(photo source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/duIhCHWIG_k/maxresdefault.jpg)
Right around this time last year, I was viciously writing an article about “shukatsu” (also known as job hunting season in Japan.) Now that I recall it, I remember all these mixed emotions I had toward that word. I was sad to find I did not belong in Japanese society. I was angry that the shukatsu system did not accept people like me. I was confused as to why things cannot change. On top of all that, I felt powerless because I could not make that change. As a shukatsusei, I simply could not understand why job hunting had to be done in a certain way in Japan. As I had already complained in my previous article, everyone had to wear the same suit, same hairstyle, and same makeup. Everyone had to be the same even though we were each told to show how significantly different we are from one another. I felt like I had nowhere to let this rage out up until I met up with a friend to catch up. As I was blabbering about my problems to her like I usually do, she listened and told me in a calm matter. “Shukatsu is just a game. Don’t take it seriously because sometimes, it’s a matter of luck. And all of these contradictions may seem stupid, but if you accept them as rules, you might as well be able to understand them. Because in games, you have to follow whatever they tell you no matter how ridiculous it is.” After that, all of these complications became very simple. Sometimes, you have to come up with a good strategy to win. Sometimes, the interviewers will test you to see how serious you are. Sometimes, you might encounter people who are going to support you. Other times, you might encounter rivals who may try to bring you down. All in all, one important thing to remember is that shukatsu is just a game. In the end, most people say they decided to enter the company because of “goen.” Goen means fate. Fate happens by luck. That does not mean it is pointless to work hard. As I like to believe, lucky people usually own their luck by earning it.