Career change at a foreign company focuses on ability rather than age! Explanation of the talent they are looking for


  • Industry Information

I want to change jobs at a foreign company, but I'm concerned about my age.

Age is a concern when thinking about changing jobs, but foreign-affiliated companies place less emphasis on age than Japanese-affiliated companies. However, the characteristics of the jobs and the skills required will vary depending on the age of the candidate.

In this column, I would like to introduce the points that foreign-capitalized companies consider more important than age, and the key points for changing jobs according to age. It also explains the rare cases where age is a bottleneck, so please take a look at it for reference.

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Changing jobs at a foreign company is more about skills than age.

Age is not often an important factor when changing jobs at a foreign company. What is important in a foreign company is "what the person can do in the position.

  • This is because foreign companies
  • They are performance-based.
  • They are looking for people who can work immediately.
  • They are looking for immediate results.

Foreign companies are performance-based.

Basically, what foreign companies are looking for is to "produce results. For this reason, age is less important than in Japanese companies.

During the selection process, the focus is not on age, but rather on how well you have performed at your previous workplaces. Therefore, you need to show evidence of the skills and experience you possess to produce results.

Even after joining a company, age is not a factor, but rather, achievement is evaluated and leads to salary increases and promotions in foreign companies.

Because foreign companies are looking for immediate results.

Unlike Japanese-affiliated companies, foreign-affiliated companies do not have much of a "people development" culture. People hired by foreign-affiliated companies are expected to be immediately effective and produce results in a short period of time.

In Japanese-affiliated companies, newly assigned departments are taught how to do things from scratch, but in foreign-affiliated companies, there is rarely any training and sometimes no manuals. Instead of learning from others, you learn how to do things from those who can do them, or learn what you lack on your own. Basically, you are expected to do your own work in your own style and get results.

For this reason, in the selection process, the importance is not placed on age, but on whether or not the employee has the skills and is able to work on his/her own initiative, and whether or not he/she can make an immediate impact.

Four things that foreign companies look for in a career changer

This section explains what foreign-affiliated companies, which place little emphasis on age, are looking for in candidates who change jobs.

According to a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in FY2022, the reasons why foreign-affiliated companies find it difficult to secure human resources in Japan are as follows.

Survey period: October 13 - November 18, 2022; Target: 6,607 foreign-affiliated companies in Japan
Reference: Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Invest Japan Department, "Summary of Results of Questionnaire Survey on Business Conditions of Foreign Affiliated Companies in FY2022," p. 25.

Human resources that foreign companies feel are in short supply = human resources they need. If you become the type of person they need, you will have a higher chance of success in your new job.

The graph shows that foreign-capitalized companies are looking for four types of human resources.

  • People with good English and foreign language skills
  • People with good communication skills
  • People with specialized skills,People with the mindset of working for a foreign company

We will explain them one by one.

Personnel with good English and foreign language skills

In foreign-affiliated companies, there are many cases where foreign languages are used, not only within the company, but also with customers overseas. In business, a slight misstatement of a word or phrase can result in a huge loss. Therefore, foreign-affiliated companies want people with high language skills that are appropriate for the job.

However, not all foreign companies require high foreign language skills. The level of difficulty varies depending on the nature of the work and the position. Applying for jobs that match your language skills will increase your success rate.

For more information on the English language skills required for specific industries and positions, please refer to "What English Skills Do Foreign Companies Need? Please refer to “What English Proficiency is Required for a Foreign Company? Thorough explanation of industry level and practical matters

Good communication skills

Working among people from different cultural and lifestyle backgrounds requires a high level of communication skills. High communicative competence means more than just being able to speak fluent English. In fact, there are people whose English pronunciation may be slurred, but who are regarded by their foreign colleagues as "his English is the easiest to understand.

The point is to have the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Since you will be working with people who speak different languages, cultures, and have different ways of thinking, vague communication can lead to trouble. It is necessary to have the ability to convey your requirements simply and correctly to others.

In addition to communicating, you must also be able to "correctly understand the other person's opinion before responding. In English communication, there are cases where it is difficult to understand completely. In such cases, it is important to ask questions until your doubts are cleared up, or to check with your colleagues or superiors, and not to leave things vague.

During the employment screening process, you should also communicate yourself "simply and clearly," and if you do not understand someone's question, do not answer in a vague manner, but ask back and try to understand the intent before answering.

Personnel with specialized skills

Foreign-affiliated companies seldom train people from scratch. Job seekers are expected to be immediately effective after being hired, and are expected to utilize their existing skills and expertise, with few transfers after joining the company.

Two effective ways to prove your skills in the hiring and selection process are to quantify your achievements and acquire qualifications. It is necessary to be prepared to appeal by showing numerically how specific your past achievements are, the qualifications you possess, or the qualifications you are currently studying to possess.

For more information on qualifications and skills advantageous to foreign companies, please refer to "Six qualifications that are advantageous for changing jobs at a foreign company! Essential Skills and How to Get a Job!" .

Talent with a mindset of working in a foreign company

The mindsets of foreign-affiliated companies and Japanese-affiliated companies are different. Therefore, people with the mindset of Japanese-affiliated companies may not do well in foreign-affiliated companies.

Humility," which was considered good in Japanese-affiliated companies, is a negative in foreign-affiliated companies. Also, the culture of "reading the atmosphere" does not exist in foreign-affiliated companies. In a foreign company, where nationalities and languages are different, it is necessary to clearly express your opinions and arguments.

Also, it is rare for colleagues or teammates to follow up on your work or work overtime together. You will need to be able to manage on your own and have a mindset of facing your work firmly.

During the hiring process, it is a good idea to put modesty aside and firmly demonstrate your strengths and the way you approach your work.

Points for changing jobs at foreign companies by age

As we age, our skills increase and our achievements accumulate. Therefore, even foreign-affiliated companies that do not care about age will have different requirements and job descriptions depending on the age of the job seekers.

Here, we will introduce the characteristics of job offers and what foreign-affiliated companies look for in job seekers by age group.

Points for changing jobs in your 20s

  • In early 20s, there are many openings for sales and administrative positions
  • In the late 20s, there are many openings for assistant managers, etc.

The job market changes depending on whether you are in your early or late 20's. In your early 20's, you have just entered the workforce and have not yet acquired many professional skills, so jobs that do not require much specialization, such as sales and administrative positions, tend to be more common. It is easy to apply for jobs in which you have no experience, and the hurdles to changing jobs are low.

In their late 20s, there are more jobs for assistant managers and other positions. If you have management experience such as "I managed numbers" or "I was a team leader," it will be advantageous for you to change jobs. If you don't have anything that appeals to the market, one way to change jobs is to build up your achievements and experience at your current position.

Points for changing jobs in your 30s

  • More management positions available
  • Immediate success is required.

Jobs for managers and other management positions become more noticeable in the 30s. They are expected to be able to work immediately, and at the same time, they are required to have management skills.

In order to be more persuasive during the hiring process, it is a good idea to be prepared to present concrete examples of your past management experience and sales performance, including numerical data. Do not be shy about sharing your qualifications, overseas assignments, and other factors that would enhance your skills.

In addition, language skills are required for management positions. It is a good idea to polish your language skills so that you can use them in business situations.

Points for changing jobs in your 40s

  • Management skills are necessary for managerial positions
  • Use a foreign recruitment agent as there are many private jobs available.

This is the age when jobs are not only for managers and directors, but also for CEOs and other executive-level positions. Therefore, management skills are essential.

The majority of high-level positions are private jobs. Each recruitment agency handles different types of jobs, so we recommend registering with multiple recruitment agencies.

Points for changing jobs in your 50s

  • Long-term job search
  • Careful self-analysis and company analysis

Not only are there fewer job openings for senior positions, but you also have to compete with people in their 40s for fewer seats, and the rate at which resumes are accepted is lower. In addition, companies are more careful in their hiring practices, requiring five or more interviews, so it can take six months to a year before a decision is made. Therefore, it is important to understand that changing jobs in one's fifties is a long-term process.

The key to changing jobs is to carefully analyze yourself and present yourself in a way that matches the type of person that the company you are looking for is looking for. Most of the jobs for this age group are private jobs held by recruitment agents, so you should actively use multiple recruitment agents for foreign-affiliated companies.

In some cases, age can affect a person's ability to change jobs in a foreign company.

Even in foreign companies where age is not a major consideration, age can be a bottleneck in some cases.

  • If you have never changed jobs before
  • If you are nearing retirement
  • If you are overskilled

We will explain in detail.

If you have never changed jobs

Some foreign companies avoid people who have been with the company for more than a decade without having changed jobs. This is because each company has its own culture, and if you have belonged to one culture for a long time, you may be judged as having difficulty adjusting to another culture.

Therefore, if you can add episodes such as your experience of being transferred to a different company or your achievements in a different environment, you will be evaluated as a person who can flexibly adapt to a new environment.

If you are nearing retirement age    

For those who are a few years away from retirement, the active period after changing jobs will be shorter, making it more difficult to be hired even by foreign companies.

However, for high-class personnel, it does not matter how close they are to retirement, so it is worth a try to change jobs.

In case of overskill

If you have too much experience and are overskilled for the position, this is another case where you are making it difficult to change jobs. This is because it is necessary to offer a reasonable compensation for a talented person.

In order to avoid mismatches, it is advisable to consult with a recruitment agent and apply for jobs that suit you.

Four key points for a successful career change for those who have never worked for a foreign company before.


There are four key points that will help you succeed in your new job with a foreign company.

  • Prepare for English interviews and English resumes
  • Improve your English
  • Polish your skills
  • Use an agent that specializes in foreign-capitalized companies.

Let's look at them one by one.

Prepare for English interview and resume in English.    

Unlike with Japanese companies, changing jobs at a foreign company often requires an interview in English and an English resume. Although it may sound difficult to conduct interviews and write resumes in English, there are certain patterns, so you can prepare for them in advance.

If you use a foreign-capital recruitment agency, you can get advice and corrections on English interviews and resumes. Please refer to the following website for information on common interview questions at foreign-capitalized companies.
"A list of 20 common questions asked at job interviews with foreign companies in English with Japanese translations. ."

Refine your English    

English is not only necessary when changing jobs at a foreign company, but is also essential for career advancement after joining a company.

At the manager level, there are situations where English is used in meetings with the home country. Even if you are not in a managerial position, English proficiency will give you opportunities for career advancement, such as participating in global projects.

For this reason, you should always polish your English. For more information on the English language skills required for foreign-capital companies, please refer to "What English Proficiency is Required for a Foreign Company? Thorough explanation of industry level and practical matters." We also recommend that you check with a foreign-capital recruitment agent regarding the level of English required for the job you are interested in.

Keep your skills sharp.

To change jobs at a foreign company that requires immediate results, it is essential to hone your skills. It is a good idea to improve your skills by acquiring qualifications and participating in projects where you can utilize your skills so that you can prove your skills during the hiring process.

Use an agent who is strong in foreign companies.    

Utilizing an agent that is strong in foreign-capitalized companies is the first step to a smooth transition to a new job with a foreign company.

If you register with an agent, they will be able to introduce you to jobs that only they know about. In addition, they will not only prepare you for interviews and resumes in English, but will also help you gather information and coordinate your schedule so that you can change jobs efficiently.

It is no exaggeration to say that the key to a successful career change is to use an agent who is strong in foreign-capitalized companies. Each agency has different types of jobs, so it is recommended that you register with more than one.

Age is less important than readiness for a new job at a foreign company! Succeed in a job that matches your skills!


Although age is not important to foreign-affiliated companies, the characteristics of the jobs and the skills and experience required will vary depending on the age of the employee. The older you are, the more advanced the skills and experience required.

In order to successfully change jobs, it is important to determine whether you fit the profile that the company is looking for, as well as to hone your skills on a daily basis, and to analyze yourself and the company.

United World offers a wide range of global job opportunities in a variety of industries and job types. Your dedicated career advisor will help you find the right job by understanding the needs of the company and you. We don't just introduce you to jobs. We also offer free consultations to help you with any concerns you may have.

We offer free consultations, so please feel free to register with us.

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