Job Hunting In Japan: My Intial Thoughts

This is my first attempt at job hunting since I’ve been in Japan. Originally I came to Japan because of my employer, so it all worked out. But, now, it’s time to cut my leash and seek a new job. So how’s it going so far? Well, it’s good and bad. It’s good because there are so many teaching opportunities available, so I do think I’m going to be able to find a job. However, here’s the problem: If you read my Apartment Hunting Update, you know that I received approval for an apartment that I really like. The issue is they want me to decide SO soon, December 13th, to be exact. I wouldn’t have to pay rent in January, and February’s rent would be half the normal amount (which is freakin’ sweet). But the fact remains that I don’t have the next job set up yet. I believe the reason I was approved for the apartment so easily is because the owner saw that I had been working for AEON for nearly the last three years. If I was between jobs, I imagine that apartment companies here in Japan would be a lot less sympathetic to my cause.

Public schools begin in April, and new teachers start training in mid to late March. I just had my first interview yesterday, and I have another scheduled on the 20th of this month. Initially I am optimistic about my job prospects, but my optimism wanes dramatically when I think of a company not being able to cover my transportation costs. Getting back and forth to Tokyo will get to be really steep if my employer won’t cover it. If I get the job in Chiba with Interac (which is one of the largest outsourcers for English teachers into the Japanese public school system) it would cost exactly 1,340 yen one way. Multiplying this number by two gives us my daily transportation cost of 2740. Multiplying this number by 5 represents my weekly transportation cost of 13700 per week. So that means that each month, just getting to and from work (since I don’t drive in Japan) would cost me 54,800 yen!! (That’s about 665 US Dollars). This is definitely something to think about, considering that my teaching income might be around the 230,000 yen to 250,000 yen range each month. I would then have to consider the apartment which would be 55,000 yen/month, karate which is 8400/month. I would have more time and free reign to teach additional classes (AEON’s contract doesn’t officially allow me to have outside remuneration). So as long as I can keep my head above water with my teaching position, I can make the additional money through private lessons, modeling, etc.

I will definitely be posting on this subject again, to let you know how it’s going. I am certain that someone else will find something useful in my transition trials.

Wish me luck,

Donald Ash

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  • Ryan McGuinness

    Best of luck Donald, I hope you’ll give us another tour of your new apartment once you move in and settle! I emailed you back about the interview, I’d love to hear back from you when you next have a bit of free time. =)

  • Annette

    My son wants to go to Japan, and I want to send him. He knows a little Japanese from years of playing Japanese video games, some of which are in Japanese, and once in a while he picks up a Japanese grammar book. His experience is working for seven years at McDonalds Restaurant (a long time for a McDonalds employee.) He found out that a company here in Mississippi will hire Japanese translators, and suddenly he has an ambition! We have decided that he needs to go there to learn Japanese well, but we want to spend our money wisely. Do you have suggestions? I talked to a guy from India yesterday who said that when he surrounded himself with English speakers, he was speaking English in a month. He probably meant that he was communicating in English in a month, but it was probably not perfect unbroken English. What is a realistic goal? What is doable for someone with his experience?

  • Su Lwin

    Currently in my last year of university in Australia, and have plans to move to Japan to work after- probably long term, and probably teaching, although I’m open and would prefer working in the publishing/creative industries. I am going to apply to AEON, although I’ve heard bad things about the company. Would you recommend working for them?

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