What are the characteristics of people who are suited and unsuited for a foreign company and how to change jobs?


  • Career Advice

What kind of person is suited for a foreign-affiliated company?

What kind of skills and talents do foreign-affiliated companies look for?

For those who have these questions, this article introduces the following.

  • Characteristics of Suitable and Unsuitable People for Gaishikei Companies
  • Skills required by gaishikei companies
  • Tips for changing jobs at a foreign company

If you are considering changing jobs at a foreign-affiliated company, or if you have any doubts about changing jobs, please refer to this article.

What is a Foreign Company?

A foreign-affiliated company is a company whose capital is invested in a foreign country. In contrast, companies established in Japan or companies that are primarily capitalized in Japan are called Japanese-affiliated companies.

There are some differences between foreign-affiliated and Japanese-affiliated companies.

Differences between foreign-affiliated and Japanese-affiliated companies

Foreign-affiliated companies are often managed based on the instructions and policies of their overseas headquarters or parent companies, and their management style differs from that of Japanese companies. Japanese-affiliated companies, on the other hand, often reflect Japan's unique management culture and corporate culture.

In terms of careers, foreign-affiliated companies often have global operations and diverse business areas, giving them a wide range of career path options. On the other hand, Japanese-affiliated companies tend to have relatively clear career paths and emphasize long-term stability.

In terms of communication style, while communication between subordinates and superiors and between departments is often open and direct in foreign-affiliated firms, Japanese-affiliated firms tend to have strict hierarchical relationships and boundaries between departments, and it often takes time to share information and communicate.

7 characteristics of people who are suited for foreign companies

The characteristics of a person who is suited for a foreign company are as follows

  • Strong language skills
  • Can communicate smoothly with a diverse group of people
  • Good at communicating their intentions and opinions
  • Able to tackle difficult projects with a desire to grow
  • Able to accurately convey past achievements
  • Flexible enough to adapt to foreign cultures
  • Appropriate for a meritocracy

Let's take a closer look at each of these characteristics.

Strong language skills

Foreign-affiliated companies operate in an international business environment and require communication in a variety of languages, including English. Therefore, high language skills (especially English) are required. High communication skills and the ability to handle foreign languages smoothly are essential to the execution of work on overseas projects.
These figures are not exhaustive, but should be kept in mind as a guide.


Please refer to the following article for details on the English language skills required by foreign companies.




General Manager

Marketing & Human Resources




Sales, Engineering and Internal IT




Factory and logistics


Leader and above 500

Leader and above 500

Departments other than the above




These figures are not exhaustive, but should be kept in mind as a guide.

Please refer to the following article for details on English proficiency required by foreign companies.

See also: English Proficiency Required for Foreign Companies? A Thorough Explanation of Industry Levels and Practices

Communicate smoothly with a diverse range of people

Foreign-affiliated companies attract people of diverse nationalities. According to a survey by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, 43% of foreign-affiliated companies operating in Japan are European companies, which means that many of their employees are of European descent.


Therefore, the ability to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds is important.

In addition, the ability to respect the culture and background of others and respond appropriately will be required.


While it is easy for Japanese people to communicate smoothly with other Japanese people because they share the same culture and language, overseas personnel are very different. Therefore, the skill to communicate without problems even if the culture and language are different is important.


Good at communicating one's intentions and opinions

In foreign-affiliated companies, you are expected to express your thoughts and opinions clearly and speak up actively. This is because foreign-affiliated companies value people who have good communication skills and persuasive abilities, and who can communicate smoothly with their team and superiors. For example, when explaining to foreign nationals, it is necessary to be objective and specific, and persuasive skills are necessary in such situations.


In addition, it is important not only to be able to assert your own ideas, but also to be able to respect the opinions of others and engage in constructive discussions.

Willingness to grow even on difficult projects

Foreign-affiliated companies are suited to people who have a high sense of responsibility, a desire to grow, and the ability to boldly tackle difficult projects. This is because foreign-affiliated companies require people who are willing to take on the challenges of a rapidly changing business environment and the introduction of new technologies, and who are motivated to achieve results. Another reason is that it is easier to be entrusted with difficult projects in foreign companies.


They also need to be flexible and able to learn and grow from their experiences without being discouraged by failures or difficulties.

Being able to accurately convey past achievements

In a foreign company, you must be able to accurately convey your past achievements and accomplishments. This is because it is easier to build a relationship of trust and partnership when working with foreign nationals from different cultures and environments by communicating past achievements.


When communicating past achievements, it is important to be objective and specific in your self-assessment, and to communicate this accurately.

Flexibility to adapt to foreign cultures

At foreign-affiliated companies, you will very often work in an international environment where diverse cultures and values intersect. Therefore, when working for a foreign company, you must be able to understand and adapt to different cultures and be flexible.

In addition, people who are tolerant and flexible to new situations and different values will be more valued.

Appropriate for a meritocracy

Foreign-affiliated companies tend to have a strong culture of meritocracy rather than seniority, and place a high value on results and ability. In fact, an independent survey by an independent administrative agency found that the percentage of labor disputes related to dismissals was higher in foreign-affiliated companies (60.0%) than in Japanese-affiliated companies (22.5%).

Therefore, people who value hard work and achievements in achieving goals and who are proactive in improving their abilities and skills are highly valued.

Also, people who are able to promote personal growth in a highly competitive environment and who take pleasure in achieving results will be well suited for a foreign-capitalized company.

Five characteristics of people who are not suited for foreign companies

On the other hand, some people are not suited for foreign companies. Their characteristics are as follows

  1. Appropriate for the seniority system
  2. Are basically passive and not proactive
  3. Not good at competition
  4. Not good at English
  5. Desire for lifetime employment

Let's take a look at each of these characteristics.

Appropriate for seniority

Many foreign-affiliated companies have a culture that emphasizes meritocracy and achievement. Therefore, if you are accustomed to a seniority-based culture where you are evaluated based on simple years and experience, there is a high possibility that the environment of a foreign company is not suitable for you.

If you cannot adapt to an environment where ability and performance are valued, you may find it difficult to have a career in a foreign company.

Basically passive and not proactive

In a foreign company, the ability to proactively propose one's own ideas and opinions and put them into action is important. This is because many of the people attracted to foreign-capital companies are proactive and active in their opinions and actions toward the business. This is a characteristic of foreign-affiliated companies, which have a high concentration of high-caliber personnel.


Therefore, if you are basically passive, waiting for instructions, and not good at taking action on your own, it will be difficult to advance your career at a foreign-affiliated company.

You are uncomfortable with competition.

Foreign-affiliated companies are highly competitive and generally place a strong emphasis on performance. Therefore, if you are afraid of competition and have a fear of competing with others, the environment of a foreign-affiliated company is not suitable for you.

On the other hand, if you are a highly successful sales person even at a Japanese company, or if you prefer a highly competitive work environment, changing jobs to a foreign-capitalized company is recommended.

English is not your forte.

In foreign-capitalized companies, work is often conducted in an international environment, and English is the primary language of business communication. Therefore, for those who are not good at English, working at a foreign-affiliated company tends to be inconvenient in some way.

Inability to communicate properly can affect work efficiency and results, which can increase the likelihood that you will feel uncomfortable at the company.

Desire for Lifetime Employment

One of the characteristics of people who are not suited to work for a foreign company is that they want lifetime employment.

Unlike most Japanese companies, lifetime employment is not common in foreign-affiliated companies. The concept of long-term stability and guaranteed promotion within the organization is very thin.

If anything, foreign-affiliated companies tend to emphasize a meritocracy and performance-based system, where promotions and rewards are based on ability and results. Therefore, for those who desire lifetime employment, the working style and culture are likely to be a poor fit.

Three skills required by foreign companies

The following skills are required in a foreign company

  1. Language skills (how much do you need?)
  2. Self-discipline to perform in an unfamiliar environment
  3. Flexibility to adapt to a diverse workforce and environment

Let's take a closer look at each of these skills.

1. Language skills (How much do you need?)

One of the skills required by foreign companies is language ability. In particular, English proficiency is often required, but the required level varies depending on the company and the type of job.

In general, a business level of English is expected, but certain positions or industries may require a higher level. For example, positions that require frequent international transactions and communication may require native-level English proficiency. Therefore, when changing jobs at a foreign-affiliated company, it is important to acquire the appropriate language skills for the company and the position.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the most significant reason that hinders foreign-affiliated companies from recruiting Japanese personnel is "difficulty in business communication in English (55.6%). This indicates that personnel who can communicate well in English are valued.

However, native-level English proficiency is not always required, as some companies may have an interpreter accompany them when conducting business transactions.


Please refer to the following article for a detailed explanation of the English language skills required at foreign companies.


Related article: What English Proficiency is Needed for a Foreign Company? Thorough explanation of the industry level and practical work


2. Self-management skills to perform in an unfamiliar environment

Foreign-affiliated companies require the ability to manage oneself and perform in an unfamiliar environment. Flexibility and adaptability are necessary to perform effectively in an international environment and culturally diverse workplace.

Self-management skills also enable you to adapt to new environments and cope with change. In addition, foreign companies that undertake many large and difficult projects tend to value people who can "manage projects," "coordinate schedules," and "cope with stress and pressure.

3. Flexibility to adapt to diverse personnel and environments

Foreign-affiliated companies require flexibility to adapt to a diverse workforce and environment. Foreign-affiliated companies generally have an international environment and diverse cultures, and flexibility is essential to effectively perform in such an environment.

Such flexibility is essential for teamwork and project success, and is one of the skills that are highly valued in foreign-affiliated companies.

According to a survey conducted by BizMates Corporation, approximately 42.4% of the respondents answered that they are "uneasy communicating with foreign nationals. In other words, if you have experience in dealing with foreign personnel, you will be able to differentiate yourself from others, which will be significant in your job search.

Tips on how to change jobs in a foreign company

The following are some tips for changing jobs with a foreign company

  • Find a company that matches your achievements
  • Plan precisely until you receive a job offer.
  • Use a recruitment agent that specializes in foreign-capitalized companies.

The following is an explanation of each of these tips.

Find a company that matches your achievements

Finding a company that matches your track record will give you the best chance of finding a new job. Since foreign-capitalized companies vary in size and industry, it is very important to select a company that matches your experience, skills, and career goals.

Specifically, it is important to consider what kind of company you can play an active role in based on your past performance, work experience, and expertise, and then focus on that company as your target.

The culture and values of the company are also important factors to consider, and so is whether or not you can adapt. Finding the right company for you will help you build a more fulfilling career.

Precise planning until you receive a job offer

It is also important to plan precisely for the process of obtaining a job offer. A systematic approach to your job search is important, and clearly defining the steps to a job offer is the key to success.

Specific planning includes

Self-analysis and clarification of career goals
Gathering appropriate job information
Updating your resume and CV
Preparing for interviews

and more.

It is also important to work backward from the time you receive a job offer and establish a schedule to achieve your goals. By planning ahead, you will be able to conduct your job search more efficiently and increase your chances of receiving a job offer.

Use a recruitment agent that specializes in foreign-capitalized companies.

The most important thing to do when looking for a new job with a foreign company is to use a recruitment agent that specializes in foreign-capitalized companies.

Foreign-affiliated companies have their own hiring process and culture, and job seekers need to understand these characteristics before selecting a job. A recruitment agent that specializes in foreign-capitalized companies will be able to match the skills and experience of the job seeker with the characteristics of each foreign-capitalized company, making the job search process more efficient.

In addition, since recruitment agents have jobs that are not available on job sites or recruiting websites, you can choose from a larger number of options than usual. If you are considering a career change to a foreign-capitalized company, consider using a recruitment agency that specializes in foreign-capitalized companies.

United World, the leading recruitment agency for foreign-affiliated companies

If you are looking for a recruitment agency that is strong in foreign-capitalized companies, please consider using United World.

United World is connected to a large number of foreign-affiliated companies, so you can efficiently conduct an effective job search.

In addition, dedicated career advisors are available for consultation, so even those who are worried about building a career plan can consult with us with confidence.

If you want to find the best company for you from a large number of job openings, you should actively utilize this service.

back to the list