Intra-company transfers are a less-common way to move to Japan for work, but Mary Grygjeanne Grace Icay (Gray in the TokyoDev Discord community) managed to do it. She originally worked for a subsidiary of a Japanese company in the Philippines and was able to seize a transfer opportunity to move to Japan and start a new chapter of her life.
Grace spoke about some of the upsides, such the basic Japanese skills provided by her company, but also about some of the downsides, such as having to pay taxes in both Japan and the Philippines at once. A major upside for her as an international transferee was that the company handled everything related to visas and relocation for her, thereby lowering one of the highest hurdles many people face in moving to Japan.
We also spoke about cultural differences and stereotypes, and how even “good” stereotypes can be inaccurate or misleading, such as stereotypes of Filipino adaptability or Japanese organization and cleanliness. Unfortunately, she had a few stories about how these stereotypes surfaced in interviews and work environments – in some cases, even influencing her decision to continue interviewing with particular companies!
However, like many people, Grace sought higher-paying, longer-term employment in Japan for job security. She eventually signed on at Yaraku as their first QA Engineer. We spent the final third of our conversation discussing Grace’s experiences at Yaraku, which provides a Translation Management System application. One revelation was that despite the primary language at work being English, Grace has found that her Japanese language knowledge and experience since she came to Japan has proven invaluable for her as a QA Engineer there.
Grace also discusses her approaches to QA and ticketing, and what she looks for in a healthy work environment that supports its QA Engineers – but you’ll have to watch to find out everything!