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'Job-leaving agents' in Japan help people escape awkwardness of quitting

59 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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59 Comments
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I found changing jobs perhaps the most long-term stressful thing at my age. Not sure why.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Quitting a job to look for better opportunities and a better paycheck should not be seen as a bad thing. In fact, it's seen as leveling up. How conflict-adverse are Japanese employees that such services have to exist?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I love working for myself and what I love most is that I get to keep most of the profit for myself!

I love working for myself and what I love most is that I actually own my own time.

But nothing beats family time. Getting home by 3pm to bring my son to a new park/jidoukan, enjoying a heated pool in a wednesday afternoon, taking a random weekday "off" to explore a new area with my family (except on mondays where pretty much everywhere is closed) and definitely not having to report/beg anyone for a day off while being able to travel with my family from Thu-Sun whenever I feel like is a plus.

Not being able to quit a job you hate affects not only yourself but your whole family.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Leaving one company for another isn't betraying the company - it's looking out for yourself and your family. If a company provided an environment where a person feels they are valued and compensated properly for their work, no one would be looking to leave in the first place.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

We have this image in the west of the japanese being very spiritual and "zen" but life here shows you they are obsessed with anything that isnt related to human interaction.

So very true.

Japanese leaving their job fear any human interactions that cannot be predicted.

Some think they are even spied day and night. Hence the enormous stress they feel.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

*Humans need to slow down and work* 3-4 days max a week.

This would, of course destroy economies and is rooted in the present day epidemic of narcissism.

Life is tough. Get on with it and provide for your family. Find happiness in that, otherwise you will never find it.

-10( +0 / -10 )

Ohhh my. There are a lot of Gen Z here indicating they are not in the least bit prepared for the real world.

A real reckoning is coming for them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Do they have a similar service for getting out of a marriage? I want to avoid when she "erupts in outrage". Hopefully from a beach in Florida.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I love working for myself and what I love most is that I get to keep most of the profit for myself!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've never understood this mindset in Japan. Where I'm from sometimes quitting means looking for a better opportunity. I remember one girl I worked with saying when she was quitting " I'm going over to greener pastures!". Some people are really good at their jobs, deserve a promotion, yet their employer doesn't recogize their talent. Sensible thing to do is quit and find a better opportunity, an employer who will recognize their ability and pay them more! Makes sense to me!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

From my experience in Japan as an educator, my Japanese co-workers often wait until the last day of the school year to tell the students and staff they are leaving. The hard part though is telling everyone WHY they are leaving or quitting. They'll often lie and say its health related or that they got married and want to be closer to their husband or wife or their parents who are getting older. In most cases however, its 100% bs and they just hate the place and found something better.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Japanese are taught to be subservient from a very young age, from kindergarten to that dreadful under paid job. This is a great service for those who will not stand up for themselves.

Spot on.

Its easy for some to criticize this brilliant business idea of job-leaving agencies but I guess most of us have been there at least once. It's not about the payment or how you're going to make ends meet at least for the next 2 or 3 months until you get your first wage in the new place, no one likes to go through all the bs to be able to be free from the job that only makes your body heavy the moment you wake up in the morning.

2 or 3 "interviews" with different people that hate you but will do whatever they can to make you stay.

People who never gave you any sign of respect but will try to make you believe the whole company will fall apart without you.

And after its decided, 1 or 2 weeks (if you're lucky) of having to put up with people staring at you, feigning disappointment and naturally as this is Japan, ignoring you as if you have offended their mothers or something.

30,000 yen to cut all this bs to 1 day sounds like a great idea, your body and mental health will thank you for that.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Japanese are taught to be subservient from a very young age, from kindergarten to that dreadful under paid job. This is a great service for those who will not stand up for themselves.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

This article mentions at least 3-4 abusive behaviors which are clearly against the law and punishable for that reason. I just don't understand why don't Japanese sue their employer's ass in that case?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Gonna start up my own branch and call it "Paycheck, check out services", as in Johnny Paycheck.

Hire one of those country singers from that Little Texas bar over in Meguro, during the day. Have them walk into the office, and in singing telegram style announce, Taro Takeshita said, "Take this job and shove it, he ain't working here no mo!" Totally shock and awe of the exit process.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh gosh whenever you hear people calling "chan" in the workplace (especially men calling other men) run away and never look back.

@finally rich - I'm glad my post gave you the toxic-Showa-patronizing-bully image that I wanted it to have. These are places that ruin their employees' mental health and I don't blame the employees for wanting to quit, or for needing assistance when they quit.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In Japan, a nation reputed for loyalty to companies and lifetime employment, people who job-hop are often viewed as quitters. And that’s considered shameful.

Actually, where I'm from, that called trying to make a living and providing for your family. Nothing shameful about that. These days, there are fewer lifetime employment opportunities; especially in the education industry and with the travel industry, too. With inflation going up and cost rising, some of these "lifetime oppurtunity" companies will close up.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Quitting should be the ultimate anti-bullying measure, but it seems some people can't even do that. The bullies don't let go that easily.

If it gets you out of that situation, I would say that's a well spent 30,000 yen.

I hope parents out there are up with the times and do not force Showa-era advice onto their children. Fewer kids for decades mean it easier to get into university and easier to change jobs. Your kids do not have to slave from morning to night for exams and then an abusive employer. Many diligent people with skills could make more money overseas.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

LOL !!..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

My dear Japanese people..

This is how you must quit your jobs..

https://9gag.com/gag/agXP40v

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I won't pretend when a employee throws in the towel, quits there post, for pastures new.

I rush down the stairs and put that disloyal poo head into a head lock.

Then, security will drag them outside, beat them before throwing them into there car and a tow truck will take them to hospital.

I am jesting, we have all moved on from time to time for a host of reasons.

The most important thing is throw a party for them and make them feel guilty.

No,

Excuse a hafu sense of humor

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"And you expect Tanaka-chan in accounting to process an entire paycheck just for two days?"

Oh gosh whenever you hear people calling "chan" in the workplace (especially men calling other men) run away and never look back.

Hearing this term in the office means these people are working there for way too long and are extremely relaxed and confident where they are so they use this word in their exclusive 'clique' to exclude all the other people.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

All the possibilities.... absolutely no one deserves to spend 5 days doing what they dont like just to spend 2 days doing what you actually enjoy.

Humans need to slow down and work 3-4 days max a week.

This would, of course destroy economies and is rooted in the present day epidemic of narcissism.

Life is tough. Get on with it and provide for your family. Find happiness in that, otherwise you will never find it.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Nearly half of Guardian's clients are women. Some work for a day or two and then discover promises of pay or work hours were false.

Who never? lol

In one of my first fixed short term jobs in Japan they changed my shift for a week and I asked how much they will pay me for the 10pm-6am shift.

The guy gave me a very nervous smile "kankei nai, kankei nai" probably thinking how does this foreigner knows this?

High time more people in Japan start to live their lives for themselves and not a false corporate god.

It would only work if the Japanese people wouldnt venerate material, inanimate objects.

How many hours the japanese waste wiping things every day?

How many toys are made for the general public?

We have this image in the west of the japanese being very spiritual and "zen" but life here shows you they are obsessed with anything that isnt related to human interaction.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

I prefer being fired. If I quit I have to bow down multiple times saying “Gomen nasi”.

if I’m fired, I can shout, abuse the boss and throw the fax machine on the floor.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

People often stick with jobs even when they're unhappy, feeling as if they are “kamikaze” sacrificing their lives for the greater good, he said, comparing his clients to pilots sent on suicide missions in the closing days of World War II.

Don't want to be seen as troublemakers

I thank Japan every day, if it wasnt for its unhealthy work culture, extreme hierarchy mentality and treatment of workers as robots or an army that can never relax I would never had thought about going freelance/self-employed.

It sounds crazy but following/studying astronomy/anthropology and its monthly mind-boggling discoveries can be an eye-opener regarding how you live your life on this rock.

All the possibilities.... absolutely no one deserves to spend 5 days doing what they dont like just to spend 2 days doing what you actually enjoy.

Humans need to slow down and work 3-4 days max a week.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Omakase onegai

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An interesting idea that addresses awkward job situations. As people, we tend to grow comfortable with our work environments and co-workers, close relationships, etc. However, sometimes it's time for us to move on in our own ways down new and challenging avenues of life and work. I myself was perfectly content to stay where I was. I liked the people I worked with for the most part, enjoyed my work, had a decent (not great) salary which edged up slightly year by year. Then one day the assistant manager told me that my salary had gone up too much, and that it would no longer increase. I could accept the fact that promotions were out of the question, but when I heard that I knew it was time to start looking around for better opportunities. With that in mind, I knew I didn't need to look back when I decided to jump. When I did, the manager was falling all over himself trying to make me change my mind into staying. This surprised me because I was wondering if he was aware of what the assistant manager had said to me about basically amounted to a salary cap. Anyway, it was too late for that because I had already committed to my plan. To make a long story short, I'm glad I left because I'm making more money than ever. The assistant manager actually did me a favor by giving me the incentive and motivation to leave. Unfortunately, many people for good or for bad stay where they are with dreams of striking out on their own, but never do because of a sense of loyalty or comfort with their surroundings, so there is a need for such job-leaving agents as these.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

What is it that destroys the Japanese ability to communicate? The "education" system?

If you're going to quit, just say so!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

tora

"3man yen? I would just quit. If the boss or company gave me any crap, I'd politely threaten to notify the appropriate government agencies."

You're more think skinned than I a lot of us. I admire you man. I suppose these agencies wouldn't exist if we all had balls of steel like that.

They're just the regular kind. It doesn't take steel to quit a job. If you're quitting, why care what they think? If they threaten you with non-payment, or some other illegal action, simply retaliate with a similar threat. Don't give in. And save your ¥30,000. You're unemployed now. You'll need it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“Imagine a messy divorce,” says Yoshihito Hasegawa, who heads Tokyo-based TRK, whose Guardian service last year advised 13,000 people on how to resign from their jobs with minimal hassles.

And of course you charged a hefty fee. Who really benefits from the transaction?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Getting out of a CONTRACT in Japan is the worst thing to tackle, you need an act of GOD or a sharp lawyer to get you out clean, even then you may have to pay a heavy price after words.

That is why they are called contracts. In a country run by laws- such as Japan-, agreements must be kept. Pacta sunt servanda,

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

3man yen? I would just quit. If the boss or company gave me any crap, I'd politely threaten to notify the appropriate government agencies.

You're more think skinned than I a lot of us. I admire you man. I suppose these agencies wouldn't exist if we all had balls of steel like that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sounds like another grift to me.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I support this service. Help people get the hell out of the matrix.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Guardian charges 29,800 yen for its service, which includes a three-month membership in a union that will represent an employee in what can quickly turn into a delicate and awkward negotiation process in Japan.

3man yen? I would just quit. If the boss or company gave me any crap, I'd politely threaten to notify the appropriate government agencies. Thankfully, I don't have to deal with that nonsense.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I remember a manager at a Japanese company where I worked actually showing up at my colleague's home on a Saturday night, bottle of wine and flowers in hand, to convince her and her parents not to quit. Pathetic, way out of line and a clear example of power harassment. - hurryharry

Exactly the kind of thing my old company would do. I didn't get any home delivery flowers and wine when I told them I was quitting.

Though I did get a Starbucks coupon when I had my meeting with the higher ups to outline my reasons for leaving which were largely to do with feeling undervalued and frustrations with ineffective management. Cue the Curve Your Enthusiasm theme.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

at - as

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Niino, who says he never once expressed an opinion in school, blames the Japanese educational system for turning out obedient workers who are unable to assert themselves.

This is so ture! In the schools, its always "Do as I say because I say! And whatever I say is right!!" Its always teacher-student teacher-student. The students have no personal opinions, expressive thoughts or ideas they can share. So theu go into the work industry seeing their bosses/managers at "The All-Say!"

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I remember a manager at a Japanese company where I worked actually showing up at my colleague's home on a Saturday night, bottle of wine and flowers in hand, to convince her and her parents not to quit. Pathetic, way out of line and a clear example of power harassment.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Getting out of a CONTRACT in Japan is the worst thing to tackle, you need an act of GOD or a sharp lawyer to get you out clean, even then you may have to pay a heavy price after words. I once wanted to cancel a contract with a cleaning company that use to service my home and the excuses and tricks they used to try to keep the contract were just UNBELIEVABLE. even insurance companies use the same tactics and tricks and Lies.

Oh man I hear you!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Take this Job and Shove it, ain't working here no mo. The song I always listened to in the old day when it was to quit.

The thing I noticed is workers get BLAKMAILED after they leave a job, Most employers work and help each others balckmailing employees especially in ruler areas.

Getting out of a CONTRACT in Japan is the worst thing to tackle, you need an act of GOD or a sharp lawyer to get you out clean, even then you may have to pay a heavy price after words. I once wanted to cancel a contract with a cleaning company that use to service my home and the excuses and tricks they used to try to keep the contract were just UNBELIEVABLE. even insurance companies use the same tactics and tricks and Lies.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Pay workers more, no more anxiety for employees or employer.

If you don't pay more, they'll use this service to resign, work for a Chinese company and wipe you out, designed in Japan by Japanese, built with slave labor in Xinjiang.

Wages is your new battle front.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If these companies are ensuring that the employee isn't cheated out of any remaining unpaid PTO or other benefits -- and it sounds like they are, given that Guardian includes membership in a union -- then it sounds like they're earning their fees. Imagine trying to quit with your last day of PTO being the second of next month, and your boss saying something like, "And you expect Tanaka-chan in accounting to process an entire paycheck just for two days? And your pension and insurance? Why are you doing that to your co-workers? Why are you so selfish?" ...when you are only exercising your legal rights. I'd love to have a hard-negotiating agent in my corner in this situation.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The great resignation was a fantastic clapback against the elites in the West and it's time we start seeing that in the East.

Ah yes, The Great Resignation. That turned out to be be an extremely brief moment in time and wasn't nearly as widespread as it was was made out to be. People realised they have to work, fortunately, or unfortunately. The same goes for telework. That soon fizzled out too.

Most of us are ultimately slaves to an entrenched system with the status quo to be enforced at all cost Now, get back to work!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@capuchin

One of the companies I used to work for did a lot of this stuff. First they'd implore you stay by telling you how disappointed your parents would be if you quit. Many Japanese staff members still live with their parents so they would start visiting their homes. Just before I quit a staff member used an agency like this to quit.

Some companies they just don't have resource to even increase salary or even make better work environment while their employee are overloaded. However they have resources to intimidate employee just to stay around.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Ever had a ‘Japanese’ company renege on a promise or fail to renew a contract or adopt abusivo behavioir?

What would an apt description be for those companies?

Plenty of four letter words come to mind…

4 ( +6 / -2 )

One of the companies I used to work for did a lot of this stuff. First they'd implore you stay by telling you how disappointed your parents would be if you quit. Many Japanese staff members still live with their parents so they would start visiting their homes. Just before I quit a staff member used an agency like this to quit.

Never did this company or so mane other companies consider changing their working conditions to prevent high turnover or make themselves more appealing to potential employees. You reap what you sew.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

It's not awkwardness, it's gutlessness.

Quitting is the best part of a job. Not sure I would outsource that.

Correct, especially if you hate the place and they've done nothing to help your career/constantly passed for promotion.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Imagine putting in your resume or saying in an interview you had to pay money to someone, just so you could tell your previous employer you'd be leaving.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Job hopping is good that’s how you find jobs that pay more as staying At the same company good luck getting pay raises

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Boss yelling at you call the labor board and report plain and simple as HR won’t fire power harassing managers, they force them to a different team

10 ( +12 / -2 )

They may finally be starting to catch on. Corporate loyalty essentially results in you working harder to earn less money.

The great resignation was a fantastic clapback against the elites in the West and it's time we start seeing that in the East.

Though you can just do it - there's no need to go to a consulting firm.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Some companies not even they try to get anything they can get, time and any remaining energy from employee while working, sometimes they also just don't want to pay the remaining salary. This kind of service usually will pursue any remaining unpaid salary, so it can be worth the money.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Guardian charges 29,800 yen for its service,

that's pretty darn reasonable.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Nearly half of Guardian's clients are women. Some work for a day or two and then discover promises of pay or work hours were false.

Immediate breach of contract and all this rigamarole, or even advance notice, should not be needed to leave such a criminal company.

Enforcement of labor laws, to use a local expression , is a "black joke".

20 ( +20 / -0 )

High time more people in Japan start to live their lives for themselves and not a false corporate god.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

blames the Japanese educational system for turning out obedient workers who are unable to assert themselves.

It works for citizens too, not just workers. Japanese always worry about how they might be retaliated against and remain paralysed. When you grow a backbone you realise that most authority bullies are paper tigers. You can even threaten them back and watch them shrink, especially when, despite the huge collusive attempts to tip the balance in their favour, most of the cards are with you, especially given the labour shortage mentioned here.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

Quitting is the best part of a job. Not sure I would outsource that.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

And after marriage, Japan has the “wakaresaseya” break-up services. (https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200731-the-saboteurs-you-can-hire-to-end-your-relationship)

I guess pre-marital “relationship-leaving agents” are next, if they don’t already exist.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

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