Ten Websites That Will Help You Find a Job in Japan
Japan has it all. The country claims one of the largest cities in the world, automated restaurants alongside small rustic villages, and jaw-dropping vistas. It’s clean. It’s safe. It is very rich in culture and art. These are some of the reasons why so many wish to move to Japan. The cost of living in Japan is high, though, so unless you come with trust fund in hand, you’re going to need a source of income. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, job searching in Japan isn’t as daunting a task as you might think…if you know where to look. These ten websites will help you in your journey toward gainful employment in the "Land of the Rising Sun."
Let’s face it. The easiest job for English speakers to find and obtain in Japan is that of English teacher. The government requires that English be taught in all public junior high and senior high schools, so job openings are plentiful. Many schools hire English speakers as classroom assistants rather than full-fledged teachers, so even if you don’t have teaching credentials you can still capitalize on your native tongue. www.japanenglishteacher.com is a job website specifically for those who teach or wish to teach English in Japan.
So you have decided to become an English teacher in Japan. What’s next? Where do you live? How do you get there? What documents do you need to enter the country? If organizing your own work visa, travel expenses, and placement seems a bit overwhelming, leave it to the pros. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program has been sending doe-eyed foreigners to Japanese public schools for over 20 years now. The interview process is extensive, and competition is stiff, but this program is the best way to go about teaching English in Japan. Applications are available online in late September.
3) metropolis.co.jp; www.kansaiscene.com; www.seekjapan.jp
The above websites are grouped together because they are all so similar. These websites are the online presence of three major English-language magazines in Japan: Metropolis is based in Tokyo; the Kansai Scene covers the Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto area; Japanzine lords over Nagoya. The website for each magazine offers an employment section where you can scan for jobs in that part of the country. These are great resources when job-hunting because the listings are updated with every new issue of the magazine. You might also want to check out the classified sections of newspapers such as The Japan Times (www.japantimes.com).
Most gaijin (or foreigners) living in Japan have logged onto Gaijin Pot at one time or another. This website is a cornucopia of useful information ranging from banking and taxes to raising a family. Click on the Japan Jobs tab to look through employment listings. Most companies listed require that you live in Japan before applying, but if you are searching for a job in Japan from overseas, Gaijin Pot has you covered. In “Japan Jobs” click on the “Overseas Interviews Outside Japan” link to find companies that will interview you in your home country.
Sure, a huge number of jobs in Japan are teaching jobs. There’s got to be more out there, though, right? Right! Daijob.com lists thousands of jobs ranging from accounting to investment banking. The site is heavy on information technology and finance jobs in particular. You can search by job, by employer, and even by recruiter. Please note that most of the jobs on this site require a high level of Japanese language ability. There is a search function, however, that allows you to narrow your search according to language ability required.
This website is the self-proclaimed “mother lode of Japan job info.” While some of the previously mentioned sites have far more extensive listings, this one should not be overlooked. In addition to the usual suspects of teaching and IT jobs, this site also provides some more entertaining options. Check out the “Model, Act, Entertain” section if you’ve always dreamed of getting your foreign face on TV or in print. There are also a number of listings calling for hostesses. Hang out at a bar till the wee hours of the morning serving drunk businessmen overpriced cocktails, lighting cigarettes, and just being a flirty little coquette.
Tokyo Connections acts as a one-stop shop for other Japanese job sites. It provides links to websites where jobs are available along with a review of each. Check out the “Job Listings” and “Job Search Sites” sections for tons of employment options. Also listed on Tokyo Connections are available grants, scholarships, internships, and working holidays. Another useful aspect of the website is the listing of clubs and associations. If your job hunt is not off to a great start, hook up with some like-minded individuals for serious networking opportunities.
Not ready for a permanent relocation? Would you rather work to fund an extended vacation in Japan? Check out the Japanese Association for Working Holiday Makers. This organization helps short-term job seekers find employment. In addition to job referral services, JAWHM can help you find a place to live and give you helpful info regarding taxes and laws. Japanese working holiday visas are available to citizens of the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, France, Germany, the U.K, Ireland, and Denmark. Contact your country’s embassy for more information on working holiday visas.
The website for the Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners contains a wealth of job-related information. There you will find info on who is allowed to work in Japan, labor laws, insurance, and where to take free Japanese classes. The center has locations in Tokyo and Osaka. If you are living in Japan while job hunting, consider popping in for a consultation or to browse through their help-wanted ads.
10) tokyo.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7108.html (American Embassy); www.uknow.or.jp/be_e/consular/life/life05.htm (British Embassy)
Before you accept the job you found online and hop on a plane, you might want to make sure your government will allow it. To find your embassy’s website in the "Land of the Rising Sun," try this Google search: <Your Country> Embassy Japan. On your embassy’s site you will find visa and employment information, as well as some useful cultural tips. You might even find a job opening at the embassy itself.
Whether you aspire to be an English teacher, an investment banker, or are just seeking a short-term gig, Japan is sure to have a job that suits you. The resources listed above will get you off and running in the right direction. So, bone up on your Japanese, and, as with any job, be sure to research the position and company thoroughly before moving halfway around the world. Good luck and gambatte!