There’s no doubt that the labour market in Japan has been hit by COVID-19, with 10,000 people losing their jobs since February. The fall-out could be worse than the global financial crisis, some experts say, meaning more than 950,000 job losses for the world’s No.3 economy.
But, for bilingual white-collar job seekers there are some notable silver linings we are seeing now:
・Japan is outperforming many other markets. Many foreign companies we’ve spoken to say their Japan subsidiaries are performing well relative to other subsidiaries around the globe. Clients of ours in healthcare and IT say that unlike in Europe and elsewhere, their Japan businesses have not seen the abrupt drop-off in demand. This is industry specific, and tourism businesses, in Japan and everywhere else, have been badly impacted.
・Job searching and on-boarding can be done remotely. We can’t emphasize this enough as a game-changer for the stress level of what can often be a nerve-wracking process. You don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic and turning up a few minutes late to that face-to-face interview. We’ve seen candidates complete final interviews via video call. This is also a great time to move because virtual on-boarding will allow you to ease in more – you will already have made some contacts and gotten familiar with systems and processes on your first day in the physical office (whenever that may be!).
・People crave contact. With so many people working from home and often feeling isolated, this is a great opportunity to get in touch with someone for a chat. People will appreciate the opportunity to talk. For jobseekers it is also an opportunity to talk without distraction and engage in relaxed conversations with former colleagues, potential employers and recruitment consultants.