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Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

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  • Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

    Hi there, I have just graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in Business and Japanese Studies and am now looking for a job in Japan where I can use both my Japanese and business skills. I am particularly interested in working in Hokkaido, especially Sapporo. However I am finding it dificult to find any suitable jobs other than English teaching. Is there anyone who can give me some advice about finding a good job in this area? Thanks for your help.

    Ian Hurrell

  • #2
    Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

    What kind of job would you like? How's your Japanese? Do you have a visa? (Now I'm doing it!)

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    • #3
      Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

      Thanks for your reply My japanese is of advanced level, probably level 2. However I haven't taken the test. I know about 1200 kanji, have a little trouble but with a dictionary can read newspapers, have good spoken skills, know a little keigo but can brush up on that. Have no visa at the moment. Was thinking that the best way is to get an english teaching job to get a visa then look for better work. What do you think? I have done a lot of study in business management and human relations and intercultural relations, so something in that area would be nice. Thanks for your help, sorry if i've gone a bit too in depth!! Any advice you could give would be most appreciated.

      Ian

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      • #4
        Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

        Well, this might be a long shot, but when I lived in Sapporo I met two guys working for Xerox. Maybe check them out. It has been a couple years and the only reason I remember those guys was because I was shocked they got a job besides teaching english. Good luck

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        • #5
          Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

          Level 2 will not be good enough for most business situations. You still have not answered the question about what type of business you are interested in. What are your business skills?

          Kind of hard to believe you can read a newspaper with only 1200 kanji. High school kids graduate having to know about twice that.

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          • #6
            Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

            Hi, as for the type of business I want to get into, I was hoping that I could get some advice on some good places to work in the Sapporo area (I would very much like to work in Hokkaido). However if I was to give specifics I would have to say I would like to get something maybe in the electronics industry, like Sony, NEC, etc. The car industry is also a possibility. However pretty much any kind of business is ok as long as the work is centred around management specificaly HRM or Intercultural relations which is my specialty. As for the newspapers, I did say that I need a dictionary and I believe ne recomended number of kanji for newspapers is 1800. To be honest I'm not sure how many kanji I know, I just threw 1200 in as a ballpark figure. However I have had to read Japanese newspaper articles from asahi shinbun etc as part of my degree. Sorry for any confusion and thanks for your reply.

            Ian

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            • #7
              Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

              I know of a host bar or two, that I, errr, I mean, a Friend worked at once.

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              • #8
                Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

                Sorry, Hokkaido for me, but if you only have level 2, you are going to have a really hard time in any business meeting, especially at the management level. How do you expect to know business lingo/jargon, customs, negotiation tactics, etc. with only that many kanji and that low level of speaking? Just for grins, what is your business experience, anyway? Probably very little to none if you just graduated, so what type of rank did you expect to start at? Presumably the lowest rung, and that brings up another point... what can you do with level 2 Japanese that a Japanese person cannot already do?

                Hey, if you really want to check out what businesses are in Sapporo, go to Townpages online phone directory and do the necessary search.

                Or contact Ken Hartmann at the Hokkaido Insider (although most of his contacts are for teaching jobs).

                Or contact www.______.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

                  Sounds like a host in the making to me.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

                    Thanks for your comments Glenski. I will take them on board. I know it will be difficult to get a job in japan other than english teaching without fluent Japanese. However, I haven't done a 4 year degree in Japanese and Business for nothing! I appreciate your criticism however I would appreciate some more constructive advice rather than a constant barrage of negativities. However, you have opened my eyes a little. Do you now any foreigners who are working in sapporo other than in an english teaching related area and if so would it be alright to contact them? Also do you know anyone who has done english teaching and has moved on to other work? I thank you for your interest in my case, and I hope you can offer me some more advice.

                    Ian

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                    • #11
                      Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

                      Hokkaido for me,
                      No, I don't know any foreigners in Hokkaido that are not into teaching. I know OF one person who has some business guiding river raft adventures, but that's it. Pretty seasonal, so I imagine he has something else going on the side for the five months of winter. Oh, I know of a Thai wife of an American. She teaches cooking and dancing on her own and all under the table. I ran into a guy with a master's or PhD in biochemistry, but he was also teaching English. I also heard of a foreigner managing a hotel in Sapporo, but he was pretty scummy from all the reports I got from the local labor union (a Japanese guy I once taught). I don't suppose you'd count the African guys hanging out in the nightclub area handing out leaflets as successes in non-teaching jobs; at least, you probably wouldn't want to be in their line of work or use their techniques.

                      That pretty much answers your other question about knowing someone who has taught English and moved on, too. Sorry.

                      As for constant barrages of negativity, I'm just being realistic/practical. Language skills are pretty much a given and should be obvious. I could also direct you toward an article in the Japan Times which came from a foreign recruiter stating that foreigners nowadays are going to need even more than fluency in Japanese to get ahead. They need marketable skills that Japanese don't have. So, that's something to support where I was coming from with that "negativity". I could've also steered you toward www.jobseekjapan.com to show you IT jobs that almost always require high fluency in Japanese, but you weren't in that field.

                      One more note...some of us forum veterans may seem a bit negative or snippy, but that's only because people post queries with too little information. For example, it took three messages from you to see what business field you were into. It's pretty hard to respond with anything concrete without that basic knowledge. Not negative, just hard. Perhaps our resident business guru (Ms. Trip Hop) will chime in soon, but I believe she is on vacation at the moment. Heed what she has to say.

                      Meantime, at least I gave you a few leads, thin though they may be. On the www.______.com link, see what Terri has to say on his link, too. Read the articles he has put together.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

                        Ok, thanks glenski I will take into account what you have to say. I will have to improve my Japanese somehow and work on finding some marketable skills. I'm sorry if you took offence to my negativity comment. I did not mean to offend you. I agree, it is good to be realistic, however what I meant by 'negativity' was that you only seemed to highlight the things I couldn't do and offered little advice on affirmative action that would be helpful to find a job in japan. As for not providing enough information, I am also sorry, this is the first time I have used a forum.

                        However if you or in fact anyone else reading this has any advice on what could be useful in helping me find a job in Japan especially in Hokkaido it would be much appreciated. For example, internships, educational courses/scollarships, inter-cultural relations work( like JET CIR) or anything a foreigner could get in Japan. I am open to any suggestions (within reason so please don't mind about wy level in Japanese or things like that. Right now, I am just looking for ideas of ways to work in Japan (Preferably Sapporo or at least somewhere in Hokkaido).

                        I have been thinking that it may be a good idea to get a job as an English teacher at first, build up my japanese and other skills in Japan and then look for other work more in my field of expertise. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

                        Thanks for your comments

                        Ian

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

                          Hokkaido, you could always work as an English teacher first--at least it would get you to Japan. Once in Japan, you'll be able to network and find the job you want.

                          BTW I did know plenty of gaijin not working as English teachers in Japan, and most of them did not speak fluent Japanese. But that was Tokyo, not Hokkaido. I imagine it would be a lot harder there.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Are there any jobs in Hokkaido?

                            Wonky,
                            What kind of work did those foreigners do? When was that?

                            Hokkaido for me,
                            The JET programme hires only once a year and sets people up as ALTs in public schools. If you want time to make contacts and learn Japanese, it may be the best option only because of the work hours, but you are likely to be assigned work in a small town. (CIRs, by the way, usually have high level of Japanese, while ALTs don't.) As for learning Japanese, it takes a lot of hard work and discipline after you arrive. People get wrapped up in the allure of Japan after they get here, and they lose interest or don't have time (as an eikaiwa teacher). I suggest going to www.teachinginjapan.com and reading what a guy named Zzonkmiles has to say about that.

                            Otherwise, eikaiwas will have you working noonish to 9pm, and that leaves you with scant few hours in the morning to do everything else in life (laundry, post office, groceries, watch videos, return videos, etc.), so making contacts will be left to your weekend hours (which may not even be Saturday or Sunday).

                            See what the American or British Chamber of Commerce in Japan has to say about any business contacts.

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