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Learning Japanese in Japan and career advice needed

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Old 23-07-2016, 06:25 PM
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Default Learning Japanese in Japan and career advice needed

Right now, I'm at a crossroads and thinking of my next career move seriously.

I'm in the middle of learning Japanese in Japan for one year and thinking of getting JLPT N2 hopefully by next year to work for Japanese related company or industry. Any career advice or recommendations?

I have a social sciences degree from NUS and my previous full-time job experience for 3 years include mostly working in contact centres, earning 2k+. I have almost 2 years of part-time F&B experience working in hotels and fast food and fine dining, and I quite enjoyed the experience.

Right now, I'm seriously thinking what my career aspirations are and passions lie so that I can stick with a full-time job for the long term and progress through the career rungs. I can safely say I hate a desk job and sitting in front of the computer for the whole day does not suit me. I love providing customer service, facing customers the whole day and working on my feet, interacting with people. I also love the Japanese culture and Japanese language a lot, hence making the big move to learn fluent Japanese in Japan.

I have looked through job portals and I'm thinking of applying as a hotel management trainee or retail management trainee (think Charles and Keith, uniqlo, Isetan) or maybe f&b management trainee. May I know what the salary expectations, career progression for such jobs are?

My expected salary for my next job is 3k/month. Is it realistic?

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Old 23-07-2016, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by careerist View Post
Right now, I'm at a crossroads and thinking of my next career move seriously.

I'm in the middle of learning Japanese in Japan for one year and thinking of getting JLPT N2 hopefully by next year to work for Japanese related company or industry. Any career advice or recommendations?

I have a social sciences degree from NUS and my previous full-time job experience for 3 years include mostly working in contact centres, earning 2k+. I have almost 2 years of part-time F&B experience working in hotels and fast food and fine dining, and I quite enjoyed the experience.

Right now, I'm seriously thinking what my career aspirations are and passions lie so that I can stick with a full-time job for the long term and progress through the career rungs. I can safely say I hate a desk job and sitting in front of the computer for the whole day does not suit me. I love providing customer service, facing customers the whole day and working on my feet, interacting with people. I also love the Japanese culture and Japanese language a lot, hence making the big move to learn fluent Japanese in Japan.

I have looked through job portals and I'm thinking of applying as a hotel management trainee or retail management trainee (think Charles and Keith, uniqlo, Isetan) or maybe f&b management trainee. May I know what the salary expectations, career progression for such jobs are?

My expected salary for my next job is 3k/month. Is it realistic?
what has learning jap gotta do with anything? i dun think charles & keith, isetan or uniqlo give a shiit whether u know jap or not...

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Old 23-07-2016, 09:20 PM
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OP should focus on his/her own career first. Just do those Jap related things as personal hobby. In real life very little jobs will care about these as there are many Korea & Jap otaku nowadays and for jobs that need to serve Japanese clients employer will always prefer their own kind.

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Old 23-07-2016, 11:30 PM
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Exactly - no job in Singapore requires you to speak Japanese. Or at least, 99.99% of jobs.

I am not sure what you're thinking doing a 1 year sabbatical in Japan...
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Old 23-07-2016, 11:58 PM
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Your best bet is to continue at call centre or switch to a sales & marketing exec jobs. If you start off from scratch in f&b or hotels, I think the max they will offer is 2 to 2.4k.

With your weak academics and experience, no serious management trainee program will recruit you. And forget about the Japanese rah rah stuff, employers are not interested.

Start moving now, you have already wasted a lot of time on various non value adding part time jobs and 'learning in Japan'. Once you get older, it will be harder to get back to a proper PME track.
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Old 25-07-2016, 06:52 PM
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Smile I have been through the same route..

Felt compelled to chip in my advice as i have done exactly the same thing as you...nice memories

If you are a lady, i will suggest you try RM role with banks which deal with Japanese clients. Japanese recruiting agencies might be able to link you up if you specifically request to join "banking sector", no guarantees but i was offer a chance to be interviewed for a RM role but i am not keen.

If you are a "bloke", good luck to you.. forget about your JLPT N2, your 1 year holiday break in Japan and focus on getting a job that pays.

You will still be able to get into a Japanese firm, through those Japanese recruiting agencies, and work from the bottom. It will be tough as progression will be real slow.
If you have JLPT level 1, that might help a bit. Even then, its a fact that Japanese firm doesn't pay top dollar for someone with linguistic abilities alone without professional skill sets.
You will just be another sub-par "Japanese" freshie to them, but not one of them... if you get what i mean?

Depend on what's your career goal and your ambition though. If its $$ you are looking for in the long run, join a profession that pays well.
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Old 25-07-2016, 07:42 PM
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Felt compelled to chip in my advice as i have done exactly the same thing as you...nice memories

If you are a lady, i will suggest you try RM role with banks which deal with Japanese clients. Japanese recruiting agencies might be able to link you up if you specifically request to join "banking sector", no guarantees but i was offer a chance to be interviewed for a RM role but i am not keen.
Sorry just have to correct this advice on top, I work in a Japanese bank before and lady or not you will not get to be a Japanese serving RM just because you studied basic Japanese for 1 year. The RMs that serve Japanese speaking customers are almost all true blue Japanese or a minority PRC that have studied and worked in Japan for many years before being transferred to Singapore branch.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:23 PM
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In summary, stop monkeying around and start looking for jobs that pay well. The average career lifespan in Sg is very short 15-20 years.

I know of a few friends do similar funky things when young when mid 30s then start to panic and want to get a proper career, by then unless one is very smart and good luck, its very hard to recover career wise.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:39 PM
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The YOLO strawberry generation... just want to prolong studying as long as possible so that don't have to enter the work force.. next will be wanting to take an MBA when it seriously does not help a freshie. Just like my sis in law, simi go to Korea to study Korean. Good thing she woke up after that and settled down to a proper job.
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Old 25-07-2016, 11:01 PM
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The YOLO strawberry generation... just want to prolong studying as long as possible so that don't have to enter the work force.. next will be wanting to take an MBA when it seriously does not help a freshie. Just like my sis in law, simi go to Korea to study Korean. Good thing she woke up after that and settled down to a proper job.
To be fair OP has been working few years and not prolong study. Main problem is his work attitude like playing CCA. Instead of trying to stay competitive, he wanna waste time hanging around in uniqlo or isetan outlet doing retail sales so that he can 'talk to japanese'. Like that might as well dun study, stop at N level can already.
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