Why Japan is not the best place to work, in which European country to start building a career for an IT specialist, and how can a programmer understand support. Japanese Takahito Namiki told us about this. He visited several countries and made an unexpected choice for himself. We talked with him in English and translated the conversation into Russian.
Conservative Land of the Rising Sun
I have lived and worked in several countries: Japan, USA, Canada, Ukraine and even on the island of Taiwan. Well, you can really work anywhere with a laptop and Wi-Fi. But in order to work better, you need to understand the international market and immerse yourself in a new environment.
There is an opinion that Japan, and in particular the city of Tokyo, is a place of great opportunities. But this is not the case. Working in Japan doesn’t appeal to me for several reasons.
In my experience and opinion, the Japanese market is more closed and conservative. In Europe, you feel more like a part of a team. There are many “hulking” giant corporations in Japan that are ready to “eat” all your time.
Despite the fact that wages and living standards are higher in Tokyo, there are many more opportunities in Europe to go international. I want to clarify that I went to college in the United States for four years, lived in Asian and European countries – I have something to compare with.
Support is an important part of the IT system
Initially, as a basic education, I studied politics, but I switched to macrosociology in order to better understand social and social processes. My specialty is called “International Communication” and you can say that I am very sociable.
I started my business in 2016. The main goal of the company is to help the management system achieve its goals, raise awareness of career advancement abroad, and prepare the environment for successful IT projects not only in Japan, but also in other countries. In addition, I conduct market research, consultations on market research and expansion, develop development strategies for start-up companies, large and medium-sized enterprises from all over the world. I am currently working with Wise and FinTech.
Most programmers don’t see the support engineer as part of IT, but they are at the forefront. Their tasks are not only to comply with the interests of the client and solve technical problems, but also to interact with programmers, to act as a connecting link. To get a job as an IT support engineer, you need to have technical skills.
On the one hand, as a support, I don’t need to understand technical terminology. I simply report a problem if I find any bugs in our product. BUT, I need to understand the structure of the content, because I have to tell the experts correctly so that they create good UX and UI.
Often I have to “translate” technical information into the one available to clients, in this case I am guided by the rule: “Simpler is better”. There is no point in working if the clients do not understand the essence of the problem. High professionalism – skillfully communicate with both clients and programmers.
Engineer Commandments: No drama. Good karma
After talking with users, clients and the team, I can articulate several core values that I adhere to in my work:
It’s not just a job:
We are making positive and important changes in the world.
We cannot spend time in our comfort zone.
Nobody can do it alone. We need each other.
We break through walls to do amazing things.
We take responsibility for what we do.
We take care of ourselves and each other.
Customer comes first:
We’re working to make the world a better place for our customers – that’s the whole point.
Customer voices should always be the loudest. We listen to them and serve them as one team.
No drama. Good karma
We start with the assumption that everyone has good intentions.
We respect the worldview of others and challenge arguments, not individuals.
We are open and honest – there are no hidden goals.
I have a lot of respect for the values, culture and team of my company, so I never get bored. Nobody is perfect on our team, but we are together. So if someone thinks there is room for improvement, then we listen. None of us can get better without feedback.
Europeans vs Japanese
In my opinion, Europeans do not need to learn anything from the Japanese to work successfully, and vice versa, the Japanese also do not need to take anything from the Europeans. We are completely different. As the proverb says: “In Rome, do as the Romans do.” But, if I still have to choose, then this is “politeness”. This way we will see the behavior of business clients and partners, and it will be easier to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation.
Best Startup Country
After visiting several countries and talking to people in the international field, I chose the best country for IT professionals starting their own business. This is Estonia.
Because here you can easily start your own business and enter the EU market. In November 2019, I moved to Tallinn and joined the international IT team, which invited me as a Japanese customer support specialist and also as a market expansion consultant in Asia.
Estonia has an e-residency system, so it is more innovative than the Japanese one. I have now temporarily returned to Japan because of COVID-19 and because I wanted to meet my family. I plan to return to Tallinn soon, but maybe I will move to another country. For example, Ukraine, as it is now on its way to becoming an IT country.
When moving to another country, you should always remember that here you will gain a unique experience, learn a different culture and change your lifestyle. This will help you not to be afraid and be open to new opportunities. You, too, can find your place, and not necessarily your home country.
PS Jobs with open forks at a distance and with relocation in the telegram bot g-mate…