2023-12-28

A Journey Shaped by Anime: Overcoming Challenges in the Japanese Job Market

Summary

He has received a job offer from a major construction machinery manufacturer in Japan. He is a student specializing in mechanical engineering from India, and he has a strong interest in robotics and a passion for manufacturing. For his graduation research, he created a humanoid hand. He has knowledge in computer science, electronics, and mechanical engineering. He started learning Japanese in university and has been actively involved in a language exchange club, consistently dedicated to studying Japanese. He is currently preparing for the JLPT N2.

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Profile

Countries & Regions
India
University
Visvesvaraya Technological University
Major
Mechanical, robotics
Education
Bachelor
Company
A major construction machinery manufacturer in Japan

Doraemon inspired me to learn Japanese 

At five years old, I was hooked on watching Doraemon in Hindi. Wondering what it would be like to watch it in its original Japanese version made me want to learn Japanese. So, I looked for Japanese language learning videos on YouTube and started studying Japanese from greetings and daily conversation. That was when my attachment to Japanese culture began. 

In the beginning, when I was learning Japanese while watching anime, I did not feel like I was “learning” anything. But when I reached high school, all those years of self-studying Japanese paid off. I started watching Demon Slayer, Jujustu Kaisen, and other recent shows in its original Japanese version. When I went to see Japanese anime movies with my friends, I surprised them because I could understand the Japanese conversation without looking at the translations. I felt accomplished being able to watch original Japanese-language films without subtitles. Through studying Japanese, I experienced that nothing is too difficult if you know how to have fun while learning.  

 

My first harrowing experience working in Japan  

Since I had mastered Japanese, an IT company in Tokyo offered me a job. Even though the position did not fit my specialty, I accepted it because I saw it as a chance to go to Japan. Before that, I had no hopes of working in Japan or joining a Japanese company. I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity.  

However, after 6 months of training at that company, they did not send me an employment contract. In addition, I was not allowed to participate in internal meetings and was marginalized even after receiving training. My distrust of that company grew, so I decided to change direction and apply for a position at another company. I discussed my concerns about my career with my Japanese language instructor at the training program, who introduced me to FAST OFFER International.  

 

FAST OFFER International helped me find another way 

I quickly registered with FAST OFFER International, but my road was particularly rocky. After meeting with the FAST OFFER staff, I took a video and submitted all required documents, including my Final Year Project. I had high expectations but did not hear anything back from FAST OFFER International for the next two weeks, which made me very anxious. I was extremely disappointed. I found out later that ASIA to JAPAN (and by extension FAST OFFER International) was closed because of Japan’s Golden Week vacations. After that, I was so engrossed in my final exams that I missed the “your profile is being processed” message from FAST OFFER International. When I was finally free from the busyness of the final exams, I finally noticed the message from FAST OFFER International. Sadly, I saw that I could no longer apply because the deadline had passed. I felt so hopeless. To my relief, I received a message from FAST OFFER International saying, “You have a chance to come to Japan for free.” I cannot explain in words how I felt at that moment. I was euphoric.  

  

I was disappointed by the Face-to-face interview in Japan  

I was finally able to go to Japan, a place I had longed to visit, through a FAST OFFER International visit-to-Japan type interview. Cherishing my time there, I captured all the fun times I had on my phone–from landing the plane to strolling around Tokyo. 

I had participated in a few interviews before my visit-to-Japan type interview, but I failed. Instead of giving up, I took stock of what happened. I realized that I was doing interviews the wrong way, thinking they were supposed to be just casual conversations. Realizing that interviews are conversations where you fill in the gaps between what you want to say and what the interviewer intends to ask was a lightbulb moment for me. This catharsis led me to check with all my friends, mentors, and teachers to make sure I knew how to speak. I practiced a lot. I also actively participated in FAST OFFER International interview preparation Japanese classes to improve my weaknesses.  

Unfortunately, I did not get an offer from the interviews I had in Japan. I fell into a depression as I tried to understand why I did not receive an offer even though I had put all my effort into the interview session. For context, my major is engineering but even though I am quite good at it, it is not what I am most passionate about. In fact, the airplane I built won 10th place at the World Competition in the United States–and still, my heart was still somewhere else. My greatest passion was Japanese culture. I run the Japanese club at my university and teach Japanese to 200 students. One wall of the club room was decorated with anime posters while another was filled with N5-N1 kanji. You can see from this how much I love Japan and how much effort I put into my Japanese studies.  

I was so sad that I could not even concentrate on my favorite Japanese language anymore. I even considered quitting Japanese.  

  

Even failure is an important part of success  

After returning to India, I received another invitation from FAST OFFER International. This time, the position related to product design and development fits my specialty perfectly. In fact, it was a job I have always wanted. I prepared for the interview by taking stock of my prior experiences.  

During the first interview, the interviewer complimented me on my Japanese language skills and my projects, which gave me the confidence to participate in subsequent interviews.  

After the interview, I immediately talked to my mentor about what I did not do well. I think the most important wisdom I gained from the interview was learning to harness my mentor’s feedback to quickly pivot, revise, and improve.  

For the second interview, I practiced intently with my mentor and prepared some questions for the interviewer. When I asked my prepped question, the interviewer thought it was a “great question,” so I finished the interview feeling good about myself.  

When I finally heard the sweet words: “Here is the job offer,” I was ecstatic. All my efforts had paid off! When I told my mother, she was more pleased than I was, to the point of tears.  

  

Do not give up your passion even when your heart is breaking

I had an incredibly tough time making my dream come true, to the point of having to piece together my broken heart repeatedly. I could have gone to another Asian country, but for some reason, getting to Japan seemed harder. I could have given up during that painful journey, but I stood by my dream to work in Japan, until finally, I received a job offer. 

If you face setbacks like I did, I hope you do not forget the passion that burns in your heart. Keep it burning and attend every interview confident and passionate. If you give it your all, the rest can be left to FAST OFFER International.  

Looking back on my job search at FAST OFFER International, my teachers, mentors, and friends always had my back. This warm and supportive experience was essential to my success. I hope to support others as well. If possible, I would like to help the 200 students in the club I run to find jobs in Japan as well. I am in the process of consulting with ASIA to JAPAN so I can help create opportunities for my students to come to Japan right after graduation. 

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