Nov 24 2017 Victor (Brazil), System Engineer
How did you find out about Active Connector?
The first time I heard about Active Connector was through a friend in my University. I was looking for a part-time job and I was recommended this cool place where “there are cool events where we can get paid and meet people”. Because of one of these events I registered and started participating more and more. I am especially grateful for the opportunity to participate in the “Catalyst for Japan” initiative, which is until this the day the most awesome and engaging program I have ever participated since coming to Japan!
How hard/easy would you describe job hunting in Japan?
I believe that when we say “job hunting in Japan”, there are actually two meanings behind these words. One is the big-picture process of finding a job, in our case in this country called Japan, and it is the exact same challenge that every person goes through anywhere in the world. The second meaning is the detailed and specific way that Japanese people traditionally go about doing job hunting. In summary, there is a “finding a job” and there is the specific “finding a job the way Japanese people traditionally do”, and I feel that these two meanings are usually mixed together in the words “job hunting in Japan”. I strongly feel that understanding these two different meanings and where you can and cannot fit in this process is critical, especially for international students who largely face language/cultural challenges.
With these two meanings in mind, I have learned from my own experience that “finding a job in japan” is possible just like anywhere else in the world. However, “finding a job the way Japanese people traditionally do” proved to be impossible to me. When I sincerely pondered about who I am and my priorities in life, I soon realized it was impossible for me to fit in the idea of the traditional Japanese job hunting. I then proceeded to find a job that I could enjoy while being myself and build my life with, found one, applied and got it!
In conclusion, I believe “finding a job”(something that pays you for some task) is easy but “finding the right job”(work you can enjoy and fulfill yourself with) is much harder and much more important than it seems. What I would like to say to future ‘job hunters’ is that regardless of the external challenges we face, the answers and strength we seek are within ourselves. Make sure to be honest with yourself and understand what you really want, what you can do and what you cannot do, list your priorities and go for it! There are many opportunities out there for you! Be true to yourself and work hard, your life will certainly continue to develop in awesome ways. =)
How different would it have been without Active Connector?
I actually cannot even imagine. Throughout the experiences I had with Active Connector, I feel that my point of view and perception regarding many things changed quite a lot. For example, through Active Connector I could meet leaders of organizations and corporations (many times through awesome visits to the places and offices where they develop their work!) that are making sincere and interesting efforts to push Japan’s innovation and impact in the world. But I have to admit that the thing that impacted me the most was the opportunity to meet and work with absolutely brilliant international students from many different fields and Universities. I will never forget this one time after a session of group work when a teammate said: “Wow this is the first time I feel that what I did in a team was something I would never be able to do by myself!”. This and many other amazing experiences are things I will never forget, and it is all thanks to Active Connector.
How are you finding your new job? Any challenges/highlights?
When finding my job, I used to of course check the offers by Active Connector every day, but also look out for events where people with similar interests to mine meet and where companies go to talk about what they do. Similarly, I was always interested in attenting lectures by company representatives in my University, since I found it to be an easy and convenient way to get to know them and have a precious chance to directly talk to an Executive or Engineer (which is my career of interest). But above all this, I value practical experience, and any chance to participate in a workshop at a company or even a 2-week internship is extremely valuable to feel what kind of environment it is and what awaits you in case you join them. In my case, I have decided to apply for the job I currently am after participating in a lecture by this company in my University, talking to one of the founders and doing a 3-week internship there. After those 3 weeks I felt clearly that this is what I wanted to go for.
Do you have any advice for other members of Active Connector who are job hunting?
There is no need to rush or become desperate! Make sure you are always checking for interview opportunities, workshops, events and make the most out of it! Enjoy this process and all the new experiences that come with it, you never know how this can change your life in the future. I stand by what I said before: There are many opportunities out there for you! Be true to yourself and work hard, your life will certainly continue to develop in awesome ways. =)
Would you recommend Active Connector to others? Why?
I definitely would! In fact, I think the first think I do when I hear an
international student is looking for career opportunities is to point them to the Actice Connector website. It is a central place to get connected with awesome organizations/companies and also with other students.
What was the most helpful/positive feature about your experience with Active Connector?
It is probably not the answer you are expecting, but I would say that the most positively impactful experience I had with Active Connector was when I had the lucky chance to work there part-time for a few months. At the time, my only previous experience as a part-timer had been very negative. I worked part-time at a rather famous web technology company in Japan, the office was colorful and nobody wore suits, but with time I realized that the way the company operates made us feel isolated like in a cage, and it was very lonely and suffocating. After many experiences with Active Connector, I have decided to join them part-time and it was a completely different experience! I then realized that working in a nice environment is possible and there is no reason for work to be boring and suffocating. I have no doubt that this experience is what allowed me to choose the job I am doing today and I am always thankful to Active Connector for providing me with this opportunity.
What advice would you give to the Active Connector to better support members like you in their job hunting in Japan?
I feel many international students do not really know Active Connector exists and all the opportunities Active Connector provides. Friends recommending friends work to a certain extent, but I would really love to see the day in which Active Connector is able to go to Universities and introduce itself to students and staff through some sort of events. Since Active Connector already has members from many Universities, I believe a bridge already exists there that could allow Active Connector to make this happen. I am sure that going the extra mile to connect with the students could bring huge benefits to the students and for Active Connector itself.
Any comment or anything else you would like to share?
Thank you so much for all your great work. Even though my student days are over, I want to continue helping Active Connector in any way I can. Looking forward for the awesome things that are in Active Connector’s way ahead!
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