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In January, I was watching TV and stumbled upon some news regarding bad work conditions and people suddenly quitting their jobs at the beginning of the year. One of my friends who did the same thing when she came back from her hometown, immediately came to my mind and I remembered my discussion with her regarding this matter. Between my friends or acquaintances, I know many people that complain about the bad work conditions at their company or power harassment, so I was watching the news and thinking that at some point, it will get to that.
However, watching the Tokudane news, I saw that this year, a great number of people that decided to quit their jobs are mostly veterans with ages between 25 and 40 who worked for the company quite a couple of years and suddenly decided to quit(quite a huge loss for the company!). Many even called lawyers because they were afraid the company won’t pay them or won’t let them resign, however, I have been through that myself, so I wasn’t that surprised hearing it.
What surprised me is the fact that so many people decided to quit at the beginning of the year. I thought that it might be because they want to start anew and finally mustered up all the courage to change their jobs. Still, why now? Why not last year? Why so many?
Starting anew and all that was one of the reasons, but there was also something else. Many Japanese go home during the New Year’s holiday, the period they meet with friends and family, so it’s inevitable they also talk about their work conditions and seek advice.
Source: PR Times
Also, hearing about their friends’ work conditions and being told that the company they work for is “black” (does illegal things) and that shouldn’t be acceptable, many realize that by quitting, they would live a better life and their body and mind will appreciate their decision. During the Tokudane show, a married couple that worked together in the same company was talking about this matter and the fact that they couldn’t even submit a letter of resignation, so they sent it via post.
They were afraid the company wouldn’t let them go and talk them into staying, so they chose to vanish after leaving behind a letter. Unfortunately, things like “overtime”, “not getting paid properly”, “power harassment” and even “sexual harassment” are still present in Japanese companies and you can see it has become a problem nationwide. I was also a victim of it and my first job in Japan was as a teacher. However, it didn’t end up well and due to working 10 hours without breaks and in a very stressful environment that was supposed to be fun, I ended up in the hospital with problems that continue in the present.
Being my first job here, I thought it is normal, but some of my friends told me is not and told me to quit. Unfortunately, I only listened after the situation aggravated. However, not all companies are like that, some, especially in education, don’t have a choice but make you work overtime due to lack of personnel. My advice is to be careful to ask questions about these matters and make yourself clear about what you want or not.
Also, read your contract carefully! If you start working and the company breaks the deal, you should talk to them and get to a resolution. If nothing changes, then it might be the time to look for another place that appreciates you and has proper working conditions before you ruin your health or fall into depression.