Finding part-time jobs in Japan

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It can be a maze navigating a job search in your own home country, which can make finding part-time jobs in Japan even more intimidating. Go! Go! Nihon helps students to get a student visa for Japan as well as match them with great schools. But we can also help students find part-times during their time studying in Japan. Read on to learn all about finding part-time jobs in Japan.

How long can I work each week?

It all depends on the type of visa you are holding.

Student visa holders are allowed to work up to 28 hours a week. When school is on break or holiday, that requirement gets more permissive, allowing you to work up to 8 hours per day, up to 40 hours per week. When classes restart, it’s back to 28 hours a week.

That being said, students who work the full 28 hours per work on top of their full-time language studies tend to see their studies suffer. So just keep that mind when you’re deciding how much you want to work while studying!

Note that in order to work part-time as a student, you must have a permit. Luckily, you can apply for and get this when you arrive in Japan. Read everything you need to know about getting a part-time work permit in Japan here.

Working holiday visa holders have no restriction to the number of hours they can work in a week. Some companies know this and may ask those visa holders to work much more as a result. Therefore it’s up to each person to know where to draw the line.

Tourist visa holders are not allowed to earn income in Japan, period.

Common part-time jobs for foreigners

Language teaching

Teaching English is the most common part-time job for an English native speaker. Besides, as a student of Japanese, what better way to give back than to teach your own native language? Of course if you are a Spanish, Italian, French, German, Swedish etc. native speaker, you can work as a teacher of your own language. On average, the pay is ¥2,000 to ¥5,000 per hour.

Working in a restaurant

Waiting tables can be very good for a student’s class schedule and Japanese learning. Students can study and go to class during the day, then work at their local restaurant in their free time. Average pay is ¥950 to ¥1,000 per hour. In addition to practising Japanese with customers and colleagues, students also have the chance to learn about Japanese working culture.

This has been mentioned as being one of the best and most interesting experiences. Izakaya 居酒屋 are a very unique and fun part of Japanese culture. After work ends, much of the Japanese workforce floods out into izakaya and the rowdiness begins. Being a waiter at an izakaya means catching a glimpse of it all and being a part of the Japan that fires up at night.

Read more about Japanese work culture in our article here.

Store clerk/assistant

Whatever their preference, be it food, fashion, or anything else, students get the chance to practise their Japanese in jobs as shop assistants. Some examples include: convenience stores, clothing companies, and grocery markets. On average the pay is ¥1,000 to ¥1,800 per hour. With a wide variety of companies, students can pick the industry they wish to work.

Remember though, there are prohibited types of work, such as the adult entertainment service sector (snack, hostess bar, cabaret, etc.) or gambling establishments. If in doubt as to whether the job is okay, check with your school.

Light work

A whole other category of part-time work in Japan is light work. This type of work is typically more physically demanding and usually consists of short contracts of a few days. Some examples of light work include cleaning, moving inventory in a warehouse, or wrapping products. These types of jobs usually require an open schedule because they come and go quite fast. The good side is that oftentimes they do not require much Japanese to pick up.

How to apply for a part-time job in Japan

Once a job opening is found, submit the application. If the application asks you to visit the store, it is best to call ahead of time and arrange a meeting with the manager. You should also submit your resume in person if the shop has posted a “Staff Wanted” sign. Look for the boshūchū (募集中) sign, which means the place is currently taking applications.

Make sure to be dressed to impress, and brush up on your formal Japanese skills. Don’t forget that most Japanese language schools provide support in one way or other. They will often be more than willing to help you write a Japanese resume and even help you practise for the interview!

When searching online for a part time job, employers may ask you to contact them via e-mail. Write a neat and professional e-mail, making sure to attach your resume and cover letter along with any further information the company may request.

Keep in mind that jobs that involve working with the public will more than likely require at least some level of Japanese skills. It is for this reason that some language schools recommend students to wait a few months before starting to look for part-time work, especially if they are complete beginners. Those who wish to find a part-time job right away will be limited to positions that make use of their native language.

If you want to learn business-level Japanese but can’t make it to Japan yet, check out our online business Japanese course here.

Don’t know where to start?

If you are looking for some extra help in finding part-time jobs you can do, or don’t know where to start, Go! Go! Nihon can definitely help you out. We have created a Facebook page called “Jobs in Japan with Go Go Nihon” where you can see new job adverts for part-time and full-time jobs. Due to the ads being posted via a recruiting agency, oftentimes the information is kept short.

If you’re interested in any job posting, don’t be afraid to send a message to our Jobs in Japan page! Someone will usually get back to you within the day. You can do that even if you are not interested in any specific job. If you just want help finding part-time work, send them a line!

A word of warning though: this page posts ads targeted exclusively to people currently in Japan, and as a result, the page may not be accessible from outside Japan.

The internet is not the only place where you can find a part-time job. Look around! Plenty of shops display signs that they are looking for staff all year round. Train stations that have small shopping malls tied to them also have billboards where the shopping centre’s businesses advertise job openings, so keep your eyes peeled! Businesses looking for staff will display signs that bear the kanji 募集 or 募集中 (hiring).

Learn more here about how Go! Go! Nihon can help you find part-time jobs in Japan.

It takes a little effort to get a part-time job in Japan, but with a student visa and a little bit of elbow grease, the experience pays off tenfold. It is one thing to learn in the classroom (and it’s still very important!), but it’s another to actually use those learned skills in the outside world. Making the connection between the two is what really solidifies those Japanese skills, all the while making your life in Japan much more colourful.

For further information about living and studying in Japan, follow our Go! Go! Nihon blog or contact us through the website.

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