Hi. My name is Jaered Koichi Croes, and I started Tofugu. I want to try and give you an idea of what it's like to apply for a job at Tofugu (when I say "Tofugu" I'm probably referring to the company Tofugu, which includes both the Tofugu Blog and WaniKani, as well as what it's like if you're hired. I think we do things a little different from your typical workplace, so it's important to talk about this kind of thing up front. After all, to have a good fit, both sides of the relationship (employee and employer) need to think things are going great to be great.

    First off, I'm looking for people who can help us with our mission:

    Help the learner to make progress toward their goal of being able to understand and use the Japanese language. Through this, we want to help individuals to have new life experiences, come across opportunities they wouldn't have had otherwise, and generally just find happiness and satisfaction through the act of learning, and using, their Japanese.

    This is essentially what we make decisions on: "How much progress will it give to a learner toward their goals in using their Japanese?" Not "how much more revenue will xyz bring us?" Luckily, those two goals are not mutually exclusive, as long as you're viewing the long term.

    In general, I'm trying to hire the top 1% in a competency, or someone who has the potential to get there. People who are going to move the needle the most in terms of progress toward achieving the mission. In terms of work style, I'm looking for people who can manage themselves and their projects, who can take initiative and work autonomously (note: that doesn't mean you should always work alone, just that you can manage yourself and how and when you work with others without a manager to help), who can work well with others and as a team, and who have a strong history of getting 💩 done.

    I'm also looking for people who have the ability to concentrate long and intensely enough to do meaningful work (a trait that's hard to find in the 2020s, unsurprisingly). By "long enough," I'm really just asking for three to four hours of uninterrupted focus per day, spent on the part of your job that's the highest leverage in terms of the amount of value created for the company (see the mission, above) versus time spent (three to four hours). That's probably less time than you expected, but you can get a lot done if you are skilled at concentrating. You're expected to work less but at a much higher quality clip.

    When applying for a position, consider how you will be able to add value to our mission. How would you measure success? How would you do it? What do you need to do it? What are some real examples from your past that show you can do all the above?

    What It's Like to Work at Tofugu

    To help you to understand more or less what it's like to work at Tofugu, I've created a Wiki called Working at Tofugu. It doesn't contain everything about working at Tofugu, but it'll give you an idea of what we value and how we work. You can also read about Tofugu in our About page.

    But it's hard to encapsulate everything, so I asked members of the Tofugu team what their favorite things about working at Tofugu are:

    I love that my passions and my job are one and the same. If you're a Japanese language enthusiast, Tofugu is the place to be.

    Cameron Lombardo, Researcher

    What I love about Tofugu the most is the people. The team consists of curious, passionate, creative, and unique people.

    Kanae Nakamine, Project Manager

    I really appreciate the freedom to work remotely and structure my work in a way that makes me most productive.

    Javi, Front-End Developer

    If you have any questions, feel free to email

    Where We Work

    Tofugu is a 100% remote company, meaning you work from wherever you want (as long as you can get a decent internet connection, often enough). Our colleagues work from home, from coffee/tea shops, and from co-working spaces. All positions are remote positions unless otherwise noted.

    Roles We're Hiring For

    If you feel like you're a great fit, if you dig our work style, and you can work remotely — we'd love to talk to you. Here are the jobs we're hiring for right now:

    Don't see any open positions that fit your career or interests? Sign up to get notified about new job and internship openings!

    Hiring Process

    The hiring process depends on the position. We'll try to list the process for each position inside the posting, but this is how we generally do it:

    1. Apply
    Sometimes we just start by asking for a resumé and cover letter. Other times we ask for more, depending on the posting.
    2. Short Interview
    The short interview is a 30-45 minute audio-only call for us to get to know you a little better. You can ask some questions too.
    3. Long Interview
    The long interview is a 2-3 hour long video call that goes deeper into your work experience. At the end, you'll be able to ask any questions you have.
    4. Focused Interview
    Depending on the position, we may ask you to do some shorter, more focused interviews. These 30-60 minute go into specific topics.
    5. Reference Interviews
    If we feel good about everything up to this point, we'll ask you to help us to reach out to some of your references.
    6. Offer
    Finally, we'll send you an offer letter along with some high-fives!

    Every step of the way, we let candidates know if we're moving forward with their application (or not). If you haven't gotten a response, please feel free to follow up. Most job postings will include a general schedule so you know where things are at, though. We know how painful it can be to wait in the dark like that.

    Hiring can be a long process, but we want to love who we work with (and we want you to love who you work with too). That means we try to do our best every step of the way.