Job popularity ranking is not useful

 

If you work in Japan, what are the criteria for choosing a company?

When you find a job in Japan, you will see the “Job popularity ranking, but frankly, this ranking is not useful, so in this article, I will explain why and will introduce some other rankings.

 

Reason 1: The respondents are college students who has just started job hunting.

Companies that make such rankings often take questionnaires to university students who come to joint company briefings. For this reason, the number of companies that respondents know and the actual situation of the companies are extremely limited. It’s like asking a zero-beginner Japanese learner about recommended business Japanese materials.

 

Reason 2: The reality is just name recognition ranking

This is related to the first reason, most of the top ranking companies are doing BtoC business rather than BtoB. There are many excellent BtoB companies in Japan, but such companies are not well known, so they do not appear in the ranking.

 

So what ranking should you refer to instead?

Here are some suggestions.

 

Suggestion1:Job change popularity ranking

Example : https://doda.jp/guide/popular/

The respondents are already working, and the question is “Which company is better if you change jobs?”, That will be closer to the actual evaluation of the company than to ask students.

 

Suggestion2:Average annual income ranking

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/257530

Many people think salary is the most important. For those people, the average annual income ranking of employees will be helpful.

 

Suggestion3:Lifetime wage ranking

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/310498

In Japan, where the lifetime employment system was strong, there are many people who place importance on the ranking of lifetime wages rather than annual income.

 

Suggestion4:Ranking of employees working overseas

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/206216

There are many people who are worried about whether they can return to their home country in the future, work at a place where they can use their language skills, or do business globally. This is a ranking that allows you to know how many people work for the company overseas.

 

The operating profit margin ranking and overseas sales ratio ranking may also be helpful for you.

 

However, such ranking varies depending on the industry and business model, and may vary depending on the time of aggregation. For this reason, it is better to think that there is no ranking that perfectly meets your requirements.

 

So what should we do?

 

If you have a specific industry or job type that you want to work with, it may be good to create your own ranking based on that industry or job type. Also, if you are concerned about both the average annual income ranking and ranking of employees working overseas, it may  be good to create a list of companies that are ranked in both.

 

In this article, I wrote about how to use rankings, but it is always recommended to consult with people who are already working in the industry you want to go to without using such rankings.

 

Our free video course called “Japanese for Job Hunting” is available on YouTube.

I would be happy if you could register for your channel or do a GOOD evaluation 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZtUc_wd7BOKT9BvhRjyvsg/featured

 

I hope you all succeed in getting a job or changing jobs.

 

 

Listening to audiobooks can be a good way to practice listening skills for business persons

 

Do you know about “Audio Book” and “Audible”? “Audible” is the name of audio books operated by Amazon. The audio books are “listening books” read by narrators and voice actors, and you can enjoy reading while traveling in a train/car, doing housework, and out for a run.

About a year ago, one of my friends told me about Audible, but I questioned the value of the service at that time because there were few business books.

But recently one of Japanese teachers in our school introduced me Audible again.

This time I tried it because I found a book that I just wanted. Now I am into Audible service and not skeptical about the audio books service anymore.

So, in this edition, I summarized the benefits of Audible.

 

Advantage 1: Adjustable playback speed

You can adjust the narration speed of your Audible audiobooks from 0.5x to 3.5x.

You can listen the narration slowly at first, then increase the speed when you get used to it. In this way, it will be perfect to practice listening Japanese.

 

Advantage 2: You can choose business books as listening theme

If you choose a business book, you can get useful business information at the same time as you practice listening, so it is like throwing one stone to kill two birds.

 

Advantage 3: You can read the book review

Pod Cast is similar to Audible, but the quality of its content varies depending on the distributor.

On the other hand, Audible shows reviews from people reading the same book, so you can tell in advance whether you want to read the book.

 

Advantage 4: Possible to save reading time

It is difficult to read books while walking, but you can listen Audible while you are moving from the station to the office, walking, or driving.

I often read books when moving to other place, so it usually takes a few days to read a business book.

But this time, I was able to finish reading (listening) one book in a day through Audible. By the way, I listened at double speed.

 

Of course, there are also disadvantages, whic is a monthly fee.

In the past, if you pay a monthly fee, you can listen books unlimited, but now you can listen only one book for monthly fee. If you want to listen the second one, you have to buy the book at a discounted price.

 

For example, the book I read this time called “Multi-Power” is 1,540 yen for a normal book, but 418 yen for a Kindle.

The monthly fee for Audible is 1,500 yen, so the Kindle is cheaper.

However, this is unavoidable because recording and producing audio book properly need a long process.

(All figures are as of November 07, 2019)

For busy business persons, time is money, so I think Audible is worthy even with high prices.

Now, you can pick your first free book to give this service a try.

https://www.amazon.co.jp/b/ref=adbl_JP_as_0068?ie=UTF8&node=5816607051&tag=japanonlinesc-22

After your Audible 30-days trial expires, it costs 1,500 yen per month, but you can cancel the service before the expiration.

Listening practice is more fun when you listen the theme what you are interested in. I hope this will help your Japanese learning.

Criteria for choosing textbooks (You should not trust Amazon Reviews)

 

“What are the recommended textbooks?”

This is the most difficult question I ever be asked to answer.

The criteria for choosing textbooks varies depending on Japanese learning history, learning goals, learning style, learning environment, budget, and preferences.

So, what factors should be considered in choosing textbooks?  In this edition, we summarized tips for choosing textbooks.

 

(1) Do not trust Amazon Reviews

I often shop on Amazon and always check for customer reviews before buying a product.

However, customer reviews on Amazon are not trustworthy when choosing textbooks, because there are few reviews considering the factors mentioned above. As for different learners, it has to be taken into account each learning environment, budgets, and so on, but no customer reviews consider them.

Also, there are regional differences in the evaluation of customer satisfaction.

 

For example, the customer evaluation for the “Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version (Revised 3rd Edition)” that we often use in lessons for beginners are as below.

(Information as of 10/11/2019)

————————————————-

Country /Stars out of 5/Number of reviews

————————————————-

Japan / 3.5 / 14

US    / 4.1 / 85

UK    / 4.4 / 100

CA    / 4.3 / 19

————————————————

Even with the same product, you can see the 0.9 points difference between Japan and UK.

 

(2) There are only a few textbooks stocked in general bookstores.

When I go abroad, I go to a large bookstore in the area and check what kind of textbooks are sold. Since there are only a small number of Japanese learners overseas, Japanese textbooks do not contribute much to the sales of bookstores. Therefore, there are only a few textbooks are stocked.

 

(3) Don’t trust an advice of any bookstore clerks

A general bookstore clerks will never know about learning Japanese so that you can not expect the advice of the store clerk. They might tell you the most popular textbooks, however, the best-selling textbooks are not necessarily the best textbooks for you.

 

(4) Don’t trust the advice of ordinary Japanese people as well

If you have Japanese friends, you may ask them for advice. However, ordinary Japanese do not know about Japanese language education for foreigners at all. They don’t even know what textbooks are available for learning Japanese.

 

For the above reasons, choosing textbooks is not so simple. So, what will be reliable sources on choosing textbook?

Here are some sources on people and sites helpful for your decision.

 

 

(1) Professional Japanese teacher

Professional Japanese teacher will most likely give you the best answer. However, of course, there are both amateurs and professionals. To give you a good advice on recommended textbooks, teachers need to have a deep understanding of many textbooks, but some teachers have used only a few. Which advice is more reliable by teachers who have experienced only one textbook or one have used 100? Ask how many books the teacher has experienced before.  You will be able to trust an advice of a teacher who has use at least 10 books, preferably 20 books.

(2) Special shop in Japanese language teaching and studying materials

If you can buy textbooks in Japan, you can go to a special shop in Japanese language teaching and studying materials and check them.

Here are some links to special shops in Japanese language.

Bonjinsha http://www.bonjinsha.com/

Japanese Bookstore Sogakusha http://www.sogakusha.co.jp/

Japanese Books Online http://books-online.jp/

(3) Friends who are fluent in Japanese

If you have friends who have already reached your ideal Japanese level, their opinions may be helpful for you. Especially friends of the same native language of you will be reliable. However, it is important to understand that the person does not know much of the Japanese teaching material, but only gives advice to you based on his/her limited experience.

 

(4) Japanese language School curriculum

If any of the above is difficult to find, the textbook used at the Japanese language school may become a tips for you. Japanese language schools usually have courses by level and learning purpose, so check the textbooks close to your level and purpose. Recommended learning materials for each course are also listed on the J-OS website. If you are interested, please refer to the following page.

 

For English

General Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/en/courses/generalcourse/

JLPT Preparation Course>

http://www.j-os.com/en/courses/jltpprepcourse/

Business Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/en/courses/businesscourse/

 

For Japanese

General Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/ja/courses/generalcourse/

JLPT Preparation Course>

http://www.j-os.com/ja/courses/jltpprepcourse/

Business Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/ja/courses/businesscourse/

 

* The main users of J-OS are English-speaking people or English-speaking business persons. Therefore, please note that the information may not be suitable for non-English speaking people and students.

 

What did you think about these tips?

Whether or not you can find a good textbook is an important factor of successful Japanese learning.

What percentage of Japanese citizens do own passports?

 

Recently, the numbers of overseas visitors to Japan is dramatically increasing as I introduced in the previous month’s issue “8 reasons why the number of foreign tourists growing in Japan”. Conversely, the passport possession rate of the Japanese is only 25% that is the lowest level among industrialized countries.

The Japanese passport is the most powerful in the world, enjoying visa-free or visa-on-arrival destinations to 189. Nevertheless, why many Japanese do not own their passports? Let’s examine some reasons behind this tendency.

 

(1) Japan is an island country.

Due to being an island country surrounded by the sea, and isolated, going to other countries is not that simple comparing to other countries connected by land in terms of time and cost. Even when going to neighboring countries, the means of transportation are an airplane or a ship, not a car.

 

(2) Safety perspective

Japan is one of the world’s top security countries. Some Japanese people are afraid of being exposed danger when travelling overseas.

 

 

(3) Difficult to take long vacations

Many European people enjoy summer holidays for almost one month, however, general summer holidays are about one week in Japan. Japanese do not have enough free days to take a long trip.

 

 

(4) Many tourism resources in Japan

Japan is a long country from the frozen far north of Hokkaido to the tropical south of Okinawa,   and has four distinct seasons. People in Japan can enjoy the various beautiful scenery at the different places, so some Japanese do not have much interests for going abroad.

 

 

(5) Japan is the best of all

Particularly young Japanese are comfortable with their current situation with no major reasons for them to leave their country. When I was young, I did backpacking trip spending time and money to expand my worldviews. However, because of safeness and its comfortableness, recent young Japanese tend to stay close to their home, not spending time and money to driven to seek change.

 

 

What percentage of people in your country have passports?

 

Source: https://www.henleypassportindex.com/global-ranking

8 reasons why the number of foreign tourists growing in Japan

 

The number of tourist arrivals hit a record of over 30 million as of 2018.This is about five times compared to 2011. In this edition, I will examine the reason why inbound foreigners have surged in recent years in Japan.

Reason 1: Global tourism is on the rise

Tourism is on the rise globally. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), international tourist arrivals reached 1.4 billion in 2018, a rise of 1.4 times over 2011. However, as mentioned above, this is not enough proof for why the number of foreign tourists coming to Japan has increased by five times.

 

Reason 2: Popularity of “washoku (Japanese cuisine)”

Japanese food was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013. In addition to Japanese food, many restaurants in Japan serve delicious and healthy meals at a low price.

Reason 3: Global spread of Japanese culture.

An increasing number of people are interested in Japanese culture, such as shrines, temples, and Japanese countryside. Some people were inspired by judo, kendo, and tea ceremony, and others were inspired by anime, manga, and games.

 

Reason 4: Economic Growth of Asian Countries

With the economic growth of Asian countries, the number of people who can afford to travel abroad has grown rapidly. And more and more people chose Japan for travel because of easy access.

 

Reason 5: Progress of yen depreciation

In 2011 Japanese yen reached a record low of 75 yen per dollar, but it is about 108 yen on July 29, 2019 (when the article was written). Compared to that time, Japanese products have become about 30% cheaper and more attractive to foreigners.

 

Reason 6: Expansion of Low Cost Carrier

Traveling abroad has become easier and affordable thanks to the growth of low-cost airlines. As LCCs predominantly operate short- and medium-haul flights, tourists from Asia has increased.

 

Reason 7: Policy of Japanese government

Relaxation of tourist visa requirements has also had an effect on increase of inbound.  The Japanese government has set the target number of tourists of 40 million in 2020 and 60 million in 2030.

 

Reason 8: Many repeaters

According to Tourism Agency data, 61.4% of foreign tourists are visiting Japan more than once. In particular, about 20% of tourists from Taiwan and Hong Kong have visited Japan more than 10 times.

As a side note, I have met a Taiwanese who has traveled to Japan more than 50 times in the last 10 years. On average, this person is traveling to Japan five times per year, which may be more frequent than most Japanese do.

For both those people who already have travel to japan or have not yet, what are your reasons why you would like to travel to Japan?

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