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The next thing I'd like to share with you is culture shock. Have you heard this terminology, "cultural shock"? I'm sure this has nothing to do with you.
So what kind of images do you have in mind when you hear this particular term, "culture shock"? So how many of you have been to overseas countries before? Is this your first time visiting an overseas country? At least 80% are here in Japan for your first experience. So culture shock is the kind of symptom when the person is away from your own home country and there is a great possibility of happening to everyone. Whenever the person is away from your own home country, you are away from your parents, friends, brothers and sisters, and you are in a strange country with different customs. Everyone has a chance to have culture shock. This is just a symptom, not a serious disease. However, if you do not do anything and if you just leave culture shock to make a space in your heart and spirit, that might cause you to have serious damage to your heart.
We have a number of cases that we have experienced. One person every few years is so stressed out that these people are no longer able to carry out training here in Japan and they have to go home. The stress is something you should think of carefully. So important thing to hear again is to understand what culture shock is all about. Once you know it, and if you realize it is happening, you may find a way to solve the problem. Allow me to go into detail.
Here are the characteristics of culture shock. Culture shock may take place with a mixture of all these elements.
Try to utilize this page and you can evaluate your mental state. If some of them fit into your state, you may be suffering from culture shock. One of the important symptom is if you oversleep or are unable to get enough sleep, this is a particular symptom that you should realize. Since you are working in the IT business industry, you may need to work very hard during the weekdays, so you may need to obtain good sleep on weekends. However, you need to differentiate between physical fatigue and spiritual fatigue. If you are sleeping on weekends because of physical fatigue, it is okay. However, if you are sleeping because of emotional fatigue, it is important to realize something is happening to you. Advice to keep this handbook or paper with you so that you can use it as a guide or yardstick to measure your mental status. Whenever you are establishing communication with Japanese people and you begin to realize that these symptoms are starting to appear...
This is the second page of symptom of culture shock. You may use these as a guide or yardstick again.
This page contains how the culture shock process takes place in your mind. The horizontal line uses as index the day you arrived here in Japan from the left until the day you go home. At present you are in the excited period. Some people like to use this honeymood period. Since you came to Japan, your mental state is quite excited, and this is the time you try to observe so many different things. However, as soon as you are thrown into a new environment or you may be asked to live in a different atmosphere, then this honeymoon period will no longer continue. So far that you have carried out so many WBT and so that you will learn as much Japanese as possible together with your friends having good drinks or discussion with friends from the same country. However, starting from 19th, you will be thrown into new environment. Some of you have to work on your own, some of you will be paired up with old acquaintances, but you are on your own. Even though the two of you happen to be receiving the same kind of training at the same company, you may not be working on the same floor. You may be working entirely on your own. At the present moment, you think, it doesn't happen to me--because you are still in the excited period. As your environment changes, your feeling may cool down, and you may enter the depressed stage. If that happens, I advise you to refer back to these two pages as a yardstick to evaluate your emotional state.
However, this kind of process takes different by person by person. For some people, your excitement will continue to grow and you don't get depressed, but that's different from person to person. As I said, it's not necessary that everyone will go through this process, but if you establish good relationship with your teachers, your state may go up. You may believe that may be end of it, no longer need to suffer, but in actuality it doesn't happen like that. You may experience little drop of your emotional state. So some people may experience number of repetitions of recovery period and then finally reach the stable accommodation period.
Please read the remaining pages so that you will have a much better understanding of what culture shock is about. The last thing I'd like to explain is the so-called re-enter shock. Once you go back to your country, you may suffer re-enter shock. You may think "I shouldn't be back. Japan was much better." While you were in Japan, you may think you hate Japanese. Once you are back in your country, you may miss Japanese people.
So far I gave you the explanation of symptoms and what kind of process you are going to deal with in culture shock. From now on, I am going to give you how to deal with it. I'm sure that all of you have the capability and ability to cope with the culture shock. You will try your best to overcome whenever you think you get caught with it. Since each one of you have different characters and personality, you may choose to have a sense of humor to get away from the culture shock. Some avoid a quick decision. Choose the way that is best to deal with the culture shock. Last page also contains the additional informations so that you can get hint for life here so that you can escape being caught with it.
That kind of chart you just saw was not something I came up with. It was made by a professional psychologist. This particular psychologist wrote in his book that the honeymoon stage is when you ask people if they have questions and they say no... That is the honeymoon stage. However, if you fail to establish good communication with the Japanese people, you may become in such a state that you no longer react, or you over-react to Japanese people's behavior and everything will become a problem.
Allow me to repeat once again, it is very important to establish your training plan. If you have any doubt or question about the training plan, then do not hesitate to ask your teachers, on the first day or second day, to make sure you fully understand what the expectations will be. That will be one of the major keys to make your training successful. Your technical knowledge or technical skill will be determined by how much the good communication you can establish with the Japanese people from your host company. And I shared with you three important rules. First is to keep punctual time, second good manners - try to utilize greetings, and third, try to keep memos. And also, I mentioned how to carry out self-management including taking care of your own help as well as abiding with in-company rules and regulations. I also mentioned for those of you who live in company dormitory as well as company apartment, try to keep the community rules so that you can avoid unnecessary problems with your neighbors. Fourth thing I gave you explanation is the culture shock, either on big scale or small scale. Each one of you may be able to suffer culture shock, so I gave you the explanation on that. I also gave you actual expamples on how to deal with problems whenever you feel you are starting to suffer from culture shock. We AOTS staff members all wish you a good start from next week. Try to keep all of these hints and ideas in your mind. So now you will have a chance to see video on OJT. This video can be quite useful information for all of you. It takes about 30 minutes.
Looking at the video, I forgot to remind you about two things. One is the money issue. As you saw during the video, you are here in Japan as trainees. So the pocket money you will receive from the company is not a kind of payment of any form. It is not a salary or bonus. If any time, the host company will ask you for overtime work, or if the company asks you to join a development team for a bonus, you have to say no. You are a trainee, not a company employee.
The second important thing is about new friends you may make while you are living in Japan. As you saw in the video, it is kind of a bad acquaintance. People may approach you and ask if you want to be a part-timer. There are people always making up new ideas and how to involve you with crimes in Japan. One of the examples we have is forged telephone cards. For example, someone may approach you asking if you want to sell telephone cards. We have had this one incident here at YKC, there were so many forged telephone cards used at this public phone, so YKC had to ask NTT to come and make an investigation. It was very unfortunate and very sad incident we had in the past. So I must ask you to self-discipline because people always make a new trap and sweet-talk you into something illegal in Japan. In that case, you must have the guts to say no. If you think you have involved in any kind of illegal act, do not hesitate to contact us at YKC as well as AOTS in general.
So I just gave you this warning, because this kind of thing may happen.
So far I have given explanation from agenda 1 to 5. Next I am going to provide you with two different kinds of evaluation sheet. The first evaluation chart I am going to provide you now, we should have given you the first day, and I am very sorry I have to give you this one at this time. So since I am giving you this yellow sheet now, you have to remember your state when you first arrived here at YKC. You have to go all the way back to eight weeks ago, and try to fill in this chart. So either tomorrow or day after tomorrow, we will give you another version where you can put your current status, or how much you know and knowledge you gained after arriving here in Japan. So that they can make a comparison on how much improvement you made. Allow me to explain why this kind of delay took place. In order to determine the established number of the questions to be asked at the initial stage, your projects still had to be established. Until those were determined, we were unable to come up with the questions. So please come and get one each and make sure to write just like you were on the first day.
So I'll give you the OJT guidance. First I would like to explain to you the outline of this day's schedule. The first part of this lecture from 1:30 to 3:00 pm will cover the things you need to pay attention to in order to make your training as successful as possible. part one lecture will be divided into three big categories. The first is the training program or training plan, the second is communication, and the third is self-management or self-control. Then we'll have a short break. Fourth agenda is I'd like to give you an explanation of the cultural shock. Lastly, you'll have a chance to see the video of the ojt as a summarization of today's lecture. I'm hoping to finish by 4:00 pm. if there is no time, I may need to skip showing you the video, so we'll see how fast we can progress. Number 6 agenda is an evaluation sheet. Number 7 is also an evaluation sheet in Japanese. I hope to complete by 4:30.
Allow me to start. I've already handed you some material, and the same thing is appearing on the screen. The first thing I'd like to mention is the training program or plan. Do you know what kind of training plan or program you will have? I hope everyone knows your training plan. I've already handed you "Do you understand your specialized technical training?". First I will ask, does everyone fully understand your training plan? If so, I may not go into detail. If any one of you are not quite sure, then I will spend some time and give you some explanation. Which way do you want? Can we skip, or do you need any kind of explanation of this?
Please take "Do you understand your specialized technical training?". Please fill in your understanding of your training plan. I'll give you five minutes. Whatever you have difficulty filling in, that means your understanding is not adequate. You are filling this in now to find out how much you understand about your training. On your first day, you need to clearly understand what you are doing. You are writing it down for your own sake. Each one of you clearly needs to understand your goal and target and objective in being here in Japan, otherwise your training will not become a success. If you don't know why you are here in Japan, these things need to be clarified before you actually go and work at your host companies. ... For example, you have your own objective or target. If your company has another objective, for example if it comes to the plant, the company wants to increase the production line, whereas the trainee may want to know the kind of management in the company. So in that case, maybe trainees' objectives and companies' objectives may not be identical, but at least they are heading in the same direction. Important thing is to make sure what you are heading for or what your are looking for, at least you and the host company have to be looking in the same direction.
In some cases, some trainees who don't know why they are receiving this OJT are embarrassed to ask. Or if you think you understand but you really don't. If you start your OJT in this manner, you will come across barriers. At the very beginning, you must clearly understand why you are here and what kind of target or objective you are aiming for. So if you look at the bottom left, that will be your first day of work with your host company. The first day has its own importance. Normally, the host companies on your first day of your work, they will promote a sort of guidance session so that you can smoothly transfer to the host companies.
My advice is on your first day, you will take the proactive approach with your teachers from the host company, and you may need to clarify all the points on which you are not clear. So if your start is carried out in appropriate manner, then for example, your training can be represented as climbing up a mountain. You know exactly what you are doing and which stage of progress you are doing. If you are able to work in this manner, then at the end, you will fulfill your objective for being here in Japan.
So far I have given you how important it is to establish your training plan in order to make your stay successful. So do you fully understand, or does anyone want to ask a question or make a confirmation? Again, allow me to stress that you will have a chance to meet your teacher from your host company either on the first day or second day, so make good use of that first meeting with your teachers.
Second agenda is about communication. You obviously will establish communication not only with your teachers but also with Japanese people from your host companies. In order to avoid any kind of miscommunication or problem, you need to bear in mind certain things. Sorry, before that, I need to mention the financial aspect.
The money is quite important issue so that you will be able to fully utilize your training period. This paper covers your financial status since the day you have arrived here in Japan up until the 19th of next week. So your training cost, as I said on the first day, is subsidized by the Japanese government as well as the host company. The monies are provided to each one of you. So let's confirm how the financial status will change when you go and work for the host company. Air fare and air ticket will remain the same. You will be paid for the actual lodging allowance. You will be actually receiving some kind of lodging. Some of you may, after leaving YKC, live in a company's dormitory. The place to live will be provided to you by the host company. However, as far as I know, 80% of you will either continue to stay at YKC or move over to TKC, so your living condition may stay the same. And also you will be provided with the meal allowance of 2700 yen a day as well as personal allowance of 1200 yen a day.
Starting from 3, 4 and 5, these are the kind of fees AOTS provided to your host companies. Not a payment for you. So the cost of technical training will be provided to the company at 4650 yen a day. Cost of technical training will be paid from AOTS to your host company, and host company will be able to use this fee to purchase a PC or provide for the teacher's personnel cost as well as provide textbooks. That decision will be made by each company. And you will continue to be provided with medical service. As long as you are an AOTS trainee, your health insurance is covered by this service.
So after the 19th, you will be paid for the meal allowance as well as the personal allowance for your company. Form of payment will vary from company to company. Some companies pay every month, or every week, or every two weeks. That is up to the company. Whenever you will receive the money from your host company, please check the amount. After you check the amount, you will need to fill in the receipt. You also need to obtain a copy of the receipt which you will be signing. So my advice is better to keep a copy of the receipt in case of problem. If you have the copy, that means you have the evidence in your hand, and can easily solve the problem.
I gave you the explanation about your financial status as of next week. Does anyone have any questions? Does everyone fully understand?
Next is how to establish communication with Japanese people without making any problems or miscommunication. In order to make your training a successful one, I have tried to use this cause-and-effect diagram (fishbone). I have already explained about the proper allowance, and I already gave you the explanation about the importance of establishing your training plan and schedule by good planning. Next I would like to share with you how to establish good communication with your teachers as well as your colleagues.
First, I would like to give you a type of person who is favored and liked by Japanese teachers from your host companies. The teachers like students to take memos or put in your notes, write down the things you think important. Taking the memo whenever you listen to something very useful or important, and accustomizing to this habit, will be very appreciated by your teachers. Some companies will ask you to write a report on a weekly or monthly basis. Try to make the memo as much as possible. Important thing is obviously you will be receiving training using the computer. You may be most of the time sitting in front of the PC, and your teacher may give you important advice. While you are looking at the screen, you may think you understand. But when a change of scene takes place, you thought you understood, but it actually didn't penetrate into your mind. Don't rely on your memory, but document them, so you can always rely on your memo. Looking from your profit point of you, it's important to listen very carefully to what your teacher has to say. Most of your teachers are very busy because they are very capable persons, so they are giving your their valuable time. Don't rely on your memory, write it down, so it will give a good impression to your host company. If other teachers come and tell you other things, you can always refer to your notes and say so-and-so teacher said so a few weeks ago. ... (if you keep notes), the company thinks you are not wasting their precious time.
So the people at YKC as well as interpreter like myself will try to explain in detail, but once you go to host company, they may not speak just like we do. In that case, you should ask, "Please say it again." It is very important. Otherwise you will never get the chance to learn what they have to teach you. Some other Japanese way of establishing communication is just looking into your eyes. Some teachers say "Why don't you try it?" Clearly that is not adequate. In that case, you have to voice your opinions. And also, during these past weeks, you devoted yourself to acquiring Japanese skill. Try not to be hesitant. Try to proactively (engage them in conversation). And also, in order to avoid miscommunication with you and your teachers or colleagues, obviously you are working in IT industry in which lots of English is used. However, it is not necessary that even if your teacher uses a lot of English, they understand English well. In that case, it is better to use Japanese to avoid problems. Some of you have already purchased electronic dictionaries or have ordinary dictionaries. The methodology doesn't matter as long as you establish good personal relationships with your teachers so that you don't have miscommunication.
So in the past, here in the past, we have had a number of successful trainees. These people had two things. They had acquired the habit of taking memo. Those successful trainees had managed to create their own dictionaries based on their memos. That is a successful way of making your training. So in the past, we have had a number of successful trainees during the OJT. Their skill of Japanese was dramatically improved, and they made a great success. Try to write your own memo as well as your own dictionary. That is the quickest way to make a success. The memo is for you, not for others. You will obviously be working in different fields of IT. Try to make use of the memo and words.
In my past experience tells me that after you have worked for your host company, you will either be coming back to YKC or TKC, and you will have a chance to compare your memos with other trainees. You will have a chance to evaluate other people's notes so that you can find out how they are acquiring their skills. That kind of competing with each other may give you good results.
So as I said, as of next week, you will be with your host company's people. You are not dealing with people at YKC any more. You will be dealing with Japanese people at your company, so use your Japanese. Find a way to improve your skill.
There is another important point to be remembered. And also it is important to have the periodical meeting as well as to evaluate your progress during your training. So as I said, at the very start of your training at your host company, you need to establish your consensus--your plan and objectives of receiving the training for you and your company. In between, you need to have periodical meetings with your teachers from your host company in order to establish a consensus as well as evaluate your progress. For example, if I have no idea what kind of environment you will be asked to work in and receive your training. In the middle, you may be asked to join some kind of team. Maybe halfway, you may get lost. You might not understand what you are doing there. That is why you need to have a periodical meeting with your host meeting. If you do not do anything, you will have such a chaotic situation. My advice is to have some kind of meeting at least once a week. It is important to define the time and when. Which day and which time. An important thing is that if you do not know when you are going to have this kind of periodical meeting, then you should make a proposal. Say that you would like to have a meeting with your teacher, say every Monday morning at 10 AM.
And also, it is very important to establish a good feeling of trust between you and the people from your host company, so try to utilize your memo as well as your weekly or monthly report, and try to get as much as possible from your host company.
Another important thing to establish communication with Japanese people is that if you cannot do something, you have to say it. If you do not understand, say it. And also, you have to do three things: to report, and consult, and try to correspond. These three things are very important. So for example, if your first assignment is to create some kind of program by next Friday, the first thing you have to say is whether you can do it or whether you are unable to do it. As I said, report is very important. Your task is to complete a task by Friday. If you think you are unable to finish by Friday, in that case, you have to report to your teacher. You cannot wait until Friday. You have to say to your teacher, despite the fact that I gave you my word to finish on Friday, I don't think I can do that. You should do that on Wednesday or Thursday. You cannot wait until Friday to say I cannot do it. So if you don't say anything, then the people in the host company think you are doing okay. If you report to them that you are unable to do it, they might give you advice on how to achieve the task. Let them know your progress at all times.
Important thing is to make as much detailed a report as possible. If you are working in a plant, everyone can see your progress. If you are working on a computer program, only you can see your progress, no one else. You need to make a report saying how much progress you have made, otherwise no one will know how you are doing. My proposal is that at least once every day, before you go home, try to make a report to your teacher or manager because now you know how to send e-mail in Japanese. If the manager is not there, you can make the report every day. If the manager is there, you can make a verbal report about what you achieve every day.
And also, I would like to remind you about some of the manners. You know some of the famous daily phrases like "Ohayou gozaimasu". If you have to go home before everyone else, you have to say "Osaki ni shitsureishimasu". And also in order to establish good communication with people from your host company, try to use these useful phrases as much as possible. It will become a key for your success. Japanese people try to make a good start every morning. That is why "Ohayou gozaimasu" is important. You always greet me with "Ohayou gozaimasu", but you are doing it because you are there with your trainee friends. However, if you happen to be on your own, surrounded by 50 Japanese strangers, you may be slightly hesitant to say these phrases. My advice is the first day is extremely important, so you have to have the brave heart and try to make the first by saying "Ohayou gozaimasu" to everyone you meet in the company. That will make for a very smooth transition. So unlike manufacturing plants where everyone starts work at 8:30 sharp, working at an IT company means some of the engineers may not have slept last night, or some may be on flexible time so will come in at around 11. You may come to the office every morning at 9:00 AM and find no one there. But it's important to say the first words! I'm sure you can make a good start and you can do it. And always, a word of thanks works magic. If someone is nice to you, try to say thank you as much as possible. On your time to go home, I'm sure there will still be many Japanese working, so I advise you to use "Osaki ni shitsureishimasu." Also, if some Japanese people go home before you, then you should use "Otsukaresama deshita." OJT, what you have learned in 8 weeks of Japanese here, now you can actually use them.
And also, I would like to mention about whenever you make a mistake in your host company. Whenever you think you made a mistake, the first word to be used is "Sumimasen" — word of apology. Because in Japan, it is important for you to apologize first. The reason for making a mistake is second issue. Important thing is to admit you made a mistake. It will give you a very good impression. If you can be able to master these basic attitudes which I have mentioned, you will be liked by your colleagues.
I would like to summarize this second agenda of communication. To make the teacher feel like I want to teach this trainee more, what you should be doing:
- 1. Express yourself as much as possible. Facial expression or words. Try to make them understand what you are thinking. Unless you will explain this is what I feel, the Japanese people will have absolutely no understanding of what you are thinking.
- 2. Also, if some teacher teach you something, try to repeat so that you will make sure you understand what you have received from your teachers. So in order to create good atmosphere to receive more and more trainings from your teachers or the company, it is to make sure you take a memo when the teacher teaches you something. That memo is not only used once, but several times.
Next is self control or self management. First is the punctuality. Punctual time-keeping. Generally speaking, Japanese people as well as Japanese companies will keep very tight, severe time control. Looking from your benefit point of view, you need to adjust yourself into the Japanese society as of next week. Whenever Japanese people try to use the on-time time management, if you are asked to meet somewhere at 10 AM, you should be there 9:55. We have a thing, ten minutes advanced time. You should be there at least five minutes before 10.
Another important aspect is health. As you have heard during the introduction course, the Japanese season is going toward winter season. Winter season means you will be experiencing the kind of coldness you have never experienced before. That is why you need to take care of yourself really well and pay attention. The change of the season means that sometimes there are very hot days and then sometimes very cold.
And also, you will be asked to obey the rules and regulations of the company including the safety rules and regulations. However, in your case, you won't be working at a plant or manufacturing facility, so there are no dangerous rules or regulations that you have to abide. If there are any in-house rules or regulations, please obey them.
However, there is the danger may exist even in the IT industry. They must have some kind of company security code, so you may not have access into certain kind of program. You need to keep that, or you may come across some kind of trouble or incident. Please keep that in mind--how much accessible information you can obtain from that company or not.
And also, for those people staying at YKC or TKC, it is okay, but for those people staying in apartment or company dormitory, in Japan, we have very strict rules about disposing of garbage. You need to segregate. They have to be all divided. You have to abide by these rules. You will have to understand we have only a very small population of foreigners in Japan, so you should avoid any kind of problem because you don't want to get blamed. It is always helpful if you know the rules and how to do it. If you know it, then you can avoid unnecessary problems with Japanese people, and you will be welcomed and liked by the Japanese people.
So far I have managed to give you the explanation about your training plan as well as how to establish the communication with the Japanese people as well as self-management. Any question?