Many Australians pick Japan as their vacation destination and Jess Lysenko is amongst these holidaymakers who have chosen to visit again, stay behind, to live and work and call it home subsequently.
In 2015, Jess moved to Tokyo – a city fuelled by innovation – and later became a team member of global job site Indeed, helping employers and job seekers to save time by streamlining the hiring process through technology innovation.
We caught up with the Strategist, Global Product Commercialisation of Indeed to talk about her adventure in Japan.
How did you wind up in Tokyo?
As a 17 year old high school student, I was fortunate to visit Japan with family on a skiing holiday, where I experienced first hand the unique omotenashi (hospitality) which is core to the culture of Japan. A Japanese degree and many extended stays in Tokyo later, I made the choice to pursue my first graduate job here in order to elevate my language ability and fulfill my dream of ‘living in Japan’.
Interview by Tammy Lee, Marketing & Communications & Digital Manager, Advance.
What was your first impression?
My first impression was of a fast-paced city, buzzing with energy and excitement. The initial trip to Japan was my first time abroad and I still remember feeling as though I’d traveled to another dimension.
Can you tell us more about your role?
Indeed is the number 1 job site in the world and I work closely with product teams and stakeholders on commercialisation strategies for the Japanese market. Day to day, my job ranges from partnering with local Client Success and Sales teams’ leadership on rollout and scalability strategy, to pulling data to define new feature opportunities.
What roles does innovation plays in recruitment technology and services?
Innovation is the key to creating change in recruitment technology and service. The hiring and interviewing process can be laborious, stressful and confusing for both the employer and jobseeker, respectively.
I’m excited for what innovation can bring to modernise this space, whilst at the same time breaking down barriers to achieving equality.
What’s the most rewarding experience of your career?
This year I took on the role of leading the Women At Indeed Inclusion Resource Group in APAC, and was tasked with building our Japan leadership group and presence from the ground up. Months of work with my team culminated in the recent kickoff for Women At Indeed in Japan, where we brought together employees from all offices and functions in Tokyo to celebrate the new group.
Working with a passionate team of women and allies to get this initiative off the ground, as well as the positive feedback and support I’ve received following this event, has been without a doubt the most rewarding experience of my career to date.
Are there any misconceptions about your job? What would they be?
In Japan, a common misconception is that Indeed is a recruitment agency, so people expect me to be a recruiter. This is far from the reality. As Indeed is a technology company, a lot of the work I do will ultimately reduce the time burden for employers and jobseekers compared to more traditional hiring methods.
What are some of the opportunities you’ve been afforded in Tokyo that you may not have been offered elsewhere, including Australia?
Despite Japan’s image of being ethnically homogenous with a small foreign population, Tokyo is surprisingly diverse. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and it is this diversity that has created this city’s unique characteristic of being welcoming to all.
Whether in the workplace or at a local izakaya, I’m constantly meeting new people who I wouldn’t have had the chance to mix with back home.
What are your favourite go-to venues in Tokyo for brunch, dinner and drinks?
For a good flat white you can’t look past Frankie Melbourne Espresso in Shimokitazawa.
My recent favorite for dinner is Rigoletto Short Hills in Nakameguro, with ice cream for dessert from Premarché Gelateria Tokyo nearby.
For drinks my all time favourites are the lounge above Tsutaya bookstore in Daikanyama and Mori Bar, a bar in Dougenzakaue with walls covered in books you’re free to read or (if a member) borrow!
I’m still on the look out for a real Aussie vegan brunch – if anyone knows of one please get in touch!