A career is a 40-year long voyage. Before you set sail, you’ll need a map to choose your destination and route. Royce Lee, a MEXT alumnus & a management consultant, helped the current MEXT scholars in mapping, showing the full range of business career options out there to choose from.
The webinar was broken down into the following 3 sections.
- Part 1 – What types of career paths are out there? & What types of industries and functions are out there?
- Part 2 – What are the salary ranges available in Japan?
- Part 3 – Q&A
The webinar started off with a thought provoking poll when Royce asked the attendees about the average number of jobs held in a lifetime. The answer is 12.
Part 1 – What types of career paths are out there? & What types of industries and functions are out there?
To address these questions, Royce divided the companies into 4 quadrants. B2B vs. B2C and High Economic concentration vs Low Economic concentration. Figure 1 highlights the quadrants and helps us in understanding how most of the jobs in different sectors / industries are currently.
Figure 1: Classifying industries & roles
Part 2 – What are the salary ranges available in Japan?
Salaries are directly correlated to your position in the company & your prior experience in the industry. Figure 2 highlights the contrast between moving up in the corporate ladder (or) into a different role in the same company / industry vs. moving up moving up in the corporate ladder (or) into a different role in a different company / industry. The salary ranges for companies in Japan are available in the public domain and can be easily accessed (Michael Page releases a comprehensive salary guide every year).
* Note that the salary can be negotiated at every stage and at every transition, so all you have is a ballpark figure.
Figure 2: Ease of changing jobs and how the salary structure depends on the transition
Part 3 – Q&A
The floor was opened up for questions and almost all the 50 attendees got a chance to clarify the doubts they had in their mind. We extended the webinar by about 30 minutes to address all the questions and the following are Royce’s top 3 takeaways from the webinar.
- The primary goal of your first job should be developing transferable set of skills and experiences
- Plan backwards – Figure 3 shows how you can plan backwards from your goals
- Advise for
- Students –
- Do targeted internships & network with alumni
- Study the macro global trends in the industries
- Work on your Japanese in various settings
- Working adults –
- Understand your earning potential by checking salary guides
- Understand the basics of financial accounting
- Be in touch with recruiters to check the pulse of the job market
Figure 3: How to plan your career strategically
** Note that all the images have been taken from Royce’s slides that were used in the webinar and are subject to copyright. Kindly refrain from sharing the images without permission as they have been created by Royce.
About the speaker – Mr. Royce Lee:
Management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Previously worked with Mitsubishi Corporation. Holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Tokyo. MEXT scholarship alumnus (2011-2016). Non-active co-founder of MSA.
With that being said, we at MSA, wish you good luck with your career planning and feel free to contact us if you need any advice regarding career planning in Japan