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Murasaki Ookami
October 12th, 2011, 14:35
Okay first of all I couldn't find anything like this here so I thought I'd just post and hope for the best,
I plan on applying for the JET programme this year and was concerned about a couple of things,
First it’s the age factor I’m 32 what’s the average age of a JET?
Will my age go against me?

I have no reasonable level of Japanese; I could say a few words but no conversational skills, well in Japanese.

I have no teaching experience,

I have Facial piercings, and my ear is pierced too.

I have a beard.

I should also mention my hair is fairly long but I do plan on cutting it to about shoulder or a little longer in length.

While I have your attention I was also wondering if anyone knows the statistics for acceptance in Ireland number of application vs the places,
Is it worked on a quota that has to be filled or is it a matter of if there are only 24 suitable applications, then that’s all that goes, do they drop their standards to fill places?

Thanks in advance

Antonath
October 12th, 2011, 14:45
Age shouldn't be too big an issue. I was accepted when I was 29.

The facial piercings (and the ear piercings, as well) will definitely be an issue: you will be expected to remove them completely while you are at school. Some schools will also have an issue if you are seen in public with them, too; particularly if you end up in a small town. The japanese gossip network is all-knowing and all-seeing.

Beard shouldn't be a problem as long as it's tidy. Don't expect to grow it out further, though: there's something of an unwritten rule that your appearence (as relates to hair, etc) will stay pretty consistent.

Oh, and this will probably get moved to the "applying" section fairly soon...

uthinkimlost?
October 12th, 2011, 15:44
There are plenty of old and ugly people. No worries.

Murasaki Ookami
October 12th, 2011, 16:03
Thanks that makes me feel much better :lol:

UPGRAYEDD
October 12th, 2011, 20:50
And there's always that dude at the returners conference decked out with dreads, tattooed knuckles, and giant plugs - that makes you wonder how the hell he got in

word
October 12th, 2011, 21:11
Unlike all the other folks here, I would say that--while you may not face outright discrimination or disqualification--the odds are not in your favor. As an old, tattooed, pierced, long-haired hippie who doesn't speak much Japanese, though... I wish you the best of luck.

Cytrix
October 12th, 2011, 21:21
On the age matter: Two of my friends here on JET are in their early 40's and in their 4th years. I've also met a lot of newbie JET's in the late 20's (27-28+) burgeoning on the 30's. They've removed a lot of the age restrictions recently so it shouldn't be a big cross against your name don't worry.

On the piercings: I have double piercings in each ear, including a spiral 5mm stretcher in my right lobe. I wear studs at school and keep my stretcher in. At the start my curls largely covered up the stretcher and nothing was said about it, and even now when I put my hair behind my ears nobody has mentioned them. The students certainly notice it and are very interested in my piercings and stretcher, and a couple of my JTE's have been generally interested (especially when I explained the spiral as a koru (representing new life for the Maori) which was apt for when I got it). It's largely an ESID.

Language: My Japanese is shocking...but I noticed today that one of the pred's in this apartment didn't even know how to say good morning in Japanese (judging by the giant flash cards I found). They're not looking for people fluent in Japanese so don't worry!

Andddd

Hair: I've noticed quite a few guys here with longer hair, including a few with beards and piggy tails. As long as they're kept clean and tidy (so no food scraps in your beard) it seems to be no worry!

Rage_and_Hairspray
October 12th, 2011, 21:29
I have a mohican, 18mm gauged ears, a few piercings and tattoos. I plan on changing the hair and shrinking the ears, putting retainers in the piercings and covering the tattoos.

Oh, I'm also 30 next month, but not letting that stop me from applying.

Murasaki Ookami
October 13th, 2011, 04:52
Thanks for the advice Guys,
I respect your opinions and am grateful for your shared Experiences,
To be honest I was going to apply anyway, I was just gauging what my chances are.
It’s something that no matter the odds I was going to do.

DarkCloudInc
October 13th, 2011, 14:54
Hazaah! I'm happy to hear all this! I was getting concerned being so close to 30 myself.

uthinkimlost?
October 13th, 2011, 15:24
Hazaah! I'm happy to hear all this! I was getting concerned being so close to 30 myself.

myargonauts, the most famous ALT ever, was well OVER 30 when he entered JET.

Antonath
October 13th, 2011, 15:39
myargonauts, the most famous ALT ever, was well OVER 30 when he entered JET.
I was going to mention spec-r, but then I realised you said ALT.

Froren
October 13th, 2011, 16:03
Another perspective:

I have short hair, a beard and normal piercings. I've seen a ton of pony-haired ALTs around and saw a bunch getting interviewed. Where I work no one cares about my beard, whether it's trimmed or not, doesn't matter. I grow it out, shave it, people just usually comment on when I shave it (which is the same as in America as well, like getting a haircut). No one cares. I don't wear my piercings at work for the simple fact that I don't think piercings for men are that professional. I wear them anytime I'm around town.

The most important thing is that everyone already knows your different based on the fact that you're not japanese so try your hardest, you won't ever fit in anyways, so you might as well embrace all the things that make you different.

greengoo
October 13th, 2011, 20:05
A guy in my town has hair to his ass and beard/stache. He's a great ALT and they love him.

The piercings will work against you. Take them out, or in the VERY least put in as non-descript ones as you're able. It might be worth shaving the beard for the interview, in all honesty. You can always grow it back after and it'll just be there by the time you start in Japan.

Once you're in you're fine, it's getting passed all that stuff at the interview you have to worry about.

Page
October 13th, 2011, 23:36
I have my nose pierced, took it out during my interview and have worn it here since day 1. If I get a real job I won't wear it, of course, but no one gives a crap here and my town is small. If you want to do something, do it from when you land. It's an unexpected change after arriving that'll cause the most distress.

lilyanphino
October 13th, 2011, 23:52
If you want to do something, do it from when you land. It's an unexpected change after arriving that'll cause the most distress.

One exception to this rule is that there is a city called Isesaki in Gunma that does not allow facial hair on their public servants. ALTs in the city must be clean shaven as well, no exceptions.

dialogue
October 14th, 2011, 09:32
One of the folks that had my position was 40 when he got here... I think that was in 2006. He still lives in Japan somewhere.

My predecessor had... cornrows, I think they are called. Not sure. No one cared.

I have pretty obvious tattoos on my wrists. No one noticed for about two months (and when they did, I was asked to show all the kids, so no one cares). And I am in my upper 20s, but a lot of people like this because I am not a `dumb, inexperienced young college student who has never had a job and doesn`t know sh*t.` So age could possibly work in your favor.

Cytrix
October 14th, 2011, 20:10
I had my hair pinned back and 4 earrings in (including my stretcher) and it was never mentioneddddd lolz. But then it turned out I had the 'easy' interview room. So if in doubt, take them out!

RustyBlackleford
October 14th, 2011, 20:21
How about wearing a hat? I'm Black, and I'm ashamed of my hair texture, so I'd like to know if wearing a hat is acceptable in the pictures that you send along with your resume?

Rage_and_Hairspray
October 14th, 2011, 20:25
Woah, you have to send pictures in with your resume?

uthinkimlost?
October 14th, 2011, 20:31
How about wearing a hat? I'm Black, and I'm ashamed of my hair texture, so I'd like to know if wearing a hat is acceptable in the pictures that you send along with your resume?

Trolling McTrollerson. We meet again.

Cytrix
October 14th, 2011, 20:32
I had to with my pack if I remember correctly!

RustyBlackleford
October 14th, 2011, 20:33
I've been applying for jobs online. Many of these schools and companies want you to send a picture along with your resume.