20:08, on a train en route to Osaka
Today we had this short training session for manners at workplace and guide to becoming a 社会人(read: syakaijin) Based on what I read in the material we were handed, this syakaijin term is used only in Japan, which directly translates as member of society. It only applies to someone who is employed and pays the taxes aka white collared workers. The instructor explained many things including basic manners and the responsibility as a syakaijin. Of course I brought my notebook to jot down important notes and whatnot.
Training session is a normal thing when you entered a company in Japan. Usually they will teach you the basic business etiquette and give you guidance on ho the system works. You can also meet and get t know your colleague during the time before everyone gets dispatched to different departments.
The term syakaijin sets you apart from other people and viewed as someone who is (should be) contributing to the society and economy, it basically means an adult but like more responsible (because you’re employed obv).
Being a syakaijin, you have an image to preserve. To some, this might be tiring as you have to keep up with the pressure and expectation. Some view it as a burden even. (the taxes here is quite high) But to some, being a syakaijin is fulfilling because you have that sense of belonging in the society, knowing that you are contributing for the country. Plus, you have steady income (who doesn’t want that?)
An instructor during our training session said it is totally OK to not know what you want to do in life. The key is to get as much exposure as you want in the FIELD you are interested. (engineering, management etc) And how important to see the bigger picture. He told the kid that wanted to design a car engine to not regret his decision because he will get there eventually. Just don’t lose the passion, he said.
Thanks for reading x