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View Full Version : How badly will a previous freakout in Japan hurt my chances?



guignol
May 16th, 2012, 06:13
Hi. I'll be applying to JET later this year & I've found a lot of tasty gobbets on ITIL that have helped me to better understand how to do this. Can you help me out with my little problem?

A few years ago I applied to one of the big eikaiwas for a job. There were five or so days between my arrival & the first day of orientation. A few days in I received a call from home with some bad news. It was bad enough to make me lose my shit in a big way and also to shelve plans of being away from home for a good while.

I didn't handle the situation well, didn't even try to talk about it with the eikaiwa people; I just threw the bedding & kitchen gear I'd bought into the bin outside (without regard for the correct compartments!), emailed the head of recruitment to say I was out the door & went straight to the airport to buy the first fare home.

It was a hard position but I'm still embarrassed about how I managed it. Despite knowing then & now that eikaiwas are filthy lowdown scums, a contract's a contract & I wiped my arse with it. But then, on the other hand…had it suited them they would have fucked me over for a cold meat pie.

What I want to know is…when I make an application for JET, will it be evident to the selection people that (a) I've been to Japan before and that (b) I entered the country on an eikaiwa-sponsored visa? And is the visa for JET ALTs the same as the visa for eikaiwa drones (i.e., is it a one-off thing & have I already used my one shot?)? My old passport with this visa in it is junked so I can't check what category it is but do remember it being 'humanities specialist' or something like that.

The reason I ask this is that if the JET people don't know, I probably won't tell them (or will at least give them an edited story about what I did in Japan for that time). Aside from this lapse I've got a solid academic & work record & although I'm confident that I could justify my quick departure in an interview (if I got one), the quitter taint would still stick & they might think I was a potential flight case or culture shock softy. If it's a sure thing that the JET people will know about the eikaiwa visa, am I fucked?

Prospective
May 16th, 2012, 06:23
Should be fine, it should only come up in the recruitment process if you want it to (if you want to be honest or if you have a positive spin to put on it I'd mention it, otherwise just leave it out).

The visa you were on before was a work visa, but it was of a different category to the one ALTs have, so you'll need a new one. Work visas aren't "one shot" so no worries about that.

JET doesn't look into your visa or passport history during the application process as far as I know. Once you are accepted and they are processing your passport for your new visa they might notice you had an old visa in there and get a bit curious, but I doubt it'd make any difference.

JET is just a job, despite recruitment being conducted through the Embassy. Just like any job it's up to you to choose how to present yourself, and just like any job they aren't going to dig too deeply into your background unless you give them a reason to (and with JET they won't dig, they just won't hire you).

guignol
May 16th, 2012, 06:29
Cheers, Prospective - good to know.

word
May 16th, 2012, 10:28
Are you gonna tell 'em you were in Japan before? The fact that you'd been here might be a plus on your app. If you do, are you just gonna outright lie about the reasons you were here and the circumstances of your departure?

Page
May 16th, 2012, 10:44
I just wouldn't mention it. Mentioning that you were in Japan is only asking them to ask you about it which would subtract from whatever plus you could have garnered from your Jerpan-experience. Plenty of Japan noobs get in.

There's no way for them to know about the eikaiwa bit unless you tell them yourself. They're not going to see your passport before you're accepted.

Cytrix
May 16th, 2012, 11:03
If they do find out, then it should be easy enough to show them how you have changed since then. I would stress the point it wasn't Japan that made you have your freak out, but a pretty bad situation at home. No one can know for sure if something like that will happen, so it's something I imagine JET is more than aware of and understanding of. Shit happens.

Jiggit
May 16th, 2012, 11:36
Saying you had to leave because of personal family reasons is perfectly reasonable if you ever do have to explain it to anyone. Just explain that you were forced to end your contract because of extenuating circumstances and that you're really keen to get back to Japan and into teaching English. There's absolutely no need to go into any great detail as to how you actually dealt with it.

MJN
May 16th, 2012, 15:31
I'd say you could probably spin it "Accepted for a previous teaching position, but unable to fuful contract due to [personal/family concerns, etc]" would probably do something. Not sure if it would be inviting investigation, but would cover you incase they found, for whatever reason, you were previously here.

guignol
May 16th, 2012, 19:03
Are you gonna tell 'em you were in Japan before? The fact that you'd been here might be a plus on your app. If you do, are you just gonna outright lie about the reasons you were here and the circumstances of your departure?


I just wouldn't mention it. Mentioning that you were in Japan is only asking them to ask you about it which would subtract from whatever plus you could have garnered from your Jerpan-experience. Plenty of Japan noobs get in.

There's no way for them to know about the eikaiwa bit unless you tell them yourself. They're not going to see your passport before you're accepted.

Was wondering whether or not it would be a plus - 'Japan experience' - but since I was only in the country for a few days, not sure how much value I could pull from this. I could give an edited version of the truth - say that I made a short trip to visit a friend (which did happen) but beyond that all I did was wander around, eat onigiri & look at salarymen passed out in the subway. Any use that I could squeeze from this would probably be outweighed by the energy it will take in the interview to tell a bald-faced lie or even just conceal the real reasons I had for being there. Fuck it, I've been meaning to get to Japan for ages - can just find a cheap fare & take a week or two's holiday between now & October, get 'in-country' experience that way.


If they do find out, then it should be easy enough to show them how you have changed since then. I would stress the point it wasn't Japan that made you have your freak out, but a pretty bad situation at home. No one can know for sure if something like that will happen, so it's something I imagine JET is more than aware of and understanding of. Shit happens.


Saying you had to leave because of personal family reasons is perfectly reasonable if you ever do have to explain it to anyone. Just explain that you were forced to end your contract because of extenuating circumstances and that you're really keen to get back to Japan and into teaching English. There's absolutely no need to go into any great detail as to how you actually dealt with it.


I'd say you could probably spin it "Accepted for a previous teaching position, but unable to fuful contract due to [personal/family concerns, etc]" would probably do something. Not sure if it would be inviting investigation, but would cover you incase they found, for whatever reason, you were previously here.

Despite having good reason for losing my top over there, I'd still be reluctant to talk about flaking on a contract unless I absolutely had to. It's good to know that it probably doesn't have to come up. I was worried that the background checking might be a little more stringent than for a normal job application, as it's a government program. Thanks for the advice! This place is great. Looking forward to being an active member.

WishfulDreamer
May 17th, 2012, 02:16
I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience. Something similar happened to me when studying abroad in England (completely different since I wasn't living there for more than two months) but I get how awful it is to be far away and have something like that happen. With bad news, your behavior sounds pretty justified and I'm sure explaining it like the others mentioned would clear any possible stigma that could hurt you in applying for JET.

cranguy
May 27th, 2012, 12:32
Honestly, I wouldn't invite attention to it; might even be best to leave it off entirely. I understand that your previous circumstances may have been unavoidable. However, it seems to me that more than anything, in recent years, the JET program is looking for people who can stay in Japan and fulfill their contract. If you give them any reason to doubt your ability to do that, it's not going to help your application. Good luck.

kalliea
May 27th, 2012, 12:41
+1

Don't even bring it up. You might have been hired, but I wouldn't even list it under past jobs since you never really worked it. Given the very limited time you were in the country, and the justifiable reasons for leaving, I think you have grounds to just skip over it, since it wasn't really a past employer.