Hardworking Bilinguals Needed – Basic Experience Only

I often hear multinational employers lament, “All I want is a smart, energetic bilingual person to learn the business and grow into a senior position!” For those of you who have recently graduated and wonder what the job market has in store, don’t despair. If you have the attitude and language skills, but not much experience, there are still plenty of opportunities out there.

For example, I currently have a client who is looking for a troubleshooter for his primary products importing company. He needs someone to listen to his Japanese customers and to go back to the vendors in the home country and negotiate for better products, better shipping, better follow-up, or whatever. Although this particular employer would love to have a person experienced in retail sales and product management, the fact is that he is more concerned with the candidate’s personality and ability to solve problems. Nationality is not important, language is. This is an ideal entry-level position for someone.

Then we have another customer who wants bilingual foreigners with basic media and sales experience to come in and work alongside an all-Japanese sales team. The idea is that the foreign staff members will become change agents for the rest of the team, showing them how to come up with new ideas, products, and services targeted at a foreign corporate customer base. So obviously this is a position best suited to someone with plenty of imagination and a willingness to go out and try ideas in front of customers. Nationality is not important.

Actually, this whole idea of foreigners and foreign-thinking Japanese being “change agents” is really starting to catch on here in Japan. We are getting more and more requests from customers asking for bilinguals who have the ability to think out of the box and find answers to problems quickly and effectively. Some companies are even forming “Skunk Works” (a la Lockheed Martin back in 1943), creating hit teams that will attack problem areas around the business and even replace some incumbent teams with new people and new solutions. Key here is language skills, some basic (but not extensive) ability in the business, and above all – a “genki,” durable, and hardworking personality.

To find these and other jobs, visit our website www.daijob.com. Some are listed by direct employers and others by agents. Ironically, although I’ve been discussing entry-level positions, you’ll find that many of them are in fact only listed by agents, rather than by the end-employers. The reason is, of course, that because so many companies are laying off staff, they find it very difficult to place hiring ads at the same time – lest diligent but recently laid-off staff see them. Thus, agents provide a good screening resource for such companies. We have many reliable agents on the DaiJob.com web site, including our own executive search group, called Ambition Consulting. You can find them at www.ambitionconsulting.com. Good luck!