May 13 2019 Part 1/4 A closer look at Active Connector’s Career Consultant Team: Sebastian Heredia

Four different people, four different stories, and one shared goal: working together to support fellow foreigners in Japan to find and achieve a successful career that aligns with their passions. This is what Active Connector’s Career Consultant team is all about.

Hailing from different parts of the world, they all know how difficult it is to uproot your life and move to a different country to establish a new life and career.

We had a heart-to-heart interview with the team about what career consultancy is all about and what each member brings to the table.


Sebastian Heredia:
The Glue that holds the team together


There are people who are born to lead, and there are people who are very good at following orders. Senior career consultant and team leader Sebastian Heredia is definitely the former, a born leader. The team refers to him as the heart of Active Connector, the glue which holds the team together, which speaks volumes not only to how he manages his team but also to his character.

He started his career as an attorney practicing law in Peru, after which he embarked on a journey as a scholar student in Japan. Even as a lawyer, his main goal was helping people. During his time as a student in Japan he started as an intern at Active Connector, quickly making his way up to the position of senior career consultant and becoming a member of the executive team. His rapid progress can be credited to his passion for Human Resources as an industry, which continues to drive his career forward at Active Connector.

At any company, each department has their own style when it comes to teamwork and handling operations. One of the most difficult tasks as a leader is encouraging team members to have a healthy spirit of competition without compromising harmony and good relationships within the team. Sebastian shares why their team is effective, and it’s a very simple answer: communication.

Sebastian makes sure that everyone in the team understands the vitality of their position, and that all members are working towards the common goal of understanding job-seekers and bringing out their full potential to maximize the number of available opportunities which can be offered to them. On top of these leadership skills, the team was unanimous when asked about his main strength— his professional experience and expertise.

Here, we have conducted a short interview with Sebastian Heredia to give you a closer look at one of the members of Active Connector’s Career Consultant Team!

Question: What makes the CC(Career Consultants) team work?

Sebastian Heredia: “First is Open communication- I always invite the guys to please speak out, raise concerns.  I never like the leadership style wherein a leader or manager tells people what to do as if he or she knows everything. I truly believe in people’s uniqueness, originality and the power of innovation through diversity. At the same time, I also consider myself far from perfect and I must admit that my perspective is limited. I would like to create a team where everyone’s uniqueness shine and whenever we work together  we are able to practice and impart our shared values to both our clients and candidates. 

Second, I am always trying to develop a healthy competition within the group but always have the best interest of the candidate in mind. Our business is very fast paced and we have to be goal oriented in order for us to achieve our target goals. To do that, I believe some sense of pressure and good competition impacts work positively. Some people consider that having stress or pressure as very negative. However, I think we can grow and gain more focus because of the fact that when we undergo some pressure, it brings out our strong sense of responsibility and goal oriented mind. 

Though I encourage a healthy competition as mentioned before, I am encouraging everyone that at the end of the day, the most important is to achieve our mission and vision. As for the Career Consultant team, that is to always work for the best interest of the candidate. ”

Question: How do you describe your ability to work as a team member?

Sebastian Heredia: “I firmly believe in integrating and incorporating people’s ideas and opinions but at the same time I value the importance of People defining their own destiny and having the final say”

Question: What is your greatest achievement as a team?(Rewarding team experience)

Sebastian Heredia: “Process improvement and creating new values through tackling problems. Every time we hold team meetings, which is weekly, we have a discussion about issues that the team encounters. Everyone shares issues they have experienced while working in our day to day operations. There, everyone in the team shares his or her ideas to solve the issues. 

Although, it is definitely a trial and error process and not all the solutions we come up with can give us the results we expected. I still see significant improvements in many aspects in the way we work through them. We truly believe that we have to always try to take action whenever we find any issues.”

One of the aspects wherein we view the true embodiment of one of Active Connector’s values-There is no failure except for inaction.

Question: What was your most memorable experience with helping someone find a job?

Sebastian Heredia: “I have one particular candidate that I can never forget. She was from the Philippines and was struggling to find a job because she was out of practice for a very long time. This and despite her speciality as an IT Project Management she had very limited Japanese speaking ability and most of the positions open at that time were for IT Engineers.

When I had the initial interview with her, I saw how passionate she was and what her potential is; as well as how she was so motivated to stay in Japan. She quit her promising career in a globally famous IT consulting firm back in her own country, and she came to Japan to study Japanese language. I was honest with her and shared the job market reality and she understood the challenge, but she never gave up.

Eventually, she got a job offer from one of our best clients. The company was located outside Tokyo and at that time, the company was still small in size, but she was very happy to work over there and pursue her career.

I feel accomplished and more motivated whenever I helped those who struggled a lot but eventually started or continued their career in Japan.”

Question: Paint me a picture of what SUCCESS means to you?

Sebastian Heredia: “In my case it’s in two images. First, when I really help somebody with a difficult or complicated case;

Second, when I feel like I’m learning in one way or another.(It can be about the industry or gaining a skill)”

Question: What sets Active Connector apart from other recruitment agencies?

Sebastian Heredia: “We believe in people and we take the time to listen to their stories. One of the things that I am proud about being a part of Active Connector is that we truly care about our candidate’s preferences and needs while at the same time taking our client’s requirements very seriously. We listen and give the candidates the benefit of the doubt and the trust they deserve. This is what separates us from the rest.”

Straight from the mouth and speaking from the heart, the team agrees that Sebastian is the glue of Active Connector and taking him out of the equation-the feel, culture and heart of the company will be different.

We will continue this interview series together with the rest of the Career Consultants Team and please stay tuned!
If you have any questions particularly for any of our team members, please send us your inquiries to [email protected]

Sebastian Heredia will be having a webinar session:
“A Foreigner’s Guide to Job Hunting in Japan”
If you are interested please click IKIGAI to apply.

© NicholeJosh

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