Reason for Coming to Japan
My name is Tyson Batino and my initial plan was to come to Japan for 2 years to save some money and then go to graduate school to become a licensed therapist. That totally did not end up happening and I fell in love with teaching motivated students and eventually using my psychology knowledge in HR. Tokyo is the place for me and I like all the exciting developments that are happening here. I have no plans to go back home anytime soon and it has been 15 years and counting.
Learning Japanese Rapidly
Most people would consider me very knowledgeable about how to learn Japanese and about Japanese culture and life in Japan. I was able to reach an N2 level of Japanese after 3 years of self-studying while working full-time in Japan. I also passed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, JLPT N1, the highest level after 3.5 years of studying.
I admit that I needed to go to a Japanese language school full-time to make the jump from JLPT N2 to JLPT N1, but I am proud of learning Japanese at such a quick speed. My goal is to share some of the tips I learned and adopted in our articles on how to learn Japanese. Here are some article we wrote on Japanese listening, Japanese reading, Japanese kanji, and Japanese speaking.
I also helped write an article on Japanese language schools with another writer at BFF Tokyo to share all the information you need to know to make the right decision.
HR Manager Experience in Japan
I have around 15 years of work experience in Japan. I started off as an Eikaiwa English teacher in one of major corporations in the countryside of Kyoto for 18 months and then spent the next 2.5 years teaching children in Nara Prefecture. Although I loved teaching and my students, I knew I had to make a change and start developing a career in another field, which led to going to Japanese school full-time for 9 months and teaching part-time.
I wanted to explore becoming a translator as was the natural thing to want to try after learning the Japanese language, but I did not and still do not have that magic tough needed to become a great translator. I found job hunting in Osaka to be ridiculously tough back in 2009 because there was little to no positions for foreigners outside of teaching. Luckily, my wife found a job in Yokohama and we moved to the bigger city, Tokyo.
My plan to pay the bills led me to joining INTERAC as a full-time substitute teacher and all the good deeds I did in life finally paid off and I got promoted to an HR Assistant Manager and Trainer after only working for 3 months in the company. The timing was perfect as I had just failed to get a position as a salesman at Oxford University Press.
The 3 years I worked as an HR assistant manager was one of the hardest jobs of my life because the jump from teacher to manager is ridiculously high unless you are just a natural which I was not. I spent hours working overtime and studying about HR to become knowledgeable as both a manager and employee in a Japanese company. I managed a team of 150 full-time employees and we did some great things down in Yokohama.
Creating a Successful Company in Japan
I pretty much did all I could in INTERAC and learned what I needed to take the next step in my career. Ironically, I had no plan at all but knew things were gonna be fine. Thank god things worked out, but I do not recommend having the same level of reckless optimism that I had. The main reason I quit my job despite having no back up plan or new job lined up was because I had enough savings to get me by for 1.5 years.
Luckily, I was introduced to my current business partner by a former really awesome ALT who felt I was a great manager. We started our English school One Coin English in October 2013 and I worked on all elements of the business from developing the recruitment and HR systems, managed all the taxes and employee compensation, to developing the training and educational system for our English school for 4 years.
Now our school is 5000+ students bigger and over 100 teachers and I have passed my HR duties to some team members I have trained. In December, we founded Japan Switch which provides the most affordable Japanese lessons in Tokyo and the school has bloomed to more than 140 active students with students from over 20 countries or more represented.
My goal is to now make BFF Tokyo a reality.
Using my experience creating successful businesses and working in HR in both my own company and a large corporation, I would like to help you find a job with a company that not only pays you well but fosters your growth as an employee and individual. I would also like to help people take more responsibility for their situation and action, so you can become more independent and create a a great life.