Author: Yukadon

[Blog] Current status and ideal state of career independence of Japanese companies

Current status and ideal state of career independence of Japanese companies


When foreigners work in Japanese companies, there are many surprising scenes that foreigners feel by Japan’s unique corporate culture. In addition to differing languages, cultures, ways of thinking, etc., career formation also differs greatly from overseas companies.

Therefore, this time, I will explain in detail the present situation and ideal state of career independence in Japanese companies.


From company-based carrier formation to career independence

During the era when the Japanese employment system such as lifetime employment and seniority system was alive, employees’ ability has been developed by enterprises mainly. However, following the collapse of bubble economy, as restructuring has been carried out and mobilization of human resources progresses, the entity of capacity development has shifted to the age of “career independence” that creates career plans by individual responsibility. Moreover, there are an increasing number of cases of reviewing their careers and forming them from a very early stage recently. This is because it became clear that independence of the career greatly contributes to not only capacity development and step up of the individual but also activation of the organization and improvement of productivity.


Reasons for companies to support individual independence

Why do companies want such independent personnel? There are two reasons for that. The first reason is that, as companies have been unable to look after the lives of employees for the future as ever. Generous corporate welfare systems have been the specialties of Japanese companies until now, but many of them terminate measures such as housing allowance and family allowance in the trend of personnel cost reduction. The real intention of a company is to manage it with self-responsibility about the part not directly related to work.

The second reason is that independent individuals can produce high value at work.

New human resources, such as human resources who can make their own ideas regardless of the instructions of their boss and past customs and precedents, human resources that can take the most appropriate actions according to situations on the spot, and human resources who can create new value rather than successfully managing existing businesses are suitable as organization leaders in the 21st century. Needless to say, what these behaviors can do is the characteristics of independent personnel. More than anything, independent talent is not born out of the idea of nurturing human resources necessary for existing organizations like past.


About 40% of companies conducting career development training

Next, I will explore the situation of enterprises towards self-reliance of employees’ career. According to “White collar career development survey” announced in October 2007 by SANRO Research Institute, about 38% of companies conduct “Career Development Training”, and about 24% of companies are currently not implementing it, but they respond that they are planning and plan to implement in the near future. Meanwhile, about 38% of companies are not implementing “career development training” and they do not plan to do it in the future. Evaluation has been divided, but it is a fact that companies that intend to conduct “career development training” are majority, including future introductions.


Toward Realization of Career Independence

The traditional career that entrusted everything to the company was on the premise that there was a long period from entry to retirement. Now that the premise has collapsed, what kind of work do you need to do and what kind of skills do you need? And individuals have to think about how to acquire it. Indeed, the concepts of “self-reliance” and “self-responsibility” in the career have come to be asked by those working in the organization.


Company’s challenges for career independence

I believe that the minimum thing a company should do as an assistance to be made for employee’s career independence is to equalize the relationship between employees and company. Relationship between employees and company so far was “dependent / subordinate” such as” Instead of being taken care of, the employees listen to what the company says”.If Japanese companies do not change this relationship, independence of individuals is difficult. In order to change from “dependent” to “independent”, it must change from “subordinate” to “equal”.

For Japanese companies in the future, it is difficult to survive in traditional company dependent career formation. This is because companies in which employees are not able to become independent, that is, companies in which many people depend on the company, independent excellent talent will quit the company first.

In this regard, for foreign employees who are highly professional oriented, hoping for career improvement in the short term, and are strongly looking for job changers, I think that the possibility that employment for Japanese companies will be advantageous is high enough.


By Yukadon


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