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Thread: Using my native English-speaking skills in a more career-specific manner

  1. #1

    Default Using my native English-speaking skills in a more career-specific manner

    Hi all! Newbie here.

    I'm a US citizen currently finishing an MA degree in Japanese Art History, and am having a difficult time finding a job in that field here in the US due to poor Japanese language skills. (I could maybe swing JLPT N3 if I really put in some extra studying.) I am currently looking into teaching English in Japan as a means of better learning Japanese by immersion. However I can't help wondering if, instead of teaching, there were some other job I could finagle that is actually in my field - double-checking English signage at an art museum, perhaps? Just throwing ideas out there. Or should I just stick with the ALT/ELT idea?

    Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Using my native English-speaking skills in a more career-specific manner

    Quote Originally Posted by smile and nod View Post
    Hi all! Newbie here.

    I'm a US citizen currently finishing an MA degree in Japanese Art History, and am having a difficult time finding a job in that field here in the US due to poor Japanese language skills. (I could maybe swing JLPT N3 if I really put in some extra studying.) I am currently looking into teaching English in Japan as a means of better learning Japanese by immersion. However I can't help wondering if, instead of teaching, there were some other job I could finagle that is actually in my field - double-checking English signage at an art museum, perhaps? Just throwing ideas out there. Or should I just stick with the ALT/ELT idea?

    Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!
    Yes you should just stick to the ALT/ELT idea. Actually that's the only option available to you.

  3. #3
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using my native English-speaking skills in a more career-specific manner

    Pretty much. Unless you have at least N2, no one's going to hire you for anything other than ALT work in Japan, and even then you need other skills. Go be an ALT for a couple of years, get your N1, and hope for the best.

    Your other option is to get your PhD and hope there's somewhere wanting a Japanese art history professor.

  4. #4
    ゴミ箱の女王 tobio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using my native English-speaking skills in a more career-specific manner

    I have to go with the others on this one. Finding a job in your field will be extremely difficult. The good thing about being an ALT is you can research and look into other opportunities while maintaining a stable and (hopefully) enjoyable job. Most of my friends who did JET actually found their permanent careers through doing JET and making connections in Japan. So apply for JET and while you're teaching the kiddies you can develop connections and look into other opportunities in the meantime.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Using my native English-speaking skills in a more career-specific manner

    Thank you all very much for your input! I'll keep looking into the ALT/ELT option and work on my Japanese while I'm in Japan, then.

  6. #6
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using my native English-speaking skills in a more career-specific manner

    I agree with everyone, but once you're here you could move into a more Japanese language oriented job. (I have a friend who worked in a clothing store and another that worked as a bike messenger), you would have to get a humanities visa but it's do able. Maybe you could get a job at a museum as foreign customer help. But the first step is getting here and getting your Japanese up to an N2 level even if you can't pass the N2 per se, you can speak and /or read at that level.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

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