The 3 Best Ways To Get Jobs In Japan from Overseas

You have decided to come to Japan to work. Maybe you took a trip and felt compelled to come back; perhaps you studied Japanese at school; or any kind of appeal. Whatever your motivation, you’re not in Japan now and you want to come here to live. So how can you get jobs in Japan from overseas?

Actually, living and sightseeing in a place are two totally different things. A good country for the one may make a bad place for the other. The job market is one of the key ingredients for a livable city.

Tokyo and Japan more broadly has a candidate-short job market. As a result, finding a good job here is realistic – especially if you have a strong technical skill. I will explain three of the best ways to come to Japan for work.

1) Jet Programme

If you don’t have a high level of Japanese, it’s hard to beat coming to Japan as a “JET”. Your flight will be paid for by your city. Most practicalities will be set up for you by locals. The salary is decent enough, and JET is a soft landing into what can be a confusing social environment.

Pros: easy, work-life balance, culturally enriching, VISA sponsored, etc.
Cons: poor career path, low salary, no influence on where you’re sent.

Salary may be subject to change, but for the first year it is about 3.3M JPY per year – which isn’t bad at all considering the minimal working hours and perks.

Jobs In Japan - JET Programme Daniel Bamford Classroom

Typical JET Programme classroom experience

2) Rakuten (Tech Jobs In Japan)

Firstly, let me say I have personal friends who love Rakuten, and professional connections who couldn’t get out fast enough to join smaller venture companies. Whatever you think personally, Rakuten is one of very few companies in Japan that will regularly employ people from overseas without fluency in Japanese.

Rakuten Tech Jobs in Japan

Rakuten’s Futakatamagawa Office (Tokyo)

If you have a software developer background (especially Java, PHP or DevOps) you will stand a good chance of landing a job at Rakuten. Applying directly to a “permanent” position at Rakuten is a shot in the dark. However, joining through a Tier 1 staffing partner can get you directly evaluated for over 30 exclusive vacancies at any one time. For more info, feel free to email me or check out my guide to joining Rakuten.

3) Recruitment Jobs in Japan

It’s not an obvious choice and there are plenty of obstacles. However, coming to Japan as a recruiter is another decent option. Almost all major recruitment firms are in need of more people, including Robert Walters Japan.

Japanese language ability is not necessary though nice to have. Ultimately, a sales mindset, resilience and personal qualities are what is needed. If you have that, you can move here with proper company support and earn good money. If recruiting sounds like your next challenge, send me an email and I can make a personal referral.

Recruitment with Robert Walters Japan

Still not sure what’s best for you? Drop a comment below or get in touch. I would be happy to give you tailored advice and some pointers in the right direction. Best of luck coming to Japan to work!

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