12 Jul 【Yaraku-Jin ~People involved with Yaraku~ 】 A workplace where the company and people in the team grow together
The second volume of “Yaraku-Jin”, a series that focuses on the people involved with Yaraku and YarakuZen, will introduce Keiko Takeda, a customer support representative who lectures on how to use YarakuZen and deals with users’ problems.
Yaraku, Inc. Customer Support
Encounter with Yaraku, which fulfilled my hopes after a gap
Q: Please tell us about how you got into Yaraku.
I was born and raised in Hikari City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, facing the Seto Inland Sea. I grew up with a beautiful beach just 30 seconds away from our house. I was always tanned when I was a kid.
When I was in junior high, I had a desire to get out of the lovely city. Then I had an opportunity to hear about studying abroad from an older student, and I also loved English classes so I decided to study in the UK for high school. I ended up staying in the UK until I graduated from university. After coming back to Japan, I worked for a foreign capital IT company as SE. The IT field was profound and I spent the days learning new things one after another. I’m originally from a liberal arts faculty, but it was pretty much a “science-y” kind of job. Looking back, I think I may have always been the type of person who was interested in different fields and unknown things.
After that, I got married, left my job and moved to New York when my husband was transferred. During that time, I had my first child, and after returning to Japan, I had a second child, and then my husband was transferred again, this time to Madagascar. The official language in Madagascar is French, and if you can’t speak the language, you can’t live well. I thought that I would become a recluse. So I started to take French lessons with a tutor 6 times a week. The lessons helped me build confidence. I was able to communicate with people in French by the second year of my stay. It was at this point that I realized, once I understand their language, I can get closer to them and how great it is.
After returning to Japan, I focused on raising my children, so I stayed away from work for 10 years. After my youngest child entered elementary school, I had more time for myself and wanted to work again, so I started browsing job search websites for housewives. I wanted to work with flexible hours because I have my kids, and I also looked for a job where I can use my experience in foreign countries and my language skills. It was when I was thinking that it would not be easy to find a job considering a 10-year-blank, I found Yaraku.
For the first six months, I worked three times a week, five to six hours a day, and then I changed to the “short-time regular employee” system. I am now working five days a week, about six hours a day. You can work completely from home, so you can spend your time working instead of commuting. I am grateful for this environment where I can work without sacrificing childcare and time with family.
Suddenly given an unexpected job… the key to growth is to think on your own.
Q: What do you do at Yaraku?
I am a customer support representative for existing customers. I answer questions by phone and email, and conduct online lectures upon request. The content of our communication with customers includes how to use YarakuZen, troubleshooting, and requests for improvements, such as the need for certain functions. Basically, I myself take the questions and answer them, but for highly technical questions, I share the information with the development team and we work together to give the best answer.
Departments at Yaraku are not rigidly defined. Each member has their own responsibilities, though we are still tightly connected to each other. Various types of meetings are basically open to any member. I mean, I can even participate in the development meetings if I am interested. There are many foreign staff members living and working abroad, and we are more like an organic and flexible team than a company. This is probably the main difference between us and other companies.
I don’t usually see colleagues because we work remotely, but it’s fun to get together with them once a month at the office (we have “monthly office get together” meetings) and have a lively conversation. We have a great balance of work and private.
When I joined the company, I was not doing my current job. It was more of a sales clerical support job. It turned out that they needed someone to do customer support and sales, and I was given the post though I had no experience. I wasn’t good at public speaking or making phone calls, and I think sales members are like the face of the company, so I was afraid. I didn’t want to fail in such an important position. However, the CEO Sakanishi encouraged and pushed me saying, “Don’t worry!” I was so nervous at first and it was a tough task, but I feel like I got used to it quickly because I was left in charge. I also gained confidence and broadened my horizons. I feel like I achieved and learned many things thanks to that.
YarakuZen – the key point that makes it unique is that it’s fun and easy to use!
Q: What do you say about the appeals of YarakuZen as its expert?
The biggest feature of the YarakuZen is its operability, which allows anyone to use it intuitively without an instruction manual.
I guess many other CAT tools for professional translators are difficult for employees to use without training, but YarakuZen has a very simple interface. We are glad to hear that our customers realized company-wide implementation without any complicated operations, training, or cost.
I think this simplicity is the key to differentiate YarakuZen from other competing products.
Also, once you finish one translation work, AI learns the results and reflects them in future work, so the more you use it, the more it adapts to your preference. It’s like having fun in raising YarakuZen, or even like playing a game.
There are many different ways to use YarakuZen, depending on the company using it. YarakuZen has everything from features for a single person doing translation, to collaborating features with other company employees that are better at foreign languages to let them check and proofread, to outsourcing to a translation company when a high level of translation quality is required. This reduces the burden on individual workers.
Furthermore, company employees who are fluent in foreign languages can register terms and phrases which the rest of their team can use them, so that even those who do not understand other languages can read documents to some extent.
In addition, by using YarakuZen to translate some documents and emails, while outsourcing the most important projects, teams can speed up their work and reduce costs significantly.
The door is wide open, and we have high flexibility. We are looking for people who can be a part of this team to improve YarakuZen!
Q: Could you give a message to the people with small children who wish to work?
There are many women around me who used to work hard, but took a break from work to raise their children. And I think there are a lot of people who can’t take the first step because they think, as I did, that no company will accept them because they haven’t worked for years, or that they might bother other members because they have to prioritize their children sometimes.
But at Yaraku, child-raising mothers also work very professionally.
The company’s policy is not to focus on time constraints, but rather on completing assigned tasks by the deadline, allowing each employee to work in a way that is comfortable for them. You can also change your working hours as your child grows, as I did.
Also, this often happens at Yaraku, but it is possible to be assigned a completely unexpected post, as I was. So I can say that those who are interested in various types of things and have enough curiosity to challenge anything will enjoy working with us.
Yaraku will surely develop further and further. We are currently looking for people to grow the company together, so if you have any interest in joining, please contact us. We are all waiting for you!