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live choices.

There's this job opportunity to teach in Japan with IES that I was excited about yesterday and a few months ago I would have jumped at it no questions asked, but after sleeping over it

a) I'd only want to go for a year, and then what? My whole job search will start all over again, I'll be one year older and so far the overseas experiences I had already did make my CV stand out, but all the interview asks about is "are you qualified for the job?". Who gives a flying fuck if you know how to make Okonomiyaki badly?

b) I have taught English before (in China) and it's a real lottery what kind of school you end up in. Some make sure you get a plumber when you need one, others let you freeze to death in the winter. Looking through what other people have said with their experiences with the IES, the hit and miss thing is still prevalent.

c) What do I really want to get out of this that a good, actual holiday that I finance with a "proper job" wouldn't also cover? Sure a holiday is much shorter, but you would have time for yourself to do the things that made you want to go to Japan in the first place. When I went to China, I had just finished school and I wanted to do something different before I went to university. I had the certainty that I'd have something to do when I came back, I had worked with children before, being an assistant P.E. instructor and I was genuinely excited that speaking English actually get me paid. But now I'm at that stage in my life where I just want to finance things I need, want and love by myself and using children's education to do that is just wrong.

d) The job I have at the moment isn't the most exciting or rewarding, but it's steady. It finances my cosplays, council tax, groceries etc... I'm not sure I want to give that up for something that looks too good to be true. Not to mention I have a job interview in about two weeks, which might also be a game-changer.

Everyone I've mentioned it to tells me to "go for it" and "follow my dreams", but my dreams have never been to actually live Japan and teach children. My dreams have always consisted of: earning enough money to be able to buy things I like and one of the things I happen to like is anime merch. So... I know, I guess I've already decided not to apply for it, after all, but I don't know... any opinions?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
Honestly, the luck of the draw thing is 1000% accurate.
I had a pretty decent time at my main school I taught at (I mean, I was there for 5 years!), but that doesn't mean that they didn't fuck me around when it came to pay, saying I was part-time when I was really working full-time, forcing me to pay for teaching materials out of pocket and take other jobs just to make ends meet.
However, I was lucky, because more than a few of my friends ended up at horrible schools that literally gave no shits about them as human beings. I had a friend who was at a really dangerous school with students who would injure teachers, other students, and themselves; and another friend who was expected to take over an English class after the main teacher was fired for impropriety with a student--but with the caveat that, despite speaking Japanese and having all the students used to language classes in Japanese, being told that because he was foreign he HAD to speak English in class at all times and then was blamed when the students' test scores dropped.

If you're not into it for another reason from the beginning, I think not applying is a good choice--there's a lot of crap to put up with and if you don't feel as if the experience would be enriching for you in some way, I don't see why you should put yourself through the stress.
Oct. 26th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
thank you for replying. Yeah, I've kind of buried the idea where it came from now. It just sounds to good to be true and I'm not sure what I would get out of it that would help me in my current stage in life.

I was so lucky in China with my school, too. From what I heard in other schools their roof broke in and they wouldn't give the teachers different accomodation in the winter, they withheld passports and the children were way rowdier and generally I was happy that the worst problems I had were the rats (but I found the hole and sealed it) and that curry that destroyed my digestive system for two weeks.

I'll go the admin job tomorrow in the knowledge that it's way better than being on benefits and I won't have to deal with teenagers being teenagers XD It's boring, but the people are really nice and I just recently revealed that I watch anime with other day and my supervisor said she knew someone at the National Media Museum who was also into it and so I'm hoping to activate "vitamin C: connections" soon. And I have a job interview on November 5th for a job with more variation, so I guess I still have a few cards to play.

I'll just stick with the holiday to Korea my friend and I have been thinking about for a while now. Perhaps in February, when flights are still cheap =3 If we get to Pusan, we might even make it across to Fukuoka! XD
Nov. 9th, 2014 07:28 am (UTC)
That seems like a good way to go. Unfortunately with Japan, the standard for foreigners seems to be that you get hired to teach by a shitty company desperate for workers and do your contract for at least a year to get visas and stuff worked out, then once you have that done you can start applying to jobs that treat you better (since sponsoring/renewing visas for people who already have them is so much easier, and companies don't want to take the risk on investing a lot in someone just to have them leave in six months). If you don't have either a really good connection or a company willing to hire (or a branch of a Japanese company where you are that would hire you there, then send you to work at their Japan office), I would say you need to ready yourself for at least a year of horrible bullshit that if you don't have something to deflect that which you need to be in Japan for (concerts with enough regularity to matter, conventions, shows, whatever) then it's probably not going to be worth it. I think even I wouldn't have made it if I would have started say in the last year instead of in 2008 where I had bands constantly touring for the first 4 years.

Coming to Fukuoka won't do much for me unfortunately, but drop me a message if you have plans to come to Tokyo!
Oct. 27th, 2014 05:37 am (UTC)
Hard to give you an advice - in my case, I think I am now at that point where I want to travel and see other places, but I mean TRAVEL and not WORK. Working in a different country is great, but it actually does not mean you get to see as much of the country as you might wish (you know this, you've been abroad even more than me!). Does all of this make sense?

Also, what's your current job? Totally out of the loop with you, I think I need an update :) And good luck with the other job interview!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )