As the end of my service as an Atlas Corps Fellow is approaching, I have started to think about what’s next for my life. In short, I have started to look for a job. As the first attempt to re-familiarize myself with the job hunting culture of Japan, I went to Boston to attend the Boston Career Forum. As far as I know, it is one of the biggest forums for students that are interested in working in Japanese corporations. I found people in suits (including myself), particularly in black and white suits. These are the major colors for job hunting in Japan. Interestingly, the few people who were non-Japanese with blond or light-brown hair, (not acceptable hair colors if you are Japanese) were also in black and white suits. They know “when in Rome do as the Romans do!”

Since I have been abroad for four years, I had almost forgotten how this attire and all the cultural manners I show at seminars and interviews are important parts of job hunting — making a pleasant impression. No wonder Japan is a service-oriented country. Of course, there is a range of different corporate cultures within Japan, i.e. one industry is more strict than others. Sometimes, things are kept the same because that is the way it has always been. It may create a value in itself — great tradition. Or it becomes a mere shell that people do not appreciate anymore.

Anyhow, I learned more about searching for a job. I found that looking for a job, while not really “hunting,” is such a fan activity! Over the course of years, I have noticed what I am good at (skills), what I know (knowledge), and what I like (enthusiasm) in working. So this job hunt is a sort of an adventure. It is more about meeting a company or an organization that has a gap in its workflow, a gap that I could fit and fill in. It is a matching activity of the needs of a company and myself. (The difficulty is demonstrating that what I am capable of well enough to convince the employer to hire me, but that is another issue.) I am excited and motivated for this job search for the next adventure of my life! Hopefully… it will go well.

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