I don’t know if I ever told you, but I remember around this time last year, I was thinking about leaving my current, Eikaiwa job (yes…even back then). At the time, I really thought it was something I could pull off, so I gave it an honest effort. I filled out about five or six different applications and had several interviews in late December and early January (this is the best time to start applying for positions for the April of the following year).
One of the interviews was with Interac (the Chiba branch), one of the largest companies supplying ALTs and AET (Assistant Language Teachers/ Assistant English Teachers) to public schools in Japan. I gave 110% in each of my interviews, but I really tried hard on that one. Unfortunately, after finding out how much key money and everything would cost me for a Japanese, I had to eat my humble pie and wait. FAST FORWARD ONE YEAR…
I got some good news earlier this week. Now that I’m officially ready to change jobs, I applied to Interac once again, and the same recruiter got a hold of my application; he told me remembered my application from last year and that I wouldn’t need to interview again. All I would have to do was come in and talk to the Japanese staff. I whole-heartedly agreed to this request and scheduled to meet with Interac Chiba on Monday, December 20th, 2010. However, I sent an email to the recruiter trying to find the “right job” for me:
“Greetings again, Mr. T…,
The 20th is perfect. Actually, I think 2pm is ideal for me. I look forward to it.
I did have an Interac question for you. I’m a little at odds for what do, as I’ve never actually changed jobs or apartments in Japan before.
My job contract with AEON ends on February 26th, 2011 but I have to move out of my apartment on February 20th, 2011. So I have to find an apartment before securing the next job. I have found several apartments here in Tsukuba that are willing to let me sign and have two rent-free months (which means I wouldn’t have to pay until February). Unfortunately, I don’t know for sure what or where the next job will be.
My question is, are there any teachers with Interac Chiba who commute from other places? I would be more than willing to commute if it were possible…even if it’s far (that gives me time to study Japanese on the train). If there are commuters, does Interac cover transportation costs fro them? If so, what percentage of transportation is covered? If not, I completely understand.
Truthfully, I really like Tsukuba alot and wondered if there might be any way to stay. Should I be fortunate enough to be offered a posititon…I will be as flexible as humanly possible. But I was curious to know.
Thank you for your time.
My recruiter responded in turn with this message:
I think with your love for Tsukuba it would be better for me to transfer your application to Interac Central recruiting.
The Tokyo office is in charge of positions in that part of Ibaraki and it will allow you to deal directly with someone who knows what positions are available in the surrounding areas.
I wish you all the luck in finding an apartment and a position with Interac as I think you are an outstanding applicant.
Please wait for someone from the Tokyo office to contact you, if you don’t hear from anyone within the next two weeks please contact me immediately.”
At first I was worried that this was going to be the nail in the coffin for me, that I wasn’t going to be able to find anything through Interac because I was asking for too much. Needless to say, this wasn’t the case. The Chiba recruiter was incredibly helpful, he called the central Tokyo branch on my behalf and spoke to one of the top recruiters in the central Tokyo area. I received a call about two days later to let me know that there are two available positions in Moriya City. If you don’t know, Moriya City is on the Tsukuba Express Line, and is just a 17-minute train-ride from Tsukuba. PERFECT, RIGHT!?! Well, there is one minor issue…
The problem is that the best of the Moriya opportunities begins on February 6th, 2010. Why is this a problem? Because my AEON contract expires about three weeks after that (February 26th, 2010)…so I will actually speak with someone at AEON’s head office to see if there is something I can work out on Monday, December 13th, 2010.
I am trying to choose jobs wisely, because I want to be here for at least another two years. So I’m trying to be as clear as possible with recruiters about what I want. What do I want from my next job situation, exactly?:
1) I need a schedule that’s conducive to doing the things I want to do in Japan (karate, modeling, and/or starting my own business).
2) I don’t mind a salary cut, but I need enough money to live on, to take care of life’s basic needs (food and housing), and enough to cover bills & utilities.
3) A job that will allow me to work outside jobs (officially, AEON doesn’t want you to have outside work).
4) If at all possible, a job that can cover transportation to and from work.
5) A good school with good kids (if it works out)
6) A job that let’s me stay in Tsukuba.
If I can get these things, I will be elated. So I will keep searching, keep interviewing, until I get there.
Thanks for reading,
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