Inside Japan Podcast

Stop Complaining about Dispatch Companies

Dispatch companies get a pretty bad reputation online. Go to almost any corner of the internet and you can find people complaining about this company or that company. Here is what you should do to improve your situation.

Dispatch companies get a pretty bad reputation online. Go to almost any corner of the internet and you can find people complaining about this company or that company.

  • I only get paid XXX!
  • I don’t get compensation for my transportation!
  • I only have five free vacation days every year!

The list of complaints is endless, but they all have one thing in common:

The person complaining about the conditions of the job signed the contract that stipulated exactly the conditions the person is complaining about

Say you’re at the zoo, and you see a sign that says, “Do not touch the snake. It bites.” When you touch the snake, it bites you.

Who’s fault is that?

Dispatch companies do exactly what they promise, and it is up to you to either accept that or not.

Now, there are a number of situations in which you can be forced into a corner and have to accept a less-than-ideal contract because you have “no other choice.” Maybe you’d been job-hunting for months and hadn’t gotten any other bites. Maybe relocation isn’t an option, and there’s only one job available where you live. Maybe you just don’t want to change schools after you’ve built up some awesome relationships there.

In any case, the dispatch company is doing you no disservice by doing exactly what they said they would do in your contractual agreement.

So, if you are looking at your paycheck every month and seeing a number you don’t like, instead of jumping on Twitter to complain about it, I’d like to suggest you take another, more productive course of action:

Find a better job!

I know that’s easier said than done, so let’s get into how you can make it happen in as little time as possible.

Step up your job search.

I advise that everyone do this, all the time, but it is even more necessary when you’re dissatisfied with your employment situation. Sign up to JobsinJapan and other sites’ email alert systems and never stop patrolling the internet for new openings. If a better opportunity arises, you want to find it first.

Since you might forget to check the sites daily, setting up the email reminder will make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Step up the networking.

Networking is always worthwhile, and here’s an awesome way to begin doing it to help you find a better next job.

First, send resumes to as many companies as you can. Wait a week or two and give them a call directly. If at all possible, you want to speak directly to the hiring manager on the phone, and you want to start the conversation by asking if they received your resume.

At this point they usually will say something like “Yes we received your resume and will contact you in the future” or something similar. Now here is the key: Don’t let the conversation end there! Ask them anything to keep them talking to you.

Some of my go-to questions:

  • Can you tell me more about the position?
  • Do you have availabilities in —- Prefecture?
  • I’ve been researching your company and saw something about your policy regarding XXXXX. Can you tell me more about that?
  • How long have you been working there?

Doing this one time with one company is fine, but doing this a dozen times with a dozen companies is a fantastic way to get better opportunities than people who just send resumes and pray. There’s also always a chance you hit it off with someone and make a new contact. At the very least, they will likely remember your name more than they remember the 470 others that are applying for the same job as you.

Note: Don’t overstay your welcome while on the phone. A  3-5 minute conversation is perfect. A 30-50 minute conversation is wasting the other person’s time.


Stop complaining

Why do we complain? Mostly, we want people to sympathize with us. Complaining is essentially sharing your pain with others with the hope that they’ll try to make you feel better.

What a waste of time.

While you are taking the steps written above to find your next job, try to do everything you can enjoy your current gig. Have awesome classes, be nice to your coworkers, and just do your best to be a happy human.

While at work, do good work. During your free time, enjoy your hobbies. Study Japanese. And keep working on finding that next job.

To sum it up, dispatch companies aren’t inherently bad. They promise something, and deliver on that promise. If you choose to accept that promise and then complain about it, maybe it’s time to reevaluate things.

While working hard at your current, less-than-ideal job, work even harder on finding your next one, and hopefully you will be able to find an awesome position in short order.

Peter Lackner is the Managing Partner at and has had management-level positions at major job boards in Japan including:, GaijinPot, CareerEngine and currently the managing partner at

Running a job board gives Peter the opportunity to speak with employers and job seekers every day and find out why some are successful and others are not. Speaking to both employers and job seekers has given Peter the ability to be able to see both sides of the hiring process. This is why exists - to help job seekers find the jobs they want and employers to find the candidates they need.

Peter is active in the ETJ (English Teachers in Japan organization), a member of JALT’s School Owners SIG and currently on the Executive Board of the Tokyo Association of International Preschools.

You can often find Peter speaking to groups on how to get a new or better job, and to employers on how to avoid making a bad hire.

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