Assuming that you're interested in coming to Japan to work but
haven't yet lined up a job, you need to know where to look. For teachers, the
government's JET Program is handled
by Japanese Embassies around the world and some companies,
for example the NOVA or GEOS English conversation
schools, do most or all of their recruiting overseas, but most people
don't have a job lined up before they get here. The last few years
has seen huge growth in recruitment on the Internet and there
are countless sites with job listings. Some of the main sites
with a focus on Japan are listed in the links section below.
Once in Japan, the most common and well-established source of job information
is the Japan Times. Apart from the usual criteria - qualifications, experience,
age and so on - your visa status may also be relevant to your
employment chances. A lot of companies want to hire someone who
already has a valid working visa or who for some other reason
doesn't need to be sponsored by them. Strictly speaking, it is
illegal to work while in Japan as a tourist or student but the
law is often ignored and rarely enforced as long as you don't
overstay your visa.
There are several sites offering job advertisements on the Internet.
Most are free for job seekers and some don't even charge companies
to place their ads. The Internet being what it is, the majority
of jobs listed online are computer-related. The most common jobs
seem to be for network engineers and programmers.
The Japan Times
The Monday edition of the Japan Times is the first place most
foreigners check when looking for a job (occasionally, Monday
is a so-called 'press holiday' and the classified ads are printed
on Tuesday). The Help Wanted section of the classified ads usually
runs to five or six pages and the majority of the ads are for
foreigners. Usually somewhere around half are for English-teaching
jobs and the rest are for anything from company president to bartender.
The majority of jobs are in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and there
is a separate section for other areas.
The newspaper costs 150 yen and is available at station kiosks
throughout the country or by subscription. Other English language
national newspapers, the Daily Yomiuri, Daily Mainichi and Asahi
Evening News, also carry classified ads but usually only a handful
at most (the Yomiuri now has a lot of job ads in Japanese). At 120
yen they are quite a bit cheaper if all you want is the news.
The following are examples of jobs advertised in recent editions:
Native English Speaker wanted by International banking group
at Sumitomo Bank for translation,
international publicity and executive correspondence. Japanese
fluency and word-processing skills necessary. Please call Mr.
Takashima at (03) xxxx-xxxx.
Experienced Medical Representatives needed for major international pharmaceutical company. Expanding
growth in new pharmaceutical products. Attractive compensation.
Call Mr. Ogawa, Oak Associates (03) xxxx-xxxx. Fax (03) xxxx-xxxx
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PCL Mindware KK. Opportunities for software professionals in: SYBASE, SQL Server,
ORACLE, SAPR/3, ABAP/4, VB, C++, C, Perl, UNIX/NT Programming,
Century, UNIX/NT Network administration. English ability is required.
E/J desirable. Resume by e-mail to email@example.com or fax to (03)
Experienced Japanese and native part-time instructors for business English classes at Y2,500
to Y4,000 per hour. Fax resume to (03) xxxx-xxxx PCG.
Nagoya, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Shikoku, Kyushu. Americans and Canadians! Experienced teachers
wanted with university degree. Y250,000+ per month, 25 hours per
week. Apartment, sponsorship. 5 weeks vacation. Also positions
for Director, substitute teachers. ALS: Fax resume to (043) xxxx-xxxx.