(Tokyo) Hiring for "critical" positions in the financial industry is still taking place, however limited at best. True as this may be, with every door closed a new door opens and most of these new areas of opportunity are in areas professionals and new graduates may have never exposed themselves to in the past.
Take for instance last summer: a bilingual professional with two years working experience at one of the premiere international securities firms quit her post in Hong Kong so she could move back to Japan to be closer to her family. Although this individual received very positive feedback from the majority the of interviews she had at leading securities firms in Tokyo - due to the global financial crisis - securities firms one after the other moved into a hiring freeze. This was an obstacle she had never predicted therefore after four months of having doors close in succession, she had no choice but to consider other options.
This candidate is a paradigm of the many professionals and new graduates who have been searching for work in Tokyo these past few months. However, being that this candidate was persistent and open-minded, she created for herself a happy ending. She thought out-of-the-box and started interviewing with the internal control divisions at leading consulting firms, an area she would have never previously considered. Although not every consulting firm was a match, we eventually introduced her for an ideal position with a leading Japanese-American joint venture consultancy. Not only did this position offer her the opportunity to continue developing her career in internal control, she was also given the same salary as the leading securities firm where she used to work and more humane working hours.
Like the perception of many Japanese, this individual had also thought of consultancy firms as having an extremely domestic working environment. As it turned out, her position allowed her to have frequent interaction with offices in the United States. In addition, her boss only speaks English so she has an abundance of opportunity to develop her language skills. Overall, she is extremely pleased with her decision to join the consulting firm as it has ultimately improved her quality of life from before.
If more candidates - like this one - kept an open mind when choosing a new career, it is highly likely that they can still hit the jackpot despite the financial crisis.
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