I have had a recruiter reach out to me for a position as ID in Tokyo with a large international Manufacturer, most known for Instruments and speakers apparently… still don’t know who this is but I can guess
I seriously know nothing about Japan but it has always intrigued me.
Does anybody work in Tokyo currently or has some hands on experiences to share?
I am interested to get an idea as to salary expectations for a Sr. or lead position and generally what to look out for.
Bro - you’ve gotta tell me how you got their attention. Congrats on making contact! I’ve been interested in working for that business ever since I was in school. I’ve never worked in Japan, but I lived there for 2 years, so I probably don’t have the advice you are looking for.
Japan is an interesting mix of super hyped up city streets and totally serene country villages surrounded by rice patties. If you go, you have to hit the Ramen bars and get a nice big hot steaming bowl of fresh Ramen. Great stuff, nothing like the fake instant stuff in the USA. (you can still find it here if you are looking though) Also, their streets remind me of Super Mario Bros.
One thing on doing business there - everybody carries business cards, even teenagers, and it’s almost a ritual to trade cards with new acquaintances. Two-handed is the usual etiquette.
Never lived in Japan, only traveled there occasionally, but lived in China before.
Just a general advice: If you have no experience with Asian cultures and don’t know anything about it do NOT just jump into it unless you have really absolutely nothing to lose and your current job has absolutely nothing to offer you.
Even a “friendly” place like Japan can CRUSH a foreigner. It is not comparable to a move to Sweden or a move to Canada. If you move to an Asian country you will never be part of that society and always be “the foreigner”, no matter how good your language skills are or how much taxes you pay. If you don’t look or sound like them you will never truly be part of them. It is a very different approach than most western countries that are very used to immigration. It sounds like a small thing, but it grinds you down and is the number one reason most foreigners leave. On top of that: working in east Asia, especially in an Asian company, is no cakewalk. Expect long hours, very clear hierarchies and comparably little “creative wiggle room”. All the stories about crazy Asian working conditions are absolutely true in most parts of China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan.
No matter the salary, definitely reach out to other foreigners working there… And then dig for the non sugar coated opinion of what it is like to live there. It takes a specific type of character to live in Asia longterm and reading manga and liking ramen are usually not the personal traits that are important for that.
Randomly I recently ran across a bunch of YT videos from, about, foreigners working in japan. Do a search of “working in japan as a foreigner” and take a look.
What Mrog says is right about being a foreigner in Asia. You really need a good social network there if you want to thrive. I already have connections with church communities in Japan, so I would have a place to belong if I moved there. If you have no asian lineage, you will have to get used to people staring at you everywhere you go, and high school girls shouting hello to you randomly and asking for a picture with the gaijin. Professionally it will be harder to get people to take you seriously, but working in the design field should be much better than working there as an english teacher.
Thanks for the info. So it turns out, it’s not actually Tokyo but about an hour and a half by bullet train in a smaller town.
Not thrilled about this as the experience of living in Tokyo was a major factor.
In any case, thanks a lot for all your feedback.
Just curious…what was the name of the town?
It’s Hamamatsu, south of Tokyo on the coast.
Looks lovely but unfortunately not the big one.