Working in Japan - Make a difference on your first day at job in a Japanese company
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
From “nay” to “yay” are only 6 steps difference - check them out here!
I got the job... what now?
First times are such special, game-changing experiences, but they help us to grow in the right direction. You will probably feel nervous, excited, afraid and kind of lost. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself - everything is going to be alright as far as you work hard, so 諦めないで (akiramenaide, don’t give up). If you are still hesitant and want to learn more about how to make a good impression on your first day, here you go with a few tips that could help you to (even) make a stunning entrance in your new Japanese working environment.
- Scouting out: in case you never went to your office before your first day, it could be a great idea to explore the area in advance, so you make sure you are not going to lose your way on the D-day. Japan can be a maze when it comes to transportation or streets, be sure to know where you’re heading!
- Punctuality: we can’t encourage enough to be punctual considering how essential it is in Japanese culture, especially if it comes about job. Japanese companies are so strict with punctuality, so please make yourself sure you are on time - and since it is your first day, that means you have to show up around 10 minutes earlier than the settled time. If there is a delay on the trains or you are late for personal reasons, don’t forget to make a call to your company, so they will be aware of the situation.
- Meeting your new coworkers: you are going to spend so much time with the people in your office from now on, so take a little time to approach to them one by one and introduce yourself properly (who are you, what is your role in the company, what were you doing before, etc). If you could do it in Japanese it would be perfect, but even if your language skills are not that flawless you can try to say something basic to break the ice. That will highlight your intention to learn and your coworkers will surely appreciate it.
- It is dangerous to go alone: being the rookie can be harsh - you have to remember all those new names and faces, your 名刺 (meishi, business card) collection increased +20 and you feel like you will never process such a huge amount of new information. Luckily you won’t walk alone in this quest, but with a companion - your 先輩 (senpai, mentor). Your senpai will guide you through this new adventure, giving you support, advice and counsel. You, as 後輩 (kōhai, junior), are expected to show gratitude and respect. Do not hesitate in ask your senpai for help if you need it and try to learn as much as your can from their experience.
- Always dress to kill: be sure you stick to the dress code in your office. If you have any doubts about that, ask in advance about the attire they expect you to wear.
- Flexibility is the key to success: keep a positive attitude even if things don’t go exactly as you expected and could contribute to build a good impression of you.
Confidence is the new black
And always remember that you have reached this point! They believe in yourself enough to hire you, so there is no reason to think you are not the correct person for the work. It is totally normal to make mistakes and that is the way we all learn, so don’t feel bad if your first day is a little bit messy. Relax, enjoy the experience and do your best - everything will be fine.
If you want to work in Japan and experiencing your very first day as an employee in a Japanese company, register to IZANAU and make your way through Japan!
About the Author
Half writer, half reader. Tokyo based and deeply in love with - you can easily find me meandering around Shibuya or Shin-Okubo. Communication and marketing assistant by day, video game localizer by night.