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balderdash7
April 6th, 2015, 02:39
I am a short-listed JET ALT from Canada. Congratulations to everyone regardless of status. It's been one heck of a ride and that was just the application process! I am so happy and psyched to be a short-list candidate but after the excitement and the realization of the results sinks in, what are your thoughts right now? Me, I am excited and scared at the same time. I can't wrap my head around the fact that I was short-listed because I never expected it.

genkispirit
April 6th, 2015, 03:08
For me, it's not so much the being accepted. It's everything before departing that is worrying me. I live alone, I'm on a lease that I have to break in order to go on the program. I've also got stuff that I'm not gonna bother storing since like most students I bought everything used. I'm starting to downsize everything starting with each room. It's going to be a slow process. I think everything else JET Related, at least now, is just going to be a paper train. That's monotonous but, at least to me, not stressing at all.

alternate
April 6th, 2015, 06:48
For about an hour after I was told the good news all I could do was smile. However, reality has started to come back to me in the past week. In my personal situation, I have a well paying job which could last for the next forty years or so if I wanted. But, as i mentioned in my interview, if I don't accept my placement on the JET program I will kick myself. So now starts the internal battle of determining if I continue my career path in IT or take a year or more to have the adventure of a lifetime in Japan.

Has as anyone else had doubts about leaving a really good job to have an adventure in Japan?

Zolrak 22
April 6th, 2015, 07:10
Has as anyone else had doubts about leaving a really good job to have an adventure in Japan?

Why not both?

If your Japanese is good enough, I'm sure you could apply for an IT job. Or see if there's a branch of your company in Japan that you could transfer to, even if only temporarily.

webstaa
April 6th, 2015, 08:21
After the 'I'm in excitement' comes the 'Where is my placement' anxiety. Just make sure you get everything in as far as paperwork goes.

sourdoughsushi
April 6th, 2015, 08:37
My apartment is looking smaller and smaller now that there's a possibility my fiance may be moving in. We will see what his placement brings. If he gets Hokkaido or Aomori, I'm peacing out of here next year.

weepinbell
April 6th, 2015, 09:55
Yeah fortunately right now my only anxiety is placement... super ready for all this waiting to be over. I just graduated last year and I'm living at home, so I've really got nothing to lose. My full-time job is basically a recent college grad position with super high turnover, so honestly... I think my supervisors are more than okay with seeing me leave since it means they don't have to give me a raise lol.

Ps, concerning the IRS tax exemption form... I just filed my taxes this week, and I owed money to the state that has been processed, but haven't gotten my government tax return yet. Can I still apply, or do I have to wait until my taxes are 100% dealt with. I can't figure out if it just needs them to be filed, or totally processed.

greyjoy
April 6th, 2015, 10:30
Ps, concerning the IRS tax exemption form... I just filed my taxes this week, and I owed money to the state that has been processed, but haven't gotten my government tax return yet. Can I still apply, or do I have to wait until my taxes are 100% dealt with. I can't figure out if it just needs them to be filed, or totally processed.

What? You're not applying for an exemption for 2014 taxes; you'd be filing that for 2015. The only thing you need now is the paper that shows you'll be out of the country for the next x years. That shouldn't be contingent upon your current taxes being paid.

Fantasylife
April 6th, 2015, 10:48
For about an hour after I was told the good news all I could do was smile. However, reality has started to come back to me in the past week. In my personal situation, I have a well paying job which could last for the next forty years or so if I wanted. But, as i mentioned in my interview, if I don't accept my placement on the JET program I will kick myself. So now starts the internal battle of determining if I continue my career path in IT or take a year or more to have the adventure of a lifetime in Japan.

Has as anyone else had doubts about leaving a really good job to have an adventure in Japan?

None. I have the stereotypical good paying job with benefits. It's stressful as hell, but offers a nice career ladder for the dedicated worker. But my future is in entrepreneurship, so leaving behind my current job for a lesser paying gig is no concern to me. Besides, there are things I can get out of working in Japan that will help me grow as an entrepreneur that I just can't get from a traditional 9-5. And like you, I recognize that working in Japan is, for most people, a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can always get another well paying, 9-5 job. However, I will likely never get another opportunity like the JET Program again.

weepinbell
April 6th, 2015, 10:57
What? You're not applying for an exemption for 2014 taxes; you'd be filing that for 2015. The only thing you need now is the paper that shows you'll be out of the country for the next x years. That shouldn't be contingent upon your current taxes being paid.

Oh no I know. It just says before you do the tax exemption form that your taxes need to have been completed for 2014 in order for them to be able to process the tax exemption. Wondering if it means just filed, or if it means I need to have already paid back the money I owe/received the money they owe me. I wanna get started on it ASAP, but I haven't gotten the tax return yet, just paid the money I owed.

Ananasboat
April 6th, 2015, 11:06
From what I recall you have to file your taxes, get that information and then have the form for exemption filled out and sent to the IRS. All you have to do is bring the piece of paper they mail back to you to Japan and your office will usually settle the rest for you.

So, get everything filed, fill out the paperwork and you should be good.

Aihra
April 6th, 2015, 11:19
For about an hour after I was told the good news all I could do was smile. However, reality has started to come back to me in the past week. In my personal situation, I have a well paying job which could last for the next forty years or so if I wanted. But, as i mentioned in my interview, if I don't accept my placement on the JET program I will kick myself. So now starts the internal battle of determining if I continue my career path in IT or take a year or more to have the adventure of a lifetime in Japan.

Has as anyone else had doubts about leaving a really good job to have an adventure in Japan?

Hi Alternate!

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I was an alternate myself in 2014. I remember last year thinking that the only career option I had going on for me was JET. Since I was never called back, looked at other avenues to continue my passions to work with internationals youths. Eventually found a job working with such students all day. It's a well paying part time position on a great track, with co-workers I love working with. When I found out I was accepted this year I was initially happy that was accepted, but was sad with the things I would leave behind. (Versus last year with nothing to lose)

I've made fabulous mentors within my field I want to go into. One person says I should take this opportunity while I'm young. Another says I should look at better opportunities because of my background. Another says I shouldn't give up my standing I've built myself in America.

Currently assigned myself a self reflecting task in taking a honest closer look at my hopes, dreams, and things that make me happy in order to make my final decision.

greyjoy
April 6th, 2015, 11:29
Oh no I know. It just says before you do the tax exemption form that your taxes need to have been completed for 2014 in order for them to be able to process the tax exemption. Wondering if it means just filed, or if it means I need to have already paid back the money I owe/received the money they owe me. I wanna get started on it ASAP, but I haven't gotten the tax return yet, just paid the money I owed.

Oh, I see. I don't remember the process exactly, but filing your taxes really should be sufficient, not paying or refunding. At worst they would just hold on to it until everything is settled.

weepinbell
April 6th, 2015, 11:32
Oh, I see. I don't remember the process exactly, but filing your taxes really should be sufficient, not paying or refunding. At worst they would just hold on to it until everything is settled.

True. It says filed on the instructions for it, and my status is filed, sooo... I'll probably just get started on it tomorrow. Wanna get the ball rolling on that one for sure.

word
April 6th, 2015, 12:32
The next four months will be some of the best in your life if you do things right. Hang out with your uni mates, get ridiculously drunk and high (on life!), eat delicious meals, spend time with the family, go camping, watch movies, goof off, etc. Indulge in everything your home has to offer and only worry about your impending adventure as much as you absolutely have to. If you've been shortlisted, you've got it made for the next year at least. In the meantime, have as much fun as you possibly can (without getting arrested).

http://ibelongatnipissingu.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/03/treatyoself_main01.jpg

Gizmotech
April 6th, 2015, 12:41
Totally agree with what word said. I had an awesome time before coming on JET.. then I got to Japan.

x_stei
April 7th, 2015, 07:46
I was very happy when I found out I was shortlisted, but now the ugly dragon of doubt inevitably crept up on me... I didn't think I would be this anxious about this decision; I hadn't even replied to the initial email telling me I've been shortlisted yet. For the longest time I had been so sure that I've wanted to do JET, but now that I'm actually here I am a little surprised by these thoughts. Just two days ago, I had realized that the pay for 1st year JETs is actually smaller than my part time job now. My job now is in my field but I am not happy with it, the rate of promotion is slower than the JET application process so staying at my current job wouldn't be beneficial. For some reason, I see JET as a sabbatical almost? I feel bad that I feel this way... Maybe I see JET as not only a job but as an experience and a journey? =/.

My family is another thing. My mother is happy and proud of me, but my dad has not voiced his opinion. It makes me sad that they might not support me on this because I've worked so hard during the application process.

Tax season is here too so I'll have to make sure I do everything right in that arena. Also perplexing is becoming an American citizen in the months between now and August, which I don't know if I want or not. =/.

I've got much to think about =/.

mothy
April 7th, 2015, 08:04
What I'm not hearing is why you wanted to do JET in the first place.

mrcharisma
April 7th, 2015, 08:16
I was very happy when I found out I was shortlisted, but now the ugly dragon of doubt inevitably crept up on me... I didn't think I would be this anxious about this decision; I hadn't even replied to the initial email telling me I've been shortlisted yet. For the longest time I had been so sure that I've wanted to do JET, but now that I'm actually here I am a little surprised by these thoughts. Just two days ago, I had realized that the pay for 1st year JETs is actually smaller than my part time job now. My job now is in my field but I am not happy with it, the rate of promotion is slower than the JET application process so staying at my current job wouldn't be beneficial. For some reason, I see JET as a sabbatical almost? I feel bad that I feel this way... Maybe I see JET as not only a job but as an experience and a journey? =/.

My family is another thing. My mother is happy and proud of me, but my dad has not voiced his opinion. It makes me sad that they might not support me on this because I've worked so hard during the application process.

Tax season is here too so I'll have to make sure I do everything right in that arena. Also perplexing is becoming an American citizen in the months between now and August, which I don't know if I want or not. =/.

I've got much to think about =/.

If you're female think long and hard unless you have a micropenii fetish and are happy being spoken down to by middle-aged men with appalling table manners.

If you're a guy, get on the plane and get in amongst it. You'll be too busy knocking back booze and slamming top-notch skirt to give two hoots about a sensible job.

Ananasboat
April 7th, 2015, 08:38
For some reason, I see JET as a sabbatical almost?

That's because it is. It's not a "real job" for most of the people who come here. A lot of people (speaking from experience) take it as a vacation from their life back home. For as long as I'm here I get to not think about what sort of job I want in the future, I don't have to engage in politics back home and I get a pretty good excuse to ignore a lot of other things.

That said, it's providing me with a lot of experiences, and a lot of perspective. I wouldn't say that my job in and of itself is challenging, but there are lots of things here that challenge me. It's very much a learning experience, and I'm very happy I was allowed this opportunity to come here.

But you have to weigh your options there, we can't tell you if staying in an okay-paying (long term) job with little upward mobility is worth giving up a different job that is okay-paying (short term) with little upward mobility in a foreign country. That's all up to you. I was just stepping into a real job when I came to Japan so it wasn't that difficult of a choice for me. But good luck in whatever you choose.

uthinkimlost?
April 7th, 2015, 08:53
I was very happy when I found out I was shortlisted, but now the ugly dragon of doubt inevitably crept up on me... I didn't think I would be this anxious about this decision; I hadn't even replied to the initial email telling me I've been shortlisted yet. For the longest time I had been so sure that I've wanted to do JET, but now that I'm actually here I am a little surprised by these thoughts. Just two days ago, I had realized that the pay for 1st year JETs is actually smaller than my part time job now. My job now is in my field but I am not happy with it, the rate of promotion is slower than the JET application process so staying at my current job wouldn't be beneficial. For some reason, I see JET as a sabbatical almost? I feel bad that I feel this way... Maybe I see JET as not only a job but as an experience and a journey? =/.

My family is another thing. My mother is happy and proud of me, but my dad has not voiced his opinion. It makes me sad that they might not support me on this because I've worked so hard during the application process.

Tax season is here too so I'll have to make sure I do everything right in that arena. Also perplexing is becoming an American citizen in the months between now and August, which I don't know if I want or not. =/.

I've got much to think about =/.

Wait, you have dual-citizenship? Why would you bother with JET?

weepinbell
April 7th, 2015, 09:10
If you're female think long and hard unless you have a micropenii fetish and are happy being spoken down to by middle-aged men with appalling table manners.



Sounds a lot like good ol 'Murrca.

How the hell did you get a part time job that pays more than JET? Is it a speciality field? My full-time 8-5 pays much less than JET. Maybe it's just that recent grad, useless liberal arts degree curse.

x_stei
April 7th, 2015, 09:10
Not right now, and not with Japan. I'm Canadian, but I am eligible to become American by naturalization.


How the hell did you get a part time job that pays more than JET? Is it a speciality field? My full-time 8-5 pays much less than JET. Maybe it's just that recent grad, useless liberal arts degree curse.

Ack. Nevermind. JET didn't pay as much as I thought it did and for some reason I thought I earned more.

Obviously a newb when it comes to money so please pardon this indiscretion.

uthinkimlost?
April 7th, 2015, 09:19
Not right now, and not with Japan. I'm Canadian, but I am eligible to become American by naturalization.

That's a very big decision to have dictated by a short-term job.

x_stei
April 7th, 2015, 09:24
That's a very big decision to have dictated by a short-term job.
Thank you!

It is a tough thing to think about, especially when, for some reason, I only have 15 days between receiving the shortlist email to when I have to send back the reply form.

Anyway, I'll take a few days time to ruminate. Thanks for the advice guys!

ichigo
April 7th, 2015, 09:59
Count me in on the train of doubt. Short listed and ruminating.

When I applied to JET I didn't really have any other goals after graduating from undergrad, but in the past year I've discovered options related to my major (Psychology) and that I may be able to do research in Japan in grad school later on. I only have a part time job so JET money sounds really appealing, but I'd be getting experience that's not related to my career at all. It would pretty much be a working vacation and only that. I don't know if it's worth going over to become better at Japanese in exchange for not networking/getting to know people in my field for a year :( I'm torn, and I've applied to psych related jobs, but JET is the only concrete option so far. I haven't even gotten my first full time 8-5 job yet in my field, and I don't think JET experience would make getting a job any easier in a year...

All the people I talk to say "Go to Japan, because...JAPAN!" but I'm glad there are others here that see that it's more than that and are making tough decisions too.

word
April 7th, 2015, 10:04
If I held a Canadian passport, there's no way in hell I would become a US citizen. If you're even thinking about coming to Japan, DON'T become a US citizen. Tax headaches alone would make it a horrid decision.

alternate
April 7th, 2015, 10:38
I'm glad that there are more applicants than me who have some doubts. I will wait until I have been assigned a placement before I make the big decision.

I have been been hinking about jet since freshman in college and I've been in the working world for a few years now.

Accepting jet will mean a pay cut and a deviation from my career path. I've also thought about if I were to leave jet would the economy be in pieces and would a job be easy to find. I might have to get a part time job again.

As for my parents, I could care less what they wanted. I don't live with them now and if I were to return it's the last place I would live. I would rather live in a cardboard box than with my parents again.

However, at the end of the day I realize this might be the only opportunity I have to live in Japan with such ease for the rest of my life. This is so taxing to think about!

alternate
April 7th, 2015, 10:53
Count me in on the train of doubt. Short listed and ruminating.

When I applied to JET I didn't really have any other goals after graduating from undergrad, but in the past year I've discovered options related to my major (Psychology) and that I may be able to do research in Japan in grad school later on. I only have a part time job so JET money sounds really appealing, but I'd be getting experience that's not related to my career at all. It would pretty much be a working vacation and only that. I don't know if it's worth going over to become better at Japanese in exchange for not networking/getting to know people in my field for a year :( I'm torn, and I've applied to psych related jobs, but JET is the only concrete option so far. I haven't even gotten my first full time 8-5 job yet in my field, and I don't think JET experience would make getting a job any easier in a year...

All the people I talk to say "Go to Japan, because...JAPAN!" but I'm glad there are others here that see that it's more than that and are making tough decisions too.

So, last year I was working a part time job in the IT field which I was able to use for a very good full time job in the IT field. If i was given shortlist status last year I would have not doubted going on JET for even a second. However, this year, I have earned a full time job that pays very well with 15 sick days per year, 12 personal days per year, winter break, spring break, all of the federal holidays, a 2% COLA each year, plus a 1, 2, or 3% raise each year, plus a 4% raise after earning any IT certification and then a stipend for certifications after that. Also, my employer covers education costs for formal education and certification training and exams. Also, I love my boss and my team. And the potential for career advancement is limitless as I can see it. I forgot to mention a paid hour lunch no overtime required working only 8:30-4:30 and if I show up at 8:45 it's not that big of a deal. And it's nearly impossible to get fired unless I physically attack a coworker.

And with all of this I've still accepted my status as a shortlist candidate on the jet program. I wish I was fired or something so I could make this choice more easily. Haha

balderdash7
April 7th, 2015, 11:04
I was very happy when I found out I was shortlisted, but now the ugly dragon of doubt inevitably crept up on me... I didn't think I would be this anxious about this decision; I hadn't even replied to the initial email telling me I've been shortlisted yet. For the longest time I had been so sure that I've wanted to do JET, but now that I'm actually here I am a little surprised by these thoughts. Just two days ago, I had realized that the pay for 1st year JETs is actually smaller than my part time job now. My job now is in my field but I am not happy with it, the rate of promotion is slower than the JET application process so staying at my current job wouldn't be beneficial. For some reason, I see JET as a sabbatical almost? I feel bad that I feel this way... Maybe I see JET as not only a job but as an experience and a journey? =/.

My family is another thing. My mother is happy and proud of me, but my dad has not voiced his opinion. It makes me sad that they might not support me on this because I've worked so hard during the application process.

Tax season is here too so I'll have to make sure I do everything right in that arena. Also perplexing is becoming an American citizen in the months between now and August, which I don't know if I want or not. =/.

I've got much to think about =/.

Exactly this! You share many of my sentiments. I guess what's making it hard to decide against going is the amount of time and effort that went into the application (i.e., reference letters, the interview). I just started a job that is a good point towards a stable career. I honestly thought that being shortlisted would mean that I'd be nothing but happy to go to Japan. Now I don't know anymore. My family is really supportive but my dad's being quiet about the whole thing as well. Plus, Canadians don't know their placements yet so that's definitely adding up to the anxiety. (-_-)"

word
April 7th, 2015, 11:12
Imagine you decline your JET placement and stay in your job. Five years from now, will you hate yourself for passing up the opportunity? Would you be incapable of getting a comparable job when you return if you DID accept JET placement?

All that said, having done JET, I dunno if I'd do it in your place.

The dudes from Freakonomics would tell you to flip a coin.

alternate
April 7th, 2015, 11:26
Imagine you decline your JET placement and stay in your job. Five years from now, will you hate yourself for passing up the opportunity? Would you be incapable of getting a comparable job when you return if you DID accept JET placement?

All that said, having done JET, I dunno if I'd do it in your place.

The dudes from Freakonomics would tell you to flip a coin.

Haha. Maybe I should make a YouTube video of me flipping a coin to decide my fate. I absolutely loved freakonomics and super freakonomics. And then if it flips on the side I don't want I'll stop the tape and record another video until it lands on the side I want. Haha

i have been trying to think of airfare, housing subsidizing, language training (immersion), permanent vacation, etc. in a monetary sort of way. How much is learning Japanese worth to me? I know airfare is like $1500. The cost of a two week vacation in Japan is a few thousand dollars. Then what is that multiplied by 52 weeks?

maybe I should be looking for a different kind of job in Japan if all I want is to experience is Japan and not necessarily the teaching children part.

uthinkimlost?
April 7th, 2015, 11:29
i have been trying to think of airfare, housing subsidizing, language training (immersion), permanent vacation, etc. in a monetary sort of way.


I do hope you realize tha aside from the language immersion (not training, that's a different animal) and the airfare, those aren't guaranteed.

mothy
April 7th, 2015, 11:34
If I had had a good job in the US I wouldn't have come to Japan. Although you get a much deeper understanding of the country by living and working here, unless your future career can use that info, it's really rather pointless, other than being the guy who plays mythbuster at parties. My most enjoyable Japan experience is still when I visited for two weeks a couple of years before I moved here.
I really don't understand people who leave a good situation at home for JET. Especially if they don't have a clear idea of what they'll gain from the experience.

Zolrak 22
April 7th, 2015, 12:12
And with all of this I've still accepted my status as a shortlist candidate on the jet program. I wish I was fired or something so I could make this choice more easily. Haha

I don't wanna sound rude mate, but I hope you are kidding with all of those benefits and "limitless possibilities".

Otherwise I'd smack you across the face if you were a friend of mine.

Most of the folks I know would kill for job security with so much potential to keep going up.

And again, if the company is so good, check if they have branches out of the country. You can have your cake and eat it too.

Cbill1
April 7th, 2015, 13:04
I know the "devil you know is better than the devil you don't" argument isn't always sound, but I think it's worth considering here. There are very few objectively terrible JET placements, but there are plenty of cases where JET placements don't mesh on a personal level. You could be somebody who's really social and active who's place in the boonies. You could be somebody who hates cities placed twenty minutes away from Osaka. This isn't even getting into the chance that you and your workmates or other ALTs might not get along. It's not that there aren't many people who are happy and have placements that fit them well, because there are, but there are plenty of people in opposite situations. It really is a gamble.

Beyond that, how do you feel about your current job? Does it give you responsibilities? Is it something you feel fulfilled doing? Do you get along with your coworkers? These are very likely things that will be different on JET. Not every ALT is a tape recorder, but many are. Many ALTs complain about having too little to do at the office and too much free time? Will this bother you? If it is a serious problem for you, it might be better to stay at your current job. JET isn't a career, it's a part-time gig with a shelf-life. Granted, the pay can be decent (although I would contest that now with the exchange rate), but it has very few opportunities for advancement. It's not that JET isn't great, because it can be, but there are plenty of other things that are worth doing, too.

Gizmotech
April 7th, 2015, 13:27
To be completely honest, if i hadn't been planning on throwing my life away being an english teacher abroad and had a decent job back home with stability and a future I would have never come on JET.

word
April 7th, 2015, 14:05
Not me. I had a good job prospects, supportive friends and and family, a good professional network, a hot fiancee, and, in general, a pretty kickarse life back home.

I left it all (except the hot fiancee; I ended up bringing her with me) for the adventure. I totally don't regret it. I sometimes think I should've gone home sooner, though.

Virgil
April 7th, 2015, 14:06
To be completely honest, if i hadn't been planning on throwing my life away being an english teacher abroad and had a decent job back home with stability and a future I would have never come on JET.

Word. I quite like teaching, and was doing it back home. I like "teaching" even more while I get to travel. I'll probably keep doing it in other countries after I get tired of Japan. What is this career you speak of..?

*cue walking away from a flaming structure that is his career*

Zolrak 22
April 7th, 2015, 14:42
I left it all (except the hot fiancee; I ended up bringing her with me) for the adventure. I totally don't regret it.





All that said, having done JET, I dunno if I'd do it in your place.

And that my friends is an unreliable narrator [emoji14].

word
April 7th, 2015, 14:53
In HIS place. If I were back in MY place, I'd totally do it again.

hypatia
April 7th, 2015, 15:22
I'm Canadian, but I am eligible to become American by naturalization.
----
It is a tough thing to think about, especially when, for some reason, I only have 15 days between receiving the shortlist email to when I have to send back the reply form.

I'm a bit confused as to why you applied through an American consulate instead of a Canadian one, knowing this might be the eventual result.

fairiehearts
April 7th, 2015, 16:05
I'm 23, been out of university for about 2 years now, have amazing network connections in my city, and have an opportunity to get into the field I want to be in.

But at the same time, I'm currently in a job with a shelf life. My boss is practically pushing me out the door. Not because I'm bad at my job, but that I should really be aiming higher (It's low pay for the amount of work I put in... Sucks working in the non-profit Tourism Industry).

Actually, I didn't even think about JET til October 2014 (the last time I thought about doing this was back in 2012/2013 when I was a senior in University but I never even looked at the application back then because I didn't think I would have a good professor reference). In October, there was a big shift in Tourism in the province I lived in (shift in focus, budget cuts, a lot of other nasty behind the scenes stuff, etc.) which unfortunately caused my hours to be cut as a result by 1/3rd (Which essentially pushed me from full time, to part time yet I still paid for benefits... my boss did give me a slight raise but the hours cut still hurts my wallet). Around that exact same time, the JET applications opened up and I thought it was fate. I was planning to apply to other jobs as well, but because of the time of year, most of the applications/interviews did not pan out the way I wanted them to. So to get into JET after 6 months of uncertainty I am gonna take this opportunity as a sign.

The way I see it, right now is the perfect time for me to experience traveling and living abroad. I'm still young, in my early twenties, single, and don't have any big personal commitments (except for a car that I will still need to pay off while I'm abroad). I only expect to stay a year, I feel that's all I may need. And then I can go home, attend a few weddings, see my baby brother graduate high school and then find a job/career in the field (ie events or non-profit/charity). I will still have many of the connections I gained from the past four years so I feel it's fine if I leave.

There are ways to use experience abroad in many job opportunities, even if it's not directly related to your field (ie bullshit your way to explain why JET is relevant, ie "broader, worldly view", "Leadership experience", etc.).

I'm also realistic in a way that I don't expect JET to be this magical opportunity in Japan where I will become fluent in Japanese or become a super ALT, while having all the free time to travel all over Asia on the weekends. Unless I win my local radio station's Sound effect contest (current jackpots like $29,000CAD) I probably wouldn't be able to afford that. But I do hope I can spend a bit of time, carefully planned out traveling to a few places, even if its at the very end of my experience and I take a month after I finish the program to travel.

Every person will think about this a different way. I'd still take this opportunity even if I was in a couple of different peoples shoes, because what the heck we only have this one life to live and I'd rather live it with this experience, whether it may turn out amazing, good or horrible, than sit at a desk saying "What if"?

mothy
April 7th, 2015, 16:27
Because it is impossible to simultaneously do everything and not do everything, what if questions are unavoidable, avoiding what ifs is a stupid reason to do something.

Ananasboat
April 7th, 2015, 16:29
But what if they make you really uncomfortable?

fairiehearts
April 7th, 2015, 16:46
More or less, the Only "What If?" question I was referring to was the fact that I got in to JET but hypothetically said no. There are a million "What if?"scenarios and I would just go mad going through them all. And there are obviously plenty of sane and logical reasons to do something.

But in my own life, I don't get many chances to live "outside of the box I created". I was raised in a traditionalist, semi-conservative household, and live at home (because living anywhere else in Vancouver is kind of a no-go especially with my salary). My parents also (I honestly don't know if they are joking or not) have stated they "wouldn't let me leave home unless I got married and even then its kind of iffy" kind of situation. So this kind of opportunity not only gives me a break but also let's me actually live alone without the incessant nagging of my parents. I've already somewhat regretted not studying abroad while I was in University.

I have this opportunity now, why shouldn't I take it? Because knowing me, knowing my family, If I don't do it now, I wouldn't get another chance unless I actually made it my career to work in a different country.

mothy
April 7th, 2015, 17:03
See, you list all sorts of logical reasons to do it. That's cool, so do it. But fear of what if isn't really a reason.

x_stei
April 7th, 2015, 23:46
I'm a bit confused as to why you applied through an American consulate instead of a Canadian one, knowing this might be the eventual result.
I did apply through Canada. Since I am not an American citizen then (or now), I couldn't apply through an American consulate.

weepinbell
April 8th, 2015, 00:07
It's the dilemmas like these that make me sorta glad that I got my degree in acting last year and live with my parents with no direction in life.... at least it makes the decision easier. My situation sucks so much right now, at least I literally have nothing to lose by leaving lol. Moving back in with parents after having so much freedom/space in college is truly the worst fate... at least I've been able to save up from it though, that's the only saving grace here haha.

hypatia
April 8th, 2015, 02:39
I did apply through Canada. Since I am not an American citizen then (or now), I couldn't apply through an American consulate.

Oops, sorry for the assumption. My bad! I went back and looked at your older posts and saw you had explained the situation elsewhere ("..if I don't become American, I'll have to come back to Michigan once every year or six months to maintain my permanent residence.") That sucks. And is a bit of a pickle, as you mentioned before. When faced with situations like this, I ask myself "What is the absolute worst thing that could happen?" and then try to figure things out from there.

In this case, the absolute worst case scenario is that you are somehow unable to make those required trips and lose your permanent residency status in America. You mentioned that you currently live and work in Michigan. I guess the question here is "Is going on JET worth the possibility that you may have to return to living/working in Canada post-JET for some amount of time (with no guarantee that you'll be able to resume working in America)?"

I have no idea what the naturalization process entails, but I'm sure it will be a ton of headache inducing paperwork. Is all of this hassle and trouble worth it? Also, will you be losing out on certain benefits in the future by giving up your Canadian citizenship?

As far as I see it, you have four options:

1.) Turn down your shortlist appointment this year, go through the naturalization process and then apply for the next year's cycle of JET through an American consulate.

2.) Accept the shortlist appointment and just bite the bullet with making those trips back to Michigan. We have (I believe) 20 days worth of vacation time per contract year, and during times when the students aren't in school (spring, summer, and winter break) many JETs take the opportunity to travel.

3.) Accept the shortlist appointment but try to go through all of the paperwork to get naturalized before you leave the country (I have no idea how this would affect things because your consulate helps to process your visa to Japan.)

4.) Turn down your shortlist appointment and give up on JET completely

I know your situation is unusual and complicated. I recommend giving your Coordinator a call, and see what advice they have to give. If you decide to go forward with the naturalization they'll need to know about it anyhow. Unfortunately, it seems whichever route you go there's going to be some headache. Best of luck with whatever you end up doing!

Jedirust
April 8th, 2015, 10:54
Jobs are and will always be abundant if you have the talent to get them. Life is short, you might as well make it fun. What's a year or two away from a job anyway? You'll just be a bottom earner in any company you work for.


Sent from Japan.

Zolrak 22
April 8th, 2015, 14:57
Jobs are and will always be abundant if you have the talent to get them.

I'd love for that to be true every single time. [emoji28]

naginataonthebrain
April 9th, 2015, 05:50
Jobs are and will always be abundant if you have the talent to get them.

Are you a baby boomer by any chance? Or one of those people who write those crap "What's wrong with the Millennial Generation?" articles for TIME or HuffPost? Seriously, it is amazing how much your elitism reeks in just one sentence.

Virgil
April 9th, 2015, 07:55
Harsh. I think that that there must be wide regional differences in job availability. I hear people complaining of job scarcity frequently, and I'm not sure if they mean "I can' find a job" or "I can't find a job I like."

I've never lacked for jobs in my area, and I don't think that is from divine providence or anything. I do a lot of networking though, and I feel like that has helped... it' the reason I have landed jobs in my life.

Zolrak 22
April 9th, 2015, 08:09
Back in DC, I had a job offer at every corner.

Here in PR? Not so much.

naginataonthebrain
April 9th, 2015, 08:51
Harsh. I think that that there must be wide regional differences in job availability. I hear people complaining of job scarcity frequently, and I'm not sure if they mean "I can' find a job" or "I can't find a job I like."

I've never lacked for jobs in my area, and I don't think that is from divine providence or anything. I do a lot of networking though, and I feel like that has helped... it' the reason I have landed jobs in my life.

See, my issue is that I knew my first job post-graduation was going to be in a field that I don't see myself long-term in. But whether it was being a receptionist at a private school or working in retail, people told me to apply elsewhere because I was "too overqualified" with my college degree. But yet, I'm underqualified for the jobs in the sector I want to be in (international education) because I don't have a masters degree/no professional experience in said field. Well excuse me for not wanting to spend another $50,000 right away and instead, trying to save up and gain real-world experience. And before you ask, yes I do network extensively (via places like LinkedIn and through in-person gatherings in my city). But I live in the Deep South and so the likelihood of someone helping me get my foot into the international education door around here is slim.

So this whole dealio of "you'll find plenty of jobs if you have the talent" is condescending as hell to people like me who have looked for jobs in a variety of sectors, not just our desired one.

mrcharisma
April 9th, 2015, 09:09
See, my issue is that I knew my first job post-graduation was going to be in a field that I don't see myself long-term in. But whether it was being a receptionist at a private school or working in retail, people told me to apply elsewhere because I was "too overqualified" with my college degree. But yet, I'm underqualified for the jobs in the sector I want to be in (international education) because I don't have a masters degree/no professional experience in said field. Well excuse me for not wanting to spend another $50,000 right away and instead, trying to save up and gain real-world experience. And before you ask, yes I do network extensively (via places like LinkedIn and through in-person gatherings in my city). But I live in the Deep South and so the likelihood of someone helping me get my foot into the international education door around here is slim.

So this whole dealio of "you'll find plenty of jobs if you have the talent" is condescending as hell to people like me who have looked for jobs in a variety of sectors, not just our desired one.

Didn't it cross your mind to leave Deliverance country instead of staying there and moaning about the lack of opportunities?

Jedirust
April 9th, 2015, 09:21
Sounds like a personal problem to me. Maybe an addendum... If you're willing to move too. I just can't imagine why you weren't hirable...

I read your tirade and thought of this quote from office space:
"Well look, I already told you! I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?"

*edit notes: I'm from the "Deep South" too. There were plenty of opportunities. Maybe should have chosen a better major, started a business, or sold real estate? I don't know what real world experiences you are looking for, but they are probably way harsher than this forum.

naginataonthebrain
April 9th, 2015, 09:27
Didn't it cross your mind to leave Deliverance country instead of staying there and moaning about the lack of opportunities?

Yes, of course I did. You don't have to tell me twice that the Deep South is the worst place to job hunt in the international education sector. I have applied to jobs across the country (ranging from Seattle to Boston). The closest I got to a job was when I applied for coordinator assistant for a study abroad service provider up in MA. When I had my phone interview and told him where I was living, the hiring manager was shocked. He thought I was up in MA. They ended up not hiring me because I wasn't a local and they needed someone on location in a very short period (2 weeks).

Now you might say I should just go out and move to one of the big cities and cross my fingers I can find a job that way. But I don't like the idea of moving across the country without knowing there is a job waiting for me.

naginataonthebrain
April 9th, 2015, 09:29
But enough about my rant. I have a job through JET and that at least puts me in the right direction for a job in international education.

Jedirust
April 9th, 2015, 09:30
So then this was all for naught?

mothy
April 9th, 2015, 09:34
Jobs are and will always be abundant if you have the talent to get them.

This is one of those statements that while not false are so simplistic that they are meaningless. If I had enough talent I would be a rock star right now. If I had enough talent I'd be a nobel prize winning scientist.

In any given field, the people with the most talent congregate at the top. But you know what? Only select people have that level of talent. Most of us are closer to average, and no matter how special your mother told you you are , you probably are too. And for the average person, doing something that leads them to have years less experience in their given field than their peers can absolutely have a negative impact on their future earnings.

People who gain nothing professionally through JET should seriously consider this before deciding to go.

haitch40
April 9th, 2015, 09:40
In any given field, the people with the most talent congregate at the top.
That is crap. It is the ones who do the most backstabbing who make it to the top.

Virgil
April 9th, 2015, 09:42
This is one of those statements that while not false are so simplistic that they are meaningless. If I had enough talent I would be a rock star right now. If I had enough talent I'd be a nobel prize winning scientist.

In any given field, the people with the most talent congregate at the top. But you know what? Only select people have that level of talent. Most of us are closer to average, and no matter how special your mother told you you are , you probably are too. And for the average person, doing something that leads them to have years less experience in their given field than their peers can absolutely have a negative impact on their future earnings.

People who gain nothing professionally through JET should seriously consider this before deciding to go.

Sometimes Musty adds something really valuable to a debate. Posts with this sort of clarity always shock me. It's like sifting through turds to find gold nuggets.

Sometimes packing up with an unclear future just has to be done. I think people allow themselves to become mentally trapped too often when they find themselves in a bad place/job/whatever.

BifCarbet
April 9th, 2015, 10:05
It's pretty damned arrogant to tell other people that if they were just better, they'd easily get a good job.

It's also pretty damned naive to think that you deserve a good job and something's wrong with the system if you can't get one.

Zolrak 22
April 9th, 2015, 10:06
That is crap. It is the ones who do the most backstabbing who make it to the top.
I'm with you on this, many friends ask me why I've yet to "turn to the dark side", cause I refuse to be an "asshole" to get what I "deserve".

Jedirust
April 9th, 2015, 10:08
So bettering yourself for future jobs prospects doesn't make it easier to get a job? Is that the point of the whole re-apply next year thing?

BifCarbet
April 9th, 2015, 10:10
You can seize opportunity without being an asshole.

naginataonthebrain
April 9th, 2015, 10:11
It's pretty damned arrogant to tell other people that if they were just better, they'd easily get a good job.

It's also pretty damned naive to think that you deserve a good job and something's wrong with the system if you can't get one.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. And no, I don't blame all my problems on the system. Obviously, there are things I lack (whether it's a skill set or a certain personality trait they are looking for). But the job market is definitely not friendly to recent college grads.

Cbill1
April 9th, 2015, 10:16
So bettering yourself for future jobs prospects doesn't make it easier to get a job? Is that the point of the whole re-apply next year thing?

It makes it easier, yeah, but it's not a guarantee.

Like, I can say that studying Japanese has doubled my odds of doing X thing, but if my odds were only 5% to begin with, I'm still probably SOL.

Virgil
April 9th, 2015, 10:18
Maybe the real problem lies with the universities not giving the actual experience that graduates need to be good at a job. I know a lot of people say "Do internships, and it fills the gap!" Seriously? What is the point of going to Uni at all if you're not going to be an academic. Why not just jump straight into the slave labor immediately so that you can learn the ropes. I realize some careers pretty much REQUIRE a sound education (engineers etc.) but some just don't. They require experience, and the piece of paper that you pay tens of thousands of dollars for does not provide it.

It's a "this is how we do things" mentality that holds back progress, and education. Just my 1 cent.

ambrosse
April 9th, 2015, 10:27
Sometimes I wish I went to vocational school to be an electrician.

Jedirust
April 9th, 2015, 10:30
Wherever this thread goes... My idea was to provide a glass half full approach and say there are opportunities out there. I knew there would be equal sentiment in the opposite direction. It's really a coin flip. In the end, do what you want. There are far worse things than not finding a job after you graduate. (I lost both of my parents shortly after.)

I never knew a positive, albeit generally sweeping comment on the job market, made you an asshole. Sometimes people just want to watch the world burn.

frayedflower
April 9th, 2015, 10:30
See, I'm lucky enough to be in the position where I want to be an academic (god knows why), and having a year or two in Japan is going to do nothing but help me in applying for the graduate programs I'm interested in. If I was in any other position I'd probably think twice about accepting, especially since I've long since come to terms with the fact that there are plenty of ways to get to Japan.

mothy
April 9th, 2015, 10:31
That is crap. It is the ones who do the most backstabbing who make it to the top.

The most talent at backstabbing.

mothy
April 9th, 2015, 10:35
I never knew a positive, albeit generally sweeping comment on the job market, made you an asshole. Sometimes people just want to watch the world burn.

Except in this case people were watching the world burn and you came along and said it was their fault.

Jedirust
April 9th, 2015, 10:38
Never said it was anyone's fault. I said to simply better themselves or move where opportunities exist. I can't imagine better advice?

Maybe I'm wrong to think this way, but I don't know everyone on a personal level, so I can only make general commentary. If I offended anyone, it's not my intention.

BifCarbet
April 9th, 2015, 10:41
Never said it was anyone's fault. I said to simply better themselves or move where opportunities exist. I can't imagine better advice?

http://www.astorplacevintage.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Plastics-the-graduate.jpg

Jedirust
April 9th, 2015, 10:49
Touché...

greyjoy
April 9th, 2015, 11:04
I swear this same conversation took place last year with different players. I forgot who though, and don't care enough to rehash it all.

word
April 9th, 2015, 11:13
Sometimes I wish I went to vocational school to be an electrician.word

I used to be an apprentice, during and shortly after high school. It was honest, satisfying work and I could easily see doing it for the rest of my life.


http://www.astorplacevintage.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Plastics-the-graduate.jpgI have no idea how this thread got so far off topic, but it needs to get back on, or I'll lock it or move it to The Lounge.

Virgil
April 9th, 2015, 12:35
Here's to you Mrs Robinson....

MandiPanda13
April 24th, 2015, 06:52
I'm so excited too! I was shortlisted from a small pool of hopefuls in Alaska (and I means SMALL. 15 applied this year though from what I heard that's the largest in 10 years). We're practically neighbors!! I can't wait to get back over to Japan; I've been there twice before. I'm so anxious to know where I'll be going!


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