Part-time jobs in Japan
A lot of international students who come to Japan have part-time jobs. The part-time job in Japan not only helps us to earn more money for our daily life, but is also a valuable experience for each person. I realized a lot of interesting things when working part time in Japan...
I work as a cashier in a small restaurant in a shopping mall of Beppu City. That I applied for this job here was a real coincidence. In February 2018, I was hanging out at the mall when seeing the store's job ad with detailed descriptions for positions like cashier, waitress ... and salary details. I thought that this job would be suitable for me and because I wanted to gain more work experience, I decided to apply for this job. But there are also other ways to find work that you can try out.
The first way is to ask your friends in Japan who already have work if they could recommend you. In my opinion, this is the easiest way for you to get a job, because you have friends to assist you throughout the process of searching and working. The second way is searching for jobs via the internet. In my school, for example, we have an extra Facebook page where you can find jobs and where other students of the school can help you by posting job information.
I bought a job application form at a mini supermarket in my school. This is a preprinted paper with a certain design of the school, you only need to fill in your personal information and add a photo. You can also find job application forms like these at any convenience stores or Daiso 100 Yen shops. After filling in all important information, I directly went to the store to hand in the form.
The shop owner and I then had a small interview in Japanese in the restaurant's office. In the interview, I was asked about personal information such as my nickname in Japan (there are many foreign names that are difficult to pronounce in Japanese, so when studying and working here you often get a nickname to make it easier for people to call and remember your name), the time I can start working and the days I can work in a week, the number of pants, shirts, shoes (employees In Japanese shops often receive the same working uniform) ... After that, I had to fill out some other documents such as work contract, labor insurance, ... which the boss already had prepared for me.
A small hint for you: remember to bring all personal documents (stamps, Japanese identity card, student ID, bank information) as these are very important for the labor contract. Because that was my first time applying for a job, I didn't know that and thus I had to make another appointment with the shop owner to complete all paperwork.
Applying for a part-time job in Japan doesn’t require any work experience. However, some places may require Japanese depending on the job type. My job is to cash up and to help customers ordering. This is a job that requires basic Japanese listening and speaking skills because I have to communicate and talk with customers. Of course there were already a few times that I didn’t understand all the wishes of the guests but I was still able to continue my work because of the help of my Japanese colleagues. For those of you who don’t speak good Japanese, you can assign to do other work such as preparing food in the kitchen, washing dishes ... Japanese people are also very kind and friendly. No matter where, everyone will try to help each other. And because we are international students, people are even more carrying about us when it comes to work and communication. So don’t be afraid that you can’t work in Japan without knowing the language!
I’ve read many articles about salaries for part-time workers like international students and now I know that different Japanese cities and provinces will have different minimum wages depending on the living standard of the city. For example, the minimum wages in Tokyo in 2019 is 1013 yen/hour and in Osaka 964 yen/hour. In my city the current minimum wages is 800 yen/hour, because of the quite low living standard. With this salary and 3 to 4 extra work sessions a week (I usually work 5h on weekdays and 8h on weekends), I’m able to pay the monthly rent and food costs by myself.
Many people asked me if it's hard to work in Japan. I think everyone must answer this question by themselves. For me, working in a part-time job in Japan is sometimes very hard because my work requires talking all the time, carrying heavy things and long working days. But thanks to this job, I’ve learned a lot of new things e.g. time management when studying and working at the same time and managing my expenses so that my monthly salary can be used properly. Also my Japanese improved day by day and I’m more confident when talking to Japanese people. I also learned more about the Japanese culture, such as how to arrange a tray of food for customers or how to greet customers properly. I probably would have missed all these experiences when only going to university, so these are the most valuable things I’ve learned when living in Japan.
Part-time jobs in Japan are diverse and varied. We all can find jobs that suit our skills and time best. In addition, we can learn a lot and gain more experience for ourselves. So, why shouldn’t we try to find a job in Japan, right?
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