From Baguio to Tokyo - First steps working in Japan
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Part 1: Welcome to Fukuoka!
Magandang araw sa inyong lahat!
That means “good day to all of you”, a form of salutation in my country!
My name is Marco and I come from the Philippines, I am currently working as an intern for Active Gaming Media here in Tokyo, Japan. As I think most of you are curious about what it is to work in Japan, I will share a part of my experience with you!
But first, let me tell you why I came to Japan in the first place…
I kept this in mind and choose to study Information Technologies before graduating in Software Development. I then decided on studying here in Japan because I wanted to meet these Game Developers I always respected!
I first arrived here on April 16, 2015. A remarkable day.
I landed in Fukuoka in a new place, meeting new people, in a completely new environment. I was a student that time and my visa allowed me to work for limited hours.
So, my first part-time job ever was as Waiter and Kitchen Staff in a traditional Japanese restaurant.
To be honest, the first few months were hard. Really hard.
Between the times where I could not understand what customers were ordering, and the ones where I brought the wrong dish, I learnt the hard way that Japanese are strict when it comes to work.
The same way, I learnt a lot of rules on service: did you know that the handle of a mug should always face the right side of the customer ? And that chopsticks should be passed with both hands, palms facing the customer? Or that when serving a sushi or a sashimi plate, the wasabi should be right in front of the customer? I can go on and on (and if you want me to do so, let us know! ), but the main point is: Japanese people take customer service to another level.
Once, the 店長 (tenchô, restaurant manager) told me that the respect to the client is the core of the business: may they be wrong or right, you have to listen to them and treat them with care. Japanese customers are sensitive to the slightest mistake and rely heavily on the 口コミ (kuchikomi, word of mouth) for choosing their restaurants. Be rude to one customer, then loose hundreds and prepare to face the consequences.
After a year in Fukuoka I transferred to Tokyo to continue my studies. Compared to Fukuoka, Tokyo’s business-centered activities, on-the-rush people and grey buildings give the city a more serious atmosphere. Yet, I think it was easier to find a job in my branch, and actually my first work here in Tokyo was a part time web developer using Ruby for a Japanese company.
Now I am working for Active Gaming Media as an intern, focusing on the IZANAU project since January.
By the way, have you register yet to the site? Don’t forget while you’re here!
This article will be divided into three parts: come back soon to check my Tokyo’s adventures and advices!
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