Japan’s job-searching season is underway. It’s an extremely demanding and stressful time for many students.
The pressure on college students to land a full-time job is so immense that a fifth of students admit contemplating suicide.
More than 700 Japanese students gathered at a rally on Wednesday, cheering, singing and fist-pumping the air to build enthusiasm for the annual job-hunt.
Ninteen-year-old student, Shie Ito, one of the students at the rally, said that Japan’s job-searching season is an extremely demanding and stressful time but she hoped this rally, arranged by a group of local colleges, would be the boost she needs to find a job as soon as possible.
“In Japan, all students begin job hunting at the same time, so it really depends on how fast you can get a job. But it’s good to challenge yourself,” said Ito.
The annual job-hunting season dates back to the country’s post-war economic miracle when skilled workers were in short supply and companies began hiring graduates en masse.
In early December every year almost every major Japanese company will begin advertising entry-level positions.
Fourth-year students typically send up to a hundred or more applications, go to dozens of presentations and attend interviews with up to 30 would-be employers.
Typically students will wear black suits and white shirts, lining up as a group outside company headquarters ahead of their interviews.
Many argue that the annual mass-hiring ritual creates so much anxiety and desperation that the system cannot be said to be working.