Our talented Japanese candidate Yukino joined us for a personal interview about life in Malta, differences in cultures, iGaming career recruitment, and being raised in a collectivist country. Below you will also get her explanation to that what the Japanese saying “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down” really means.
Why do the Japanese go to Malta?
Many Japanese I’ve met here actually came to Malta for their language study course. After they finished or while studying they found the opportunity to stay for work and keep improving their language skills but everyone has a different and interesting background. There are also people who came straight to Malta after they graduated from their University in Japan or those who were studying abroad or working in other EU countries and came to Malta for an exciting job in iGaming.
Either way, what we have in common is that we went outside of Japan searching for what we are passionate about / what we are believing in and pursuing our new generation’s way of living a normal life. (Hi to my gen Z comrades!)
Big differences between Japan and Malta
True, while Malta is a small island, Japan has more than 125 million people and consists of 6852 islands! I cannot describe enough the biggest difference among all would be the Mediterranean mindset. Have fun, enjoy life, and live slow. It’s like a “the-world-is-revolving-around-me” kind of mindset and I like that.
I figured back in 2019 when I moved to Greece for work for a short period, Mediterraneans are fond of having fun, living slowly, enjoying food, and nurturing themselves by all means and that description wasn’t an exception for Maltese.
While it might be good for people, sometimes it’s frustrating for some. If traffic lights are green, you can go. If the lights are red, then prepare yourself; from that point on moving metal passing next to you is no longer a car, it’s a roller coaster. I saw three human-related car accidents within the first week of arrival in Malta and you will see it too, I dare you. That’s probably why each job description in iGaming includes not only salary and bonus but also employee benefits like private health insurance!
Also, in terms of paperwork such as authority-related things (working visa, opening a bank account, etc), it feels like forever isn’t long enough for them. Growing up in a strict society where a train got delayed half a minute and the driver apologized, my brain starts freaking out. “Is everything alright? Did I hand in the documents in the first place?” Mind you, I was always the one who couldn’t turn up to classes on time and, still, the Maltese make me worry about things. They think and act different.
Now let me talk about more of the good side of differences. The food and the people. I live in a local part of Malta and there’s a huge church next to my flat and a local bakery shop in front. My neighbors are elderly but welcoming. Every morning after my night shift I greet the owner of the bakery who wears no shoes, standing in front of the shop every morning while crossing his arms and his lips pursed like a shell. Maybe he’s a bit grumpy because I don’t eat meat and have lactose intolerance…but a great fella and always helpful if I need anything.I feel part of the local community although I haven’t yet mingled with the Maltese neither in sports, politics nor local band clubs.
Daily life in Japan influenced by Europe
Since we are exposed to Western/European culture so much, our society engulfs and grows with foreign cultures by adapting ourselves, adjusting to a new culture, or vice versa; there’s not much to point out when it comes to the way of living but in my case my normal and boring routine in Japan was waking up, going to work like a mini robot, rejuvenating my energy with some black coffee just to try to look mature (still haven’t got used to that taste, it’s like burnt bread dipped into water), going home like a tired robot, having some dinner and procrastinating your sleep till 4 in the morning and finally passing out. I don’t watch TV as much and I believe it goes the same for my generation. We use phones for watching dramas, news, or, reading digital newspaper articles. You know we love our phones and other tech gadgets.
Japan is adapting to so-called monoculturalism and collectivism, meaning we need an extra effort to be who we want to be we comparing to the people in Europe or Western countries due to the very fact that we prioritize what everyone wants or thinks and “I” “my” “me” comes on the second. We have a saying that goes “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down” and it’s ingrained into our subconscious thus so many of us struggle to express ourselves.
However, lots of young people fancy traveling there, living there, or even copying the European way of living even for a short period and things are changing so we are trying to be more inclusive and it’s going to be us that’s making a change for us and younger generations.
iGaming is a new industry for the Japanese
Let me tell you something. The Japanese people I have met in Europe don’t think iGaming is a dodgy industry. But yes, we share some uncertainty due to lack of product knowledge but we are learning and our minds are opening up. I know Japanese people are into different table games like roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, etc and these days we read more about latest casino bonuses and special promotions but this is really new to us.
The past was all about Pachinko, betting on local sports, and playing various lottery games, but now online gaming has increased hugely in popularity and live casinos give the player an experience similar to land-based casinos. We love our Japanese-themed slots, we demand that we are being offered Japanese customer service and we always read the terms and conditions when we join a new online casino website.
Although it depends on individuals iGaming recruitment is still relatively unknown for Japanese job hunters compared to other countries that are already legalizing the casino industry. What I can say is that from my observation people who are already familiar with FX, Trading or cryptocurrencies are more likely to have some knowledge about the iGaming industry.
The recruitment process and hiring Japanese candidates
You would like to know my personal opinion about recruiters, the interview process, and reparation? On this topic, I have some experience to share. I felt more comfortable going through the process with recruiters than doing it all alone because when I found a job for the first time in Athens, Greece I did it all by myself and it made me go up to the wall. The slow process, uncertainty as many questions coming up, but hiring managers were available only during business days.
I would suggest everyone to get support from professionals even if it is not their first time going through the process to be assured, to get advice, and get other perspectives from experienced. There are also different recruiters and personalities but I was lucky. At the beginning of my working abroad journey, I only knew the recruiter acted as an agent and that’s all I knew.
In my case, I was lucky to be found by a recruiter when I was trying to get by in Holland during the first year of the Coronavirus pandemic and I have had a very positive experience now while having a tough personal time. It’s always going to be an advantage that recruiters are on your back and support you through thick and thin, sharing articles and links and helping me to prepare for the interview. It also helps beginners to get some insights, and ideas and helps experienced candidates to recap what they had already learned.
I believe the communication with the recruiter has increased my knowledge about iGaming, and my skills, and that the future looks very bright for those who put in the extra commitment and energy. I am always looking forward to what the future holds!
Interviews are intimidating for Japanese candidates
Many Japanese candidates feel very nervous, they don’t ask questions and they feel uncomfortable in an interview. Why? The first reason would be the language barrier. For most of the candidates English isn’t their mother tongue, thus they might feel intimidated. Secondly, we never feel we have prepared enough during interviews and feel anxious pretty much all the time. It’s just our nature I reckon. Another point to add, besides the fact that we are raised in a collectivist nation that we prefer to follow someone or simply agree with their opinions, you could also say it’s because they’re not trained to vocalize their opinions.
In comparison with the English language, our language is not as verbal, not as straightforward but more passive with so many euphemisms. For English speakers, it’s the speaker’s responsibility to articulate and make listeners understand what they are talking about, whereas in the Japanese language, it’s the listener’s job to collect all the implied messages from the context and comprehend what speakers are saying. That is why in our language we tend to omit subjects and still, we could communicate perfectly. However, because of that reasons mentioned it makes it difficult to put their thoughts into words.
Thank you for the chat, Yukino. We are looking forward to talking more with this talented Japanese candidate later in the summer as big news is coming up on her plans and iGaming career ambitions.