My name is Antón, a galician-catalan from Spain and I am in charge of the PayPay’s Engineer Recruiting area. I often receive questions on how we non-Japanese survive in Japan and work at PayPay especially under the current COVID-19 situation, so I am starting a short interview series where I will cover the 35+ nationalities we have in our organization. These monthly articles will share some of our experiences as PayPay employees and foreign residents in Japan so you can get a better picture of how we survive here, fight homesickness or gather with our own communities. On the other hand, as gaijins with different backgrounds we will cover the things we embrace and love from the Japanese culture and of course, the ones we struggle with too! I myself have been in Japan for almost 7 years but I’m still surprised about the peculiarities of the Land of the Rising Sun, so I hope our stories can make you smile!
Let’s meet our first guests of the series! Both from HR!
Name: Tristan HamptonCountry: USAYears in Japan: 11 YearsWhat do you do at PayPay: Comp & Benefits (I make the money rain)Things you love about Japan:
“I really enjoy traveling in Japan. Japan has so many world heritage sites like Ryuga Sea Cave” heart shaped cave “in Shizuoka or Osorezan (Temple in Aomori) which is said to be the gateway to the afterlife”
Name: Anubha MishraCountry: IndiaYears in Japan: 6 YearsWhat do you do at PayPay: Dealing with Humans (helping people to recognize themselves)Things you love about Japan:
“I am a big fan of Japanese culture / etiquette and enjoying life with my great Japanese friends here”
In Japan, foreigner residents represent less than 2% of the total population and some people think that it might be difficult for us to find a link to our cultures here. Tell me an episode related with your community in Japan. Is it helpful to be connected with them?
One thing that is great about Japan is the support of the black community here. When I first came here I was really worried as I had box braids and an afro and getting products/ finding someone to do my hair is very hard. Thanks to the black community, I was able to easily find shops that sold American hair products as well as salons/people who could do my hair. I still remember my first 3 months here I couldn’t find anyone to do my hair and had to leave it in Afro
I love Japan in many ways and the great thing about this country is, Japanese people welcome any nationalities with an open loving heart. When I came to Japan for the first time I could easily find the Indian community here and the most interesting thing is, I never felt like I am living outside India (only I missed my parents and family in India). The reason is Japanese culture/festivals are more like Indian culture/festivals, also I could easily get all Indian food/spices and even sometimes Indian clothes here. I also started making good Japanese friends here who already know Indian festivals like Diwali (festival of light) and Holi (festival of colors)and with all my friends, I could celebrate our festivals in a very grand way.So it’s very interesting seeing Japanese people celebrating Indian festivals like Diwali in areas like Nishikasai/Kawasaki/Funabori and dancing to Bollywood songs in some Indian events like “Namaste India” etc. This is something I found unique in Japan as they welcome every nationality here. Winning ward assembly election from an Indian origin guy is one of a good example I believe
Interculturalism, integration, communication gaps… There are many topics under discussion about the difficulties of living in Japan as a foreigner. What do you think are the biggest challenges in Japan for us?
The most difficult thing in Japan as a foreigner I believe is the language barrier and unique Japanese etiquette /manners. If you learn some good enough Japanese language and Japanese etiquettes well you don’t have much problem in surviving here as Japanese people are really polite and help foreigners. The interesting part is I could make good communication with Japanese people and could make really good friends here with my survival Japanese only. This is all because of the encouragement and affection I got as a return from the people of Japan.
I definitely think one of the most difficult things about being in Japan is the language. No matter how well you speak it there are always times that people insist you can’t speak Japanese. Some people would get offended by it but it always makes me laugh when I tell them “its okay to speak Japanese” and their facial expression is just surprised. After that always get some interesting conversations from people.
PayPay reached 35 million users, the equivalent to approximately 30% of Japan’s population and became one of the most downloaded apps in Japan, being the only payments related app in the top 10. In order to achieve this, we have been hiring the best talents from everywhere around the world and creating a diverse and unique environment for a Japanese company. What will our foreign readers find in our organization?
I think one of the most interesting things about working at PayPay is that even though its a Japanese company, it truly feels like an international company. When something needs to get done, it gets done quick even when you have to go through all the processes. Because of that many times I can finish work on time and enjoy a beer with colleagues after work^^
Working with PayPay always feels like working with a Global Fin-tech firm where you can get experience from multiple countries and cultures. Every month we meet different nationalities people on the onboarding day which is quite interesting. And if we ask them what they like about PayPay so they have a similar answer as “liked the Speed and global environment here”.Japanese people believe in a true team spirit and “Gambarimasu(頑張ります)” attitude and this is something which helps me a lot in getting things done.
That’s all for today! Let’s discover more stories in the next episode! We will talk about our WFA policy (Work From Anywhere at anytime) in COVID-19 times next time! See you soon!😊👍
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Edited by: az (PayPay Inside-Out Editor)
* Employees’ affiliations are those of the time of the interview.