Terrie's Job Tips -- Taking a Job on Blind Faith

Getting employed by smaller Japanese companies can sometimes be more than just mere culture shock. Such companies are typically run top-down, and the patriarchal atmosphere is very evident. This often means that you need to deal with the CEO directly to understand what is going on in the organization, and if you don't have that access, then you need to be like one of the family – trusting that things will work out. Further, to plan a career, you need to understand the "family" relationships and figure out who besides the CEO is important. Usually this will be a couple of his/her key managers.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- Immigration - How to Add up 10 Years

I get lots of email about visa and immigration questions. Unfortunately, apart from the general visa definitions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/appendix1.html#5)and a book on the subject I recommended some years ago, called A Japanese Visa Handbook: From Tourist to Permanent Resident by Motoko Kuroda, there is little else that could be considered reliable information on how to get a Japanese work visa.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- Business Development Manager

In a recession there is one job that is never in short supply – sales. No company is getting enough sales, and for those that are hurting due to the economy, sales is the primary point of attention. Managers are putting pressure on low performers, and firing or reassigning those who are unable to contribute. This level of attention may make some people feel like sales is a high-pressure and ultimately undesirable job. But in fact, a sales role can be very fulfilling and liberating if you are good at it – i.e., if you understand what drives successful sales.

I'll talk about what these drivers are in a future article, but right now, let's discuss the high end of sales – which is business development.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- JETs – Part Three: The Opportunities

A common question by teachers coming off the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program is what sort of careers they can build for themselves once they hit the job market here in Japan, versus going back home. Do they stay in language teaching? Yes, that's an option, but doesn't really create a career unless you're willing to study to acquire more academic qualifications.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- JETs - Part Two: Building Human Networks in Remote Areas

I had mentioned in my presentation that networking is extremely important for future jobs – not only to find them, but also because apart from any professional qualifications and being able to speak some Japanese, your personal human network is probably the most important factor for a potential future employer.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- JETs - Part One: Finding Jobs

I was asked by CLAIR, the organizing agency behind the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program which puts English teachers into public schools all over Japan, to be a career counselor at their annual conference for departing teachers. As an employer, I was very happy to have this chance, because it allowed me to meet and talk to around 20 people who were coming off contract periods of 2 to 5 years, and many of whom had made the effort to assimilate into their host country. I was also happy as an HR "promoter" for jobs for foreigners in Japan, as I was privy to a nice cross-section of what is going on in the minds of job seekers who are making some major personal decisions.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- Moving to Japan with the Wife

It would be interesting for some researcher to look at the reasons people come to Japan – especially those reasons which are not economically related but through some other cause. My personal guess is that the JET program and other English-teaching opportunities would be high on the list, as would general transfers of expats working for foreign companies.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- Translator Seeks a Career Change

Disruption in the Job Market causes different reactions in different people. For most of us it makes us more conservative and we're happy to have a job at all. For employers it all but halts hiring, and for recruiters it spells hard times and lay-offs. Whatever the reaction, the result is job market stagnation and an indefinite postponement of career development plans.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- Where to Go After Being CFO?

One trend that I'm noticing in my recruiting practice is the increase of highly qualified bilingual job seekers in the market. This is not surprising, given that foreign firms are being hard hit in their home markets and naturally Japan is expected to contribute to the cost-cutting moves going on around the world. Then of course you have the general meltdown in the banking sector and the corresponding fall out with their traditional suppliers.

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Terrie's Job Tips -- Hard Messages - Letting Employees Go

This week's column is intended for HR and business managers who are confronted with having to execute orders from head office to pare down the workforce as a means of reducing cost. Because the reductions will be general in nature, the most common reaction of the local management is to deal with the problem in a general way as well – usually by sending emails or having mass meetings. However, in my experience, mass communications of a negative nature almost never work, so I decided to consult with a professional in the HR and Training field, Mr. Andrew Silberman of AMT Group.

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