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Shodanicron
September 26th, 2012, 03:12
Hi guys

I've been visiting this site for sometime now as i have been (seriously) considering living and working in Japan for about a year , and have found the posts pretty damned helpful, but really feel like i had to post this myself.

All along i was planning on Taking the JET route to an ALT position, while this is still a possibility i am also do not want to put all my eggs in one basket since rejection rates are quite high.

I havent made any applications to different companies yet as im still waiting to hear back from one of my references to make sure i have his/her permission.

At present i feel like i am a strong candidate for the job.

I have an honours degree in English literature, I worked for a number of years as both a team lead and a trainer at a large multi-national corporation.
I have a years worth of Japanese tuition under my belt with private classes included and i feel like my japanese is of an intermediate level although if I'm honest i have not takes any of the JLPT exams yet unfortunately
I also have 2 types of certificates of TEFL/TESOL qualifications.
I have also been to japan before and found it awesome.

Now while i think this should look good to an interview or recruiter, i do have one thing which is really starting to worry me

And that is my lack of a drivers licence. I have lived in a relatively small city all my life ( Cork ireland) and have never had the "need" to drive. Not to mention it has always been out of my reach financially.

The more i look into the application process i see that those without a drivers licence seem to get refusals straight away.

My question is should i just forget about applying for another year while i worked on getting a licence or are my chances of getting a position good based on my experience and qualifications.

Thanks for any advice lads, but i'm having an aneurysm over this driver licence thing and wont be able to get one in time of the latest recruitment drive and interviews for Interac specifically

Sakurahoshi
September 26th, 2012, 04:02
JET doesn't really care about a driver's licence. Plenty of people get on without one. I would say Interac care more about the licence as lots of the placements are rural and they mention on their website that a driver's licence is an advantage. JET's website doesn't say that. Saying that, not all Interac placements require ALT's to have a car and I'm sure not every one of their ALT's have a licence. I wouldn't worry about it so much.

Laevatienn
September 26th, 2012, 08:14
JET doesn't really care about a driver's licence. Plenty of people get on without one. I would say Interac care more about the licence as lots of the placements are rural and they mention on their website that a driver's licence is an advantage. JET's website doesn't say that. Saying that, not all Interac placements require ALT's to have a car and I'm sure not every one of their ALT's have a licence. I wouldn't worry about it so much.

Agreed in part with above. If you're good enough they will consider you... at the same time having a Driver's License multiplies your chances, especially with private companies. JET does not have as much of a driving base as, say, Interac, but they are technically harder to get into anyway... it becomes a near moot point. You can apply now and do your best to get noticed but just remember you have to work twice as hard to get a position. Best foot forward.

Shodanicron
September 26th, 2012, 10:34
Aye thanks a million for your replies guys.
yeah im willing do work hard and prepare for interviews/seminars as much as possible.
I cant change the fact i don't have one and cant get one in time. So it does feel like im fecked from the word go.

Worse comes to worst ill just have to sit out a year (urgh) and get that bloody licence. My own fault for not thinking of it sooner in the year.

I do feel that in all other aspects i can put my best foot forward as you say.

Antonath
September 26th, 2012, 11:00
If the lack of a licence is the only thing that stops you getting into JET, you may just be the unluckiest person in the world.

coop52
September 26th, 2012, 11:09
I think you should be ok without a licence on JET. We have an Irish guy who didn't have a licence back home. He has a Japanese one now, but he had to go through driving school to get it.

Shodanicron
September 26th, 2012, 11:19
I think you should be ok without a licence on JET. We have an Irish guy who didn't have a licence back home. He has a Japanese one now, but he had to go through driving school to get it.

Hi, thanks for the reply. Yeah i am more than willing and would be very interested actually in getting the licence once i have arrived and settled in. Im not afraid to put the work in getting it.

While i am less concerned with a JET application failing in this regard. Its the Companies such as Interac that i am worried about, since i have heard stories of people being given immediate refusals on mention of no drivers licence.

But i will try not to worry to much i guess since i cant change that fact at this time.

Tyr
September 26th, 2012, 15:49
As  far as getting hired is concerned no license isn't much of a issue for interac. I know of several interaccers without licenses who were placed in very rural places anyway. Its only for the SUPER rural places where getting to work across 20 miles of mountain passes and no bus routes, that they would think to demand someone who can drive.

But yeah, not driving in Japan is pretty dodgy, all but the biggest of cities are very car focussed, its strange.

Shodanicron
September 26th, 2012, 19:35
As  far as getting hired is concerned no license isn't much of a issue for interac. I know of several interaccers without licenses who were placed in very rural places anyway. Its only for the SUPER rural places where getting to work across 20 miles of mountain passes and no bus routes, that they would think to demand someone who can drive.

But yeah, not driving in Japan is pretty dodgy, all but the biggest of cities are very car focussed, its strange.

hi sorry for late reply.
Thanks for your post man, eased my worries a bit :)

My real passion or primary motivator in the move to japan stems from my love of the language so oddly enough a rural position would be better in that regard. but i guess one cant have his cake and eat it too. :)

I was in kyoto recently and the traffic seemed insane at least compared to here. Dont fancy being stuck in that all the time :)

Ill just have to apply and see what happens. I have also decided to get my provisional licence (learners permit in other countries i think) and will start getting lessons regardless of whether i get the full licence in time or not

Thanks for all the replies guys i really appreciate it.

Shodanicron
October 1st, 2012, 18:39
Just to let you guys know
I was turned down by Interac for not having a higher level of Japanese and for not having a drivers licence.
Just as i feared.
Time for plan c :) ECC

Laevatienn
October 2nd, 2012, 01:34
Just to let you guys know
I was turned down by Interac for not having a higher level of Japanese and for not having a drivers licence.
Just as i feared.
Time for plan c :) ECC

Hmm. Japanese is not required by Interac. Then again, ironically, in the place you don't need to know Japanese the schools request Japanese decent speakers. These places are often called urban where no driving is required. However there are a scant few, if I recall correctly, rural areas that don't require driving...

Well good luck with ECC. It's an eikaiwa so how you commute shouldn't be as hard to deal with as with Interac (one place versus multiple places).

Sakurahoshi
October 3rd, 2012, 04:08
Are you sure this was the reason? Did they actually say so? It doesn't say on their website that a driver's licence or Japanese ability is a definite requirement; it's just an advantage. They can't exclude you purely on that basis.

Shodanicron
October 3rd, 2012, 04:21
Are you sure this was the reason? Did they actually say so? It doesn't say on their website that a driver's licence or Japanese ability is a definite requirement; it's just an advantage. They can't exclude you purely on that basis.

Hi

The email says that japanese of intermediate level and previous teaching experience in japan is a requirement for the current urban positions and a drivers licence is a requirement for the current rural positions.

Its quite possible that i am just unlucky with timing and that the only positions currently available are subject to the above requirements.

I have applied to a few other companies and hopefully will have some success there.

CTB
October 4th, 2012, 21:20
Hello. I am an ALT working for Interac. I had a similar experience to you. I phoned them last August and asked about going to a seminar (interview). The lady at the end of the phone said that I would need a drivers license, but I could check back in a few months time.
I phoned back in December and I got a short phone interview, after which I was invited to the seminar and then I got the job!
I have never drived and have no intention of driving. My Japanese is also (still) very basic and that has never been an issue.
My advice to you, if you're still interested in Interac is persevere - they're looking for people just like you, who can work hard and won't give up.

All the very best of luck.

Shodanicron
October 4th, 2012, 21:27
Hello. I am an ALT working for Interac. I had a similar experience to you. I phoned them last August and asked about going to a seminar (interview). The lady at the end of the phone said that I would need a drivers license, but I could check back in a few months time.
I phoned back in December and I got a short phone interview, after which I was invited to the seminar and then I got the job!
I have never drived and have no intention of driving. My Japanese is also (still) very basic and that has never been an issue.
My advice to you, if you're still interested in Interac is persevere - they're looking for people just like you, who can work hard and won't give up.

All the very best of luck.

Hi

When i got the reply from them i did write back thanking them for their consideration and that i would work hard on changing both my lack of driver licence and get certification (i believe my Japanese is at an intermediate level but still haven't done the JLPT.)

Yeah i think depending on how things go with AEON and ECC who im currently applying to, ill revisit Interac and hope to god that there are spots opened up from either people who pulled out before contract stage or simply more jobs become available due to demand in japan itself.

I certainly wont give up on my goal anyway.

Thanks again for your reply. much appreciated.

Shodanicron
October 20th, 2012, 00:59
Have interview for AEON tomorrow in London. No word from ECC as of yet. I emailed both previously to application double checking the lack of drivers licence. they assured me it isnt a problem at all..

Good to double check i think.

Fingers crossed lads.

DandeLion
October 29th, 2012, 08:46
Hi!

Well first thing is first, you should go ahead with your interviews with or without a license, and if not, then go get your license and try again in...WHENEVER. Eikawas are always hiring. Places like ECC, Gaba, and AEON. They don't just hire at a certain time. And if you prefer a public school position, the waiting time is more like 6 months for places like Interac and Borderlinks - many people leave right after summer, since that is when school starts for people who are considering going back. But also some contracts may only last 7 months. I am not sure why, but places like Sakai last year only wanted people from September to March, since JET can't do that, Interac takes up those contracts.
I am sure it is an advantage to have a license to your name, but it is not really all that necessary. I work with Interac and happen to know that whereas they do want people for driving positions, the majority of positions are non driving. Of the 30 people I know working for it, I only know 2 drivers. And one of those is by choice. I mean really is sounds like you have such awesome credentials to your name that it is just a minor factor.
As far as getting a license in Japan...well you CAN do it. But I wouldn't really recommend it. I mean unless you are the almighty supreme of superb drivers. The test is a little more than a little difficult. And they go easy on the ones that already have a license. Basically they are just really nit-picky. For a Japanese person, it will cost some 300000 yen (possibly more) for a new driver. The reason is, is that they want you to take their classes. And no you do not have to, but I have a friend who decided not to (as he has licenses in 2 countries already) and failed their driving test 3 times. The first time in the first 5 minutes, ending with the tester pointing to their school and saying 'go'. Their school costs about 15000 yen per hour and I forget how much their test costs.
So, if you really want to, the choice is yours. But I just wanted to warn you that it might not be as easy as you think.


Best of luck mate!

Shodanicron
October 29th, 2012, 08:59
Hi

Thanks for the reply man. Yeah in researching this topic myself over the last few months. It seems that a common theme is the cost and the ... i suppose convoluted nature of getting the licence within japan itself.

That it is standard practice to fail at least the first time. and other such stories.

I would try to get it here in ireland first of course. but with changes to the law it will take as long as 10 months or so.

This of course is not so big a deal, but i am anxious to get a life change moving if you get my meaning. When i think of 10+ months... its incredibly disheartening.

I think my interview with AEON went well so ill stay positive and consider that i wont even need to think of a licence in Ireland.. until i get news to the contrary of course.