Dear Gina

Dear Gina,

Thank you for following my blog. I hope that you can spare some time reading through this and try not to get distracted by occasionally unintentionally bolded text.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am now with a manufacturer in my two months of training. These two months will be spent at the factory getting my hands dirty to learn about the company’s products and its manufacturing process.

Before officially starting work, I had dinner with classmate M from the 500 yen Korean language school, and she shared a piece of interesting and very welcomed information. She is an extremely knowledgeable and knowledge-hungry person and easily finishes reading 20 non-fiction books every month. I’m not kidding. She is also a very humble person and doesn’t go talking big about things she doesn’t know. That takes care of the ethos part on what I am about to share with you.

M used to work at a major car manufacturer, and when she got married, she had to move to Tokyo, so she left the company and joined a major electric appliance manufacturer. It appears, it was easy for M to get this job in Tokyo. According to her, manufacturers have good reputation in Japan. In general, they provide very thorough training and education on a wide variety of skills to each and everyone of their staff, so many manufacturers are keen to hire people with experience working at other manufacturers even if the industries are quite different. Many of those skills picked up at one manufacturer are transferable to the next.

If you are wondering whether you are the Gina I am referring to, yes, you are. You and I have never been in contact, but I have at least once visited all my followers’ blogs to see what kind of content they write. Perhaps steal an idea or two for my own. And during these visits, I learnt that you are feeling a little uneasy about this move to Japan, but I applaud your courage and how you have handled the time up to your departure. I am even doubtful that I can handle it as well as you can.

Uncertainty is bound to occur each time we make a move to something new. I didn’t wring my bank account dry to spend 6 months studying here and not feel pain. Nevertheless, trust that what you will be learning at the manufacturer here will put you in good stead for the future. Regardless of whether you will choose to pursue career at another manufacturer in Japan, this experience will make you a stronger person, at work and at home, in public and in private.

I hope I don’t come across as obnoxious speaking to you as if I’m wiser because it’s not what the purpose of this post is. And really because I’m not much wiser than the random guy on the street. While I have been in Japan for 3.5 years now, I am as new as you are working at a Japanese manufacturer. You might be better off than I am, having other people in the same situation as you are at the same company. But one thing I’ve learnt has made me stronger and I hope it will make you too: when the going gets tough, just remember, it will be over.

If that doesn’t work, know that there is some blogger in the prefecture next to yours here alone. Don’t be afraid to find comfort in others’ discomfort. It’s only human.

Life is unfair, but at least somebody cares.

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