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Japan's new graduates facing grim job prospects

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I think Japanese youth should be encourage to look outside of their own comfort zone of a country. Educate themselves to have an international mindset. I think so many companies in the world would love to employ Japanese for their unique qualities that make this country advanced so fast. Why limit yourself to a single country when the whole world is full of opportunities.

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These kids will learn that life never turns out the way you plan, so adjust accordingly. If you don't get what you want today, that's no reason for giving up or becoming despondent.

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As kibousha says, it's time Japanese grads to look at working outside of Japan more seriously. Sure, they have the responsibility themselves to develop a more open mindset towards the rest of the world, but the education system here really fails most people. If only they had English education like in Taiwan...

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Like I said, Japan is the land of scant opportunities.

Facts are indeed facts.

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This will be good for the youths of Japan. It will teach them that they can't get everything handed to them on a platter, and that life in society is anything but "easy". I graduated from university in 1987 and it took both my friend and I over six months to find our first job.

In addition to that, the concept of "lifetime employment" is dead in Japan. They have been talking about that for years now. Companies can no longer afford the time to hire a newbee and bring them up through the ranks slowly. They are doing horizontal/lateral employment by the bucket these days.

In my industry people change companies every three years it seems.

Life has changed in Japan, and so has hiring. This will be a hard change, but eventually it should create a tougher employee.

a person’s first job out of college is a critical step that often determines a lifelong career with a single company

This statement is no longer accurate.

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Perhaps the economy will force employers to better scrutinize those they hire, such as focusing on grades and performance in school. And this will mean students will actually have to - (gasp) - study in college and strive to do well. So in a way this economy is a good thing.

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May be they should go to India for jobs since China is not quite that popular anymore.

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I find it iron the comments here about how these bright graduates should seek opportunities abroad. Where are these opportunities? South Korea? Europe? Russia? U.S.A? China? The whole world is in a massive mess right now. Keep in mind if you lived in any of these regions you would also say the same to newly graduates. The unique thing about Japan how ever is that next to U.S.A it's the second most dynamic and unpredictable economy. And know that sentence is not implying second biggest economy for those that like to take things out of context.

I'm sure Japan will find some Japanese innovative way out of this as they always had.

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OK, so maybe I am not as sympathetic as I could or should be, but maybe this is a good thing. First off, most recent Japanese college graduates are pretty worthless to begin with. They spend the last two years basically trying to secure a job, so their actual useful knowledge is limited. Second, much for the reason for this is that the kids all apply to the same companies, where they hope to simply jump-desks for the next 40 years or so. They want security more than anything else. Doesn't even really matter what the company does. So, maybe this is the needed shock-wave to go through the Japanese higher-education system, the students, the government and the hiring companies to change this antiquated system. Encourage kids to look at smaller or start-up firms, for example, and have the government give tax breaks/cash to those companies hiring them. Or, maybe just somehow get the words "entrepeneur" or "start-up" or "small business" into the venacular here. Japan cannot continue to live and die just by the companies on the first listing.

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Join the armed forces and learn a trade. Who would want a white color job anyway?

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Who would want a white color job anyway?

Safety goddog. Safety. Safety. Dont you know about safety?

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BoratLikeBarry, "If only they had English education like in Taiwan..."

yeah, Almost all of japanese student I met (either undergrad or master) said, English is difficult. I think they already got it since elementary, however, they should be encourage more to speak.

They also educate about openness and about another way of thinking. I think, Japanese is very inclusive and reluctant with another way of thinking or new ideas.

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I am not a graduate (well not a recent one anyway) and have been very lucky to have landed an absolutely awesome job with a very cool Japanese company starting from April. In the interview It was me against 8 Japanese soon to be graduates for 1 job.

I guess that these kids are not stupid. After all, they will be graduating soon. But I suspect that these kids have worked so hard all their lives that they have completely lost their sense of "self". They dont have any extra curricular activities, they dont speak foreign languages and there is nothing "special" separating Kumiko from Junko or Ayako.

Thats just my opinion. I hope they can all find a super awesome job that they really really love soon. But I doubt it.

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@himehentai

I am not a graduate (well not a recent one anyway)

It doesn't work like that. It's like being a virgin. You either is or you ain't :)

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WORK ABROAD!

Problem solved.

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Or better yet, work in agriculture.

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Bring on the revolution!

(Seconding herefornow): While its too bad they can't find work, I am not very sympathetic to these recent graduates' plights. It is a stupid, outdated employment system, and they are stupid for buying into it. A system where you have to have a job by graduation, companies don't hire anyone but new graduates who they see as programmable blank slates, and changing fields or companies is discouraged, is too inflexible, and it has to go. And it is changing I guess, but too slowly. I wonder if things have to get bad enough for people to stop buying into the b.s. and start looking for creative solutions and finding their own paths. I meet college kids all the time who are freaked out about the job market and desperate to look for work earlier and earlier, and I ask them what they want to do with their lives, what there dreams are. They answer, "I want to get a job with a company." There's your problem right there--its not specific at all, they don't think about what they actually want to do, they are basically just saying that they want to be identity-less salaryman cogs in the machine--that's their dream. And they wonder why it doesn't go well. I recommend that when you see everybody competing desperately for something that's barely worth competing for, don't do that. Find your own path, and you may find much greater success in the long run. But the problem is that safety, stability and security are overvalued here, without thought to the benefits of dynamism and risk. I get the appeal of safety, but young people need to start realizing that even the safe way isn't that safe anymore.

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From what I've seen and read, the ratio of jobs to job seekers in smaller companies, less than 500 employees, but not mom and pop outfits, is not bad. I tell my students that and they nod but they're all thinking that news is for others and they are the one who will get into the big corporation. They assume the bigger companies are safer. But why anyone would want to spend his or her youth as in infinitesimal part of a big company, with no chance to make a difference, is beyond me.

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Stop hiring kids at year three. Let them get internships or study abroad before taking that salariman job.

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The thing that really sucks for these young graduates is that the system is working against them. If they can't find a job this year, they can still look next year, but then they will be competing with the 3rd years from next year. And when they leave university there is no real way to find a good job. It is all done through the university. I agree that many of them shouldn't only look at big companies, but they have been brainwashed that the only way to success is to get into a big company and then wait it out for 40 years until you retire or die, whichever comes first. Anyway who said big companies are any more secure, JAL just went bankrupt, and a lot of other big companies are in trouble, so I can't see how that offers any more security than a mid-sized or small company.

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I am so sick of reading this crap, everyone is whining when 68 frigging percent have jobs already(likely at sh&^y companies) & its panic time WTF!

This it just daft all round.

Japan is in dire need of a revolution of thinking by everyone at all levels, hell it aint bad if so many already have "jobs" lined up, and what is with all this damned corporate welfare to hire the last few slackers! I dont want my damned taxes wasted on these useless grads & companies, give it back to me I bloody earned it, now its being flushed as usual, I am sick of this crap!

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college is such a waste of time - they 'd be so much better off taking minimum wage jobs after high school. the knowledge they'd have after four years of actually working would be so much more beneficial than getting drunk three times a week with their sissy "friends"

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college is such a waste of time

I half-agree with you. If you are dead-set on being a medic, seismologist or chartered accountant, go to university and study like crazy.

If you dont know what you want to do in life - dont go to university!

Go travel, get a regular job or do something else rather than waste 4 years on a humanities degree that will cost thousands and get you not a whole lot...

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Why doesn't the government undertake a total review of entrepreneurial stimuli strategies???

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Again, the smart and young Japanese with skills have moved to China, to be part of the largest growing economy on earth. The stupid ones have remained in Japan, scrapping around for the scant opprotunities available.

Again, j-supporters and Japanese, read the writing on the wall, swallow your pride, and take advantage of the vast opportunities in the Middle Kingdom.

Or, stay stuck in the land of the setting sun.

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Dear Jun & Megumi, You have spent four years playing around at university studying Japanese or English literature, so don't expect Japanese employers salivating to have you on their payrolls...

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Japan needs more eye doctors, there are only 5 in my neighbourhood.

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The Never Ending Story - methinks!

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