Living and working in Japan perspective from a Spanish entrepreneur


By Fernando Mayoral Pérez

Raquel Herrán is a Spanish entrepreneur born in Madrid, she started her post-graduated on 2007 in east asian studies and decided to stay in Japan because of a Japanese scholarship to improve knowledge of the language and culture. And created her business with base in Spain wich allows her to travel between the two countries.

How did you end up with the idea of leaving Spain?

It came up as a lack of notion of the pass of time, the curiosity for the unknown and the desire to self-administer the means to subsist.

Do you think the conditions both labor and social, are better in Japan?

I think it’s a matter of attitude , I think the system could be improved? Yes , like everything . Infrastructure or working methods, but it is adapted to the existing cultural base. In Japan any task you perform is respected and therefore the service is usually good. In Japan you must fight to achieve, nothing is given away, there’s concentration and seriousness (generalized and necessary) . Imagine 18 million people living only in the city of Tokyo, each trying to skip steps… and that being a foreigner (and Spanish ) for certain things … deep down we have souls of pirates..

Do you consider your current experience positive ?

Sure, it’s a matter of saving barriers and thoughts, take away this weight to believe that we can not get to where we want. I want and I like to be positive, although there are low and incomprehensible moments … When you change your place of residence is a ” start over again” and miss everything. You take love/hate certain situations and when you look back to see your progress, how you have adapted , how many people you’ve met and the life hovers in moments that are so special , I can live with those memories when it seems that around you does not satisfy you and do not see what we have.

How are the Japanese at work?

From the point of view of manager of a foreign company in Japan, which has always attracted me most is the involvement of the Japanese staff in the running of the company. They arrive before the time to be ready from the first minute of their working hours. Never miss work, even ill come to the office. Constantly together so that everyone knows the work of their peers and can help. They only have two weeks of vacation a year, and can not catch them whole.

What could be exported from Japan in terms of support, training, management, etc. related to the business?

The key to Japanese success lies in the impeccable organization of their companies. From the last director to operator all strive in the same direction and make the organization run like clockwork. I believe that communication and solidarity that exists in the Japanese company (is like family) allows this operation.

Is there something that you still have problems getting used to of Japan?.

Actually I ‘m used to almost everything, but it still keep annoying me the communication problems and I do not mean the language. Sometimes it is difficult for the Japanese talk about feelings openly say what they think and feel , and so it is frankly difficult to establish close human relationships , whether in friendship or love. Of course , there are exceptions , each individual is unique and can not generalize, but in general , this has been my experience.

What is the story that happened to you in Japan there’s always ?

Normally I tell many , it is difficult to keep one. Living in a country so different for a long time , makes it happen a thousand anecdotes and unexpected situations, although I usually mention one that was particularly strange for me, in which I tried be nice with a little boy and the kid completely ignored me.

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