After finishing his education Johan Faye spent three years in Hamburg and one year in Bordeaux. From 1915-17 he was office manager of the State Provisions Commission. In 1918 Faye became manager of the Norwegian Commercial and Seafaring Newspaper, a post he held for 15 years. His nautical knowledge also became handy when he became owner of the Soon shipyard in Vestby on the shore of the Oslofjord. During World War II, Faye was leading a program to build wooden ships for the German occupation forces in Norway. Faye had an uncle of the same name, who designed many buildings in Bergen.