Japan is one of the most popular destinations, both for tourism and for living. Japan’s anime, food, and technology are enjoyed all over the world and it sparks people’s interest in the country. Japan is also a good place to live, with convenience stores everywhere and very low crime rates. If you’ve ever thought about getting a job and living in Japan, now is the perfect time to do so. This article will show you what makes now the best time to look for a job and what kind of jobs are best for foreigners.
Japan’s Shrinking Population
One of the biggest reasons why now is the perfect time to move to Japan is the shrinking population. There are far fewer Japanese babies being born today than before the 1970s, resulting in an imbalance of young and old people. In fact, half the population in Japan is over 46 years old. This is causing an economic crisis since there are not enough people working to support the older generation.
In order to fill this gap, Japan has no choice but to open more doors for foreigners to work and live in the country. As a result, there are more and more job openings available to foreigners every year.
Japan’s Traditional Work Culture
Japan has a work culture that’s different from the rest of the world and it starts from the hiring process. Instead of hiring one by one when needed, most companies follow a process called shuushoku katsudou where they mass hire new graduates every year. The shuushoku katsudou period would be considered the most critical time of your life because, in that year, you would have to choose a company that you would work for for the rest of your life.
It sounds crazy but the reason is that switching jobs was often looked down upon by society and it was extremely hard to find a company that would hire somebody that has quit their previous job. In fact, this was so extreme that suicide became the number 1 cause of death in Japan for men ages 20-44.
With times changing and the shrinking population crisis, Japan’s work culture is changing little by little. Shuushoku katsudou is still around but working conditions are improving and more people are able to switch jobs, which means that foreigners can also find jobs.
Opportunities for Foreigners in Japan
This is the most well-known method to start working in Japan. With Japan’s plans to increase English education, there are more and more English teaching jobs available than before. English teacher jobs come in many forms as well. There’s the traditional ALT (assistant language teacher), but there are other forms as well such as working at an Eikaiwa (English conversation school) or working at an afterschool.
If you’re confident in your Japanese, then being a translator is also a viable option. Many Japanese companies have an international market and are in need of translators to translate their products for other countries. This is especially true for Japanese gaming companies.
There are also many translation jobs open to freelancers as well. This can be a good way to generate some income on the side, as long as your visa allows it.
Japan has always had a huge IT industry and with the shrinking population crisis, they need the help of foreigners to maintain it. In addition, new graduates that are hired don’t always have a strong programming background. In fact, some have never even programmed before and companies end up teaching them how to program from scratch. If you’ve had some experience abroad, it could definitely help your chances of landing an IT job in Japan.
Just like many other developed countries, many service sector jobs are available for immigrants. In addition, if one comes to Japan on a working holiday visa and becomes a full-time employee at a service sector job, the restaurant/company can sponsor your next visa, allowing you to stay after the working holiday visa expires.
Although it’s nearly impossible to enter Japan as a freelancer, it’s a viable option once you’re here! Traditionally, companies hired other companies for services such as IT or graphic design, which came with excellent service but at a high cost. Now that the economic environment is changing in Japan, more and more companies are hiring freelancers or contracting employees as a cheaper alternative. There are lots of freelance jobs available including software engineering, videography, web design, and many more and change your visa to a freelance visa is possible as long as you have at least one Japanese company as a client.
If you’re looking for a job in Japan from outside of the country, it’s highly likely that the pay or working conditions will not be what you hoped for. However, you’d be trading it for the opportunity to live in a different country and that is not always possible, so now is the chance to try taking a chance if you have always wanted to experience living in Japan!