Fascinated by Japan
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been captivated by Japan. After school, I’d hurry home to catch the latest episodes of Dragon Ball Z and other anime series on ANIMAX, or to immerse myself in the world of manga. As I grew older, this interest evolved; I began delving into blogs and videos that showcased the lives of people in different countries. Out of all these lifestyles, the one that piqued my curiosity the most was that of Japan.
What intrigued me was the stark contrast between Japan’s lifestyle and my own in India, but also the surprising commonalities. I admired how, like Indians, the Japanese people managed to balance the preservation of their traditional culture while also embracing Western influences. They remained deeply rooted in their customs, still celebrating their traditional festivals and annual events, much like we do in India. Moreover, the widespread use of the Japanese language within the country struck me not as a negative point, but as a testament to their unique cultural identity. Learning the language, I believed, would offer an invaluable gateway to truly understanding and adapting to their culture.
As I ventured into my career, my curiosity extended to Japan’s working culture. I found the Japanese work ethic and professional demeanor to be vastly different from what I was accustomed to. I admired their commitment to their work and felt that their approach to their careers was not only commendable but something to learn from. I yearned to experience this work culture, hoping it would enrich my own work ethic.
However, for a long time, this desire remained nothing more than a vague dream. I never truly believed I could actualize it. Despite this, my fascination with Japan and its culture never faded. It has always been, and continues to be, a source of intrigue and admiration for me.
Discovering Opportunities in Japan Through Language Classes
About a year ago, I discovered that ASIA to JAPAN was offering Japanese language classes. At that time, my primary focus was honing my skills to become a proficient software engineer. I was interested in the prospect of working in Japan but hadn’t yet committed to learning the language. Nevertheless, I decided to join the class, and I found it immensely fascinating.
I’ve always been drawn to learning new languages. It’s like peering through a window into the culture and thought processes of the people who speak it. A language is a reflection of the community that created it – their strategies, plans, and unique perspectives. Each language is different, with words and concepts that are unique to it, providing valuable insights into the culture and way of life of its speakers. Therefore, learning Japanese was not only enjoyable, but it also allowed me to envision life in Japan, motivating me to pursue a career there. However, at that point, receiving a job offer from Japan seemed like an unattainable dream. I was interning at a company in India and had a few local offers.
I registered with FAST OFFER International, and it was suggested to interview with the company I’m currently employed with. Still, I tried to manage my expectations, focusing on doing my best. I knew that if I failed, it would be a significant setback for me. I remember the month-long interview process vividly, constantly checking my email, anxious but excited. It was an emotional roller coaster, but it was a valuable experience.
The selection process presented its own set of challenges. As I mentioned before, different countries have different perspectives. In India, specific abilities and skills are expected, whereas in Japan and other countries, the demands are different. Adapting to these varying expectations was a challenge but also an opportunity for personal growth. In my case, although the interviews were conducted in English, the selection process, the types of questions asked, and the overall atmosphere were quintessentially Japanese.
In Indian companies where I had previously interviewed, the process consisted of four rounds, focusing primarily on data structures and algorithms, with less emphasis on development. However, the interview with the Japanese company was more of a personality assessment and a test of my skills as a developer. Some questions initially perplexed me because they were unlike those I’d encountered in previous interviews. In retrospect, I understand that the Japanese interview aimed to assess potential, and personality fit within the company, whereas Indian interviews tend to focus on current skills and problem-solving abilities. Adapting to this different interview culture took some time, but it was a learning experience in itself.
Throughout the entire process, the staff at ASIA to JAPAN offered me constant encouragement and invaluable advice. I also sought guidance from a friend who had previously interviewed with a Japanese company. Receiving an offer from the company was an honor, and the prospect of working in Japan fills me with immense excitement. I count myself lucky to have connected with this company – it’s stable, globally recognized, staffed with international engineers, and language barriers are minimal. I can’t wait to board my flight to Japan!
For those eyeing opportunities to work in Japan, my advice is to embrace open-mindedness. Be receptive to new ideas and continually strive to learn and grow. Japanese companies value individuals who are constantly learning, innovating, and bringing fresh ideas to the table. Stay curious and keep pushing forward!