An Interview With Atsuya K. an Appen Rater in Japan
One of the many perks of working remote jobs is having the ability to set your own schedule. And in the case of Atsuya Kajita, who lives in Japan, working remotely is essential for achieving a work-life balance. Between running his own agriculture business and taking care of his newborn baby girl, it’s safe to say Atsuya is one of Appen’s busiest employees. We spoke to Atsuya about how he balances everything and his great insights about working at Appen.
Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?
I’m half Japanese, one quarter Korean, and a quarter Phillipino with a dash of Dutch. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Every summer until middle school, I would go to Japan with my family, which I always considered my second home.
Where is your favorite place to travel? Do you have any hobbies?
I love exploring the outskirts of Tokyo on my road bike. I enjoy reading self-improvement books, Manga, watching Netflix, cooking, playing my PS4 when I find the time, and being active. I go to the gym and I love riding my road bike around Tokyo, listening to hip-hop or podcasts.I also love trying to find new local restaurants (I am original foodie, before the term “foodie” became a thing!), and hanging out with my newborn baby and wife.
What prompted you to look for remote work?
I run an urban agriculture business, and I need as much flexibility as possible to run my farm and to market my product outside whenever I need to. Plus living in Tokyo, I hate riding a packed train to get to work. Working from home removes stress from my life, while staying time-efficient.
How did you hear about Appen?
After quitting a long-term job, I was in the process of finding a new one. I went on GaijinPot.com, which is a well-known site for gaijin (foreigners in Japan) to get information about jobs. Appen sounded interesting, a job I’d never heard about. My friend also saw the job ad and encouraged me to try it out. The rest is history.
What was your first impression of Appen?
The first time I learned about Appen, it sounded like a dream job! Since I need as much flexibility as possible running my urban agriculture business, being able to work from home while making a nice hourly wage sounded too good to be true!
How do you find your work/life balance?
I prioritize running my farm every morning while making sure I workout 3 times a week and eat well by cooking at home. And in my free time, I try to grind out as many hours on Appen as possible whenever I can find the time.
When do you work best?
I work best in the morning, when I’m fresh and energized!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up at 6am, go to my indoor farm which is close by, water my microgreens, come back home by 8am and start working on one of the Appen projects I’m assigned to. I usually work in the evening teaching English, so on the way to work on the train, I work on a different product, rating social media ads. Then, I teach an English class. Then, on the way back I continue working on the social media ad project. I’ll have dinner then put in an hour or two on the first project, depending on how I feel, before putting on Netflix or reading a book.
What has surprised you most about working for Appen?
How fun it is! It sounded like a fun job, and it was just that. I love the variety of work I get to do every day.
What do you find most rewarding about the job?
I love the fact that I can work anytime I want, and also knowing that I’m helping the online community have a smoother interaction and experience on the internet.
How do you stay healthy when you’re working from home?
I run a microgreens business in Tokyo, which are vegetables you harvest 10 days to two weeks from seeding. They are known to be one of the healthiest foods in the world, and I have unlimited access to them. I also try to stay physically in shape by going to the gym three times a week with my dad.
What advice do you have for prospective Appen candidates?
Study, study, study the guidelines! Once you pass the test and get the job, let the good times roll. But remember, this is an actual job, so take it seriously and stay focused when you’re on the clock!
Does working at Appen make it easier for you to enjoy your free time?
Working at Appen gives me the freedom to develop my business with the financial support to pay my bills. In my free time, I’m always completing more tasks on Appen! —
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