Having worked at a Japanese ramen shop for a year, what have I learned?
I used to be a cashier in a supermarket for 6 months, and I have worked at a ramen shop for a year. These are what I learned!
Since I began to work, I have always felt that the Japanese greatly valued hardworking when it comes to working.
Not just myself, my seniors often comment that, in Japan, you may not be a genius or master different skills. As long as you are hardworking, desired to learn and improve yourself, you will always be respected, trusted, and favored in work.
A reason why I got used to this job quite slowly was that I did not understand this. When I first started working, I arrived on time to start my shift, and immediately went home when my shift ended.
That is why I did not have time to learn or remember more things related to this job, such as the menu, topping types, or even buttons on the cash register.
After I started work for a short time, she felt that it was so with me that I should stay 15 minutes to half an hour after my time while I was not used to working to learn faster and better.
From then on, when I finished my shift, I tried to stay in the restaurant a little more to study the menu and ask questions about noodles, broths, greetings, etc.
Long after, when I was used to the work, the manager 'confessed': "When you started to work here, I was so worried, because most employees here are Japanese, they learned quite fast. You, on the other hand, had never worked before and was not used to Japanese culture, so for a while, all you could do was wash dishes. But after a time, you became more hardworking, and you learned so much faster. Keep up the good work!".
4/ Help others, even if it is not your responsibilities
After a year of working here, I am trying to pick up new skills in my workplace such as making good broth, cutting, and preparing ingredients, although these are not my responsibilities.
Besides, I volunteer to help with the deep cleaning at night in the kitchen, which is usually done by the chef and sous chef. At first, I did not know how to clean correctly, and my body ached after. But, the more I do it, the more I get used to deep cleaning in the kitchen.
Maybe you are wondering, would this be considered nosey? I've realized that doing this is not nosey at all.
It shows empathy. Helping co-workers with their jobs makes me understand what my colleagues have to go through. It allows me to experience different aspects of my workplace and enhance teamwork skills, making the work go smoothly.
Moreover, helping others makes me feel that this place is not just a workplace. It is also a family, where people can share and rely on each other whenever needed.
However, ask first if you want to help someone. If you help them without their permission, people may see you as "being nosey" despite your good intentions!
5/ Learn to love your job
If there is one thing to say about work (even part-time jobs) in Japan, I would say that working in Japan is really stressful and tiring. Sometimes it's the job, sometimes it's the cultural difference, but there are a lot of times I feel like quitting. (And indeed I quit my job at the supermarket after 6 months).
However, the lesson that I learned from that is, to make a long-term commitment to work, interest is probably the first factor, and learning how to love that job is the second. I quit my first job because I didn't know how to love it, and I stick to my current job because I gradually learn how to love what I do.
Loving what you do is a broad subject because each person has their own emotions and opinions. For some people, salary is extremely important while others may see that colleagues are what matter. Sometimes, it's the nature of the job that matters.
But, to enjoy what I do, I tried to look at the bright side and choose what I like most at my current job. My salary is enough for me to pay my bills, my co-workers and manager are really nice, the workload might be a bit much, but I have the chance to walk around and exercise.
Above are more 2 things that I learn while being a part-timer in Japan. I believe that what I learn from my part-time jobs will help me a lot in my dream job in the future. And I hope my lessons will help you when going to work in Japan!
See you in another post!
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