2024-03-28

From J-POP Fan to IT Pro in Japan: Embracing Culture and Career

Summary

From a fascination with J-POP and manga, her journey from China to Japan is a tale of cultural admiration, perseverance, and eventual fulfillment in the IT sector. Initially drawn by Shiina Ringo’s music, her interest deepened through multiple visits and the mastery of Japanese, earning an N2 certificate. Despite the pandemic thwarting plans for further education in Japan, she pivoted towards a career, leveraging her computer science background. With FAST OFFER International’s efficient support, she secured a position in a versatile company, appreciating the emphasis on work-life balance and the potential for stability in Japan’s IT industry. This story highlights the importance of adaptability, the value of soft skills in the Japanese job market, and the role of cultural affinity in shaping one’s professional path. 

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Profile

Countries & Regions
China
University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Major
Computer Science
Education
Master
Company
A Japanese control and measurement equipment manufacturer.

Discovering Japan: A Love Story with J-POP and Manga 

Since I was a child, I have been interested in Japanese culture such as J-POP and manga. Because I liked listening to Shiina Ringo’s music, I had the idea of visiting Japan. In my freshman year of college, I traveled to Japan for the first time, and when I returned home, it inspired me to want to learn Japanese. After returning to China, I enrolled in online Japanese classes, and after about a year of study, I got my N2 certificate. After that, I went to Japan four or five times to see performances and travel. At first, I didn’t know Japanese when I traveled to Japan, but after I gradually learned the language, I explored not only Tokyo, Osaka, and other must-visit tourist cities, but also niche cities such as Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Okayama, and Tottori, so I got to know Japan more deeply. 

After I graduated from undergraduate school, I had the idea of studying in Japan, but I couldn’t make it because of the pandemic and stayed in China to continue my studies. When I was about to graduate from graduate school, I realized that instead of staying in school, I wanted to find new opportunities at a university. Since Japan and China are culturally similar and I felt relatively comfortable with the “distance” of Japanese people, and since I was interested in Japan as a country, I had the idea of going to Japan to work. 

 

Navigating the Job Market: FAST OFFER International’s Role 

A friend of mine had an internship experience in Japan and recommended FAST OFFER and other platforms for employment in Japan. At that time, I registered with the idea of trying it out. It wasn’t long before I received a contact from FAST OFFER, and the staff made a smooth process of recommending companies and adjusting the interview schedule. During this process, I also submitted applications to other platforms, but after submitting my personal information, they all disappeared without a trace. In contrast, FAST OFFER was very prompt and timely in registering my account, inviting me to interviews, collecting information, and other contacts, which made me feel very relieved. 

Regarding my career choice, since I was a computer science major, I wanted to utilize my studies to find an IT-oriented company. At that time, FAST OFFER matched me with a company that favors the manufacturing industry, which was different from what I had in mind at the beginning. However, after learning more about the company, I realized that it was a company that made both hardware and software, so I could choose from a variety of directions. Since my undergraduate studies were in the hardware direction and my master’s studies were in the software direction, I decided to apply for this company because I found that my professional background was a good match for this company. 

 

From Chinese Roots to Japanese IT Sector 

The interview process, overall, was very smooth. The FAST OFFER staff was very prompt in adjusting the interview date for me, sending the interview link, etc., and the interviewer was also very kind and we communicated well. I was very nervous before the interview, but FAST OFFER’s homepage prompted a lot of interview-related questions, which were very informative and helpful. (Most of the questions I was asked in the interview were the questions prompted on the FAST OFFER homepage). 

The biggest challenge in preparing for the interview was making a Japanese PowerPoint presentation of my research. It was my first time making an academic PowerPoint presentation in Japanese, so I was not sure what to do, but the Mentor at Fast Office gave me a lot of advice on how to present myself better, which was also a great help. 

During the formal interview, I was impressed by the fact that, unlike domestic companies that emphasize professional ability, Japanese companies are “Hiring Potential”, which puts more emphasis on the candidate’s “soft background”, such as internships, projects, life, personality, etc. For my interview, only 30% of the questions were related to professional skills, and the other 70% were unrelated to my specialty. I think this is related to the perfect training system in Japan, which does not require candidates to start a certain job immediately, but rather looks at the potential so that newcomers can be fully trained and educated to promote their growth. 

There is a classic question in interviews with Japanese companies, “Gakuchi Kakuya” (something I worked hard on when I was a student), and I listed an experience that was not related to my major. At the time, I had initiated a subtitle team to gather students with the same interests to translate dramas, proofread subtitles, and upload them to a site. In the beginning, there were fewer staff members, and the progress was slow, so I reallocated the staff members, fine-tuned the workflow, and clarified the time for completing each task, and we were finally able to complete the relevant tasks according to the time. Although the experiences of team coordination and cooperation that I listed were not related to my major, they still impressed the interviewer and surprised me, and I think this may be related to the fact that Japanese companies emphasize the spirit of teamwork. 

 

Embracing Work-Life Balance: Choosing Stability Over Salary 

Because the recruitment in Japan is half a year earlier than in China, I didn’t participate in the fall or spring recruitment in China after I got my preferred job. There are advantages and disadvantages of working in Japan and China. Taking the IT industry as an example, if you work in a large, headquartered company in China, you will get a higher salary, but the pressure may be higher. Japan’s IT industry, in terms of salary, may not be as good as the domestic head of the factory but in comparison has a worklife balance. The calculation of salary in China and Japan is also different, the domestic higher salary may be the total package of figures, but in Japan in addition to the monthly salary, there are all kinds of bonuses, subsidies, etc., and many companies also provide dormitories, so in this way, in Japan, the work of the salary compensation and welfare system also has a certain degree of competitiveness.

Japanese companies will strictly divide the time between work and life of employees, there will be no non-working time. Moreover, the culture of Japanese companies is that employees are closely tied to the company, so you don’t need to worry about losing your job. All things considered, I was looking for work-life balance and stability, so I thought working in Japan might be a better fit for me. 

 

FAST OFFER: Your Gateway to Top Japanese Companies 

I think the platform of FAST OFFER is very good, not only is it free, but also the companies introduced are well qualified, and there are a lot of reliable Japanese companies. To be honest, I didn’t have much access to these companies and information in China. But FAST OFFER’s WeChat shared a lot of meaningful content, such as company profiles, employment experience, etc., which were all presented in Chinese to help job seekers break the information gap. 

It is not easy to go directly from China to work for a top Japanese company, but with the help of FAST OFFER, this seemingly difficult task has become much easier. You can make full use of the platform and information from FAST OFFER and get the job of your choice! 

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