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microseism89
November 6th, 2015, 13:10
I'm really sorry for the massive post, and I hope this is in the right place

My partner and I are basically sick of living in Australia and would really like to live in Japan. We're only planning on a couple of years at this point, mainly because of the brutal lack of work-life balance in Japan and lower earning potential.

I plan have a career in IT long term, in Japan for a bit, and later in Australia (or elsewhere).

I'm wondering if JET is something we should apply for.

By the time I finish my degree I'll have passed JLPT N1, if not then just N2.

That said, I'll only have a degree in IT (java, c, python programming/sysadmin stuff), no real world experience apart from the little projects I've done at my current job.

My partner basically doesn't have any Japanese skills so will be limited to jobs teaching English. So JET is an attractive option for her. She actually has experience tutoring maths and physics in class at university. No formal teaching qualifications though.

I would really like to do JET as well for a year before because it honestly sounds like a really great experience. It's something I feel a bit excited doing.

I'm worried it might scuttle my chances of working in IT in the future though?

We'd apply as a married couple if we both decided to apply. Otherwise I'd follow her if she got a location where I could potentially work, otherwise we'd decline and try something else.
I'm a bit worried about not being considered because my background implies I won't stick around as an English teacher.

Any advice? I've included some more details about our situation below.



Myself:

Graduated in 2011 with a BSc Geology.

I did two years of Japanese study at university from 2008-2009. This was equivalent to one year full time and it was just as an elective.

I work full time now at the government doing something very loosely related to geology. I have a pretty senior position because of weird coincidences meaning that I'm the only one left who knows how to do this job. It's a weird job that only about 20 people in my country do.

I'm also currently studying a Master of Information Technology because I need different skills in case I do lose my job. I'll finish this at the end of 2016.

I continued my Japanese study from 2012 (starting from the beginning again, but self-study this time) and passed the JLPT N2 in Dec 2013, and might be able to pass N1 this year, but I'll be in Japan on the date (holiday) so can't take it! I'm nearly 100% sure I could pass it next year though. I can read about 14K words at the moment. I’m weaker at speaking and writing.

Based on the above, I might actually be able to apply for the Japanese Visa for highly skilled professionals, depending on salary (obviously in IT, not with JET).

Partner:

Graduated in 2010 with a BSc Mathematics, with a lot of physics courses.

Has a better job than me at a financial institution.

Has started self studying Japanese this year, she's half way through heisig and is also learning 5-10 new sentences a day. She will probably be able to read around 2000 words this time next year. But we will see. She's a long way from N2/N1.

We've been to Japan on a total of 5, three week long holidays over the last 4 years. I also went for a week by myself at one point. I run a travel blog, where I've written a lot about our travels, and help people who have questions plan their trip.

We both have high GPA's, 6.7 on a 7 point scale, not that that matters.

We've been for 6 years, and living together (renting) for 4, and would get married prior to moving to Japan.

We both grew up very poor and are not used to spending much. So even with our frequent holidays we've saved up enough to be able to live at our current lifestyle (minus holidays) for 14 years without a job. Though obviously not if kids appeared, and not enough to buy a house outright here or in Tokyo.

Also, we're not, people who live to work. Kate buys 2 weeks extra leave a year (total 6), and I take my leave at half pay. I know this wouldn't be possible in Japan.

Anyway we're not really sure what we're doing in life just saving up lots of money. But I really wish I knew what the right thing to do it

word
November 6th, 2015, 14:31
TL;DR.

But a brief skimming leaves me with a sense of "go for it."

If you're not dealing with kids, aren't on some sort of easily-derailed career track, aren't all that happy where you are, and are just sorta aimlessly looking for a way to really test your relationship with adventure and/or frustration... why not?

Ini
November 6th, 2015, 14:48
Go for it I guess, no harm in applying.

weepinbell
November 6th, 2015, 15:40
I'm honestly not saying this in a mean way - if you had to justify it that much, I think it means you really want to do it. So go for it. Like Ini said, no harm in applying, anyway. You're gonna have a long time to think about it, anyway - sounds like you'd be applying for 2017? Anyway, yeah, lots of people do JET as a gap year of sorts before trying to settle into a permanent career, so if that's your concern, you're good.

Fantasylife
November 6th, 2015, 21:02
If you get on JET, you'll likely have plenty of time to work on IT related projects on the side. With the programming experience you have, there's nothing stopping you from building small, personal projects in your spare time to build up a nice portfolio to show employers. You could also contribute to GitHub projects.

Getting on JET doesn't stop anyone from furthering their career goals, even if you goal doesn't involve education. It's really how you choose to spend your time here that matters. Some JETs spend their free time drinking and whining their lives away. Others have enrolled in degree programs. More still have found ways to make additional money outside of JET. If you want to do JET then apply to do it, but don't let the fear of a stalled career stop you. Whether you're in Japan, Australia, or somewhere else, how your career progresses is really up to you. Use your time wisely.

microseism89
November 6th, 2015, 21:16
Thanks for the replies!

I really mean that.


I'm honestly not saying this in a mean way - if you had to justify it that much, I think it means you really want to do it. So go for it. Like Ini said, no harm in applying, anyway. You're gonna have a long time to think about it, anyway - sounds like you'd be applying for 2017? Anyway, yeah, lots of people do JET as a gap year of sorts before trying to settle into a permanent career, so if that's your concern, you're good.

I guess, but I'm definitely going to have to have a back up plan as well. Is there a date I will know we've definitely been rejected? Is it possible to apply as a couple and get one rejection and another success?

We both do already have careers, but yes I'm thinking of it as a kind of gap year for my changing of careers. I could probably justify it to any future employer in Japan or Australia. I just feel like I'm getting old and spinning my wheels.

Yes it would be 2017, so I can finish my degree first, as I have a good work arrangement helping a little with that at the moment.


If you get on JET, you'll likely have plenty of time to work on IT related projects on the side. With the programming experience you have, there's nothing stopping you from building small, personal projects in your spare time to build up a nice portfolio to show employers. You could also contribute to GitHub projects.

Getting on JET doesn't stop anyone from furthering their career goals, even if you goal doesn't involve education. It's really how you choose to spend your time here that matters. Some JETs spend their free time drinking and whining their lives away. Others have enrolled in degree programs. More still have found ways to make additional money outside of JET. If you want to do JET then apply to do it, but don't let the fear of a stalled career stop you. Whether you're in Japan, Australia, or somewhere else, how your career progresses is really up to you. Use your time wisely.

Yes this sounds fantastic, at the moment I'm burning a candle from all four ends (Uni, Work, Japanese, Travel Blog), but yeah I do tend to jam my free time with constructive activities for the most part.

I'll probably ask for advice in in the future about what I should emphasise, demphasise next year when I apply. I've got the impression that the application process is a bit of a crap shoot. Just like any job though I guess.

Gizmotech
November 7th, 2015, 22:28
There are several dates you will know you've been rejected by. If you don't get an interview announcement in January, you're out. If you don't get accepted in April you're out.

Like others have mentioned NOTHING stops you from personal development on the program. You just need to decide to do it in your off time is all.

webstaa
November 9th, 2015, 08:10
Go for it I guess, no harm in applying.

If Ini says go for it, then you might as well try. The JET contract is nice and attractive and a huge foot in the door into Japan.

Beware IT recruiters in Japan. There are thousands of horror stories about IT contracting companies being (especially) absolutely horrible places to work in Japan. If you're offered an IT position, google who is offering and the company.

Pisce_s
November 9th, 2015, 16:11
Wow you sound just like my husband and I. And we're Australian!

We are in Kumamoto at the moment with JET. My husband is JET and I'm in professional job and having to travel to Fukuoka. I have a Japanese passport so didn't need a visa. I was actually looking to work in Tokyo in accounting but after my husband got the Kumamoto offer, because he doesn't speak Japanese and his nonjet prospects were limited, we decided to come here. But that really limited my job potentials cos this is a small city and although I am now working in fukuoka in a pretty good job its not in the field I wanted.

I'm not sure of what job prospects are for IT professionals, but if they are any good they will only be good in the big cities. So if your partner does jet and you decide not to, its pretty risky cos she might end up in inaka or even just a small city like Kumamoto, you will have a hard time finding something.

Unfortunately, for non native Japanese speakers especially the professional job market is really limited Tokyo and maybe Osaka. This is what I have learnt here anyway.

I would recommend you both apply for jet and if you get it, go for a year then see if u wanna apply for another job later on. Visa wise I think the only option for you is to be sponsored by an employer.

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