Enterprising Japanese job-seeker puts himself up for auction

Enterprising Japanese job-seeker puts himself up for auction

"Human trafficking" takes on a new meaning as one unemployed Japanese man tries to bypass traditional employment protocol
In the end analysis, we all have our price, don't we?

Given Japan's economic downturn, it's no surprise that more than a few folks are embroiled in long, drawn-out job hunts. But to date, only one man has had the temerity -- or desperation -- to literally auction himself off to the highest bidder on one of Japan's biggest online auction services.

Meet Yu Osumi, former editor of a Japanese tabloid website. "Stating it flatly, I'm selling myself off," he begins his somewhat tongue-in-cheek auction listing, which is dramatically titled "Priority Interview Rights for the Transfer of the Personal Business of 'Yu Osumi.'"

Offbeat job searches aren't particularly new abroad, especially in certain career paths. But this sort of thing is all but unheard of in Japan, where a rigidly formalized job-application process, fueled by fixed-format resumes that go into the tiniest details of applicants lives, are de rigeur. "Given the increased fluidity of the workforce in recent years," explains Osumi in his best BS marketing-ese, "there's a valid possibility of making a contract directly with a company while bypassing traditional job-hunting sites. I hope."

Which is all fine and dandy, but will it actually work? As of right now, with two days left in the auction, some 313 bidders have sent Osumi's personal value soaring to 455,000 yen. (Osumi promises to refund the money to the high bidder once the job is secured.) It's too early to tell if this represents a new vanguard in job hunting or a big joke on everyone involved, but for now it seems there's no shortage of people cheering Osumi on.