In the 2 months I spent here in Tokyo I met a lot of great and extraordinary people. Maybe it’s the charm of Tokyo that attracts those people, maybe it’s my interest and search for those characters. But more likely it is just that every person is indeed extraordinary and every person HAS a story to tell. I meet humble people, I meet introverted people, I meet people who just love to talk. No matter how expressive they are, they are always impressive. Some of course more than others. A person I find interesting, could be just „ordinary“ to everybody else.
For example, I met this guy, Kentaro Horie. He is consultant. Since we started whatchado I interviewed over 20 consultants even though I am not particulary interested in that field. Isn’t 20 enough to show what consulting is all about? No. 100 is not enough! And I tell you why…
Do you ever get that feeling of connection, when sitting face to face with a person who you just met? The way they talk, the words they use, the expressions on their faces, the decisions they took in their lives, their dreams and goals they tell you about. All this creates and reveals the character. Even if we at whatchado focus on the jobs and the tasks that lie beyond a jobtitle, it is not the job we try to match to our users- it’s the characters.
Whoever comes to our website and fills out our matching-questionnaire might now come across 2 videos of CEO’s, 3 of professionals in the field of marketing and 2 consultants that show a high compliance with the answers the user gave in the questionnaire. Now the user might watch consultant 1 but not feel that „connection“. But then there is consultant 2. The user might have a totally different feeling about the second one and feel intrigued by it. Maybe number 2 is Kentaro. And maybe somebody, after watching this video, feels inspired to look deeper into the consulting job, to go to Japan or just to wear a cap, like Kentaro does in the video. Variety in characters is crucial.
Our goal is to bring people together who „match“, not to tell them which job they should work in. That’s why every story counts – regardless if we „already have enough of those jobs“ on our website.
Nevertheless, I happen to find people who work in very uncommon jobs too. Like Carl Naesenius, a Swede who came to Japan to visit a girl he met. He never left since then, even their lovestory didn’t work out. He calls himself a „plastic priest“, working as what Japanase people imagine a catholic priest, marrying Japanese couples on weekends in a traditional Western wedding with chapel and bells and rice and so on.
Joan Bailey– an American Ex-Peace Corps member is now living in the city of Tokyo following her passion and working as a farmer. Yes, farmer. In a concrete city. Inspiring? For me it definitely is.
Eri Tanaka. She is a dreamer, an artist, an Ex-Englishteacher and has fallen in love with designing and applying tattoos – on herself and others. In Japan she experiences many restrictions because of having tattoos, like not being allowed to visit public baths or work as a kindergarten teacher. Still, she had a dream and followed her heart, now thinking about where in the world to work next.
What about Hans Comyn, the travelling philosopher? His mission is to teach men around the globe the art of dating, love and how to have fulfilling and authentic relationships. He can’t possibly live by that, right? Well, he can. I saw him order a beer in central Tokyo which is exceptionally expensive.
My personal goal at whatchado is to open new perspectives to people, to inspire them. You may not want to be a „plastic priest“ or a farmer in a metropolis. But being open to all the possibilities that are out there and listen to people’s stories is a great way for personal growth. Many of them just broke the rules of normality by following their intuition and their dreams. If you ever catch yourself saying: „I can’t do that because of…“ maybe you should listen to the stories of people who did it. After interviewing over 200 people I strongly believe: Do what you love and you will eventually find or even create the job that fullfils you.
That being said, enjoy our videos of Joan, Kentaro, Hans and all the others.