TOKYO METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT

TOKYO CAREER GUIDE

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions Working & Living

WORKING
UNEXPEXTED EXPERIENCE IN WORK 異文化体験

Q. I'd like to hear more about
other people's
experiences with
different cultures at work.

A.The experiences of other people who have left their home countries and traveled to Tokyo to work don't always turn out as expected, and they aren't necessarily positive stories. Some have experienced failure at work due to differences in customs or language, and others have discovered new things about Japanese work culture.

There is so much email. Most emails have a huge number of CC recipients, and it bewildered me at the start how people sitting right near me would send simple reports via email. I wondered why, but then I realized that reporting our work situation to each other helps us cover each other's work. I was really surprised at the difference in work culture. Malaysia, age 29,
service industry
I wasn't able to create documents as carefully and precisely as the Japanese employees, so I had to revise them over and over. I learned to ask about things I didn't understand before I finished each document. You will definitely build up your document creation skills in Tokyo. Hong Kong, age 30,
mass media
Meetings are often not a place for discussion, but for reporting. Spending so much time just sharing information seemed inefficient to me, but it gave me the opportunity to listen to the experiences and circumstances of other people, so meetings were also a place of learning for me. Taiwan, age 26,
service industry
My boss would give me instructions in the Kansai regional dialect, which I didn't really understand. It took some time before I became familiar with the accent. I was surprised at how often in Tokyo you hear not only foreign languages but also regional dialects of Japanese. I really enjoy the expressions of the different variations of Japanese. Malaysia, age 27,
IT & communications
Answering the phone, I just couldn't pick up the caller's name, even though I asked them to repeat it many times, so I eventually noted the name down in Korean as best I could, which turned out to be completely wrong. I learned how to cope with not picking up words by asking clarifying questions, such as "Is the Mae character in your name the same mae meaning 'front' in Japanese?" South Korea, age 29,
IT & communications

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