Oasist Blog

This blog mainly features Natural Languages, Programming and Life Hacks.

Retirement Entries Vol.1

Career Change


1. Career 1 - System Engineer -

When I did job hunting as a new graduate of university, I decided to become a system engineer because I would like to work overseas in the future after I enhance my own market value as a human resource with fluency in English and software engineering skills.

The reason I would like to have a job in a foreign country is I was not happy with the collectivism Japanese society had, particularly after I came back from one-year life in Australia.
So I pondered how I could go back to live there again.

The lesson I learned from working in the country was the following 3 factors, at least, were essential to make a difference from other people.

  1. Technical skills
  2. Proper certificates
  3. Work experiences

I knew only English and its linguistics at the time; however, there were a lot of people who were much more fluent than I was.
I thought I could not make any difference only with English so I looked for something different.
That was the very software engineering.

That is why I entered a company which provided software engineering service(acr. SES).
It is my first fault in my career.

1-1. Projects

After 2-month training, I was despatched to a subsidiary of a tire manufacturing corporation.
There I was involved in the following 4 project for 1 and a half years.

Projects Tasks
Windows Server Administrator Maintain Windows Servers placed in factories all over Japan, Compose manual documents
Corporate Accounts Administrator Update corporate accounts of all staff
Security Assistant Administrator Introduce secure tools to the parent and group companies, Investigate spam mail sent to staff
English Translator Attend video conferences with foreign branches, Accompany foreign staff on a data centre

1-2. Work Environment

It was quite silent and gloomy there because people hardly ever talk to or smile at each other.
I often saw someone scold by boss and superiors.

What was worse, was I worked for the projects but I was not a staff member who belong to it and I was recognised as a engineer despatched as a temporary work force.
The attitude of the project leader made me felt like I was nothing but an outsider.

1-3. Benefits

Honestly speaking, I acquired nothing technical in the workplace because my job was only to follow orders by a permanent staff member and instructions on manual documents.
There was no space I could create something of my own accord.
But I studied the basics of computer science and won the following 4 certificates, which were only fruits I reaped.

Certificates Issuer
Information Security Management Examination Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan(IPA)
Applied Information Technology Engineer Examination Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan(IPA)
Fundamental Information Technology Engineer Examination Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan(IPA)
IT Passport Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan(IPA)

2. The Triggers of Career Change 1

2-1. No Opportunity for Technical Skills

As I dealt with routine tasks every day under the strong control of the staff, I was frustrated with no gain.
I studied Windows Servers, the basics of computer science and Linux by myself but it was likely that I would make use of such knowledge.

"If I were to work for another 3 years, what would I acquire here?", I asked myself, and the answer was "nothing".
In fact, a manager told me: "You would learn how to handle your tasks but would not any technical skills."

2-2. High Demands and Low Salary

I worked for 2 companies at the same time.
One was the company I joined and the other was the workplace I was dispatched to.

The former required the following missions every 6 months for raise.

  1. 2 goals to contribute to the workplace
  2. 2 goals to achieve for myself
  3. 1 goal to enhance the corporate culture

I had to set 5 goals every 6 months of my own.
If they were easy to accomplish or I failed to realise, I missed the raise.
Who on earth could achieve as many as 5 missions within as few as 6 months?

Also, it was compulsory to attend a monthly whole gathering.
If I had been absent from it, it would have lowered my evaluation.

In addition, all members who entered the firm as new graduates were forced to join another monthly session after work where we talked about how to improve the corporate culture.
It was definitely overtime work, but no extra pay and initiative were provided.

I was super busy in such a circumstance; however, my salary was surprisingly low.
It did not pay at all.

2-3. Mental Disorder

I was troubled with 2 problems.

One was the president and vice president were quite autocratic.
However unreasonable their orders and attitude, I was not allowed to resist.
It was as if what they said was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT with no exception.
The atmosphere was just like a fanatical religious cult.

Another was high pressure of the permanent staff in the workplace.
Server administration requires 100% accuracy because no fault is allowed.
That is absolutely right, I understand.

But the staff always keep an eye on me and never let me out of his orbit.
He made a complaint of trivial mistakes I made again and again, putting aside his faults.
I should have resist it but I din not for my evaluation.
That was completely wrong.

At last, I was so stressed out that I could not help wounding myself by slicing my arm with a shaving knife over and over in order to forget mental pain even temporarily.
One day, I saw a mental doctor and he told me I had Stress Adjustment Disorder so I had to leave the workplace.

I took a temporary leave of absence for 2 months, during which I started job hunting.

3. Career Change 1

At first, I looked for a job as a server administrator.
But I had a poor experience so it was not likely that I would get a better one out of SES.

One day, I talked with a senior member who worked in the same firm and got a new job.
He advised me to start programming but I did not take it serious then.
As days went by, I got more interested in programming because it seemed more constructive and creative.
"Someone creative can make a difference", I thought.

One of the corporations I applied for offered an educational and recruiting programme which is:

Implement an Interview Scheduling web application by Ruby on Rails and you will be qualified to take a job interview with the president if you complete it.

It was in this programme that I met Ruby on Rails.

I studied Ruby and Ruby on Rails by myself and worked on the programme while continuing job hunting for 5 months.
In the end, I had done the programme and took a job interview with the corporation but I failed it.
In some weeks, I got a job offer from another company and started my second career as a web engineer.