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Young Japanese

warming to idea

of switching jobs as

employment prospects


surveys say

from: The Japan Times:

The nation’s young adults are getting wise to the idea of changing jobs, surveys say.

After putting up with years of stagnation in the job market, attitudes are shifting among job-hunting students as more employment opportunities arise, a recruitment consultant said.


“Now that it has become easier for students to secure a job offer, it is easier for them to consider changing jobs,” Masanao Tanide said.

According to Tokyo-based recruitment information company Disco Inc.’s survey of new employees in January, a total of 43.1 percent of the 455 respondents said they were “already taking action to change jobs” or “considering changing jobs.”

Tanide said the figure of 40 percent is unusually “high for those just into their first year.”

Among those actively searching or considering a new job, the average satisfaction rate with their current employers dropped to 57.3 percent from 72.7 percent when they entered. Most complained about long overtime, low salaries and insufficient in-house training.

In Japan, graduates are traditionally all hired at once in April. Prior to that, students in their junior year engage in job-hunting activities so they can secure employment by the time they graduate.

While Japan’s traditional lifetime employment system is said to have been crumbling since the 1990s, according to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the turnover rate has stayed at around 5 percent for the past decade.

Some respondents regretted not doing enough research in advance, saying they should have asked former employees about the target firms’ flaws. Other respondents said they realized they focused on the glamorous side of the jobs only to find out after joining that their tasks were not what they had imagined they would be.

Asked whether they would choose the same company if they had the chance to do it all over again, 12.2 percent of the respondents said they would definitely go elsewhere, and 45.1 percent said they would make a different choice if they could.

A separate survey of people 16 to 29 conducted by the Cabinet Office last October and November showed that 72 percent of the 10,000 respondents were supportive of changing careers.

Asked about working in a company that does not suit their abilities and qualifications, 10 percent said it would be best to proactively seek a different job, 25.4 percent said it would be better to change jobs and 36.7 percent said changing jobs cannot be avoided.

In the meantime, the ratio of those who answered that they “must not change jobs” or “they should not change jobs as much as possible” stood at 17.3 percent.

By sex, women were more inclined to switch, with 78 percent viewing it positively versus 67 percent for men.

In 2015, Keidanren, the nation’s largest business lobby, changed the embargo on job interviews from August to June, leaving less time for students to prepare for job applications and interviews.

“Students should broaden their minds by researching the company’s clients and the industry, and simulate how they could contribute to that company,” Tanide said.