Top 7 reasons to work for a Japanese company

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Working for a Japanese company certainly has its benefits. Here are seven of the best reasons on why you should work for them.

To get a balanced view, head on over to the Disadvantages of Working for a Japanese Company
Thinking of working for a Japanese company? Here are the top seven reasons why it’s a good idea:

1) You’ll never be fired

Although it’s slowly changing, most Japanese companies still basically offer lifetime employment. Unless you do something really bad, the Japanese will keep you as they believe that kaizen (continuous improvement) also extends to the employee.

The Japanese appreciate loyalty among all else, with the myth of the ever loyal samurai transplanted to the corporate world. Even during an economic downturn, the Japanese would prefer to slash costs and reduce salaries rather than let a single employee go. They understand that the economy is cyclical, and they want to keep their people around for when it picks up again.

If you want to stay around and feel as if you belong somewhere for your entire life, there’s no better place to do so than at a Japanese company.

2) They provide decent sets of benefits

The Japanese always offer decent health care benefits, a pension as well as allowances, such as a monthly allowance if you pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). No exceptions. They will work you hard, so they want to make sure that you are well taken care of.

3) Egalitarian workspace layout are the norm

One of the things that strikes most western observers when visiting a Japanese company is the lack of defined offices. There are no tall partitions and no cubicles. Even if some offices or meeting rooms exist, they are often surrounded by glass walls to keep things transparent.

Offices are arranged in lines with the top of the table occupied by the line manager. His table might be a bit wider than his people, but it’s the same as everyone else.

The open space is designed to promote an environment where everyone can be easily approached. In some Japanese companies, even top executives like the COO will sit with their people, with no office to call their own. Former Japan Airlines CEO Haruka Nishimatsu famously knocked down the walls to his office so that there would be no physical barrier between him and his people.

Some Japanese heads go as far as to take the train to work, shunning any additional benefits like a driver as being superfluous.

4) Are serious about training their people

The Japanese really want to train you up to become the best you can be. Since they believe in lifetime employment, they will provide you with as much knowledge as possible, whether formal or via on-the-job training, so that you can become experts in your field and deliver the best possible product or service to the client.

In America, the customer is King. In Japan, “okyouku-sama wa kami-sama”, which is literally translated to: “the customer is God.” And to deliver to God you need to make sure you have the best people to do it.

5) They reward hard work

The Japanese know you’re working hard, and they will work you hard. Yes, you’ll toil away, but they do reward you. The Japanese will pay you for over-time, pay you massive bonuses (6 months in some Toyota companies), and they love to party.

They will spare no expense to make sure that you are well fed, entertained and wined and dined during occasions such as the company’s anniversary or Christmas. They give out presents such as gold necklaces and iPads among other things, and they don’t skimp on the quantity either.

6) You feel you belong

With the amount of work you’ll be doing, you’ll feel a sense of belonging. The Japanese will go out of their way to make you feel that way, whether it’s singing a cheesey company song or showing how your work has gone into pleasing a customer.

7) You may even find your husband or wife at work

In fact, you’re so closely wedded to the workplace that many Japanese find their girlfriends from their company and later marry them. It’s all part and parcel of the package, and unlike Western firms, Japanese companies actively encourage it by giving out money if you get married with a fellow company employee, or if you have children.

Before you make a decision, you should also take a look at the disadvantages and challenges of working for a Japanese company


Photo credit: kirainet

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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Top 7 reasons to work for a Japanese company
Top 7 reasons to work for a Japanese company
Working for a Japanese company certainly has its benefits. Here are seven of the best reasons on why you should work for them.
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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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