The real “Answer” to getting a job in Japan is: “Don’t.”
Ok, I’ve warned you. Now please go ahead and buy any of the books about getting a job in Japan and read it cover to cover. The old Bible of thousands of FG wannabes for the past 20 years, “JOBS in JAPAN” and most others likeHow to Land Jobs in Japan advice to come here cold and semi-illegal to find a job.
Then visit the web forums like GaijinPot for a reality check.
Pleeeease do your homework. Don’t email me and ask for the magic answer to getting a job in Japan. After 20 years, I haven’t the foggest idea what the special trick is. Don’t take this personally; I simply do not know. I fell into my job by mistake.
So what is it like to find a job in Japan? Here’s a few of my random thoughts….
Most J-companies do NOT wanna hire a Pig-in-Poke. It’s tough to be hired overseas in your home country to work in Japan. The Bad-Case scenerio is it’s gonna take you 6-to-3 months to find job and more than $5-10K to get your own apartment, phone, fridge, etc. The Good-Case scenerio is it’s gonna take you 4 weeks and $1,900. The Best-Case scenerio does not exist.
Please note many major Japanese companies will not sponsor visas (your soon-to-be-bucho/manager is forced to privately sponsor you).
Come to think of it, most of the long-term gaijin came here under some sponsorship such as a job transfer, Japanese education, martial arts, JET program, etc.
Me? I got headhunted here but I was told to “wait” for 3-4 months. I scrapped by as a semi-illegal worker in a bunch shitty jobs to survive. Then had to do the Korean visa run on at my own expense to get my work visa. It was DAMN TOUGH. I ran out of money ($3,500 spent in 9 weeks). Without leeching off my Judo teacher and a friendly mama-san who frequently gave me “taxi money” I would never have “made it”.
BOTTOM LINE: Go for it! What do got to lose but your sanity?