Sakura Mentor

From Student to Working Class in Japan – Differences and Ways to Overcome
Lai Hung Wei Updated in September 2022

Konnichiwa and… atsui-ne (it was hot)! The heat-blazing summer has finally ended, and we will be entering a cooler autumn. Autumn is favourite season and carries important meaning for me – my one-year-anniversary of working in Japan. Today I would like to share my opinion on the differences as a student and working class in Japan and ways to overcome the huge gap.

In general, if you manage to secure a job before your graduation, you would expect to start your job in a few weeks after your graduation ceremony. Job entries usually starts in April but there are an increasing number of job entries starting in October as well to accommodate the increasing number of students (particularly international students) graduating in the autumn. Basically, you do not have plenty of time to move so please be ready! Check out here for preparations on moving to a new place.

As a student, you will be guided by your supervisor and fellow seniors on your work or research. The ultimate goal is for you to acquire new knowledge and prepare yourself well for the society in the future. However, once you started working, the goal will be shifting to how to apply your equipped knowledge into helping the company to grow. Keep in mind it does not mean you do not get to learn new skills in a company, it is just that the main purpose of your existence has slightly changed.

Unsplash – Claire Nakkach

Depending on your job, you might need to travel to various places for business-related matters. Sales representative are perhaps one of jobs with most travelling, usually to increase exposure of the company or improve sales. This will be relatively different from your student life, where you basically attended conferences or did collaborative research somewhere else, usually on your own accord and for your own study.

Unsplash – Briana Tozour

Transitioning from student to working life is not an easy task. It involves the shifting of focus from your personal self to the company you belong to. The important thing is to adjust your mindset properly - you have spent one-fourth of your lifetime being taught and now is the time to put those skills into good use. Average annual salary in Japan is approximately 4.33 million yen, which is quite sufficient to lead a relatively good life here. Best wishes on your transition from student to working life as well and if you have any inquiries, the Sakura Mentor is here to help any time!

Pixabay – Gerd Altman