“I hate this job.” Not exactly uncommon words, are they? While you may not necessarily love the work you do, it’s always nice to at least not hate your job, right? Unfortunately, it seems that all too many of us are stuck in life-draining professions, wishing we could start all over. And, it turns out, over half of young “irregular” Japanese workers can sympathize.

A recent online survey of non-seisha-in employees between 25 and 40 years of age has revealed that 61.6 percent of the respondents wished they could redo their job search or return to school. As the song goes, “regrets, I’ve had a few.”

You may be wondering exactly what “seisha-in” means. In the simplest sense, it refers to people with “regular employment.” However, the term can be misleading, since you might assume that anyone working full-time at a company would be considered a “seisha-in.” In reality, it’s a bit more limited in scope, referring to a specific type of employment: full-time until retirement. This is, of course, in contrast to a contract or dispatch employee, whose employment is over a specific amount of time and who will need to renew the contract regularly. As you might imagine, being a seisha-in has a number of economic benefits, and it was, in the past, the goal of almost every college student to become a seisha-in at a prestigious company.

However, times are changing, and seisha-in positions have become scarcer, with an ever-increasing number of people taking contract or dispatch jobs which can last anywhere from three months to several years. This unsteady work can often make it much more difficult for people to transition into more permanent jobs. However, it is worth noting that one cannot work at the same company for more than three years straight without being made a seisha-in employee, according to Japanese law.


The Nippon Omni-Management Association surveyed 700 of these non-seisha-in workers, who are grouped under the umbrella term “irregular workers.” The survey showed that 61.6 percent of the respondents wished they could start over, with 21.7 percent having no strong opinion either way, and a scant 17.3 percent happy with no regrets. At the same time, 54.6 percent of respondent said that they wished they were seisha-in, with only 15.7 percent happy as irregular employees.

While it’s not surprising that people have some regrets, it’s a bit alarming to see well over half of the participants wishing they could redo their job search or go back to school. What all of this means is up to interpretation, though it does suggest that while becoming a seisha-in employee is still the big dream in Japan, not many are seeing it come true.

So, now the question is, dear readers, how many of you wish you could go back to school or start your job search over? Hopefully not too many!

Source: Yahoo! News Japan, Wikipedia (Seishain, Hiseikikoyou)
Image: Wikipedia