Well, a while back I mentioned the joys of earning money through merely speaking English. Well, I actually didn’t mention one small problem…. you really can’t live off of doing that alone. In actual fact the shifts are few and far between so you’ll need another source of income if you’re planning on earning money in Japan. So I decided to start looking for Japanese language work so that I’d be able to practise my Japanese and hopefully improve. Well, the obvious catch is that you’ll probably be a liability for most companies if your Japanese, like mine, is quite basic. I learned the hard way, after going to many cafes asking for work, getting very strange looks from certain members of staff and being rejected from just about every cafe I went to. There was one new option that I had not used… Originally I got my English conversation job through the working holiday office in Nakano (you have to be a member but their support is pretty good) After a month of not really doing a lot to get a job I finally decided to go to the Hello Work office in Shinjuku, which provides support for foreign students. Hello Work is essentially the Job Centre of Japan, and as I quickly found their help is of immense proportions. As soon as I arrived I was asked to fill in a form and then proceeded to have an interview. The woman who reviewed my application was incredibly helpful, not only finding a perfect job position for me but she also called the restaurant up to arrange for an interview and even put in a good word for me. I went to the interview the next day and landed the job, even though the whole interview was in Japanese and my Japanese is still pretty basic.
Anyway, to conclude, Hello Work is incredibly helpful and I totally recommend it for other students looking for work in Tokyo (don’t go to the Hello Work at Roppongi though, they don’t provide support for foreign students looking for part time work). You will inevitably face some form of discrimination from some companies over here, as well as strange looks from certain members of staff but be sure not to take any of their bullshit and do your best!