April is just around the corner and, while it might not be a significant time of year in some countries, it’s a big deal in Japan. April marks the beginning of the new school year and as a result, brings in a wave of new young adults ready to make their start in the Japanese workforce.
In a survey conducted late last year, Japanese business media Just It organization polled 100 first-year members of working society were asked, “What is the toughest part of working life?” Here are the top five responses.
5. Too much work to do
“I work in a hotel, and it’s a really busy job. There’s so many things to learn for a newcomer, and I just couldn’t remember them all. Plus, hotel etiquette is quite strict. I got scolded a lot for that. It’s nothing like the glamorous hotel life you’d see in a TV show… I realized this is reality.” (Male, working in a hotel)
“I’m grateful to have been taught a lot of things, but… being told ‘Do this, do that’ all the time… I feel like I’m going to explode.” (Female, working in the travel industry)
4. Not a lot of time off/hard to take time off
“I was told I’d get a two-day holiday each week, but it ended up being only once a week. I’ve also ended up having to work even after the time for the last train home.” (Female, working at a printing company)
“We supposedly get weekends and public holidays off, but there are times where we have to work those days because it’s more convenient for our customers. Also, unless you get it specified in a contract, anytime you want to take paid leave, you’ll always get asked ‘Why?’ You have to lie and say something like ‘I don’t feel well.’ And so I’ve never taken any paid leave.” (Female, working in life insurance)
3. Always getting scolded by my boss or other co-workers
“At first, I was praised – ‘Wow, you’re a fast learner!’ or ‘You’re really working hard!’ But then I started being given more and more work, and it’s hard to keep up. and now I get reprimanded every day. Eventually I asked my boss if he could reduce my workload, and he got cross at me again. ‘There’re still a lot more things I want you to do, you should be able to do it.’ I’m just about at my limit.” (Male, medical accountant)
“I wasn’t performing to the same level that another worker was when they were in their first year. I got scolded in front of others a lot. I work at a bank, so the customers get to see a lot. If I got scolded, I’d start to cry, which then made my boss yell ‘You’re a member of working society now. Don’t cry here (where customers can see you)!!’ I ran in the back and cried.” (Female, working in a local bank)
2. Dealing with co-workers
“I get told different things by different people each day, so having to adjust to a different way of working each day is stressful. It’s hard to know which is the ‘right way’. I’ve been told ‘That’s not how you do it,’ a number of times, but it’s how someone senior to me taught me, so it’s hard to say anything. I wish we could all be on the same page on how we do things.” (Female, nurse)
“The atmosphere between coworkers isn’t great. When I first joined the company, I made a few friends, but I have quite a reserved personality. I ended up just floating around, not really taking part in any conversations. It’s tough.” (Male, working in the food industry)
1. Too much overtime
Unsurprisingly, the top struggle that new members of the Japanese workforce faced was the amount of overtime.
“It feels like you’re just expected to work overtime. Even if you finish ‘on time’, it’s not clear when you should actually leave and you just end up hanging around for no reason. (Female, working in an advertising company)
“My company is really suffering from a lack of staff. We’re just expected to work from morning to night, usually getting home around midnight and leaving for work around 6 a.m. Even though I’m in my first year as a working adult, I know that this isn’t normal practice, but I’m in no position to tell my boss otherwise.” (Male, working in sales)
So there you have it, the top five things that fresh new working adults struggle with the most in their first year at their job. On the plus side, with companies like Microsoft implementing new policies aimed to improve the lives of their employees, perhaps in the future these results will be different. And to those fresh graduates about to start their first year of working life, if it all gets too much for you and you want to quit your job, there’s a company that can help you out!
Source: PR Times
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