• Recruiting

Job Search: What do you value in a job in Japan?

Have you started your job search only to find that the same line of work offers differing salaries, responsibilities and work hours? For many, financial rewards (salary and bonuses) can tend to be a major deciding factor when looking for a new job. While financial rewards are certainly a plus, considering intangible rewards (which satisfy recognition, growth or your time) may prove to be even more valuable for you.


The following are just a few suggestions to take into consideration when determining what you value in a job.

Work Experience

Flexible Schedule

Are you just finishing up your studies, or looking to enter into a new field of work? Well, your main focus will likely be to gain experience. Finding an employer who puts emphasis on training and developing its employees may be just what you’re looking for. A company that trains its employees well will also be looking to promote from within. Starting with an entry-level position will help you understand the company from the ground up, offering a wealth of experience and opportunities for promotion, provided you prove yourself.

Do you hate the cramped trains in the morning or just slow to get up? Maybe you like to hit the ground running. Would leaving early to pick your child up from daycare or just have more time in the evening benefit you? Flexible time (flextime) may be just what you’re looking for. Flextime allows employees to manage their working hours based on the core time* and the range of flextime** within the monthly total working hours determined by the company. Depending on the company, working remotely (away from the office) may also be an option.

* Period of time you’re required to work every working day (eg. 10:00-15:00).

** Hours that employees can manage their start and leave time outside of core time.

Work-Life Balance

Job Benefits

Work-life balance
Work benefits

You’re an overly busy individual working 12 or more hours a day [not unusual in Japan] and particularly stressed. Being able to put in a good day’s work and still have time to enjoy nature, time with the family, go to the gym, study Japanese, or take up a hobby without having to think about work may be something you’d like to prioritize at this stage of your career.

Would it be great if the company you worked for helped contribute to your health and well-being? This can come in the form of contributions to your health insurance and pension. Another way may be to help fund a gym membership or other health packages. Being reimbursed for all or part of the commute to your assigned work location or on your monthly rent can help to save you more money.

What do you value in a job? If you’re in the process of looking for a job that matches your needs, take the time to reflect on what’s important to you. Are you only looking at financial rewards? Why not consider those intangible rewards too and envision where you’d like to be in the next few years.


Interested in living and working in Japan?  Check out ALT jobs with Interac here.