by Ewa Nowogorski
If someone wasn’t born with parents who own a business to pass down or with so much money that they financially secured their family for generations to come, chances are that that person has had to look for a job when they graduated from university. Job-hunting is the term given to people who are currently in search of employment, sending dozens of resumes out to different companies and attending multiple interviews everywhere.
In America, the job hunt is far more casual than it is in Japan. You apply at any time of the year, and you usually try to snag internships at the companies you are interested in to gain experience and increase your likelihood of one day landing a permanent job there. You usually start your hunt near graduation time, and some people even spend a few years looking for the right job. And as a general rule of thumb, the older you are and with the more qualifications, the higher the chances that hiring companies will look at you favorably. It is not considered a bad thing to change companies and jobs a few times throughout your career life.
In Japan, the culture is a little more rigid. University students usually begin job hunting during their 3rd year, and some even start as early as their 2nd year, just to secure a job that they can start right after they graduate. There is also a specific job hunting period, which is usually early spring. At this time of the year, there are many job seminars and expos with different companies setting up booths to recruit future employees. Job hunting is very stressful for students, and many talk about their worries with each other. They have to send out dozens of resumes to basically whatever company they find, as they cannot be picky.
In Japan if you are called to an interview, you have to wear a very specific interview suit, and you will usually have your first interview as a group interview. Students also stress out over train fees during this time. They can easily spend over $100 in commute fares for just job interviews in a month if they have many lined up.