André Boivineau is a Tokyo-based engineer at Indeed shares his story about how his career began in Asia, and the milestones so far… including starting a family in Japan.
Although I just celebrated my first anniversary with Indeed, I have been working in Japan since I graduated 12 years ago.
I arrived in Japan as an exchange student for my last semester before graduation. I had an idea to start my career here but was far from expecting I would build such a long and strong attachment to this country. Now I’m settled in with two adorable kids.
When I started my career in Japan, I had a preconceived notion that this would not be compatible with raising a family, especially coming from a country with a different culture.
My first job was in a Japanese company, and really there weren’t a lot of resources customized for a new grad joining from aboard. I’m deeply grateful to my Japanese friends who helped me to figure out most of what I needed to know back then.
My perception started to change as I got to make connections with more and more foreigners who had been successful in this experience.
I was able to see how they solved the questions that arise when planning for a family life: choice of an employer to support work-life balance, housing, place of education for kids, administrative questions etc…
When I got lost in procedures to put together my PR application, a former colleague shared with me detailed notes they documented on how to prepare an application.
When I struggled to understand the subtleties of savings and loans in Japan, an alumni of my university living here for years ran me through the details.
Practical answers to such questions gave me confidence I could sustain and enjoy a long term stay in Japan.
In Indeed Tokyo we’re lucky to already have a large and supportive community, including “veteran” expatriates, always here to answer each other’s questions. The one thing I regret is that Indeed didn’t have a Tokyo office back in 2008 !
By the time I joined Indeed, my first kid had just turned 3 years old, and I was two months away from becoming the happiest man on earth for the second time.
I was quite worried about how this new birth would interfere with starting a new job, but Indeed’s combination of open-PTO and protected parental leave made it a harmonious experience.
Both my wife’s family and mine live far away, and open-PTO allowed me several times to take care of the kids when they were sick, attend their school’s events or plan trips with my kids to meet their grand-parents in France.
Not to mention flexible working hours which I benefited from as early as my very first day for an unexpected early pick up at the daycare!
To anyone settling in Japan with family and children or would plan to do so, my piece of advice may sound trivial yet is I believe paramount : make sure your professional activity will allow for some sort of time flexibility.
The unpredictability of a family life will be amplified by the challenges of living aboard, but can be managed just fine and become a wonderful experience with a supportive professional environment.
When I was approached by Indeed, I remember I was in a phase of my career questioning myself and the sense of purpose I was longing for. Indeed’s mission immediately resonated with me: We Help People Get Jobs.
I believe that, from this mission, results in a lot of Indeed’s success: attracting genuine and motivated people with a strong sense of ownership, which means they can be fully entrusted to make decisions.
Every team is expected to come up with ideas and plot their own course. Knowing that I will be able to influence many aspects of my work is a strong motivation driver, and I’m even more excited to see what great ideas my colleagues will come up with.
The same way I spent a decade in Tokyo I hope I can spend another decade with Indeed (or more!!) as I feel extremely lucky to have found this rare combination: a fantastic employer in one of the best cities in the world.
To learn more about Indeed Tokyo, click here.