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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jobs in Japan for non-Japanese Speakers

I'm getting straight to the point in this blog post. I get this question a lot and I know a bit about the topic just from researching for myself (I'm being hopeful). For those of you who are reading this and know Japanese extremely well, start considering taking the JLPT N2 or N1. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test goes from level 5 to 1, 5 being the lowest level. If you can pass the N2 or N1 test you can have the chance to work for a Japanese company. Not only that, but a lot of companies will be expecting you to have a four year college degree, or bachelors degree. You could work at a restaurant, an office, or some other regular job you could get in your own country. As much as English is becoming a universal language Japan is still majority Japanese which it should be.

Now, for those who don't have any proficiency in Japanese or even just a tad you are in the category of jobs for English speakers.There aren't many to choose from, and some jobs are harder to get than others. Let's go over some jobs.

English Teacher

This is the most obvious job on this list. There are many different ways to go about getting an English teaching job though. The first is to search jobs online at the direct source, being the institute. This is a bit difficult to get but it's still possible. Then you've got your programs you can apply to and be sponsored by them. There are two types of programs to work for: government run and privately run. The most commonly known government program is JET. If you're looking for reliable company to work for that takes care of you through your journey then going with JET or any other government run program is your better position. Privately owned programs (I will not name any in particular because each person handles situations differently) are a bit more involved. They don't help you as much as government owned, but you can stay in Japan longer as an English teacher. As an English teacher your salary will be around $2,300.00- $3,000.00 a month (note: taxes will be taken out according to Japanese tax rate). Each program will pay differently. If you have any other further questions you need to research companies and talk with someone from that program to get a feel for what program is for you.

Store Manager

I'm not too familiar with other countries but in the US we have brands that are sold in Japan such as Hollister, Forever 21, H&M, and many more. If you apply for a manager position at these stores where you live it can lead up to some pretty cool opportunities. They have you at your local store for a few years but then may offer you to travel abroad to another store. They may even be open to requests such as going to a store in Japan. If being a manager is something you wouldn't mind doing then this may be a good option for you. I know nothing about the pay but I do know the hours are pretty crazy. It'll be more than 40 hours a week. And these positions are pretty competitive. Other than that the rest is up to you to research such as how well the company will be taking care of you while abroad.

Writer, Artist, Musician

The good thing about the arts is that it is a universal language. Everyone in the world can appreciate the arts. It's not easy to obtain, but there is a visa for artists to live in Japan. Once again, my knowledge on this is limited but I know it can be done. Working as a musician or an artist, you can have the option of working for yourself or working with others. As for writers, there are plenty of opportunities to get jobs writing for websites as a freelance writer. There are a ton of websites built to educate foreigners on Japan and what to expect. All you have to do is see if they have any available positions for writers. Many of these sites accept writers only who live in Japan. I've had the lucky experience to write for one of these websites for about a year until they changed their formatting. From my personal experience it wasn't that bad. I will say that to do it as a full time job is impossible. You don't get paid enough, like $12 an article. I'd use the freelancing job as a part time job to complement the pay of my full time job.

Business Owner

This job is for those of you who can afford to make an investment. There are a ton of foreigners in Japan who run their own business. For example, there's a man from New Orleans (where I'm from) who has started his own restaurant. His restaurant is in Osaka, and it's called Bistro Orleans. It's a restaurant that specializes in New Orleans cooking. It doesn't have to be a restaurant, just pick something you're passionate about and start that business in Japan. If you don't feel comfortable with making the investment by yourself ask a friend who would also be interested in moving to Japan to run the business with you. I would imagine it to be a bit scary at first to make such a big decision like this, but if you're willing to take that risk then this method may be your best option.

There you have it. Sorry if you were expecting a little more but sadly there are not many job opportunities in Japan for foreigners. But if you are determined to work in Japan then you should be fine with these options because you don't really have the option to complain. Just take what comes your way.

Hope this helped some of you. Thank you as always for reading my blog posts. I have many more useful and fun posts on here so you should definitely check that out. If you're interests in anything else related to Japan you should follow me on social media!

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