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Top Five Challenges You Will Encounter While You Work In Japan

Author : Jimmy Cox   Top Author

Submitted : 2010-09-24 02:27:20    Word Count : 549    Popularity:   9

Tags:   work in japan, working in japan

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Getting work in Japan is an excellent choice. This is the best way to broaden your perspective of the world and gain a deeper insight into the culture and professional dynamics of an entirely different culture. Before you make the decision to apply for an overseas position though, there are a couple of challenges that you need to face and overcome particularly on Japanese soil.


There are so many different characters contained in three different scripts to learn. Before you set foot in the country, you need to have a working knowledge of katakana, hiragana and kanji. That's only the written aspect of it. The spoken tongue can even be trickier to learn while working in Japan. This is mainly because communication is only effective and acceptable if you learn to use polite forms of speech through the use of Keigo or honorifics.

Work Standards

Many Japanese companies demand utmost diligence and discipline from their employees. This is even if you are a foreigner still trying to adjust to how things are done. This means your bosses will require you to reserve your duty hours for official responsibilities only. Moreover, you will also be tasked to follow exact standards as outlined by such concepts as Lean production and 5S. That being said, employees will be more than likely to still adopt the principle of Kaizen or continuous improvement. This is even if there are strict standards for work in Japan.


Aside from the naturally high expectations in most jobs, there are other unique cultural elements that you might find difficult to adjust to. One of these is the concept of communal sharing. Some workers from the west may become uneasy once they know that dorms and even baths are communal. Hence, shedding some of your inhibitions may be in order before you decide to apply for a position.

Cost of Living

The cost of food, lodging and other necessities can be a bit high. More or less, you should expect to have to shell out 50,000 yen per month just for food and another 70,000 yen per month for rent. Expenses while working in Japan can go up dramatically if you plan to enjoy the sights and sounds of your host town. If you want to reduce your costs, you may want to apply for jobs in winter resorts where food and lodging are free.

Weather Conditions

Depending on where you plan to get a job, you may have to deal with different weather conditions. In Hokkaido where winter resorts typically hire foreign workers, temperatures can drop to -12 degrees Celsius or lower. In Okinawa where summer resorts hire foreign applicants, temperatures can rise up to 37 degrees Celsius. Before you get a job, make sure you make the extra effort to pick a place where you'd love the weather.

You'd undoubtedly love doing work in Japan. Aside from the benefit of cultural education, you also get to experience the beauty of such a refined and majestic country. Just make sure you know how challenging working there can be too. This will help you prepare yourself so you'll get the most out of your job.

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