So I managed to stay 2 months in that Japanese company. Everything didn’t go as I thought it would but that’s life. Time now to focus on building the next thing so back to job hunting.
Two *interesting* months
As mentioned in the previous article, I was part of the Sales team to do Marketing. Knowing how poorly marketing was seen in Japanese companies, especially compared with engineers or sales persons, I was not really surprised (I went to a conference on this topic one year ago).
Except, my colleagues didn’t really had any idea of what marketing is and, in order to make sure I was useful to the team, gave me mundane, meaningless tasks. Without providing the necessary information (for example, cold emailing people they met during exhibitions, but not giving any clue about what they discussed or without any targeting). Or telling me to fuck off when I tried to get information or training. Double standard was also quite rampant: were I to propose an idea, it was immediately dismissed as useless or stupid. But I just had to wait between 3 hours or one week and said idea was implemented, often reluctantly. But I, of course, was not credited with anything. I just deserved to be shouted at.
Marketing-wise, what I was able to do was quite limited. First because if I stated ideas, the standard reaction was “We’d better wait” or”we need the CEO’s approval”. What I did manage to do was some data analysis, mostly from backdoor access to the tools the company was using. Any official access request, needed to actually do my job, was denied, not by the manager but by those using the tool or software.
And in the end, that was my biggest difficulty. This difference between the direction the management set and the walls the colleagues set around their own work. Management was extremely forward thinking, willing to improve the company, test new ideas or just to try and do something for a few days and then ditch it if it doesn’t match expectations. Not really the standard image of japanese companies’s management. On the other hand, colleagues were really set in their tracks. Like this colleague, hunted from one of the rival firms, who used to mostly work B2B and who was using the same methods even though the company was selling directly to users.
Another weird thing was my contract. During the probation period (so the whole 2 months), I was under a 業務委託契約, some kind of freelance contract, with a reduced salary compared with what was discussed during the interview and offer phase. Freelance contract means no social safety net, no retirement payment and no employer taxes paid. Or rather, *I* have to pay them. So having a reduced salary even more reduced but without the opportunity to grow it the way I want with other contracts was just a big pain in the wallet.
So, couldn’t work, bad work atmosphere, an extremely small pay. No reasons to stay.
That’s actually too bad because I truly think that this company was interesting and that part of the problems it was facing was actually what made it interesting.
My priority is now to get my brain busy. Which first mean finding a job. But this time, I finally have my work visa, making it simpler to do job hunting. I already have a few contacts but nothing conclusive yet.
As for the rest, I intend on developing this blog and the associated accounts and grow it as a side business. Migrating to an independent hosting was a step in that direction. So expect some new things and as a first, regularity in me posting here.
And by the way, if there are topics you’d like to see, here, please say so in the comments.