Wiring Yourself into Telecommunications

Wiring Yourself into Telecommunications

The background:

The upheaval in the telecommunications industry that started in 2000 with the meltdown of many leading data centers is still going on. From the data centers, the data carriers were affected, then the telco's owning the infrastructure, and now the wired providers versus the wireless ones.

Japan passed the point of having more wireless customers than wired ones about a year ago, and the ensuing shakeout of both sectors has been happening ever since. One of the biggest movers and shakers is of course, Vodafone, which came in and bought out Japan Telecom and its stake in J-Phone. This has had a huge ripple effect on other companies, and although not public yet, several other major Japanese telco's (outside of NTT of course) will be making major merger announcements over the coming months.

The opportunity:

Almost without exception, Japan's telecommunications companies have been stagnating in the shadow of NTT. As a result the staff at many of these companies are unaware of the revolution reverberating throughout the industry and thus the need to change how things are done. Increasing, the new owners/partners of such companies are getting frustrated by the slow pace of change and are looking to replace their mid- to senior-management with people who are quicker to respond.

Thus, many opportunities are opening up for managers with business development, sales, marketing, and restructuring experience. This is an excellent time for bilingual Japanese junior managers to think about moving across to a foreign company. Not only is there the opportunity to do something more exciting and meaningful, but it is highly likely that you will enjoy a significant increase in pay and responsibility as well.

But is it Safe?

Is moving to one of these "newly foreign" companies safe? This is a good question, in light of the announcement by Vodafone that they would sell off their Japan Telecom fixed line business. However, even though the ownership will change, there has been no talk of significantly restructuring or reducing the operations of Japan Telecom hereon out. The reason is simple, the restructuring has already been done and the company is profitable. Both good reasons for assuming that the new owners will be leaving it alone.

In the meantime, you might ask yourself if your current company and job are safe. In all likelihood you are working for a telco with major Japanese shareholders: Toyota, TEPCO, and others. Well, you should pay attention, because these very same companies are the ones most likely to instigate restructuring of the current operations. Indeed, they have already been doing so, and the more senior you become, the more your salary and position are questioned when it comes time to cut costs yet again.

You Owe It To Yourself:

Instead of wondering what you'd do if your job was cut, or if the company changed significantly, you need to be prepared. Using a recruiter is the best way to do this, because they can continue showing you jobs and employment conditions - to help you understand the market out there. Applying directly to another company may lock you into a situation where you feel compelled to leave before you are ready. If you are thinking of using a recruiter, and you are interested in moving to a foreign company, whether you speak English or not, think DaiJob. We can help you in either English or Japanese, and we know the telecommunications sector well - with many open management positions every month.

As always, my contact details are simply:

terrie.lloyd@daijob.com

Looking forward to getting some enquiries...

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