Welcome our new blogger Megumi! For her first entry she wrote about her thoughts on the differences between the Japanese and American job hunting process.

I just CAN’T with the Japanese job searching system anymore.


I’ll be introducing the odd and stressful job hunting system that Japan still has at this point and how it’s different from the US. I want to mainly talk about these two points; the different reasons WHY we do internships and the culture of “lifetime employment” in Japan.




Recently, many Japanese students who are about to start their job hunting are trying to apply for internships. (FINALLY) But honestly, this is so 2000 and I don’ know why people started to think recently that doing an internship is a good thing. Believe it or not, internships just became a thing in Japan.

In Japan, many famous companies put signs up that say “Learn business in 1 day!” “If you intern here, you have nothing to be afraid of!” “Through a one day group work, you will gain what it is like to be a team!” etc… I understand this sounds very awkward and sounds fake to some of you abroad, but many companies proudly announce this to the public to make their company sound appealing… But how is this appealing???? Can someone tell me how you can learn what business is in A DAY?

This right here is the first step to how Japanese students fall into the black hole that is “job hunting.” Because many popular and famous companies in Japan announce this, students will think that “I can write this on my resume!” or “WOW! I learned what business is like!”…WHAT?

Even getting the internship itself is such a hassle and a difficult process. Maybe it is good “interview practice” for students before they start going to thousands of interviews, but is that why we should be doing internships? Even if it is a big, well known company, you are there to work for free and not to mention, it’s just for a day or a week right? Why would you willingly go to an interview for a company that might not hire you because it’s too competitive, and don’t even have positions open? I would love to know what people will learn from a day internship. It might be beneficial for those who were hired. It can be a great experience and that is awesome. But for those who didn’t got hired? You just keep questioning your possibilities and lose pride in yourself… Is that a good thing to torture yourself before the actual “job hunting” season??? I think NOT.





I will just give a short description of how American students do internships and why it is very common, or should I say, the “normal” thing to do. It is not an unusual thing to do an internship after graduating high school or even while you are in high school. After your internship, it is quite common for people to go into college to study a specific field and continue to do more internships. The only reason they do internships is because they need the EXPERIENCE before getting a real job. Unlike Japanese colleges, there are many people who graduate in their 30s or even 40s. It’s said that for American students, it is quite normal to settle on a job around 30.

They NEED to earn the knowledge or experience or else they can’t get a real job. In other words, it’s actually necessary for them to do internships before being able to apply to jobs. It doesn’t have to be a competition to get an internship because you’re going to work for free and the company is glad to have an enthusiastic worker who will work for them…for free. Very simple and effective. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.






WAKE UP PEOPLE! You are not doing internships for the “right” reasons. It’s not just about the name of the company you did an internship with, it’s about the knowledge and experience you gain from the internship. But I do get why Japanese people are so overwhelmed and conscious about branding and names. Since the time we are in middle school, we aim for the private schools that are well known or highly respected. So we try very hard from the age of 10 or maybe even younger, to get accepted. (The pressure is ON!) I do really think Japanese children try very hard from a young age, therefore they don’t mind it so much. Which is something that other countries don’t have. Therefore, I do understand why you want to try to get into a company that is well known to society.

There is just one thing that we all have to keep in mind. Originality is the most important and appealing aspect for anyone! Just because someone around you is doing hundreds of internships doesn’t mean that it’s the best or “right” thing for you. Do not expect anything from a one day internship that sounds promising. Do something that is BEST for you and feels right for you:) The majority is not what you should be paying attention to. Be YOU. Not anyone else! That seat is already taken!



2. What is the situation with “the lifetime employment” in Japan


Japan is one of the only countries I know amongst the developed countries that has a culture of “lifetime employment” in companies. You basically go into a company at the age of 22 or 23 and work at the same place until you’re 60. On the other hand, in America, if you stay at the same company for three years, that’s long enough. I’m assuming if this happened in Japan, the system can’t manage the change and it will be chaotic…

The time span might be different from men and women, but going to the same company with the same scenery for over 30 years sounds terrifying to me so it always amazes me how Japanese people are able to do that.





But don’t you think this is weird and scary at the same time? Your whole life will basically be determined by the one or two interviews during your senior year in college. If you happen to move from another company, society will think that “s/he is a nomad” or “someone who is not reliable enough.” On the other hand, in America, if you have been to several companies, you are seen as “experienced” or “have many achievements.” I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this, but I just can’t bare with the idea that you are basically told at the age of 22 that “this is the one and only place you will be working at for the rest of your life.” YIKES.

I can’t handle that pressure but as I have been keep saying, I dearly admire how Japanese people are OK with this. Even though they seem so stressed out about their jobs and bosses, they keep going every morning with honor and pride. (Or at least they try to…)




I do hope if there are some new or interesting facts that you have discovered for the first time. These two topics are the ones that came to mind when I thought about what was very unique to the Japanese society.My only hope is that this will change little by little and the companies will notice that maybe the system is a little messed up… As a matter of fact, the reputation towards young Japanese businessmen and women are not so great… They can’t help but to think “why are these inexperienced kids in a highly known company??? For what reason??” I think there are two points that Japanese students should have in mind as a whole.



  1. Experience what it’s like to be in society as an intern or whatever from an early age. The internship can be something that interests you or just simply a hobby of yours but it is worth it to explore your possibilities!
  2. KNOW what interests you from an early point of your life. In order to do so, you can’t figure that out from just looking at a screen . Go out and travel around to be inspired! Explore!


Japan is sadly said to be an “aging society” but we who are in our 20s can change this if we CARE about changing our society to a better place. Let’s live life to the fullest already!

高齢化社会と言われている日本ですが、私たち「若者」がこれからの日本を変えることがとても大事だと思います。もっと冒険心を持って、let’s live life to the fullest already.