Despite what it says on my business card, customers seem to confuse me with their personal shrink. Typically this isn't an issue, as it gives me quite a bit of insight into the thoughts and ideals of (some) Japanese people. However, I was recently asked by someone for advice to help them make a rather large career decision; which I am terribly ill equipped to provide.
A building security guard, let's call him Shinji, has been studying English and German for the last 8 years hoping that he'd be able to get a better job that would let him spend more time with his kids while also putting more money in the bank. He's been a security guard for the last 12 years, and has hated it for just as long. However, because of the obligations to his family, he has stuck it out. Every year during his performance review he hopes for some kind of promotion, and every year is passed by. As you can imagine, this has left him feeling bored and depressed like nothing else.
Shinji's brother works for a construction company in America. Shinji has a degree in architecture. As such, they've sometimes talked about the possibility of Shinji going overseas to work. However, not being one to rush into a decision, Shinji's been unable to commit either way. He's divorced and looks after his two children. I don't know about his ex, nor did I want to ask about her, but it's clear that he would not leave his children behind in Japan if he made the move to the U.S.. So this leaves him in quite the predicament; should he stay or should he go?
At the end of the day, I didn't have any useful advice for him. Considering how many poor decisions I've made in life, anything from my mouth would have most likely ended in ruin. But I'm curious to know what you might suggest to this man. It's clear that he hates his job, wants something better for him and his family, and is willing to learn two languages to open more doors in the future. Should he pack up and make the trek?