the timetables for rail and flights in Japan.http://www.hyperdia.com/ German Chamber of Commerce and Industry http://www.japan.ahk.de/ 77 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • Recommended Resources Tokyo subway apps:Living in Tokyo Links from the Tokyo Metropolitan Tokyo UndergroundGov’t http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tokyo-h t t p : / / w w w . t o k y o - underground/id305633751?mt=8business.jp/eng/entrypoint/information_living.html Tokyo MetroWelcome Furoshiki: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tokyo-metro-http://www.welcomefuroshiki.org/ 09/id333196356?mt=8English OK: Metrohttp://www.englishok.jp/ http://metro.nanika.net/index.php?p=Z Language:Tokyo: Here and How Guide to getting acquainted Google Toolbarwith Tokyo. An invaluable tool that automatically translateshttp://imcbook.net/MoreNonfiction/TokyoHereandH Japanese (and other languages) web pages intoow.html English. http://www.google.com/intl/th/toolbar/ie/index.hiPhone Apps tmlTokyo Cool city guide. Kotoba! translation toolhttp://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tokyo-cool-city- http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kotoba-japanese-guide/id323966795?mt=8 dictionary/id288499125?mt=8Tokyo Art Beat App WN Japanese - common terms and phrasesh t t p : / / i t u n e s . a p p l e . c o m / u s / a p p / t o k y o - http://www.iappphone.com/apps/297251480/world-art/id322207464?mt=8 nomads-japanese-language-guide/ 78FEW Career Guide 2010
  • About FEWFor Empowering WomenA Business and Social Networking Organization for English-Speaking Women in Japan.FEW is the largest and oldest organization for foreign professional women in Japan. We were founded in1981 by two foreign female entrepreneurs wishing to create a professional and social network among foreignwomen in Tokyo. The name ‘Foreign Executive Women’ was adopted as the group’s original identity. FEWhas evolved tremendously since then. There are now two chapters, one in Tokyo and one in Osaka, with acurrent membership of about 150. Since September 2008, membership has been open to English-speakingJapanese nationals.Today, FEW is a business and social networking organization whose aim is to empower professional womenof all nationalities to achieve their personal and professional potential. Reaching beyond ‘executive women’,FEW welcomes women from all professional backgrounds, whether currently employed, previously employed,seeking employment or taking a career break to start or bring up a family, and focuses on networking, careerdevelopment, social and volunteer activities.Members include a broad cross section of professionals from marketers, journalists, entertainment specialists,attorneys and bankers to freelance photographers, translators and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries.Members also include women at the start of their careers such as students and interns.We are truly international: members come from 20 countries worldwide, and work in over 50 fields. A thirdof members use Japanese extensively in their work place, and a further third have basic Japanese ability. Ageranges from the early twenties to the late fifties and beyond.FEW is a non-profit organization solely funded by membership dues, meeting fees and the sponsorship ofStrategic Partners. FEW offers our members the supportive and warm surroundings of the femaleenvironment to establish employment contacts, to network and to make new friends. In addition, membersenjoy discounts on goods and services and other benefits from our Strategic Partners, and membership ratesat meetings organized by affiliate organizations such as the Foreign Women Lawyers Association.Monthly meetingsThese are FEW’s main forum. Conducted in English, they provide a venue for networking and presentationsby community and business leaders. Members briefly introduce themselves at the start of each meeting,exchange information and have the opportunity to make new friends and contacts over a buffet dinner anddrinks with a guest speaker or panel of speakers.Meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month (except August) from 7.00pm. Guests who decideto join FEW at the end of a meeting pay the member rate for that meeting instead of the guest rate. TheDecember meeting is the Bonenkai party, which has no speaker and is open to male and female guests.Our meetings in 2009 have included: Ÿ ‘In the Chamber: Business & Commercial Insights for International Business during these Challenging Economic Times’ with four speakers from Chambers of Commerce in Tokyo and the European Business Council in Japan Ÿ ‘Women have Talent’ showcasing five members doing short pitches about their businesses or a new venture Ÿ ‘FallSmart Tips and Tricks!’ advice on fashion from Style Sensei Jeanette Emery Ÿ ‘How to get Published in Japan’ advice for aspiring writers from three published writers Ÿ ‘Virgin Atlantic: 25 Years and Still Red Hot’ with Paul Sands, GM for Virgin Atlantic in Japan Ÿ ‘Emerging Technology and What it will Mean in our Lives’ with a stellar panel of emerging tech pioneers and prognosticators 79 FEW Career Guide 2010
  • About FEW Ÿ ‘What Does Sustainability Mean in Japan? What Does it Mean to YOU?’ with Patricia Bader-Johnston, Representative Director and CEO for Silverbirch Associates Ÿ ‘Ogilvy on Recession - Communications and Creativity in Turbulent Times’ with two speakers from Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Japan Ÿ ‘Look FABULOUS at Any Age’ with Robert Katsuhiro Kure, MD.Special EventsOrganized on an ad-hoc basis, these can include financial planning seminars, training workshops, socialgatherings or cultural visits. Our special events provide opportunities to enhance networking among FEWmembers; some are open to members’ partners, families and/or friends, and others are held in collaborationwith other networking organizations in Tokyo. Past activities have featured brunches, karaoke, BBQ, sumo,wine-tasting, salsa, hypnosis, stress-relief, image consulting, and golf lessons.Career Strategies SeminarFEW’s flagship event, this one-day seminar has been held every two years since 1990, attracting around 100participants (FEW members and non-members). The full-day event provides an overview on the Japanesejob scene, the opportunities available in Japan and how to find and make the most of them. Presentationsby women, with extensive experience in various employment sectors, focus on such areas as career education,job planning, choosing or changing career paths as well as starting and running a business. The 16th CSS willbe held on March 28th 2010. For more information, please check our website at: www.fewjapan.comCommunity ServicesFor many years, both individually and through the Community Services committee, FEW members have beenactively involved in fund- and awareness-raising for a number of charitable groups and organizations in theTokyo area. Refugees International Japan, Room to Read, Run for the Cure and Tokyo English Lifeline areFEW’s key charity partners but other groups supported include Haiti Earthquake Relief, JEN and Oxfam. FEW’sfund-raising events have included walkathons, brunches, cherry blossom picnics, BBQs and beach clean-ups.The FEW year-end Bonenkai party also serves as a fundraising event and in 2009 raised 113,000 yen forKYOFUKAI STEP HOUSE to educate women about protection orders and the domestic violence law.PublicationsThe Volunteering Directory, researched and produced by FEW’s Community Services committee, cataloguesnumerous, hard-to-find volunteering organizations in Tokyo. The only English language guide to volunteering,it lists over 80 non-profit organizations, many of which are happy to accept volunteers with minimal or noJapanese language skills. FEW volunteers spend many hours contacting the charitable groups listed, gatheringinformation for inclusion in the list. Any support or help you can give this popular and worthwhile guide, nomatter how much or how little, would be very welcome. It is available online through the FEW website.The Career Guide is published as a supplement to the Career Strategies Seminar and provides a wealth ofinformation, resources and guidelines for the English-speaking female job seeker in Japan. Copies may bepurchased for a nominal fee.The Membership Directory is an annual publication distributed to all FEW members.The Newsletter is a monthly e-publication sent to all current FEW members in Japan and overseas. It providesinformation about meeting schedules, speakers, FEW activities and events, job opportunities, our StrategicPartners, special offers for members and occasional surprises.The InternetThe Website is the best real-time way to learn about FEW and our ongoing activities.Visit: www.fewjapan.com 80FEW Career Guide 2010
  • About FEWYou can also keep abreast of the latest FEW news and events, register for events, get reminders, and interactwith members and prospective members on FaceBook and MeetUp:www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4897368847www.meetup.com/FEWjapan/Strategic PartnersFEW’s Strategic Partners committee works hard to improve and expand the organizations with which wepartner, and recently introduced a FEW Dining Card, which can be used to enjoy discounts and other benefitsat a range of restaurants in Tokyo. Currently we have 24 Strategic Partners including four charities,restaurants, fitness studios, beauty salons, IT, finance, training and relocation companies. We believe in beingflexible, especially when asking for support, and therefore we have created a program that offers a range ofoptions and benefits. Sponsorship is for 12-month periods that can begin at any time of the year. For furtherinformation please contact: few@gol.comFEW OrganizationThe Board of Directors governs FEW. This comprises about ten members who meet monthly to report onfinances and past events and plan future activities. FEW also has various committees responsible forimplementing the decisions made by the Board. These include: Ÿ Bonenkai Ÿ Careers Strategies Seminar Ÿ Community Services Ÿ Monthly Meetings Ÿ Newsletter Ÿ Public Relations Ÿ Special Projects Ÿ Strategic PartnersFEW aims to appeal to the diverse interests of our members by offering as wide a variety of activities aspossible. We encourage all members to make the most of their FEW membership by participating in theabove committees - volunteers are always welcome and no previous experience is necessary. 81 FEW Career Guide 2010