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Jobs & Careers

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Jobs & Careers

Postby onyxmoron » Thu 10.11.2007 9:52 am

Hello, folks.

I'm a new member to the site--I was redirected here from another "zomg foreigners living in Japan" site, and I find myself liking the atmosphere here a lot. 宜しくお願いします!

Anyway, I've got a rather bonehead question, but first a little background:

I'm a special-exchange-program student in Osaka, having been studying here for one year, and will be here for another year. As a result, I will be receiving TWO bachelor's degrees, one from my home university and one from the Japanese university I'm attending (関西大学). My majors are, essentially, East Asian and Japanese Studies.

As a result, I have no real business education or anything practical, I guess, other than my fluency in Japanese (at a JLPT Level 2 right now, aiming to pass Level 1 next year).

So, my question is this: what job/career opportunities do I have available to me that DO NOT INCLUDE teaching English?

I hate teaching English with a passion, and therefore have no interest in working in that field.

That being said, I'd like to continue to stay in Japan and work, preferably with translation, though I'm open to anything I guess (sans teaching English).

I wanted to consider the JET program's CIR position, but I really wanna stay in a major city-center (大阪府, 東京都, 京都府, etc), and from what I've heard about the JET Program is that I'm more likely to be stuffed in the boondocks somewhere (which I also do not want).

I've looked into jobs with the US State Department, such as work as a Foreign Officer, but they're worse than JET: I'm as likely to be trained in Nigerian and put there while they train someone fresh to Japanese, thus wasting my (currently) 6 years of studying Japanese.

So, with Japanese and American government (sponsored) jobs being bust, I'm looking at the private sector...

Is there even a possibility of being hired by a private company, even while not having ANY business skills?

Thanks for taking the time to read my questions! I hope to hear back from you guys soon!
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby pubju » Thu 10.11.2007 2:16 pm

Interpreting?

If you're good enough, you can make alot of money interpreting for large corperations. It's intensely hard work, but the pay is pretty good (or so I've heard)
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby Dehitay » Thu 10.11.2007 2:58 pm

Interpreting does pay well, but I wonder if he was asking for something using one of his degrees. As far as his degrees go, I don't know of anything specific for them. They seem like they would be a lot more useful to him once he left Japan.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 10.11.2007 9:07 pm

Does 関西大学give out degrees to their study-abroad students now? I totally got shafted when I went.

In any case, if the only skill you have from college is speaking Japanese, then you can either go into teaching English, translation or intrepretation. Besides teaching english, translation is the easier of the two, and requires no extra certification or training (although they're always recommended). There are always companies looking for English/Japanese translators. I suggest checking around at a 派遣会社 or something for that. 関西大学 should also be able to set you up with some methods for 就職活動 as that's what all the 4th years at your school will be doing anyways.

As for interpretation, REAL interpretation (non-casual/business) is really freaking hard, and requires special training. If that's the path you want to take, I highly recommend that you enroll in some interpretation/shadowing classes in your area to get your skills up. You can also get certification from these schools, which will make you more desirable to prospective employers.

Now, if you have ANOTHER skill besides Japanese, you can also flaunt that. I majored in Programming and studied Japanese as a side interest, so when I went looking for my job, I did so looking for a programming position. The fact that I could speak Japanese was 当たり前, it was my programming that they were interested in.

In any case, I hope that helps you out a little.

Good luck!
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby onyxmoron » Fri 10.12.2007 11:31 am

Thanks for the quick replies, folks.

To answer some points:

-I'm not particularly concerned with using my degrees--to be honest, they are a means to an end (I'm not going to university to get a degree, I'm going to study what I wanna study, that being Japanese). Sorry about the confusion on this point.

-More than interpretation, I'm interested in translation...as has been mentioned, interpretation is hard work! Also, I'm a bit of an anal retentive when it comes to translation; trying to explain どうぞ宜しく to a non-Japanese-speaker is a multi-hour process, I dunno how I could handle doing "on-the-fly" translations like that. It seems like an interesting prospect, though, and I think I'll look into those interpretation classes that Harisenbon-san has mentioned.

-関大 gives out degrees to its Dual-Degree students, both those spawning from 関大 and those from Webster University. I'm in that program, which is how I'm getting a 関大 degree, heh.

Anyway, thanks for the tips, guys! It's a great starting point, and I hope I can make it somehow, haha.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 10.12.2007 2:00 pm

onyxmoron wrote:
I dunno how I could handle doing "on-the-fly" translations like that. It seems like an interesting prospect, though, and I think I'll look into those interpretation classes that Harisenbon-san has mentioned.


I did that in the USArmy for 10+ years. believe me, it's no cakewalk, but you do manage, especially if you have material beforehand.

And no matter what, don't ever try to do it simultaneously. your head will spin off after the third sentence.

We had a joke that our US Army and the Japanese Ground Self Dfense forces interpretors would do. Our badges (that stated we were interpretors) would actually say.

Rank: Sirname Japanese or English Interruptor. for example. (SSG Kelly Japanese Interruptor)

You wouldn't believe how many people would overlook the misspelling.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby keatonatron » Sat 10.13.2007 2:14 am

Onyx,
What other skills and interests do you have? I've found that there are many companies that need Bilingual workers, and as long as you have hobby-level knowledge of the products/services they deal with, formal training or a degree isn't required.

Think of yourself as a Japanese person who never went to college but is very good at English, and think of what kind of job they would try to get. ;)
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby onyxmoron » Sat 10.13.2007 2:23 am

keatonatron wrote:
Onyx,
What other skills and interests do you have? I've found that there are many companies that need Bilingual workers, and as long as you have hobby-level knowledge of the products/services they deal with, formal training or a degree isn't required.


Hmm...skill-wise, I've a lot of experience working in retail and service industry, thanks to all the part-timing I've done since high school. I'm handy with computers, building them or using them (but I'm no programmer).

Interests, I'd put heavily into video games, in developing or whatnot. I like working retail when I'm selling stuff I personally use/know about (like books, games, etc). I've always kinda had my eye on working for an American company like TokyoPop or ADV, who license Japanese manga/anime and bring English versions to America... that'd be a job I'd love to do, but I imagine they'd have me working in America, which I'd like to avoid. That being said, I should check into what job offerings they might have.

That reminds me, actually... an exchange student friend of mine had a job offer from Konami; apparently, they want to expand some of their game lines into other countries, so they picked him up for that purpose...I suppose I could try hitting up the game developers and see if they need somebody like me.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby keatonatron » Sat 10.13.2007 9:19 am

I have a friend who got a job working with a game company as part of their international sales department. He's in charge of selling their games to publishers in other countries. It sounds like a pretty good gig, and he said he doesn't have any past experience that helped him get the job, he simply speaks Japanese fluently and is good with people.

If you just look around, I'm sure you can find something.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby Kagemaru » Sat 10.13.2007 12:03 pm

keatonatron wrote:
I have a friend who got a job working with a game company as part of their international sales department. He's in charge of selling their games to publishers in other countries. It sounds like a pretty good gig, and he said he doesn't have any past experience that helped him get the job, he simply speaks Japanese fluently and is good with people.


Out of curiosity, pardon me for asking. Obviously as Japanese office environments thrive on paperwork, I am assuming your friend has an equal literacy command?

two_heads_talking wrote:
Rank: Sirname Japanese or English Interruptor. for example. (SSG Kelly Japanese Interruptor)


So..

How much interupting did you manage?
Last edited by Kagemaru on Sat 10.13.2007 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby keatonatron » Sun 10.14.2007 12:34 am

Kagemaru wrote:
Out of curiosity, pardon me for asking. Obviously as Japanese office environments thrive on paperwork, I am assuming your friend has an equal literacy command?


Yeah, he passed the JLPT 1 and said it was "really easy". He's also been studying Chinese for a long time so he has no problems with kanji.

Literacy matching one's speaking ability is kind of a given when talking about employment in Japan. If you can speak but not read or write, you're the same as an illiterate Japanese person... and you will have a very difficult time excelling at anything professional.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 10.14.2007 9:32 am

If you can speak but not read or write; you may be able to get employment through an American company that has an office in Japan or something like that. Otherwise as keat says, you would be expected to read and write. Although there are many jobs where you will be speaking a lot more than reading or writing (especially writing).
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby onyxmoron » Sun 10.14.2007 10:38 am

keatonatron wrote:
I have a friend who got a job working with a game company as part of their international sales department. He's in charge of selling their games to publishers in other countries. It sounds like a pretty good gig, and he said he doesn't have any past experience that helped him get the job, he simply speaks Japanese fluently and is good with people.

If you just look around, I'm sure you can find something.


Wow, congratulations to your friend. That sounds exactly like the kind of job I'd love to do.

Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I will definitely try and see what's available, and apply to every game company that I know of, haha...but I guess apart from that, I really, really need to concentrate on clearing the JLPT 1. I dunno why I didn't realize how important that was until now, but without it I can't do anything...and it seems like with it, I CAN do anything.

On an unrelated note, what are the chances I could get into being a talent? I've always had delusions of grandeur of becoming the next Pakkun, hahaha...
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby keatonatron » Sun 10.14.2007 11:21 am

onyxmoron wrote:
On an unrelated note, what are the chances I could get into being a talent?


3%.
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RE: Jobs & Careers

Postby tanuki » Sun 10.14.2007 1:40 pm

That high?
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