“Yes, I want a job using Japanese skills. But where do I start?”

Global companies have been utilizing very skilled bilingual persons for quite a while now, and you may think that you could never be compared to those successful people. You may see the words “bilingual” in a job advertisement and think that you could never be considered as such. 

Students graduating from college and looking for their first job don’t believe they have the experience to work any position besides entry-level, which of course makes sense.

Japan-loving students, especially, have a difficult time with this.

The more you love Japan, the more humble you get. If someone asks you how advanced your Japanese is, you probably reply with, “Oh, I’m not very good…” You may be the best student your language class has ever seen, yet you still say such things since in your heart you’ve practically turned Japanese and don’t want to boast.

But if you really do love using your Japanese language or cultural skills, there is a way.

The only problem is that there’s no easy answer or solution. It’s rare to find a company that is advertising entry-level bilingual/bicultural positions. Further, there is the assumption that most people in the world speak English (which is probably true), so Japan-lovers get disheartened that they can never compete with an English-speaking Japanese employee. Lastly, for any serious language work, companies can easily go to professional translators and interpreters to fill that need.

So what is a Japan-lover to do?

If you’re determined to make it a reality, you have to think outside the box. You have to put the work in, and make yourself marketable to global companies that don’t yet realize they need you. You have to reach out to companies and tell them how you can help. You have to be willing to start small, and introduce your ideas incrementally. You may be hired into a global company and not use your language/cultural skills the first year or two, but once you start to understand the organization and its people, you can start introducing bilingual ideas here and there. You have to be willing to be patient, because this “global employee” movement is just beginning.

I’ll be here to help you out in different ways. I’ll be working with global companies to introduce this concept of global employees. Stick with me, and I’ll pull together resources to help you out. Next week, I’ll be introducing “Sempai Success Stories” to show you how some people have already done it. 

So, how determined are you? Let me know your thoughts via e-mail or comments; I’d love to hear from you!

Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

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