Top 5 Positions for Part-Time Work in Japan for Students | Motivist Japan


One advantage of studying in Japan is the relative low tuition fees, compared with the US, the UK and other popular destinations. On top of that, foreign students in Japan are allowed to work up to 28 hours per week, which is more than in most other developed countries. And there are really a lot of opportunities awaiting there, even for those with only basic language skills. Working part-time is obviously a way to make ends meet (and even cover tuition fees). Perhaps as importantly, it will boost your Japanese language skills. What you learn at school is put in practice daily.

But what positions can a foreign student expect in Japan? In this article, we'll give you some suggestions about “arubaito” in Japan, beside the common “conbini” types of work.

What positions for Part-Time work in Japan?

Beside the usual “conbini”, waiter/waitress or Language school types of jobs, one can expect more off-the-beaten-path positions. Here are a few appealing suggestions:

. Headhunter: you will use your native language skills to help find the “expats” that Japanese companies generously pay headhunting companies to find. Your reward may be generous as well (though mostly based on commissions). All you need is good language and presentation skills in your own native language and the ability to sustain pressure. It is a very competitive business that is not recommended for all. But in additional to potentially high compensation, you will also build networks. That can prove valuable for your own career once you have finished your Japanese Language program.

. Writer: work for Websites or Magazines. That requires good writing skills (in your own language) and creativity. To add value to your work,  you can also make photos. Many foreigners write about Japan already. So you must be able to bring unique angles about Japan. About its society and its culture. The good thing is, interesting and original stories abound in this fascinating country. So one can get easily inspired.

. Translator: obviously this would require good Japanese language skills. But not necessarily as good you would expect. Japanese companies wanting to extend their business abroad must be able to communicate well in foreign languages. This is why some Japanese companies look for proofreaders. In that case, you would have to read the work done by (likely) Japanese people whose English (or whichever other language) is far from perfect. You would correct and “iron it out”. That would not apply to literary or such precise works though. JLPT N3 and even perhaps N4 students – depending on the type of texts – could do such jobs.

. Interpretor: for the students with the most advanced Japanese language skills, though that would also depend on the type of business and topics.

. Modeling: if you are confident enough about your looks (and have no fear of being rejected), this may be something you want to consider. To give it a try, all it takes is contact Agencies. Have you noticed? Japanese advertisement uses a lof of “gaijin“. Why not you? When you contact Agencies, you should get quickly an idea whether your appearance and personality can get you some contracts.

All those positions – except the headhunting one – would likely be as freelancers. That is good in terms of flexibility but not so good if you need fixed income. Depending on your schedule, you might want to combine one of these with a regular job. The bottom line is: the opportunities are out there, and the choices are yours.

For more information about part-time jobs in Japan (conditions to work, how to find), please check our dedicated page here.