Inside Japan Podcast

(Podcast) At a Crossroads in the Hotel Industry in Japan

This week I talk with Emili, someone new to Japan and new to a career in the hotel industry. She has a very interesting perspective and is still trying to find her feet in her Japan career.


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  1. [email protected]

    I was looking for articles or blogs online if there are foreigners who had worked as a Front staff who shared their experiences and I think this is the only thing I found. I also have the same experience with Emili, it’s just that I studied Japanese here in Japan. I had three interviews in one day and was immediately told that they’re going to hire me. I was still a language student back then so they asked me to start as part-time while they were processing my visa. I turned down 2 interviews from 2 companies and the job offer that I got as a sales staff since it looks really hard. Since it’s a new hotel, they didn’t have a lot of staff and I had my training for only 3 days. I was really pressured and I was always scolded by my bosses but my colleagues always cheered me up and kept on telling me that they were also like that at first(btw they’re native Japanese). Like Emili, I also just think that it might be really like this at first. I was always reminded by my boss to use Keigo and to make my Japanese communication beautiful. During my first month, I wasn’t allowed to talk to Japanese customers because she said that these people are paying money to get the best customer service which is understandable. it made me somewhat lose my confidence in speaking Japanese. There were a lot of times when I thought to just look for another job instead but I also didn’t think it would look good on my resume since I just got my visa. I was also glad whenever we had a lot of foreign guests because I didn’t feel any pressure but now because of COVID19, I don’t think there will be a lot of foreign guests for a long time. It really makes me anxious even until now and at the same time regret why I didn’t take the two interviews or still continued doing job hunting.

    1. ALTINSIDER Author

      From Emili:

      I totally understand how this person is feeling 100%. Like you hired me fully knowing I can’t speak, read, or write perfect Japanese and then once we’re hired and in the job it’s all about speaking perfect Japanese and when you can’t, you’re not allowed to speak to the Japanese customers. If this is the case, they shouldn’t even hire people that aren’t 100% confident in their Japanese. Especially when you’re told you’re just a part timer, you shouldn’t have to feel the amount of pressure that’s presented to you. However, I hope this doesn’t turn the them off from life in Japan, and just know that this isn’t forever. It might suck now but you could get a new job in the future or maybe things could turn well at the hotel!

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