My career so far

My career so far


Just half a year has passed since I joined the present company, so I think it is a good time to look back on my career so far.

“A high school student who was eager to master his English and had a great concern to global environment is now working for a multinational company and engaged in renewable energy.”

It sounds quite logical and natural, isn’t it? But for him, the way to reach the present company was like a long, long winding road. The company is the fifth for him and he finally reached some kind of “Arcadia”.

If he didn’t join the 1st company, he could not get the opportunity to work for the 2nd company. And if he didn’t join the 2nd company, he could not get the opportunity to work for the 3rd company. It sounds as if he has lived his career in a haphazard way, but I think he now can be pride of himself for the past high school student.

The 1st company was one of the major environmental plant suppliers in Japan and he was engaged in product development and new business launch. He worked for 6.5 years there, and left. There were various reasons why he left the company, but what best describes him at the time is that he was too young to stay. Unlike these days, in 1990-2000s, people did not select and join the company with a will to leave several years later. And knowing the company’s success today, there must be various options for him to do, that is, to stay or to leave.

The 2nd company was one of the leading private think tanks in Japan. Indeed, everyday hard work. I think in the industry, people aged 30s are most promising since they have both physical and mental strengths. He joined at the age of 29 and had less skills and networks to succeed immediately after joining the company. It means he struggled with his life there. But the company offered some chances for him to grow, e.g. secondment to the company jointly owned with power company and to the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery respectively for 3 years. And in the period of his secondment, the work load was relatively low, so he could make the most of his time and participated in the leadership program which Nissan Foundation established. He believed that he would finish the career in that company since he respected the company and the colleagues there and was proud to be a member of the company. Around 15 years passed, and he finally became the one that he could say “I’m an essential piece of the company”. Just then, he was called by one of his colleagues in the leadership program. He considered again and again for half a year and decided to join his project, it means the 3rd company for him, shifting from “environment & energy” to “space”.

He had been engaged in domestic research & consulting projects almost for 15 years, but just after joining the company, he visited Bay Area, SF with his colleagues. The works there were very exciting for him and opened the door to the world that the past high school student dreamed of. He burned himself and left the company 1 year later. That was surprising for his family and also for him, because his age was already 46 and the company was one of the most attractive enterprises in Japan. ( I think you know the name “Sony”.) He didn’t know whether he could somehow succeed in the field, but the biggest point was that he was a person who loves the global environment, not space.

After his decision, what he thought of is to move to the renewable energy company. But then some company approached to him. The company specializes in technical services to decommission the damaged nuclear power plants in Fukushima. The company was multinational, venture-minded and tackling with the very important socio-environmental issues. That’s why he decided to join the company. But he was faced with the reality. Business trips to the foreign countries were OK since he had similar experiences in the previous company, but the company had frequent regular meetings with the colleagues in the US, UK and France and often required English writing skills as well. He sometimes acted like an interpreter and translator, but it was just one of the basic skills of the employees. Considering his tasks and responsibility, his English skill was not enough as well as his expertise and networks in the nuclear industry. (I should say that most employees did not satisfied company’s requirements.) Therefore, he recognized that everyone had an appropriate place to succeed. During his time in the company, he made a lot of efforts both for his work and for the improvement of his skills and knowledge.

And just in the final phase of the project that is the biggest reason why the former CEO wanted to hire him who had work experience as one of the secretariat members of the project, he got to know the present company and the possible position which was vacant. The company needed a person with consultant background and familiar with renewable energy, and showed an interest in his career. He found it a great opportunity for him and gave appeals to the company. Appreciating all the people involved in the job change, he joined the company and worked for half a year as a newcomer to the industry because he was just a research consultant in this field. He has already learnt a lot and there are many unknowns still remained. Even in the learning process, he is designing this new position in the way that it suits the company’s strategy and business.

“I will be an essential piece of society!” is good, but if a person does not have experience, expertise and networks, in other words, “social value of a person”, society does not need the person. A person has to be the one society needs. And it is not late if a person gets the age of 50, even 60. If I have opportunities to talk with people aged 20s or 30s, I’ll say to them “Never hurry your life and career, and see yourself, surroundings and society. Time will pay for you.”