Looking for a part-time job in Japan as an expat brings so many challenges but could also mean fun. It opens the opportunity to learn a new language, earning high wages, multiple job offers and more.
In Japan, estimated to 75% of international students engage in some part-time jobs. It helps them sustain their living expenses while studying abroad. But not only student visa holders, the foreigners having other types of visas and some Japanese citizens are also working as part-timers.
The fact that Japan is facing labor shortages, then tons of job vacancies are available to both foreign nationals and locals.
However, if you’re reluctant to look for part-time jobs may be because you have no idea where to start, then let me guide you on your job-searching journey in Japan.
Initially, you have to take into consideration the legal permission to perform any activities outside or to work some part-time jobs. And to know how then try these step-by-step guides.
First Step: Check your eligibility to work as PART-TIMER
- You must have any of the following visas.
With your student visa, it allows you to work part-time up to 28 hours per week. However, you have to make sure that you will not apply for jobs associated with illegal activities or prohibited under a student visa. And be mindful, working more than the legally permitted hours can result in deportation. On the other hand, in events such as holidays, 40 hours of work per week will be allowed. The government only permitted the students to work part-time to support their study and living expenses not a remittance for family maintenance. So, with this type of visa, a student can get any part-time jobs that are available in Japan.
Having a working visa allows you to apply to both full-time jobs as well as part-time. To be able to qualify for full-time positions, a foreign national must have related work experiences and Japanese language skills.
The following are the types of work visas that can also be part-timers.
- Religious activities
- Business manager
- Legal/Accounting services
- Medical services
- Engineer/Specialist in humanities/International services
- Intra-company transferee
- Skilled labor
- Technical intern training
- Other visa categories
- Highly skilled professional visa
- Working holiday visa
- Specified visa
- A valid visa
- Japanese Language certificate (if any, non-compulsory)
- Resident card
- Permission to work (Permit to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted or shikakugai katsudo kyoka) in the case of the student visa.
Documents needed for the application of the permit:
- Permission to Engage in Activity Other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted application form (Available at the Immigration Bureau).
- A document containing activities related (e.g., employment plan certificate prepared by the part-time job employer).
- Residence card
- Passport or Certificate of Eligibility for Residence Status
- Identification Card (e.g., student ID)
Looking up for a part-time job is not as easy as 1,2,3. It needs you to check some important things before getting one. It helps you in your decision making and opens your mind to some probabilities.
Second Step: Check the important things before getting part-time jobs.
✔Check the distance of the job
Location is one of the major factors you must consider when finding a part-time job. It is way more convenient and practical if your work is near your school or accommodation. Take into account the traveling time and fare to be wasted if you get a job that is distant away instead of using those to aide your study.
✔Check the qualifications
Why do you need to check for the qualifications? Consider these reasons: Some companies do not employ foreign workers. Other jobs do not hire students. Most required the level of Japanese language and necessary skills.
Therefore, checking the qualifications thoroughly on a particular job you are applying to is very important.
✔Check the salary
Knowing the minimum salary granted by the law in the prefecture where you will be working at is truly important, so you will not end up under-compensated. For example, the minimum wage in Tokyo is 874 JPY per hour while in Nagano is 821 JPY per hour. You can check below estimation of per hour salary for some part-time jobs in Tokyo prefecture.
|Part-time Job||Rate Per Hour|
|convenience store staff (day shift)|
convenience store staff (night shift)
|from 850 JPY|
from 1200 JPY
from 1,000 JPY
1,000 JPY to 1,500 JPY
1,000 JPY to 2,000 JPY
from 1,000 JPY
from 1,000 JPY
✔Check the types of jobs
In analyzing the type of job that is right for you, check first if you possess the required skills or if you are capable of doing such. For example, if you have English language ability and good in communication and explanation, so why not choose a teaching career, thinking that English teachers are in demand in the country.
On the other hand, if you prefer jobs that do not require special skills and prior experiences, then you can search for service industry Jobs that includes waiters, retail clerks, salespersons and more. However, these jobs require at least basic Japanese skills.
✔Check the working time
Some companies offer fixed working schedules while others allow flexible time. As long as the time does not overlap or matches your other job schedules, then go for it. Especially if you’re a college or university student, avoid choosing jobs that will cause you to be late at school or worst not attending class at all.
However, if the job offers flexible shifts, then arranging work schedules with your employer might not be a problem.
Try night shifts as another option. Working at night offers better compensation than working during day time. So if you want to go for it, then better search for companies particularly located in Tokyo that operate 24/7 like the convenience stores, fast food chains and more,
✔Check the perks
The most common perk for part-timers particularly for restaurant staffs are free uniform and food at work, but in large fast-food chains like KFC and McDonald’s do not. While in other companies they offer traveling expenses, where some may give a maximum of 1000 JPY per day or more for their employees.
Checking jobs that have perks is very common for part-timers particularly students because having it will be a great help in their daily food allowances.
Third Step: Know the popular part-time jobs in Japan.
Deciding the type of job to apply that will correspond to your Japanese language skills is necessary. Do not be too bold to apply for jobs you think you cannot meet the expected language level. It is too risky and you may end up wasting your time and effort. To learn the popular part-time jobs based on the required Japanese level, you better check the following.
- No Japanese skills required
If you’re a newcomer in Japan, then these jobs are perfect for you for it won’t require you to speak in Japanese. There are plenty of opportunities even though you are not fluent in Japanese as long as you have other useful skills. Some may be posted vacancy outside the building where you can apply instantly as long as you bring your resume and other requirements with you.
Cafe, bar, hotel, restaurant staff
Movers, these people help you move stuff on trucks.
English teacher (some require Japanese skills)
- Beginner Japanese Skill Level
These jobs do not require you to talk fluently in Japanese, beginner or conversational level of Japanese only such us working in a factory, supermarket or store staff, restaurant staff and more.
- Fluent Japanese Skill Level
Your proficiency in Japanese can be your stepping-stone to teach English in Japanese schools or even to work in some local Japanese organizations of the government such as Information Technology, English Teacher, Investment Banking and Engineering.
Fourth and Final Step: Start looking for a part-time job or arubaito.
- Check part-time jobs at workjapan.fairness-world.com
You can start finding part-time jobs with FAIR Inc. The company started last year as a recruitment agency that provides help for foreign nationals who wish to work or study abroad in Japan. Spreading help to non-locals particularly those visa holders is actually part of the company’s main goal which is to give fair treatment and service to every nationality.
Here’s how you can check jobs from Fair Inc.
- Check the newly posted jobs on Fair Inc. Facebook Page here.
To apply for a job click the ‘apply’ button or follow the page if you want to be updated with the current job postings.
- Visit their website here.
You can choose from occupation categories on the main page and click to see the list of available jobs in Japan. Watch the video below for a quick guide.
2. Searching jobs using the TownWork Magazine
The TownWork magazines provide the latest job announcement in Japan which are available in any Conbini or Convenience Stores for free. There are two types of TownWork which can easily be identified by each different cover. If you are looking for full-time jobs, then the blue-covered magazine is right for you. However, if you want to know the latest part-time jobs, then pick the one that has a yellow cover. Both of these magazines provide a lot of useful information including resume writing, preparation for interviews, how to quit, latest article and more which will guide you in looking for part-time jobs as well as full-time. Since the magazines are popular for job seekers in Japan, that is why most of the jobs listed on it filled very quickly.
3. Utilize the TownWork website
The website has numerous job categories on the different regions of Japan, so you can be able to search for the jobs that are available near you. Unlike TownWork magazines, checking its website is way more convenient, which means going to any convenience stores to get a hard copy is not necessary anymore. You can only use your computer or even your smartphones when looking for jobs.
4. Download the TownWork app on your cell phone
The TownWork job search application is downloadable both on IOS and Android, and very easy to use. You have to turn on your GPS first so that the TownWork app will show various jobs that are available near your location. To learn how to download it, then follow the instructions below?
How to download?
First, type ‘Town work’ on the search box in the Google Play Store or App Store. Then, install and open the app. Once you open the app, you can now search for your desired job, working methods, salaries, and qualifications.
From A navi： http://froma.yahoo.co.jp
DOMO! NET： http://domonet.jp
Part-time job@CHIKYUJIN： http://job.chikyujin.jp/en/
Tokyo Notice Board (Tokyo and Kanagawa)： http://www.tokyonoticeboard.co.jp/
Kansai Flea Market (Kansai area)： http://www.kfm.to/
Job searching is not an easy thing, especially when you’re living in a country that has a different language and culture from yours. You will undergo some job application process like resume and requirements submission, and interviews. Also, you need to take into consideration some important factors such as the location, type of work, salary, perks and more.
Furthermore, bogus recruiters and online scammers will appear in the course of your job hunting. Do not be easily misled with them. Be careful not to give away your personal information or send payments. Remember, if the recruiter or agencies will ask for money right away, then it is most likely a scam.
Consider the helpful guides mentioned above in finding a part-time job in Japan. Take your time and remember, “patience is a virtue.”