SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
TANG Rui “My Job Searching”
In April, 2019、I started my last year of doctoral program and began to prepare for thesis examination for a doctor’s degree. At the same time, I had to think of job after graduation.
Until then, it was enough for me that I just study and research earnestly. I was wondering and never thought of my future because I had no clear target. For a doctoral student, it is the most possible scenario that after “post-doctoral” at the University, he becomes an Assistant Professor or lecturer and few years later will be promoted to Professor. If I will do my best, I may become a Professor. (“post-doctoral”: a research fellow who works at a University or research institution after postgraduate course)
In reality, however, competition for employment in University as a teacher is becoming harder in both China and Japan. Especially in the application of University teacher in science and technology in China, it would be difficult to be employed, if he has no thesis published in the magazines like “Nature” or “Science”. I am interested in my research. But I have decided to get a job at private company because grants-in-aid for scientific research is not enough and I do not like to worry about being fired always if I cannot keep submitting thesis periodically until I can get academic tenure (life-time employment).
However, I have got new worries. In which country shall I get a job? What kind of company should I apply for? I do not stick to any countries but there will be numerous problems in any companies which I will apply for. In Japan there are a few companies which have businesses related to “optical integrated circuit” which I have researched. Furthermore, in case of Japanese companies, I must submit my application by March end. Since I came back to Japan from the United States at the end of March, I missed my chance to apply. There were a little alternative for me in the companies which accept hiring of doctorate all year-round.
In America, there are many companies which have connection with my research theme. However, since I do not have American degree, I cannot apply to American companies immediately after my degrees. Furthermore, in my case, it will be difficult to get working visa and, even if I can get working visa, I cannot get a chance to have an interview because it will take time for me to start job.
I had a choice to return to China. But, frankly speaking, I do not like to work in recent Chinese communication or IT enterprises. Because there are a lot of so-called “black” (rogue) enterprises in China these days and it is becoming social problems. In 2019, employees in IT companies in China made a famous new words “996, ICU“. It means that, if employees keep working from 9 o’clock in the morning to 9 o’clock in the evening, they will be brought to the ICU in hospital. In almost all IT enterprise in China, such “996 works” are tacit understanding. Such working style is clearly against the Labor Law in China. But the Government never show the sign to try to manage such unlawful actions positively. Economic growth in China depends greatly on IT and communication enterprises. If the Government would try to manage overtime in such enterprises, I think economic growth in China will be affected.
Although there were various problems, I had to make actions and I have applied for many companies in America, China and Japan. I applied first for a Japanese venture company which develop AI chips. I had an interest in what they are doing and their technology seems great. Though they did not recruit any new graduates, I applied forcibly. After getting interviewed several times I got a job offer. I applied to five Chinese companies and got three job offers.
What surprised me is American companies. I applied to more than ten companies which have some relations with my research at my doctoral program, but they did not give me any chance even telephone interview. The only one company, which gave me a chance of interview, was a venture company. In this company a teacher whom I took care of when I was studying abroad is working as a consultant. I realized how it is important to have any connection for a student who has no degree.
There were big companies and venture companies both which gave me job offers. If I get a job at a big company, I can enjoy a stable lifestyle. But I value my rewarding and interesting life rather than stable life. I have accepted finally an informal job offer from American venture company, which is developing quantum computers as a result of my comprehensive thinking and they are attractive including the salary.
I finished my job searching but it made me think variously.
Though I have been through uneasiness a lot but I will try my best hereafter targeting new goals.
I am sorry to say that I was not selected for the visa lottery. As it was impossible to go to America in 2020, I returned to China to be employed anyway. It is a display manufacturer in Shenzhen. Though I scheduled to return to China by the end of June but my flight got cancelled twice due to COVID-19. It was on August 9 that I could return but I had to stay at specified hotel for two weeks. I started my job in September and I had a feeling keenly about difficulty of working at the “996” deployment which I belong. Since the working style at 996 department is not sustainable, many people leave the office every year.
In near future I think there will be a reformation in work-style in China.
SGRA Kawaraban 660 in Japanese (Original)
TANG Rui / 2019 Raccoon
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Sabina Koirala