Want To Work In Japan?
December 16, 2019
Quick Intro : I am Giovanni, I was a JET from 2014 – 2019 in Aomori prefecture. At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in Japan but I knew that as soon as I stepped in front of my bright eyed students, that I wanted to stay in Japan for a long time.
Regardless if my next occupation was in teaching or in a different field, I knew that I needed to improve my Japanese and do extracurricular activities.
Please remember that this is what I did and what worked for me. I hope that after you read this you have a better understanding of what I did to get where I am today. Just like math, there are many ways to get the same answer.
This is a shortened summary of some of the steps I took to get me where I am at today. Working at a well-known a Japanese conglomerate tourism company. ( Hyakusenrenma)
Teaching was fun, occasional highs-lows, and kanchos from my elementary school students but it wasn’t something that I wanted for my whole life. Why did I stay for 5 years then ? and what did I do for those 5 years?
1. Improve My Japanese
This was a must for me personally. I came to Japan not so much interested in anime or manga (to each their own), so I needed to find an outlet for me to improve my Japanese in a different way.
Things I didn’t do
Study kanji until I forgot the alphabet.
Take online Japanese classes.
Things I did do
Made Japanese friends.
Joined extracurricular activities groups.
Organized events for the local community
While I spoke mostly English at work, I needed to look for ways to improve my Japanese. I had only 9 months under my belt when I came to Japan. How was I going to learn enough Japanese for my next career in Japan after JET. Do what I do best and meet people. Studying is great for those who have the endurance for it, I didn’t, and I still don’t. What I did have was the ability to interact. Making one friend in Japan is like wild fire. The Japanese community is very tight-knit, get in and you’re golden. Met, my now best friend, Kohei after living in Aomori. I knew a little bit more Japanese but still needed way more. I got to know Kohei and Kohei got to know me. Cultures were exchanged, borders were connected, and thus began me hanging out with Kohei’s friends. Kohei’s friends were a mix of characters who I got to know very well who then later on connected me with their friends and my network started to grow. Fast-forward 5 years later and I can say that my Japanese improved because I went out with my Japanese friends. This forced me to use Japanese, learn the local language, and overall understand the current Japanese culture. ( I guess that wasn’t short after all)
2. Extracurricular Activities(EA)
Have time to spare, why not learn something new. Even better, start community service groups.
(Some) EAs I did
President of the Rotaract Club Hirosaki City -> https://www.facebook.com/hirosaki.rotaract2830/
Organize/Facilitate an (En)Kaiwa Group, where local Japanese citizens and local JETs would get together, share food, and converse in various languages.
Tsugaru Region JET Support System – Again I enjoyed meeting people. I met some pretty important people over some Japanese sa-ke. They later called upon my help to lead various tourism efforts to which I was able to provide local JETs Japanese cultural activities.
National AJET Director of Advertisement (2yrs) – ajet.net
I was fortunate enough to meet many people in various positions and fields in Japan. I never stopped there. I was always interested in learning about why they did what they did. Japanese people may not show their feelings but if you inquire, like I did, you might find something new. All of the EAs I mentioned above all came from meeting someone in Japan. Wether they were Japanese or not, meeting someone was always the goal. Never forget , to ever , ever , ever share your connection. When I learned something new about someone, if I felt that the information was something that my other friend would like to know, I would share it immediately. I created friendships within my friendships. Not all of these friendships work, and some may end as fast as they started, but you never know what may happen. I did, I got a Job in tourism.
Hope you got a little taste of some of the things I did in order to get to where I am today. I love every second of it and I am still connecting people to this day.
I am always willing to help out a fellow JET. If you feel the need to learn more shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s difficult to look for a job outside of teaching in Japan if you aren’t prepared. Don’t worry, I got you. Just ask and if I can answer I will. If I can’t I will personally find you the person that will.