- APAC Business Development Executive
- EGO Creative Innovations
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 9 (as of February 2020)
I came to Japan for work reasons in 2001. I was a stock exchange floor trader in the late 1990s in the U.S. The 1990s tech bubble was bursting. Trading volumes and spreads were collapsing. Tokyo was more interested in trading at that time. I had visited Tokyo before and studied Japanese at university, so I sent out 300 paper CVs and cover letters, got a hit, and moved.
Just to believe in yourself. Never let other people’s insecurities influence your own life. Only you can put limitations on yourself. Surround yourself with people doing what you want to do and people successfully doing it. Take one day at a time and get it done.
The fact that I have taken many risks and they have paid off. The first rule of finance is “risk is commensurate with return.” Of course reckless gambling is not prudent, but thoughtful calculated risks are often necessary. I took the risk of moving overseas and leaving jobs mid-career and it has been a rocky indirect road, but it is getting me to where I want to be.
I recently started working with the digital business consultancy and software development company EGO Creative Innovations. There are a lot of opportunities to seize in various technologies including FinTech, MedTech and renewable energy applications. I am extremely happy to join such a hard-working, talented and creative team. I would like to leverage my background and knowledge of the financial markets and local relationships to support the growth of the business in the Asia-Pacific region.
I would say respect the culture, respect the rules, learn the language as much as you are able to, and be polite. However, at the same time, do not forget who you are, where you came from and what makes you interesting. I think Japanese people do not expect foreigners to become entirely Japanese. They are interested in you for who you are and they know their culture is unique. There are also a lot of other non-Japanese to meet here, so do not put too much pressure on yourself to become local. Take it easy and go with the flow and you will get more comfortable over time.