In recent years, the movement to revise the way of working is increasing in Japan. Accordingly, the attention to freelance working style is rapidly rising as one of the diversified ways of working. The number of freelancers is increasing year by year because the remote working environment has been prepared due to the spread of the Internet. The trend will continue in the future.
Freelance is a new way of working to get paid by not a specific company but by utilizing its own specialized skills. Compared to the case belonging to one company, freelancers could get various advantages. For example, you can decide on time and place to work by yourself. The high degree of freedom is attractive, but it is not easy for foreigners with less personal connections in Japan to find a good freelance job offer.
When foreign freelances look for a job, it is good to use of recruitment websites which specialized in job offers for freelance. By using the website, it is possible not only to efficiently search for a job that suits you but also to adjust the schedule of meetings with companies, negotiate conditions for receiving work, contracts, etc. You can get support from your professional career advisor. In addition, you can participate in free lectures about taxes, national health insurance, pensions, and consultation sessions. Even foreigners who work for freelance for the first time can do the procedure smoothly.
In this article, we focus on freelance engineers, translators, interpreters, web designers, and writers that are especially popular among foreign freelance workers. It explains not only the advantages of working as a freelance but also disadvantages. In addition, we are introducing how to find freelance jobs and information on job placement websites recommended for foreign freelancers. For those who are active as a freelance, as well as considering working in freelance from now on, let's aim for further success by referring to this article.
Works of Foreign Freelancers
There are some occupations that are not suitable for freelance work. Therefore, you should first check firmly whether your professional skill is suitable or not.
In the specialized fields that demand is greater than supply, it is easier to find a job as a freelance and to make a living. On the other hand, many freelancers might be already entering the field because of the big demand. Therefore, it might be difficult to win against them. Even your special skill is not suited for freelance, it is a good way to consider to work as a freelance if there is a constant demand but not enough supply.
The important point is the balance between supply and demand. Foreigners who wish to work as a freelance should challenge work that demand exceeds supply, so the success rate will rise considerably.
Good Occupations for Foreign Freelance
- Translation and interpretation
- Web designer
Not Suitable Occupations for Foreign Freelance
- Web director or producer
- Clerical work
Recommended Recruitment Websites of Web-Related and Engineer Jobs for Foreigners
They provide IT freelance support service in nine cities throughout Japan. They handle over 50,000 job posts for freelances, introducing a wide range of outsourcing jobs from large-scale projects to small-scale ones; web development to operation. In addition, they provide great support for foreigners who work as freelancers, such as fully supporting tax returns, business support, and making some documents. Among freelance job posting websites, the fee is cheap (8 to 12% of the amount of compensation received). If you have a certain career, it is possible to receive an average annual income of 8 million yen or more.
Midworks is a recruitment website specializing in IT freelance. Simply by entering your name, contact address and password on the site, free membership registration is completed. The main benefit of Midworks is a substantial security system. Normally freelancers are required to pay all social insurance fees, but if you receive work via Midworks, they will bear half of the social insurance fee. Also, they provide a fee for buying books and study meetings up to 10,000 yen in a month. You can use accounting software for tax returns for free. You have to be careful that the location of the freelance job posts is mainly in the Kanto area. However, we recommend registering the website, especially the IT freelancers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreigners Working as Freelances
Advantages of Foreigners Working as Freelancers
You can expect an increase in income
Even if a company employee gets results at the job and hones his or her skills, they might not be correctly evaluated. In addition, the annual income might not change because of the effect of the company's performance. On the other hand, freelances contracts their special skills directly with the client, so the income will rise as much as they can accomplish a job with a high specialty. Comparing the general employees' salary and freelances' one, it is not difficult to make a significant income increase.
High degree of freedom
Another important advantage of freelance is that you can use your own skills and freely choose the work you want to do. It is difficult to refuse business orders from companies, but in the case of freelance, you have the option of not receiving the work that you do not want. You can also freely manage the time and place you work. However, it is recommended to decide how many hours you work in a day, otherwise, you may be forced to work even on holidays due to holding multiple jobs.
You do not have to care about human relations in a company
If you choose to work as a freelance, you will be released from human relationships such as bosses, subordinates, seniors, and juniors that everyone is suffering from. You do not need to work with colleagues who are not good, even you do not need to join a drinking party that you are not interested in. It is a benefit for freelancers to be released stress from these relationships. On the other hand, freelancers need to maintain good relationships with clients, as they continue to place orders to you.
Disadvantages of Foreigners Working as Freelancers
Income is unstable
The biggest concern is that income is not stable. Freelance, unlike full-time employees, is not always able to obtain work continuously, so that you can not earn any income if you do not work. However, the risk of losing workplaces is low compared with temporary staff and company employee because freelancers can have multiple income sources.
You have to do everything about your work by yourself
Freelances have to do everything by yourself, including sales, negotiation, billing, tax return, and more, in order to get a job. Moreover, it is necessary to join the national health insurance, pension, and so on; the procedure must be done by yourself. Those who are concerned with complicated procedures, it would be better to make good use of services which support freelance.
Recommended Accounting Software for Foreign Freelance
Freelances need to declare the final tax return. MF Cloud has gained top class popularity from freelances as cloud accounting software that automates all tasks of the final tax return. It supports Windows, as well as Mac. If it is difficult to declare by yourself, you can ask a tax accountant to introduce via the service, so it would be nice to take advantage of it.
Cloud Invoicing Service Recommended for Foreign Freelance
When you become freelance, you need to create an estimate, statement of delivery, and bill by yourself. Misoca is a cloud service easily making those business documents and manages them all in the cloud. Now you can try it for free in the first year, so if you are going to be a freelancer, you should make good use of it.
It is difficult to maintain motivation
When working in a company, it is normal to work in a team. Since each employee has their tasks given within the team and has the same goal, it is relatively not difficult to maintain motivation. On the other hand, freelance takes a long time to work alone. In order to keep motivation for work, you need to motivate and manage yourself. For foreigners aiming to work as a freelancer, it is important to set concrete goals firmly, such as "I want to increase income" or "I want to acquire new technology", and actively act on your own.
Looking for Jobs for Foreign Freelance - How to Find a Business Consignment Offer
Introduction from acquaintance
There are not a few freelancers who receive work from their previous superiors and colleagues, business partners, friends, for the start-up term. In this case, it is important to build a certain network of connections in Japan. For foreigners who have few acquaintances in Japan, it is important to make good results with ordinary work so you can build relationships with clients, that may request work to you in the future.
Apply for company jobs
Even if the company does not post recruitment for freelance, there is a case that a talented person with attractive careers can contract as a freelance, by clarifying to desire business consignment when apply. When applying for the recruitment, you should clearly show past achievements and work attitudes in a resume and job history record. Clarify that you want to work as a freelancer. Doing that makes it easier to gain trust.
Utilization of SNS
There are also cases that work requests are entered by using the website, blog, e-mail magazine, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on as regularly sending their work contents. In addition, it is also good to grasp the information on exchange events and seminars targeting freelance through SNS and participate in it. Although there are many cases that do not lead to direct work, you can find a freelance fellow, share your troubles with work, and as soon as your personal connections are expanded, which will lead to a new job.
Use of job consignment job site for freelance
Use of recruitment websites specialized for freelance job seekers is one of the most efficient methods. In addition to searching for jobs suitable for you, you can also receive various support from a professional career advisor.
Recommended Translation and Interpretation Recruitment Websites for Foreign Freelancers
The largest crowdsourcing website in Japan. They also deal with recruiters for beginners who do not have skills: data gathering, data entry, and so on, as well as highly specialized job offers, such as translation, interpreter, writer, application development, and programming. In addition to the e-mail address, you can easily register for free members by using your Facebook account. Membership registration, job search, job application can all be used for free. Only when you work via the service, you pay 5 to 20% of remuneration. You can register your skills, the years of experience, the results of the work you've done so far so that it is easy to find jobs that suit you. Also, since the client pays remuneration to CrowdWorks as "preliminary payment", payment troubles are difficult to occur after completion of work. Even though remuneration is not high, freelancers can use this crowdsourcing services with no worries.
Paid membership recruitment website dealing with freelance recruit specialized for translation. There are various types of translations such as IT, business, finance, patents, fiction, non-fiction, video, and subtitles. Those job offers are not posted on other websites. The contents called "regular trial" and "translation triathlon" are regularly held; as you receive excellent results, you would be accredited as "Crown members", which enable to apply job offers for translation experience even though you have not experienced translated works. As you can apply those job offers, the opportunity spreads widely. If you write your job history, specialty, and hobby on "My profile" page, you might receive a job offer directly from clients. You can communicate with other translators even you work as a freelancer by using a bulletin board for members and e-mail exchange service which allows to e-mail with a member anonymously.