Photo from Learn Speak Japanese The Fun Way
Japan is a country known for its rules and peacefulness rank is among the highest in the world. However, foreigners, who live and work here, found difficulties how to create the balance between work and living peacefully and keeping their sanity. First timers, often are the ones experiencing the “pain” of being “alien” in Japan and fighting to have a normal life away from their home country is the number one struggle. From the preparation of their documents, learning the language, preparing the visa and excitement of the employment finally being realized, they come to Japan, full of expectations and all positive expectations! Only to find out, upon coming to Japan is not that easy, then the “struggles” started to become real and eventually “stressful” days are an everyday battle to fight!
As a foreign resident living in Japan myself, I have come to “conquer” the “difficult days” and yes, I have been there, too and now, after being used to the Japanese culture and system, I can say that all those “struggles” can be conquered by YOU and YOU alone!
HOW TO DO
You are the designer of your destiny,
You are the author of your story
– Lisa Nichols
Lower Your Expectations
When starting to work and about to join the Japanese workforce, lower your expectations. Treat your first day as zero, no how day! Means, you have to be open to the new learnings on that day, emptying your mind and start to absorb all the things the work needs for you to do! In short, you have to say to yourself, I do not know anything with regards to this, so I will do my very best to know and be a good “new member of the team”. And since you are new, you are bound to commit mistakes. And committing mistakes are just normal, you cannot be a professional in one day right! So take notes on your mistakes and try to do right, the next time. Do it one day at a time! And reward yourself, if you have a done a good job. Celebrate small success, such as your superior praised you, you have done the job right, etc.
Be One with Your Co Japanese Workers
Japanese people are sensitive when a “foreign worker” comes and you are a new comer “shinjinsan”. Most are threatened or apprehensive whether you are a “help” or a “burden” to the team. To conquer this, you have to equip yourself with all the patience and humility you can do. While you are learning the “new job” assigned to you, be sensitive to your elders “sempai“. Being in Japan and working with the Japanese is a plus, so take into consideration their attitudes towards work and be the best teammate, and be infected with their working ethic. Once you are accustomed to the job, they will not be that “nosy” anymore.
Set Aside the Pride No to Arrogance
We all have our pride and we very much take it wherever we go, but in Japan, your pride won’t get you anywhere! The ability to adapt new cultures, environments, new people is a MUST if you are to work in Japan. The Japanese people are a very conservative bunch of guys so, in order for you to get along well with them, you have to at least do some of the following:
1) You have to be one of them! Try your best to get along!
2) Speak or try your best to learn their language!
3) Never ever decide on your own when it comes to working with them, always ask what to do or is it okay to do this and that..
Ask, ask! Never fear asking! (though some elders are annoyed when asked several times, try your best to ask and remember or take notes so as not to forget the next time!)
4) Know the proper salutation and when to say them.
When committing mistakes, say I am sorry “gomennasai” “sumimasen“, excuse me, “shitsureishimashita” when you
think you have done something rude or out of respect at that moment.
Thank you, “arigatou gozaimasu“.
Always know your greetings in different situations!
5) Always follow rules! Japan Immigration is very strict and once you committed or break the law, you would not want the hassle it may bring!
It may even lead to your deportation and be banned to enter the country for several years, so be careful and always follow the rules.
6) Handling Bullies
Most elders tend to bully when they think you are okay with it. Never accept bullying, however, to handle those, be smart enough. And take into consideration also how they will react and stop. Even Japanese people are prone to bullying from their peers. Observe the proper way and handle it well. (Me, I use the reverse psychology method and it works well)
At the end, you have to get along well with everyone! Why? Because every day you are to spend it with them and they are the ones who can make or break your adventure in Japan.
Once you are used to the everyday routine, you will find yourself happier and can say enjoyed and appreciate the country and can peacefully live in Japan.