Emotions can range from being ready to take on the world to “Man, I sure wish I was drunk right now.”

Most new employees at Japanese companies start working in the spring, which is when RocketNews24 welcomed a new Japanese-language reporter, Ryo, to our team. After half a year, he’s still happy to put up with all of the craziness that a day in our office can involve, so it looks like he’s ended up in the latter group of the “sink-or-swim” demographic determination.

But now that he’s got few months under his belt, Ryo is feeling a little reflective, and so he’s compiled a list of 30 things new employees find themselves thinking or feeling during their first half-year at a Japanese company.

1. The night before the entrance ceremony for new employees, you’re so excited that you can’t sleep.
2. As soon as you wake up on the morning of your first full day of work, you psych yourself up by shouting “I’m gonna get things done today!”
3. On your way to work, you imagine how you’re going to greet your new coworkers.
4. You pray that no one in your new office has a bad attitude.
5. You pray that someone in your new office is good-looking.
6. You get incredibly nervous right before walking in the door.
7. Because you’re so nervous, you forget what you planned to say when introducing yourself.
8. So you just make sure to speak in a loud, energetic voice.
9. You wonder how long it’ll take for you to feel comfortable and relaxed in the office.
10. You put a lot of care into trying to do your first project perfectly.
11. You get nervous as more experienced employees check the work you’ve submitted.
12. You take careful notes about the mistakes they point out.
13. But somehow you still end up repeating those same mistakes.
14. You feel nervous the first time it’s your turn to answer the office phone.
15. You assume everyone has stopped what they’re doing and is listening intently to make sure you’re showing the proper respect to whoever called.
16. At your welcome party, you try to form a bond with your coworkers and bosses.
17. You throw yourself into your work, hoping that everything sinks in soon.
18. “I’m gonna give it my all again tomorrow!” you tell yourself.
19. You just want to learn how to do everything as soon as possible.
20. By the time you get home, you’re so tired that you go straight to bed.
21. You gradually start to get the hang of things at work and begin to feel like a productive member of the team.
22. But when you let yourself relax too much, you make the same mistakes you did on your first day.
23. When your boss gets mad at you, you feel emotionally crushed.
24. On your way home from the office, you get depressed seeing people the same age as you drinking and having fun.
25. “I sure had fun when I was a teenager…” you find yourself wistfully thinking.
26. “I don’t want people at work to get angry at me anymore,” you think.
27. When you make a mistake at work, you redouble your efforts to get it right the next time.
28. But when your boss gives you a new type of assignment, you have a tough time with it.
29. You still make a lot of mistakes.
30. “But all I can do is do your best, so that’s what I’m going to do today!” you tell yourself.

Looking over Ryo’s list, which he says is pretty indicative of how many Japanese people feel when starting out at a new company, there are a surprisingly large number of items about wanting to do your job well, no matter how difficult it is and even if your boss is being a hard-case. It really underscores how much Japan admires being majime and taking responsibility, but all the same, we hope Ryo isn’t working himself too hard, especially when he has such wise and reliable coworkers ready to lend a hand whenever he needs one.

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