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Thread: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

  1. #41

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    Most JETs are quite normal people.
    Oh god you're one of them.

  2. #42
    Member MinisterDM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    I figured the extremes stand out, just surprised to see what kind of extremes we are talking about here. This definitely shows my lack of life experience but I figured people would be a bit more mature once they got out of college.

    Back on topic: The answer I see most repeated is that JET is better in some respects and worse in others. If you could pick your top reason its better and top reason its worse, what would they be?
    I want a giant robot.....

  3. #43

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Better: More official position
    Worse: Fewer city placements

    To be honest JET is pretty much "better" than most other options, it's just that it isn't so much better that you should put your life on hold for it. If I hadn't applied for JET straight out of college and gotten in I would have probably applied to work in Japan through some other company before waiting for JET to come round again. If that option is available to you, that is.

  4. #44
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Better: Comprehensive support structure, generally far superior to any other similar program
    Worse: Essentially, a relatively low-paying, often mind-numbingly low-skill job in the middle of nowhere, Japan

    I still recommend it unless, as Page said, you've got something better lined up. If that's the case, you'd probably better go with your other option.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    My BOE is loaded and they don't help me with anything. Rent here aint cheap aye. The only thing I got help with was changing the name on the apartment lease and utilities, and setting up a bank account. My predecessor was raging that none of my supers bothered to come and greet me when I arrived in the town. In saying that, I think my BOE treats me fairly and I like that they let me operate independently.

    Everyone in my area seems to be able to function normally (with 1 MAJOR exception), but my friend in the prefecture over believes everyone there are headcases. In particular there seems to be a 2nd timer who is throwing out all sorts of demands to his BOE. Apparently he marched straight into the principals office and flat-out demanded things change.

  6. #46

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    If the worst thing to deal with is the lack of maturity of other JETs... then, I think I'll be fine. Just like in college, some people can handle the independence and some people fail out. Some people will try to create new personalities for themselves for the attention, especially in a foreign country. I guess there are just more weird JET applicants as they use it as an excuse to foster their otaku-ness.


    Generally speaking of the pros and cons of any job:
    Like all jobs, if you live within the means, then the pay will be enough to live.
    Your bosses and co-workers may not always be 100% compatible with your views, but you're stuck with them, so you need the flexibility to work with them.
    Making demands for the sake of getting your way is irresponsible and reflects poorly for all future JETS in your prefecture.
    You get to live in another country, get paid, and meet new people. Sure beats paying for University study abroad.
    Last edited by Jedirust; November 21st, 2013 at 23:21.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Aurano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    Once you've seen a group of people in their mid/late 20s do The Conga round a fleapit Osaka nightclub, it can't be unseen.
    This cracked me up!! I'm only 29 but I feel my Conga days are long gone. And being 6'3ft I don't think I would be any good either!

  8. #48

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Glad to see there are a lot of older JET applicants here. I thought I was over the hill at 29, but I see a few in the late 20s and 30s.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Some of my thoughts on this discussion -

    1) Keep in mind that this forum is not a representative cross-section of the JET Program. They'll try to tell you otherwise here, but many JETs are living happy, busy lives in Japan and they don't have the time or the inclination to hang around a forum all day. I've found that a lot of people here are those who are in very isolated placements or who don't get along with the people living near them, so socializing is done here instead. I'm not judging it, just saying that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily the majority.

    2) The pay on JET is actually better than it looks. At least if you're from the US, you are living tax free in Japan. That means you're getting an extra, I dunno, $400-700 a month more than someone would who's making the "same" salary in the US. Even with the pay cut (which is really pretty small) it's good money, especially for an entry-level position. I'm amazed at the lifestyle I was able to live and the money I was able to save while on JET, as opposed to my "real" job now.

    3) I've seen some people mention that part of the appeal of JET is its name, and using it to impress future employers - let's be real here, if you're not going into a Japan or international education-related field, your employers probably will not have heard of JET. Basically nobody's heard of it, so don't rely on the JET name to get you a job. The JET alumni network, on the other hand, is a great way to network and get an 'in' to various careers.

    4) There are some real weirdos and losers on JET. Antisocial dudes who make you feel uncomfortable by talking about Japanese girls all the time, doughy white girls who are 'so random!!!' and won't shut up, douchebags who don't care about teaching and are giving JET a bad name - these people are the most memorable and they stand out the most, for sure. But the majority of JETs aren't like this. They are normal people with little quirks, because you've got to be at least a little weird to give up your life and live in Japan for a few years.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Aurano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Good points there. Especially point 1. After looking at the statistics the other week on how many JETs from each country go over each year, it makes this forum seem like a very, VERY small minority. Still though, it's nice to hear peoples views and experiences. I guess at the end of the day, it's what YOU make of it.

  11. #51

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    True.. If I want to read about weirdo comments and thoughts, I go to gaijinpot forums. It's always amusing.

  12. #52
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Avoid AJET, your PA, NAJET, the support hotline and anywhere else where CV padding little hitlers congregate like the plague. The best thing you can do on JET is treat it like a job and rather than joining some creepy nationwide cult.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  13. #53
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Some of my thoughts on this discussion -

    1) Keep in mind that this forum is not a representative cross-section of the JET Program. They'll try to tell you otherwise here, but many JETs are living happy, busy lives in Japan and they don't have the time or the inclination to hang around a forum all day. I've found that a lot of people here are those who are in very isolated placements or who don't get along with the people living near them, so socializing is done here instead. I'm not judging it, just saying that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily the majority.
    You seem to be implying that a lot of people on this forum are somehow "unhappy" or something, or don't enjoy socialization. I'll be the first to admit that we've got a few members who fit that description, but for the most part, I'd say we're a pretty happy bunch--most of us have been here for quite some time, after all. I, myself, generally love my life here (note my recommendation above). I'm not the most social animal, but MG and I regularly spend a great deal of time with other ALTs and Japanese folks (omg especially because snowboarding omg I can't wait). We're hosting a rather large party in December (kinda outta control at this point; I dunno how we're gonna fit so many people in our house).

    My apologies if I sound defensive... it's because I am. Official has managed to cultivate this image of ITIL as some sort of troll den, filled with negativity and misery, and has done a good job by keeping any jaded realists off of their forum. The truth is that sometimes people NEED to hear the negative end of something--especially when preparing to apply. One of the reasons I think my application was successful (all just a guess, of course) was because I specifically addressed the fact that I had learned a great deal about the program--and not all just good things. I made it clear in my app and my interview that I had read the frustrations, the rants, and the horror stories offered by some JETs... and that I still wanted to take the plunge. I think (again, just my guess) that a candidate who makes it a point to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly of the JET program is a far more appealing candidate than some lunatic with dreams of what Japan is gonna be.

    Sorry; kinda goin' off on a tangent. In any case--ITIL fulfills an important role, and I think one should be careful before assuming that the comments here are negative or antisocial. Sometimes, we're just keeping it real, keeping people grounded in reality, and keeping people from developing some sort of delusions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    2) The pay on JET is actually better than it looks. At least if you're from the US, you are living tax free in Japan. That means you're getting an extra, I dunno, $400-700 a month more than someone would who's making the "same" salary in the US. Even with the pay cut (which is really pretty small) it's good money, especially for an entry-level position. I'm amazed at the lifestyle I was able to live and the money I was able to save while on JET, as opposed to my "real" job now.
    That probably all depends. I almost certainly could have made significantly more money if I had stayed in the 'States. Yes, we live "tax-free"... from US taxes, anyway. We pay taxes here, though, and Japan is not exactly a cheap country. If you own a car, for example...

    Also, it's not only the pay cut that you need to keep in mind, it's the exchange rate. The value of the yen has fallen quite a bit in comparison to its highs of a few years ago. It's not bad... but it's noticeable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    3) I've seen some people mention that part of the appeal of JET is its name, and using it to impress future employers - let's be real here, if you're not going into a Japan or international education-related field, your employers probably will not have heard of JET. Basically nobody's heard of it, so don't rely on the JET name to get you a job. The JET alumni network, on the other hand, is a great way to network and get an 'in' to various careers.
    word; can't argue with this...

    I will say, though, that a lot of people (generally people who don't know any better) are really impressed when you say you've lived in Japan for X years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    4) There are some real weirdos and losers on JET. Antisocial dudes who make you feel uncomfortable by talking about Japanese girls all the time, doughy white girls who are 'so random!!!' and won't shut up, douchebags who don't care about teaching and are giving JET a bad name - these people are the most memorable and they stand out the most, for sure. But the majority of JETs aren't like this. They are normal people with little quirks, because you've got to be at least a little weird to give up your life and live in Japan for a few years.
    Yeah, I will agree with this, and I think that this is really what most people are saying here. The really awkward wankers stand out; they're memorable. It's exactly like your students; in a random group of 100, you'll remember the five who were totally awesome and enriched your life immeasurably, you'll remember the five who were obnoxious little sh*ts upon whom you wished incurable jock itch, and you'll only vaguely remember the ninety other students who were generally all right. That's just the way we work.

    I think right now we remember a lot of the wankers because a lot of us are going to our MYCs or SDCs and are running into a lot of the weirdos that we'd forgotten about. It's easy to do; I generally don't hang out with people I don't like.
    Last edited by word; November 22nd, 2013 at 09:21.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  14. #54
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Avoid AJET, your PA, NAJET, the support hotline and anywhere else where CV padding little hitlers congregate like the plague. The best thing you can do on JET is treat it like a job and rather than joining some creepy nationwide cult.
    God, WORD. This.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  15. #55
    Senior Member Aurano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    This thread should received some kind of gold star. It really is a treasure trove into some interesting things. Interesting, and at times, amusing!

  16. #56

  17. #57

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    1) Keep in mind that this forum is not a representative cross-section of the JET Program. They'll try to tell you otherwise here, but many JETs are living happy, busy lives in Japan and they don't have the time or the inclination to hang around a forum all day. I've found that a lot of people here are those who are in very isolated placements or who don't get along with the people living near them, so socializing is done here instead. I'm not judging it, just saying that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily the majority.
    I would agree that this has been an issue in the past (maybe when you were on your previous handle) but aside from a few members whom like to rile people up (which can be found on any internet forum, including official) or use ITIL to get rid of their negativity, most of the core members of this website know each other IRL in some respect and are pretty normal. It's just like visiting any kind of advice forum, your mileage will vary because everyone has a different background and experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    3) I've seen some people mention that part of the appeal of JET is its name, and using it to impress future employers - let's be real here, if you're not going into a Japan or international education-related field, your employers probably will not have heard of JET. Basically nobody's heard of it, so don't rely on the JET name to get you a job. The JET alumni network, on the other hand, is a great way to network and get an 'in' to various careers.
    The JET name isn't famous at all (and I believe most people agree/know this) but I think the point people are trying to get at in "using it to impress future employers" is that the job and title itself (government employee) looks good on a resume. I can't speak for others but my assumption has been that our official title (rather than the JET name) is what most people are referring too when they talk about resume building.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini
    If you are a empty husk of a man with no ambition come on jet, stay forever, drink yourself into a stupor every night, hurl abuse at people on itil like a roided up chimp at the feces olympics and die of thyroid cancer in your early 40s.

  18. #58
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Some of my thoughts on this discussion -
    HAZA! Something worth replying to. AWESOMESAUCE!


    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    1) Keep in mind that this forum is not a representative cross-section of the JET Program. They'll try to tell you otherwise here, but many JETs are living happy, busy lives in Japan and they don't have the time or the inclination to hang around a forum all day. I've found that a lot of people here are those who are in very isolated placements or who don't get along with the people living near them, so socializing is done here instead. I'm not judging it, just saying that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily the majority.
    I don't disagree with this. We don't represent a cross-section of the JET Program. What we do provide is observational input from a wide variety of areas within Japan, providing insight into various elements of the JET program, which you otherwise cannot get. I don't think we are doing this because we have no one else living with us though, I have 5 other JETs in my city alone, 20 within a 1 hour drive (many of whom I enjoy having a conversation with occasionally), and I am capable of speaking Japanese at a level sufficient to have an enjoyable conversation which extends beyond chopsticks and how long my tool is and therefore socialize more with my local community than I do with other JETs. I think we enjoy talking on here because it allows a more pragmatic view of Japan, which can be difficult to discuss with other ALTs who are still stuck in super happy go lucky mode (That mode is very capable of dismissing any realistic/rational/view different from theirs)


    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    2) The pay on JET is actually better than it looks. At least if you're from the US, you are living tax free in Japan. That means you're getting an extra, I dunno, $400-700 a month more than someone would who's making the "same" salary in the US. Even with the pay cut (which is really pretty small) it's good money, especially for an entry-level position. I'm amazed at the lifestyle I was able to live and the money I was able to save while on JET, as opposed to my "real" job now.
    I'll chime in with word and say I could've been making more in Canada (and I was in almost every job I had before this). That's not to dismiss the JET income, just to say if you have a qualification which extends beyond "I graduated from art history or Asian studies", you can probably get a better paying job back home, within at least a year or two of starting work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    3) I've seen some people mention that part of the appeal of JET is its name, and using it to impress future employers - let's be real here, if you're not going into a Japan or international education-related field, your employers probably will not have heard of JET. Basically nobody's heard of it, so don't rely on the JET name to get you a job. The JET alumni network, on the other hand, is a great way to network and get an 'in' to various careers.
    You're absolutely right. Few people know about the JET program outside of certain fields. That being said, it's REALLY EASY to spin the JET program into something way more than it actually is because noone knows what it is. Like word said, just the "I lived in that bass ackwards country for 3 years" is enough for some employers to go "woow... now that shows adaptability and perseverance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    4) There are some real weirdos and losers on JET. Antisocial dudes who make you feel uncomfortable by talking about Japanese girls all the time, doughy white girls who are 'so random!!!' and won't shut up, douchebags who don't care about teaching and are giving JET a bad name - these people are the most memorable and they stand out the most, for sure. But the majority of JETs aren't like this. They are normal people with little quirks, because you've got to be at least a little weird to give up your life and live in Japan for a few years.

    I'll just add to this that, the less trivial you are as a person the harder it can be to work within the JET program. It's not the oddities and losers, they can often be rather interesting at times (though I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to hang out with em), it's the group think mentality. It can really remind me of high school, where if you aren't "cool" and aren't doing what everyone else is doing, you become a social pariah pretty quickly. JET fosters some really strange social group constructions, and many of those seems like survival strategies. IE find the other most childlike person you know, create group. Invite more people to group, forcing slightly less childish people to act like children. Further removed from that people are left going "well you guys are a bunch of f*ckwits, and I'd rather not be associated to your drunken antics"

    PS: Ini, as always you are awesome and completely f'n right. Avoid any of the resume padding asshats, like those "student council" morons from back in uni.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  19. #59

    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    You seem to be implying that a lot of people on this forum are somehow "unhappy" or something, or don't enjoy socialization...The truth is that sometimes people NEED to hear the negative end of something--especially when preparing to apply...ITIL fulfills an important role, and I think one should be careful before assuming that the comments here are negative or antisocial. Sometimes, we're just keeping it real, keeping people grounded in reality, and keeping people from developing some sort of delusions...
    Quote Originally Posted by Page View Post
    I would agree that this has been an issue in the past (maybe when you were on your previous handle) but aside from a few members whom like to rile people up (which can be found on any internet forum, including official) or use ITIL to get rid of their negativity, most of the core members of this website know each other IRL in some respect and are pretty normal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    I don't disagree with this. We don't represent a cross-section of the JET Program. What we do provide is observational input from a wide variety of areas within Japan, providing insight into various elements of the JET program, which you otherwise cannot get
    I think I did a poor job of expressing myself and unintentionally insulted the forum. Page is right, I haven't been here in a while, and I haven't delved too far into things, but it does seem to be a kinder, gentler ITIL than the thunderdomes of yesteryear. I mean, Ini's in applying giving out good advice, for god's sake.

    My experience with this forum was that I was on it while applying and while preparing to go to Japan, and it helped me with my application an helped with expectations of Japan. Once I actually got to Japan, I found that I went on the forum less and less. So it was just my own experience I was drawing from.

    Anyway, I think ITIL is really important to have, since so many incoming JETs are weirdly and disgustingly idealistic and the official forums (used to) just bolster that attitude. ITIL has always been more realistic, it's just that sometimes I found it to be pretty pessimistic overall and I think it can give off the idea sometimes that JET is a slog and no one really enjoys it.

    In conclusion, comments redacted, I'm bowing at you all from my desk right now over and over again and will continue into the night.

  20. #60
    Senior Member Aurano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is JET actually that much better than other opportunities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    I'll just add to this that, the less trivial you are as a person the harder it can be to work within the JET program. It's not the oddities and losers, they can often be rather interesting at times (though I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to hang out with em), it's the group think mentality. It can really remind me of high school, where if you aren't "cool" and aren't doing what everyone else is doing, you become a social pariah pretty quickly. JET fosters some really strange social group constructions, and many of those seems like survival strategies. IE find the other most childlike person you know, create group. Invite more people to group, forcing slightly less childish people to act like children. Further removed from that people are left going "well you guys are a bunch of f*ckwits, and I'd rather not be associated to your drunken antics"
    This is quite interesting. Having gone into university as a mature student I witnessed a lot of this high school 'cool groups' mentality, and I think you're bang on the money by calling it a type of survival strategy. When people with less life experience enter a new environment alone they tend to find the most like minded people they can and cling to them as means of getting by. I actually kept to myself a lot at uni and mostly got on with the other mature students from different courses I met through a weekly gathering of Japanese exchange students and others interested. (I use the word 'mature' lightly by the way, I'm not that old)

    I'm a reasonably sociable and friendly person but if I was to get on the JET Programme I would certainly be putting the job and living before any drunken partying that involves doing the Limbo.
    Last edited by Aurano; November 23rd, 2013 at 09:40.

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