Sociological and psychological aspects of working independently in Japan

I just wasn’t considering the consequences much when I quit a cushy company employee life and became an independent contractor in Japan last April. It was like that when I came back to Japan 14 years ago. I knew what I disliked about US. I wasn’t thinking of what I might dislike in Japan.

Sociological aspect of working independently in Japan is that acceptance is much harder. I have at least worked with respectable major foreign companies in Japan for the past 14 years, and most of the people accepts me easily. But if I have never worked for a major company, majority of people would have treated me without much respect to begin with. Renting homes, getting credit cards, whatever is so much easier if one belonged to a company.

I am surprised by the psychological effect becoming independent had. People always treated me differently, saying I’m really an American and actually, I started to believe them. But after working for company in Japan for 14-years, something had to rubb off on me. I actually miss being a part of a large group in work, so that I have an automatic place to go, automatic things to do, automatic people to talk to, to have lunch with. Maybe this isn’t anything new, and this might even be called “becoming lazy” over the years. But the sense of community, family environment become meshed in my life. I was more of family with my company relations rather than my real family.

At first, I brushed it off. But facing it squarely would be the fastest way to get over this situation. I know well enough from past experience, especially when I moved back to Tokyo 14 years ago.

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