Jul 27, 2018

Concerns About Working in Japan

Something I have been thinking about I lot since I will graduate in just a few more months is of course my future career. I have every intention on staying in Japan. Although sometimes this decision feels crazy for many reasons, one of them being the struggles I know I will face career wise. I am about to try to fight my way into a work force as a foreign woman, not living in a major city in Japan. 

Concerns About Working in Japan photo

Picture credit: Pexels.com

Some of my concerns about work place culture in Japan are as follows:

1. The lifetime employment system

This system is still very much practiced in Japan's workforce. While this system does has some pro's, it has many con's. For example, with this system most promotions are based off of time working rather than performance. Plus, if I have a problem with a company, I cannot easily switch jobs. Coming from America, I want to be given promotions for my work quality, not my time at the company. Plus, I don't want to start out underpaid, banking on the fact that I will get paid more later. 

2. The views on women in the workplace

Japanese women have many struggles in the current workplace. The often still are expected to take care of all of the house chores. Not to mention, the maternity leave in Japan is still not quite up to par with the West. Many companies assume women will leave once they have children so they will not give them important roles. (There are of course exceptions.) Women often serve only clerical roles. Every heard of the infamous OL, or office lady? I want I normal job that will not put me into this box. This of course is changing a little bit, but I will struggle convincing a company I will not leave, especially because I am a women and a foreigner. 

3. The infamous, ridiculous overtime

I don't have to tell you that Japan is known for overtime. I see men in suits coming home late every night in my town. I have heard of people staying at their job even without work to do just because it is the polite thing to do. I want a job were I can work hard and efficiently and then go home on time. That is the normal in the West. 

These are my three biggest worries about the Japanese workplace. I am hoping to find a job outside of teaching that can satisfy my worries with these three problems. I am scared, but determined! Take the road less traveled, right?

Wish me luck!! Are you a women working in Japan? Please leave advice below!



Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!