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ChasingTheSun
January 17th, 2017, 11:27
I'm currently a 4th year who decided not to recontract. What are things I should do in the last 6 months to a) prepare myself for whatever comes next (still a little fuzzy on what kind of job I'm looking for or even where) b) make sure I'm not wasting my last few months here?

OatsCurrySummer
January 17th, 2017, 11:50
Wow, do you mind my asking what factored into that decision? Most fourth years I've known just end up staying the fifth year for the feeling of completion.

Jiggit
January 17th, 2017, 12:16
I'm currently a 4th year who decided not to recontract. What are things I should do in the last 6 months to a) prepare myself for whatever comes next (still a little fuzzy on what kind of job I'm looking for or even where) b) make sure I'm not wasting my last few months here?
If you want to stay in Japan I would say study for the summer JLPT and lock down friendships/contacts/references. It's rough to break contract but you might want to think about applying for jobs with April starts. There's probably more around now than there will be in the summer.

If not, have fun and make plans to visit places on your bucket list?

ChasingTheSun
January 17th, 2017, 12:49
Wow, do you mind my asking what factored into that decision? Most fourth years I've known just end up staying the fifth year for the feeling of completion.

I think most people assumed I would just stay a fifth and I was seriously considering it myself until last summer. I realized that the only reason I had stayed for a fourth year and was considering a fifth was fear of the unknown. I realized I am not getting enough satisfaction from my job and life here to overcome the fact that I'm very lonely. My good friends that I started with have all returned and I'm finding it harder and harder to connect with the first year JETs. It's also hard to date (read: find guys my age who are willing to date a foreigner) where I am. Made harder by the fact that I don't have a car and the train to where the guys are in the capital costs over 2000 yen roundtrip. A fifth year would not be a healthy choice for me with no perceived advantages other than a feeling of competition.

OatsCurrySummer
January 17th, 2017, 13:01
I think most people assumed I would just stay a fifth and I was seriously considering it myself until last summer. I realized that the only reason I had stayed for a fourth year and was considering a fifth was fear of the unknown. I realized I am not getting enough satisfaction from my job and life here to overcome the fact that I'm very lonely. My good friends that I started with have all returned and I'm finding it harder and harder to connect with the first year JETs. It's also hard to date (read: find guys my age who are willing to date a foreigner) where I am. Made harder by the fact that I don't have a car and the train to where the guys are in the capital costs over 2000 yen roundtrip. A fifth year would not be a healthy choice for me with no perceived advantages other than a feeling of competition.

That's really wise of you to be honest. I find a lot of people stay just because it's comfortable despite gaining nothing from staying that fifth year and setting them back even farther in their careers (unless their plans are to be a BOE slave forever, then more power to them).

I forgot where I heard it, but someone (possibly here) said: You need a reason to leave before two years and a reason to stay past three.

mothy
January 17th, 2017, 14:28
Hard to say without knowing whether you're staying in Japan or leaving. If staying in Japan, work on Japanese and network as much as possible.

If leaving... Not sure, I've never gotten that lucky.

OatsCurrySummer
January 17th, 2017, 16:04
Not sure, I've never gotten that lucky.

And you never will.

acpc2203
January 17th, 2017, 16:18
I'm sure they will mail his ashes back to sender so glorious Nippon isn't polluted by them.

mothy
January 17th, 2017, 16:24
And you never will.

Needlessly cruel.

Gizmotech
January 18th, 2017, 02:01
I'm gonna agree with mothy, without knowing if you're staying in country or leaving it's hard to give advice.

ChasingTheSun
January 18th, 2017, 08:26
At the moment, the plan is to try and get a job in Kobe/ Osaka for a year, just to see what it is like living in Japan somewhere not inaka. I know I'm going to have to keep teaching English until I get my Japanese up to N1 level, which I'm thinking I can do in about two years. I'm also hoping during this time to improve my coding skills so I have some other employable characteristics beyond just the fact that I have a political background and some passable Japanese skills. From there I'm probably going to go back to the US or anywhere someone will employ me.

All that being said, what is the best way to network? Most of my friends live where I live, which is not where I want to live for another year (thus finishing my time on JET). I'm attending the career fair in Osaka next week, but I couldn't get time off to go to the one in Tokyo.

Jiggit
January 18th, 2017, 11:37
Networking is basically just going out for drinks as often as possible with middle aged Japanese people.

acpc2203
January 18th, 2017, 11:47
Wait so I've been networking this whole time with a bunch of drunk businessmen? Sweet.

Jiggit
January 18th, 2017, 18:58
Well you were supposed to be.

Ini
January 18th, 2017, 21:58
Friday last week was pretty much the deadline for putting your hat in for this years mayoral elections.... This doesn't mean your town was holding elections (I dont know when your shitty town holds its 4 year election) this year however you should keep an eye open on this sort of thing. You never know when the drunk old dentist who lives 4 houses down from you might decide to run for public office. The guy you used to buy that last beer for might just be in a position to give you some sort of bullshit "english education researcher" position.


I'm not bitter... this didn't happen 4 years after i left jet despite the fact i carried that old soak home from the bar every day for 2 years.......

Jiggit
January 18th, 2017, 23:05
Well for what it's worth it makes a great cautionary tale.