You’ve found a tech job in Japan that suits you, but you also don’t want your career to stagnate. In this article, we will look at different ways how you can get promoted in your tech job in Japan, such as:
- Getting more qualifications, and
- Other tips for getting promoted in your tech job in Japan
Some Japanese companies are still relatively traditional. This means that you interview for a job straight out of university. If you get the job, you will be employment at the same company until retirement. Promotion will be based on how long you have worked at the company, often regardless of other factors. This system is known as lifetime employment, and is unique to Japan.
However, times are changing and this system is slowly falling out of favor. In forward-thinking tech and startup environments, seniority doesn’t carry the weight it used to.
When it comes to experience, age and seniority aren’t so important. In fact, if you can prove that you have 10 years or more experience in your field, you might be able to get a Japanese work visa without a degree.
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- English-language jobs – No need for Japanese proficiency.
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Keep in mind that you’re less likely to be given direct praise in a Japanese company, as Japanese culture is high context. If you’re doing a good job, you might be given more responsibilities, because your manager trusts you. On the other hand, if they aren’t pleased with your performance, you’ll likely be given less responsibility, and won’t be included in decision-making as much.
Many companies also use an evaluation system to assess their employees, and in these sessions you may receive more direct feedback. As you can imagine, the better your evaluations are, the more likely a promotion will be. In this sense, it is similar to almost anywhere else on earth where good performance and hard work are rewarded. Just ensure that you are clear on the criteria your company uses for evaluations.
4. Getting More Qualifications
Improving your current qualifications is another way to increase your chances of promotion.
If you want a postgraduate qualification, Japanese universities such as TITEC, Sophia, and Waseda offer master’s programs in tech. Speak to your company – they may be willing to support you financially or otherwise.
You could also enroll in a coding bootcamp or coding course. Tech is an ever-evolving field, so keeping up with the latest coding languages is essential. You also don’t need to break the bank – Udemy, EdX, and Coursera offer a wide range of affordable courses.
5. Other Tips for Getting Promoted in Your Tech Job in Japan
So, you’ve got the experience and the qualifications – what else can you do to lock down that promotion? Here are a few more tips:
- As we’ve mentioned, keeping up with the latest in tech is very important. We recommend checking out the Japan Times Tech segment for the latest English-language Japanese tech news.
- However good your technical skills may be, it’s also important to have a good relationship with your coworkers and bosses. Being a team player is very important in a collectivist culture. The most common way to bond with your Japanese team is by joining them for a drinking party (nomikai 飲み会).
- Be patient. In general, employees don’t ask directly about promotions, so pushing for one might actually hinder your goal.
- Don’t burn out by overworking yourself in hopes of a promotion. Growing your career might be important, but you cannot tap from an empty well. Take care of yourself, eat nutritious meals, and get enough rest.
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