Heroes of Lawson Staff: Zhang Jia Lin
- Please introduce yourself briefly.
Hello, my name is Zhang Jia Lin. I came from China and I’ve been living in Japan since October 2018. I attended a Japanese language school first, but then I got admitted to Chiba University in April 2019 and I’m currently studying architecture. I also would like to enroll on a PhD program in the future.
- What made you want to move to Japan?
The reason why I came to Japan is that I wanted to receive Japanese tertiary education. In 2017, I was studying at Mie University in Nagoya as an exchange student for a short while, and before the program ended, I did some research about if there is a chance to pursue further studies in Japan. Luckily, I found some great opportunities, so I decided to come back here after graduating my home university back in China.
- Do you have any plans for the future? Do you have a dream? What kind of image do you have of your future self?
Once I graduate university and manage to finish the PhD course I’m planning to sign up for as well, I would like to work for a year or two in Japan. My dream is to open my own office as an architect in my home country, and in order to fulfil that, I need to gain some work experience before going back home. I’m planning to stay in China in the long run, but it would also be nice to come back to Japan from time to time to travel.
- Why did you choose to work at Lawson and how did you find us?
I got to know about Lawson Staff when some of the employees came to our Japanese language school to do a presentation about their part-time job offers and the recruitment processes. I had some doubts about my Japanese language skills because I thought that they were still insufficient at the time in order to be able to have a job in a convenience store. However, when I consulted with one of the LS representatives, she reassured me that they have training programs and they will prepare me for the job thoroughly. Therefore, I decided to apply for the job in the end, and I’ve been working for Lawson ever since.
I’ve also heard beforehand that there are a lot of foreigners working for Lawson Staff, and that also provided a sense of relief for me before I started doing my part-time job. I get to meet people from many different countries, especially international students, and I think it’s great that we can help and rely on each other in times of need.
- What do you think about Japanese work culture? How is it different from your home country’s?
I’ve heard from some that “Japanese work culture has too many rules”. However, rules are important in order to do one’s work properly. In my opinion, these rules are reasonable and not as strict as people claim them to be.
If you want to work part-time in China, you don’t have too many choices flexibility-wise; you will mainly find jobs you have to do at the same location and timeframe continuously. In Japan though, thanks to the temporary staffing system, you get to choose when and where you want to work within the given franchise. I think that’s very convenient.
- What is your relationship like with your colleagues and bosses? How did they welcome you?
Both foreign and Japanese people around me are unbelievably kind to me. I can always turn to them if I have any questions and they will even encourage me with kind words all the time. I don’t have any worries about human relations at work and I’m grateful for that to my colleagues. I would like to express my gratitude for the trainers and the staff in the Tokyo training store especially. I will go and visit them soon for sure.
- If there is a story or a memory you are fond of about any of the Lawson stores you have worked for so far, please share it with us.
I had a lot of morning shifts by choice starting from 6 AM this winter. It was freezingly cold outside and the roads were slippery, especially so early in the morning. There was one Chinese colleague who worked with me at the same store – he always checked up on me on these days, making sure I arrived at the store safe. This gesture always warmed my heart up, despite the cold weather of Tokyo.
- Would you recommend Lawson as a workplace to other international people, too?
Yes, I would. Actually, I have just referred my boyfriend to Lawson Staff. I hope he gets employed.
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