Thursday, June 2, 2011

The 10 "K"s of Japanese IT

Originally, there were "3K" jobs referring to the ones cheap labor (stereotypically foreign labor) pulled off in place of native Japanese. The three Ks were "Kitsui" (Hard and in physical or demanding), "Kitanai" (Dirty) and "Kiken" (Dangerous)

In recent years, the IT industry has become a buyer's market and the employees have had to bear some heavy burdens. As a result, the IT industry doesn't have a very glamorous image, and this affects the industry because graduates are turned off the industry altogether in some cases because they do not wish a lifestyle like that of their fathers, a lifestyle that took their father from them at an early age, kept their father out of their family lives, etc. Although smaller and startup companies are less prone to these, this list summarizes the most common concerns and complaints among Japanese "salarymen" workers. This started at around 5 but keeps getting more added to it (as people find more to complain about)

1. Kitsui (Demanding workload)
2. Kaerenai (Can't go home (on time/at the end of the work day))
3. Kyuuryo ga hikui (Low salary)
4. Kisoku ga kibishii (Stringent company/industry rules)
5. Kyuukei ga torenai (Can't take a break)
6. Keshou ga noranai (Can't get time to put on makeup (Women only))
7. Kekkon dekinai (Can't get married)
8. Koi mo dekinai (Can't find love)
9. Kinyoubi nomini ikenai (Can't go out/relax on a Friday night)
10. Kaachann (fukumu yome) ni moushiwakenai (lit. Apologies to mother/wife (for interruptions in social plans, unable to make/plan/attend family events). It can also mean regret for disappointing your mother/wife (for perceiving oneself as a failure or disappointment))

Other ones I've come across

11. Karoshi (Death from overwork)
12. Karojisatsu (Suicide brought on from overwork)
13. Kodomo mo dekinai (Can't have children)
And the list goes on

If industry "experts" and recruiting firms are wondering why people aren't so thrilled to work in IT, maybe improving the working conditions would help...

It's too bad there are companies that are proud to operate to make employees miserable to such a degree