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Thread: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

  1. #21

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    I know this is an old thread but was browsing and wanted to throw in my 2 cents.

    As ihatefall said above, I also highly, highly recommend that if you stay in Japan you try to get into a foreign company rather than a Japanese one. I know some Japanese companies are changing the way they work, like literally pushing people out the door at 6:00 on "no overtime" days, but if you are from a Western culture you are going to have a major problem trying to be a Japanese office worker in a traditional Japanese corporate environment.

    Also, I was naive enough to expect that the Japanese work culture wouldn't be so strong in the US branches of a Japanese company but I was wrong. Most of the Japanese staff will continue to work as if they are still in Japan. American staff will generally not play the salaryman game, but then in the end you are back in an ALT-like situation where you feel like you are somehow being a bad employee by going home on time. Whatever your field I urge you to seriously consider if you want to work for a Japanese company.
    Last edited by patjs; March 12th, 2015 at 09:00.

  2. #22
    Senior Member PuddingHead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    Most of the Japanese staff will continue to work as if they are still in Japan. American staff will generally not play the salaryman game, but then in the end you are back in an ALT-like situation where you feel like you are somehow being a bad employee by going home on time. Whatever your field I urge you to seriously consider if you want to work for a Japanese company.
    Agreed. I work for a Japanese company here in the US and I would not recommend it unless you love overtime. Most of my coworkers stay 5+ hours after their shifts end, and they don't get paid for them nor do they get time adjustments. It's nice getting omiyage every time they go home on vacation, but if I ever leave on time I get a nice, cold glare on my way out.
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  3. #23

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by PuddingHead View Post
    Agreed. I work for a Japanese company here in the US and I would not recommend it unless you love overtime. Most of my coworkers stay 5+ hours after their shifts end, and they don't get paid for them nor do they get time adjustments. It's nice getting omiyage every time they go home on vacation, but if I ever leave on time I get a nice, cold glare on my way out.
    In my old job we had a new Japanese boss come over. He was so clueless he actually told someone "too early" when he left on time.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    In my old job we had a new Japanese boss come over. He was so clueless he actually told someone "too early" when he left on time.

    *jazz hands*
    "See ya!" *side step out*
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  5. #25
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post

    *jazz hands*
    "See ya!" *side step out*


    ?

  6. #26

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post


    ?
    Yep. Had to borrow (and delouse) Haitch's hat for that number.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post

    *jazz hands*
    "See ya!" *side step out*
    That's not far off from what we would all do at the end of the day.

    But actually that guy, like many others, realized really quickly how absolutely insane the work culture is in Japan. They soon realize that most Americans work quickly and efficiently within the working hours most of the time, so eventually they accept that they are the only people sad enough to sit around the office every night until 9pm "showing their effort."
    Last edited by patjs; March 13th, 2015 at 23:38.

  8. #28
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    It aint any better at American companies in Japan. Wherever you have a large group of Japanese people you will have all the BS that comes with Japanese business culture. There are very few exceptions to this rule. It doesn't make any difference that a few key big bosses are foreigners.
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  9. #29

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    It aint any better at American companies in Japan. Wherever you have a large group of Japanese people you will have all the BS that comes with Japanese business culture. There are very few exceptions to this rule. It doesn't make any difference that a few key big bosses are foreigners.
    I guess I was wrong... that's disappointing.

    So Americans and other foreigners do the whole stay at work til all hours thing?

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    I guess I was wrong... that's disappointing.

    So Americans and other foreigners do the whole stay at work til all hours thing?
    If they are local hires, they will be expected to work the same as any other Japanese staff.

    Of course, foreigners can usually do the whole gaijin smash thing and get away with going home early (especially if they are 正社員 and can't be fired) but they really shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves consistently getting passed up for promotion and see their careers stall out in comparison with Japanese peers.

    Expat managers will probably be very closely aligned with the corporate culture as it exists in the head office and will be expected to showcase those norms in the Japanese office. If it's a company with a culture of long working hours (Amazon, IBM, any consulting company), they will probably be putting in more hours than the Japanese staff. If it's a more laid back company, they will probably be telling the Japanese managers to send people home earlier. But Japanese culture is strong and the allure of showing more やる気 is hard to resist.
    Last edited by UPGRAYEDD; March 17th, 2015 at 13:59.
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  11. #31
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    With the international company I currently work for the Japan office is infamous for doing things its own way more than any other country.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    If they are local hires, they will be expected to work the same as any other Japanese staff.

    Of course, foreigners can usually do the whole gaijin smash thing and get away with going home early (especially if they are 正社員 and can't be fired) but they really shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves consistently getting passed up for promotion and see their careers stall out in comparison with Japanese peers.

    Expat managers will probably be very closely aligned with the corporate culture as it exists in the head office and will be expected to showcase those norms in the Japanese office. If it's a company with a culture of long working hours (Amazon, IBM, any consulting company), they will probably be putting in more hours than the Japanese staff. If it's a more laid back company, they will probably be telling the Japanese managers to send people home earlier. But Japanese culture is strong and the allure of showing more やる気 is hard to resist.
    Thanks for the insight. Honestly I wasn't positive as much of what I've heard is through the grapevine, and the only companies I have experience with are not Western by any means.

    I would imagine like you said it depends more heavily on the culture of the company.

    Of course, foreigners can usually do the whole gaijin smash thing and get away with going home early (especially if they are 正社員 and can't be fired) but they really shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves consistently getting passed up for promotion and see their careers stall out in comparison with Japanese peers.
    Can I ask what you mean by going home early? Are we talking "early" by Japanese standards as in like 6:00pm?

  13. #33
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    I would imagine like you said it depends more heavily on the culture of the company.
    It's just like JET where every situation is different.

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    Can I ask what you mean by going home early? Are we talking "early" by Japanese standards as in like 6:00pm?
    [/quote]

    I guess I mean by Japanese standards. So basically limiting overtime to less than 15 hours a month. I don't actually mean a sub-40 hour workweek or anything like that.
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  14. #34
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    At any serious job anywhere in the world you will be still expected to do some over time. Often quite a lot. The difference with Japan is that you unofficially have to do over time just because. Sitting around reading the paper and all that.
    Also flexitime is an unknown word in Japan.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyr View Post
    At any serious job anywhere in the world you will be still expected to do some over time. Often quite a lot. The difference with Japan is that you unofficially have to do over time just because. Sitting around reading the paper and all that.
    Also flexitime is an unknown word in Japan.
    Right, necessary overtime that you are compensated for either by OT pay or a higher salary is one thing. Japanese companies like to come here and hire people "exempt" at shit pay because they can get away with it legally, then slowly try to pressure you into working more and more overtime.

    Also, for those of you who went straight from JET to working in Japan I'm not sure you realize how little if any OT a lot of people do in the US.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post

    Also, for those of you who went straight from JET to working in Japan I'm not sure you realize how little if any OT a lot of people do in the US.
    At one of my jobs in college, my boss would hand 2 people duties for about 4 people. It was a bakery, and it went well into the night (about 2 am most nights) and these two girls would come in at 8, would man the counter, make the doughnuts, wash the dishes and scrub every inch of the bakery. That would have been fine for two people, but boss didn't like having to pay two girls who worked in the dead of night, so she cut it down to one person after 11 which was when the place closed to customers. Then, when girls were staying into 3am, they started asking for OT. Boss says, "I'm not paying you OT for work you should have finished at 1."

    OT is like a unicorn. When you see it, it's magical.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    Also, for those of you who went straight from JET to working in Japan I'm not sure you realize how little if any OT a lot of people do in the US.
    Americans work longer hours than most other English speaking peoples.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Americans work longer hours than most other English speaking peoples.
    Yup, and our bosses more often than not have a "no OT rule," meaning if you're overworked and stay late it's your fault and you don't get OT. Bad employee, bad!

  19. #39
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    Right, necessary overtime that you are compensated for either by OT pay or a higher salary is one thing. Japanese companies like to come here and hire people "exempt" at shit pay because they can get away with it legally, then slowly try to pressure you into working more and more overtime.

    Also, for those of you who went straight from JET to working in Japan I'm not sure you realize how little if any OT a lot of people do in the US.
    There are companies here that expect you to clock out at your official end of work time, and continue working. One of my JTEs does it of his own volition because the boss didn't like him staying late and racking up overtime. This kind of thing is illegal in the US, or at least it is in GA. When I worked at a supermarket, we had to take our aprons and name tags off and weren't allowed to do anything that could be construed as work once we clocked out. And, I rarely had to stay more than 15-20 minutes past my scheduled time at that job.

    I know salaried work is different, but both of my parents are salaried and rarely have to work more than their scheduled time. And they both get 2 days off a week, where here usually only Sunday is guaranteed. That's a large part of why I'm leaving. I couldn't handle the 6 day, 60-70 hour work week for shitty pay with only a hint of a chance at a pay raise in a few years' time.

  20. #40

    Default Re: Actual Career-oriented jobs for Gaijin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Americans work longer hours than most other English speaking peoples.
    True but most legitimate (I'm not saying all) companies are paying you for OT or you are making a higher salary. In your average say, inside sales job at a corporation, the guys making 35k doing office work are not working til 9pm every night for no additional pay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    Yup, and our bosses more often than not have a "no OT rule," meaning if you're overworked and stay late it's your fault and you don't get OT. Bad employee, bad!
    Yeah that's not legal. It sounds like this was a part time-type college job? I'm talking about full time jobs. I know there are some shady jobs like this but it's not really the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    I know salaried work is different, but both of my parents are salaried and rarely have to work more than their scheduled time. And they both get 2 days off a week, where here usually only Sunday is guaranteed. That's a large part of why I'm leaving. I couldn't handle the 6 day, 60-70 hour work week for shitty pay with only a hint of a chance at a pay raise in a few years' time.
    Yes this is generally how it is for your average American. If you aren't management or C-level, you aren't working till all hours of the night. I know there are some exceptions, but I'm going off of what I see everyday and through years of working here now with tons of different people. They aren't at the office past 5:00 generally.

    I work currently in a very large office building with a lot of companies. By 5:30 the place is basically a ghost town. If I stay until 6:00 or later, there are honestly almost no cars that don't belong to a Japanese person.

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