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Four Professional Communities that Will Help You Grow Your Network in Japan

With the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down large professional networking gatherings and preventing free-flowing travel between Japan and the rest of the world, many international job seekers and aspiring entrepreneurs are wondering how they can make the essential connections necessary to achieving their professional goals.

Fortunately, Japan’s professional networking scene is sustaining itself through a variety of online events. Additionally, since the prime minister lifted the country’s state of emergency declaration on May 25, some event venues have resumed small-scale, in-person gatherings. Over the past six months, the following communities have been instrumental in creating chances to meet and learn from Japan-focused professionals from all over the world.

Full disclosure: I’ve given presentations for three of the four organizations below, so don’t be surprised if you see me as you explore the links in the list.

BlinKonnect (Blink Smart Workspace)

BlinKonnect produced online events aimed at young professionals during the peak of the pandemic and now hosts hybrid events that you can attend online or in-person (while adhering to strict safety guidelines). With events covering a variety of contemporary topics such as tech, entrepreneurship, and personal development, BlinKonnect continues to deliver on its promise to “accelerate your growth as a person, student, and business professional.” Learn more by clicking here.

Business in Japan (BIJ)

Business in Japan is “the world’s largest networking group for English-speaking professionals looking to do business in, with, and/or related to Japan.” The group smoothly pivoted to an online format by hosting timely events on topics such as earning online income. Learn more on the BIJ Doorkeeper page.

Tokyo Digital Marketers Meetup

This incredibly popular community continues in online form and has hosted two large online events so far in 2020. Although the group targets digital marketers, the guest speakers that headline each event tend to share knowledge that benefits professionals from a variety of backgrounds. To be notified of upcoming events, simply join the official Meetup group.

Nightcrawlers

Born out of the need for innovative, global professionals to come together and exchange ideas in the midst of the pandemic, Nightcrawlers is the newest event series on this list. For now, these casual, interactive conversations with guest speakers are held exclusively online (typically weekly) via Zoom. Learn more on the official website.

Just the Beginning

These are just a few events to get you started—the ones that I can personally vouch for. There are countless other Japan-based professional networking events that I have yet to discover. And, that’s where you come in. If you have a recommendation, I encourage you to share it with our very own Kokoro Media community via your favorite social media platform.

Anthony Griffin

Originally from California, I've been living and working in Japan, now my second home, since 2009. My work as a communications consultant lends a unique perspective to my writing, and I often explore the business behind Japan’s beauty. When I’m not working, you can find me hunched over a screen reviewing kanji flashcards in my never-ending quest to master the Japanese language.

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