A B.A. in Japanese Studies can be the basis for a career in a number of fields. Here are some resources for job hunting that I’ve collected during over the years.
Non-Profit and Academic
Higher Ed Jobs isn’t just for PhDs; the site includes many non-faculty positions at universities and colleges. If you’re interested in working at a university’s study abroad program, Center for Japanese/East Asian/Asian Studies, Asian library, etc., this is one of the best places to look. You can set alerts for keywords, and the jobs that match will be mailed to you.
General non-profits. Lists jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. There’s usually a good showing of a variety of Japan-related jobs, including administrative positions, outreach, and exchange.
Large Networking Sites
LinkedIn is a professional international social networking system. In addition to actually searching for jobs, you can upload your resume and connect with others. Perhaps your sempai from Japanese class has connections, or you can link up with your boss from your internship. It’s a great way to keep up with people’s careers and to mutually help friends and have connections see your information. Even if you aren’t on the hunt, this is an excellent professional resource to use. You can join groups based on your interests or education background– JLPT N1, your university’s or study abroad program’s alumni group, Japanese Art, etc. These groups can help you find jobs through networking, news, and job postings.
Monster has a variety of jobs posted, from industrial translation to pop-culture localization. There are also a number of bilingual recruiting agencies. It’s good for getting an idea of what companies are hiring. Services most countries.
A keyword-and-location based general search engine for jobs. This is very general, but there are a lot of options and locations, and you can set email alerts, too. You can also search for internships.
Japan-Related and Bilingual
National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS)
A very small listing of jobs from NAJAS, but worth a look.
JET Writers, Interpreters, and Translators is an excellent resource for alumni of the JET program. The content covers pop culture, alumni events, news, blogs, and more, but one large component is job postings. Keep in mind, though, that not all are Japan-related. Some are for companies where former JETs work and some are in outreach and education (since 90% of JETs are Assistant Language Teachers). Even if you aren’t a JET, this is a great resource for Japanese culture in general, so check it out.
Career Forum Network
A bilingual website for bilingual workers, you can view CFN in English or Japanese. Search based on your education level and language skills. CFN also hosts career forum events throughout the year in Tokyo, Boston, and LA. You can have email alerts sent to you, too. Includes jobs in Japan, the US, Canada, the EU, the UK, Asia, and others.
Tempstaff Co., Ltd. International Coordinator Center, Universal Team
If you are already in Japan on a valid working visa, Tempstaff lists jobs for non-native bilinguals. The jobs are not just limited to English-Japanese, so if you have other language skills, this is a good resource, too. The jobs are often haken (dispatch) or temporary, but a number have options to extend or the possibility of becoming permanent.
Career Cross Japan
Similar to CFN, this is a website for bilinguals has listings in a variety of fields, including travel, translation, education, and media (in addition to hard sciences and IT). While CFN offers positions in many countries, Career Cross is Japan-only. The website and listings are in English and Japanese. Some jobs are for Japanese nationals only.
This is the Craigslist of information for foreigners in Japan (and I mean that in a good way). Includes job listings, apartment listings, classifieds, and general information. Most of the job listings are for private ALTs, but there are some for in-house translators, general business, and specialized fields. Many are limited to those already in Japan on a visa, and most of the jobs are located in the Tokyo or Osaka areas.
Mailing Lists and Alerts
If you find a university or company you like, or if you are an alum or current student of a related department, you can often join mailing lists or create search alerts for jobs. Your local Japan America Society may be a good resource, too, or any other local Japan-related club or NPO. In my case, I am on the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies’ alum mailing list and have an alert set up on their employment site to mail me if jobs with keywords like “Japan” or “Asia” show up.
Your Alumni Association or Career Center
Your college, your department, and your study abroad program may have alumni associations to join. In addition to receiving news about your alma mater, you may be able to use the site for networking and posting your resume. Your university may also have a Career Center for graduating seniors, new grads, or any alumni; services may include help with your resume and cover letter, networking events, or information about jobs in your field.
Your university or your city may host job fairs. I haven’t found these of particular use personally in my field of interest, as major corporations with bases in Japan who go to international job fairs may be looking for workers, not for employees with language skills to send to Japan. However, the fairs may be worth a look–check out which companies are coming ahead of time or try to find ones with international themes. Try to get as specific as you can. I have not attended these, but Career Forum Network (see above) hosts Career Forum events in the US and Japan.
I’m not saying you need to beg your friends to be let into their companies, but when you are searching, let your friends know. They might hear something word-of-mouth or have their own resources for searching in your desired field.
If you have any suggestions for other relevant resources, please leave a comment. Good luck!