Build Your Global Career with SHIFT 


Have you ever wondered what kind of career opportunities are available at SHIFT?

On January 24, 2024, we held an online information session with the theme “Build Your Global Career with SHIFT” to discuss that topic.

Our speakers were Pralay, a PMO at SHIFT who supports a leading Japanese retail company, and Bryan, Managing Director of Wahl+Case, a SHIFT group company specializing in tech recruitment.

The session began with an introduction to SHIFT and the career paths available here. Then, we talked with Pralay and Bryan, asking about their experience in global project management and the trends for this type of position in the Japanese job market.

Here is a full recap:


1. About SHIFT 

Established 18 years ago, SHIFT has grown to include 37 group companies and over 10,000 employees as of January 2024. We are headquartered in Tokyo but have offices throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Fukuoka.

SHIFT’s business started with consulting for the manufacturing industry––working with clients to eliminate process-related bottlenecks through standardization and automation.

Applying this know-how and focus on optimizing operations to the IT industry, we launched a full-fledged software testing business in 2009.

Sales continue to grow every year. Between March 2010 and July 2023, we supported 2,700 companies across a wide range of industries, including finance, manufacturing, distribution, telecommunications, web services, and game development.

Going forward, SHIFT aims to be a company that solves our clients’ business challenges and supports DX by creating services that sell.

This means partnering closely with our clients and thinking about how value can be delivered to their company as well as the end user.

We are working to become a company that contributes to our clients’ business success by providing all the solutions they need.

Next, we gave an overview of what you could expect from the working environment and resources available to SHIFT employees, including:

●Our evaluation system

SHIFT has evaluations twice a year, using an absolute rating system where employee assessments are based on a breakdown of the skills required to do each job.

Progress is measured by these objective standards, not through comparison to other employees. With the ability to advance at their own pace, employees see an average salary increase well above the Japanese average.

In our 2023 fiscal year, the average increase was 11% for members of the SHIFT team.

We believe that having a clear evaluation system and rewards for skill progression creates an environment where employees are highly motivated in their daily work.

●Data about our environment and team demographics

Support for employees through various life stages

Training and career development programs

2. About Wahl+Case

Founded in 2010, Wahl+Case is a tech-focused recruitment agency by Build Plus K.K.

At its core, Wahl+Case believes that finding the right hires can accelerate the success of a team or business.

They take this responsibility seriously and aim to be more than just a recruitment agency, but also a long-term partner for their customers.

Wahl+Case’s AdTech, FinTech, Consumer Tech, and Enterprise Tech teams cover all business side positions like sales, marketing, customer success, or business development roles.

While the technical teams handle all IT jobs, including software engineers, mobile developers, UI/UX designers, or client-facing engineers.

3. SHIFT’s global projects and career paths

We used an actual global project, including the career path of one of its team members, to give you a concrete image of what it is like to work at SHIFT.

In this example, our client is a leading Japanese apparel company whose strategy includes expanding its e-commerce site overseas.

SHIFT’s scope for this project includes quality assurance testing and global operations support after the system’s release.

To achieve this, we use our “One-SHIFT” approach:

・Test standardization and automation, migration, PMO: Quality Assurance Team
・Operations support: Customer Success Team
・Other business areas (PC procurement, repair, etc.): SHIFT group companies

At SHIFT, PM/PMO work often involves prime participation as a member of the development team and can be divided into three main patterns:

① Overall PM, responsible for the success of a large-scale project

② Quality PMO, specialized in supporting the quality aspect of the overall project

③ QA PM, developing individual test plans and leading the quality assurance test team

Responding to issues and tailoring your approach to suit the project requires knowledge and a high level of experience. SHIFT offers the opportunity to acquire these marketable skills.

And, in addition to developing your career as a PM/PMO, you can pursue opportunities such as a line manager, consultant, or specialist. We have an environment that offers a wide variety of personalized career choices.

Responding to issues and tailoring your approach to suit the project requires knowledge and a high level of experience. SHIFT offers the opportunity to acquire these marketable skills.

And, in addition to developing your career as a PM/PMO, you can pursue opportunities such as a line manager, consultant, or specialist. We have an environment that offers a wide variety of personalized career choices.

For example, here is an overview of the career trajectory of someone who participated in the type of global project explained above:

This member of the SHIFT team was promoted from assistant PM to PM in just nine months; stepping up to manage about 20 people and earn a higher annual salary.

Since then, this person has continued to progress and is now a service manager, managing multiple projects.

4. Discussion

The latter portion of the information session was a discussion with our speakers, Pralay and Brian, facilitated by SHIFT. 

──Why did you decide to join SHIFT?

Pralay: That’s a great question. When I was looking for job opportunities in Japan, I had some factors in mind.

I was looking for a project management career and opportunities for growth, an environment friendly to foreign nationals, and a place where I could use my English skills in addition to Japanese.

When I discovered SHIFT, I felt the grow-to-management career path mentioned above was very clear.

I really liked the fact that within a few months or a few years you have the potential to get promoted and build a career in management.

Initially, I hesitated because SHIFT is in quality assurance and my previous role was as a developer.

However, I had a clear vision that I wanted to shift my career into project management, and I realized the great thing about QA is that I get to know how the overall business works.

I came to SHIFT because I felt I could gain a broad perspective. 

──Please tell us about your current project.

Pralay: I am currently involved in the aforementioned global project, supporting the enhancement of e-commerce sites.

Mainly, my focus is on Canada and Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. In total, I’m supporting nine countries at one time.

We are responsible for the successful delivery of advanced features. An example would be payment methods, which can be complicated because they vary by country, but there are many features that contribute to a good shopping experience for consumers.

The project also involves everything from analyzing the requirements and planning many phases of quality assurance testing, to utilizing the budget and managing our resources effectively.

At times, it can be complicated, but it is also very exciting.

──From the agency’s perspective, what kind of people do you think would be successful at SHIFT?

Bryan: The technical skills needed for each position will vary, so setting that aside, it is important to understand the value that SHIFT provides.

I would also look for someone with customer focus, strong communication skills, and an ability to solve problems or find solutions.

And because the company is still growing, being able to adapt to different environments and understand the business as it evolves is key.

We also look for bilingual talent who will be able to support the global project expansion at SHIFT, while having the Japanese language skills needed in the current phase.

──What value does SHIFT provide to the client in a global project?

Pralay: These global projects offer unique value by combining international collaboration and cutting-edge technology. Our commitment to quality and the value placed on diversity also stand out.

In my case, the project includes nine countries and every day I am communicating with local business teams in those locations.

And there are many other projects similarly working across different regions, such as the United States, Europe, and China.

When the project is a global rollout of a common package, any functional modifications need to be supported in all countries.

It is very challenging to control the timing of releases and testing while keeping track of the situation in each country, and SHIFT has a lot of experience with such projects.

We do not take on only one phase of the project, such as testing or development. SHIFT participates as a core member of the project from PMO through testing, release, and local deployment/implementation support.

We play an integrated role in managing the project as it is rolled out to countries around the world.

Working on advanced projects is very exciting; there is a continuous stream of learning opportunities at SHIFT.

There is also a sense of satisfaction knowing that our projects impact the end user; we can feel good about helping our clients provide a seamless shopping experience on their e-commerce sites.

──From the agency’s perspective, are more Japanese companies expanding their business globally?

Bryan: Generally, yes; the number is increasing every year. For the past few years, due in part to the pandemic, companies may have been holding back a little bit.

There are also some differences depending on the industry, but my impression is that this upward trend will continue.

In the past, there was a tendency for companies that reached a certain size to target competitive global markets like the U.S. or Europe, but I see changes in recent years where more companies are going into regions like Southeast Asia; from the red ocean to the blue ocean.

There will be a lot of opportunities. These companies also have the potential to become future customers for SHIFT.

──How do you envision your career from here?

Pralay: SHIFT has played a crucial role in helping me grow continuously. I joined SHIFT as a test leader and became a PM in a short time, but my journey is ongoing.

I am inspired to grow as a leader, PMO, and even as a person, to be capable of tackling many challenges and contributing to overall business success.

I believe there is always room to learn and grow when it comes to professional improvement. Like skiing or snowboarding, first you do the simplest course, then you challenge yourself and start to enjoy the higher, more difficult routes.

For me, I see a great future in Japan, and there are many projects here at SHIFT that I look forward to.

──From the agency’s perspective, what trends do you see in Japanese company’s hiring needs?

Bryan: I think the need is particularly high in engineering. There is a shortage of engineers in Japan, and the workforce is shrinking.

With the global push for DX, Japan has a particular challenge, so I expect this trend to continue. We may find that the gap between the number of open positions and qualified candidates will widen in the next few years.

If you are interested in joining SHIFT, please apply for a career consultation with Wahl+Case or a global PM/PMO position with SHIFT below. And if you want to see updates from our hiring team––including information about future events like this one––be sure to follow SHIFT on LinkedIn.

Job Discription:◆Global Projects◆For all skilled engineers who want to take advantage of your English skills!

Wahl+Case HP (EN):

Wahl+Case HP (JP):

SHIFT LinkedIn:

(*The content of this article is as of the time the event was held)


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