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Thread: Life after JET?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by THE View Post
    I basically became an adult during JET. The only growing pains I didn't experience during my time here is the job hunt, and since I graduated into the Recession, it has me terrified.
    How many years into JET are you?

  2. #22
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    JET 2008-2011

    2011-2013 = MBA in USA
    2012 = Married Japanese girl I met on JET
    Early 2013 = Internship at Japanese company
    Mid 2013 = Convert internship to FT job at same company
    2013-Present = Daily grind at Japanese company - good pay but bad hours
    May 2015 = Passed US Foreign Service Oral Exam. Now playing the waiting game and continuing the salaryman grind while finishing up security and medical clearances required to become America's newest diplomat.
    Last edited by UPGRAYEDD; June 1st, 2015 at 10:39.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  3. #23
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    required to become America's newest diplomat.
    Ohhh "America's next top diplomat".

    Sounds like a fancy show.
    Last edited by Zolrak 22; June 1st, 2015 at 11:23.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    JET 2008-2011

    2011-2013 = MBA in USA
    2012 = Married Japanese girl I met on JET
    Early 2013 = Internship at Japanese company
    Mid 2013 = Convert internship to FT job at same company
    2013-Present = Daily grind at Japanese company - good pay but bad hours
    May 2015 = Passed US Foreign Service Oral Exam. Now playing the waiting game and continuing the salaryman grind while finishing up security and medical clearances required to become America's newest diplomat.
    You take the exam in Tokyo? Were you working at a Japanese company in Tokyo or in the US?

  5. #25
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by hithere4 View Post
    You take the exam in Tokyo? Were you working at a Japanese company in Tokyo or in the US?
    You can take the written exam in Tokyo. I actually took it last October at the US Embassy in Korea because I wanted to take advantage of a 3 day weekend and double up with some tourism.

    Everyone has to travel to either DC or San Francisco for the oral exam. I just passed that last week (yea, it's a long process).

    Anyway, I work for a Japanese company in Japan.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  6. #26

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    You can take the written exam in Tokyo. I actually took it last October at the US Embassy in Korea because I wanted to take advantage of a 3 day weekend and double up with some tourism.

    Anyway, I work for a Japanese company in Japan.
    Are you hoping for a posting in Japan? This isn't too far off what I'd eventually like to do, but AFAIK you don't get much choice in terms of postings.

  7. #27
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    Are you hoping for a posting in Japan? This isn't too far off what I'd eventually like to do, but AFAIK you don't get much choice in terms of postings.
    Yes of course but I had to sign a paper on Friday that confirmed that I am okay with "worldwide availability".

    I'm hoping to develop my career as a regional East Asia expert and based on my conversations with peeps in the service, I'm fairly confident that I will be able to land at least 2 or 3 tours in Japan over the course of my career. Still, needs of the service will always come first.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  8. #28

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    May 2015 = Passed US Foreign Service Oral Exam. Now playing the waiting game and continuing the salaryman grind while finishing up security and medical clearances required to become America's newest diplomat.
    How was the written exam? I've heard different reviews.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  9. #29
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    How was the written exam? I've heard different reviews.
    On a whole, I don't think it is that difficult but I can see how some people get left behind. It's broken down into four sections: general job knowledge (math, history, etc), English grammar, biographic, and the timed argument essay.

    The job knowledge isn't too difficult for people who paid attention in schooling. The tricky part is that it's incredibly broad. I remember it literally going like this...simple question about Microsoft Excel --> geography of Turkey --> history of the French Revolution --> bond valuation.

    The English expression section is just a slightly more complicated version of the ACT. Seriously, exactly the same format but all the example stories in the foreign service test are related to international relations instead of whatever bs diversity story they tend to use in the ACT these days.

    Bio section can really trip people up. These people are usually those who 1) cannot remain consistent and try to answer every question in a way that they "think" the foreign service wants it answered, 2) people who simply do not know their own life and work history, and 3) people who cannot quickly summarize things when the prompt asks you to list the 3 seminars you claimed you attended in the last year.

    The essay is exactly the same as the ACT. Just poop out a simple 4-5 paragraph argument with a clear thesis statement and you'll pass.

    The oral assessment on the other hand...that was the most ridiculous stress inducing experience of my life. The only thing that kept me from having an aneurysm was the cool ass group of people I took the test with.
    Last edited by UPGRAYEDD; June 1st, 2015 at 17:39.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  10. #30

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Oh interesting. Foreign service is something I've looked into as well. The sample questions for the exam were super broad.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    The oral assessment on the other hand...that was the most ridiculous stress inducing experience of my life. The only thing that kept me from having an aneurysm was the cool ass group of people I took the test with.
    Now we request more details about the oral assessment. Do you think it was purposefully stress inducing? What topics did they cover/focus on.

  12. #32
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    Now we request more details about the oral assessment. Do you think it was purposefully stress inducing? What topics did they cover/focus on.
    The oral assessment is three exercises designed to measure your skills against 13 core competencies identified by State. One of those competencies happens to be "composure". I don't think there is a grand conspiracy to make everything stressful but the exercises are really hard and the vast majority of testers fail to make the minimum cutoff. This impacts your mindset when you go in for the day IMO.

    The three exercises are a group exercise, case management exercise, and an interview. I did really well on the group exercise and interview but failed the case management.

    Group exercise is a little bit over an hour. You get teamed up with 4 or 5 other testers and dropped off in a room with a table and a project folder for each tester. The project folder contains about 10-15 pages of fictional country info and project info and you get 30 minutes to formulate a 6 minute presentation outlying your project to the other group members. After your 30 minutes of prep time is up each tester has to orally present their project in 6 minutes or less. After everyone presents their projects, one of the assessors drops off a memo on the table and basically tells the group that they have 25 minutes to decide how to spend X amount of cash and they should write their final decision on which projects to support on the memo. After that it's basically a free-for-all and the assessors are grading everything. My group was cool because everyone understood that the goal of the exercise is to not win support for your project but show good teamwork and collaboration.

    The case management exercise is a bitch. You get a huge folder with dozens of documents describing a fictional embassy situation and you get exactly 90 minutes to make sense of everything and write up a two-page memo outlining your assessment and recommendations. It took me a good 40 minutes just to read all the info and another 20 minutes just to figure out what the major problems were before starting to write. I finished my memo but only had a few minutes to proofread and fix shit, and you can tell from my writing here that I probably had all kinds of grammatical and spelling errors.

    Last was the interview. It was about an hour and broken down into 3 sections. First section was the "experience and motivation" section which basically was a bit traditional. They were just probing you to get a good idea about why you wanted to be in the service and whether or not you were there for the right reasons. The middle section was answering hypothetical embassy scenarios. My hypotheticals were not that difficult and were mostly classical management problems with an embassy setting. The last section was traditional behavioral interview questions. Stuff like "please describe a time when you used cross-cultural skills to solve a problem". A lot of the questions were serious softballs for people with international experience like JET. I did really well on this section.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

  13. #33
    Senior Member Atalante's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Man, I haven't been here in years but someone told me I should reply to this thread, so here I am.

    After JET I moved on to Tokyo to work for a foreign videogame company and worked there for a few years, they ended up having troubles in Japan and downsized their offices here, and I was one of the casualties. I moved on to another gaming company, this time Japan-based, for some more time, had its ups and downs.. Eventually made my next step up the ladder and work for a bank in the overseas auditing department. If anyone's interested in working in Finance or such, I could probably give some information.

  14. #34
    Senior Member tedcase's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Did you stay in Japan to teach?

    No

    Did you move somewhere else to teach?

    No

    Did you continue further study in Japan?

    No

    Did you realise you hated teaching?

    No

    Did you never do anything Japanese again?

    Fucked a few Japanese students in the UK.


    Quote Originally Posted by Atalante View Post
    If anyone's interested in working in Finance or such, I could probably give some information.
    Hit me up.
    Last edited by tedcase; June 10th, 2015 at 09:19.
    The locals possess a peculiar aversion to the bayonet.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Did you stay in Japan to teach?
    No.

    Did you move somewhere else to teach?
    No.

    Did you continue further study in Japan?
    No.

    Did you realise you hated teaching?
    No, I liked it but I want to have some possibility of a career, which is not possible teaching in Japan unless you get advanced degrees and end up in a university. I'm not interested in spending several more years in school at age 29.

    Did you never do anything Japanese again?
    Yes. I've worked for two Japanese companies here in the US. It's allowed me to really improve written and spoken business Japanese. Lots of people think they are "business proficient" but really are not. Doing the salaryman thing is not really that great. The only good thing is that in the US the Japanese bosses generally understand we don't play that unpaid, excessive overtime game so I don't stay too late.
    Japanese companies here tend to provide good benefits but lower salaries. There is also a definite glass ceiling for non-Japanese.

    I'm currently getting sick of the US again though and the wife and I are seriously thinking of going back to Japan. Life in the US is nice but actually this area is almost more expensive than Japan. You have to drive everywhere. I live in the midwest and it's flat and boring. The food is not good here. We miss Japan.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    This may be an obvious question to those who have already taught ESL or participated in JET. I often read about how teaching ESL isn't a career.

    I'm just curious as too why people think that?

    Is it money?
    Is it co-workers?
    Lack of job security?

  17. #37
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Let's start with this; JET has nothing to do with ESL teaching most of the time. It's probably the WORST example to use. Most of the ALT gigs are very light on ESL teaching, as they are still assistant jobs or jobs where the script is best. Beyond that, there are absolutely real ESL teaching jobs but the competition for those is quite fierce AND the job security is lacking in many places. Those real jobs have these things called raises, which actually mean you end up making more money in the end, and you get to go up a few levels before hitting the glass ceiling that is "not from the country you're teaching in".

    Then you get to ESL jobs outside of Japan (in those fun places where sensible foreigners wouldn't even wet their... whistle...). Now you have slightly better pay for the area, but still lower than a job back home. You end up doing actual ESL teaching, which is great, but your job security and advancement sucks. Everyone knows there are a bunch of eager college grads just waiting to replace them, and it makes for a very stressful environment. What's more, most of the companies you will work for, even the schools, will treat the native language teacher as a disposable resource, something they can easily replace. Loyalty is rare, and even if you have it, you still aren't likely to get ahead.

    Now, there are insane people, like me, who are trying to make a career out of this. I used my time on JET to figure out my teaching, specifically in Japan. I've also managed to source a job in education and technology (My particular specialty), which will pay more than teaching would (and rightly so) which should give me a nice career for the next ten years or so. (Maybe more... who knows) I did know going into this that it wasn't going to be a career of wealth and power, and that was fine by me.


    TLDR:
    Yes, Money sucks
    Yes, coworkers can often blow chunks. espcially non-educational bosses.
    Yes, job security is shit because most places have no value for training/skills and will take any English speaking monkey.
    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.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Let's start with this; JET has nothing to do with ESL teaching most of the time. It's probably the WORST example to use. Most of the ALT gigs are very light on ESL teaching, as they are still assistant jobs or jobs where the script is best. Beyond that, there are absolutely real ESL teaching jobs but the competition for those is quite fierce AND the job security is lacking in many places. Those real jobs have these things called raises, which actually mean you end up making more money in the end, and you get to go up a few levels before hitting the glass ceiling that is "not from the country you're teaching in".

    Then you get to ESL jobs outside of Japan (in those fun places where sensible foreigners wouldn't even wet their... whistle...). Now you have slightly better pay for the area, but still lower than a job back home. You end up doing actual ESL teaching, which is great, but your job security and advancement sucks. Everyone knows there are a bunch of eager college grads just waiting to replace them, and it makes for a very stressful environment. What's more, most of the companies you will work for, even the schools, will treat the native language teacher as a disposable resource, something they can easily replace. Loyalty is rare, and even if you have it, you still aren't likely to get ahead.

    Now, there are insane people, like me, who are trying to make a career out of this. I used my time on JET to figure out my teaching, specifically in Japan. I've also managed to source a job in education and technology (My particular specialty), which will pay more than teaching would (and rightly so) which should give me a nice career for the next ten years or so. (Maybe more... who knows) I did know going into this that it wasn't going to be a career of wealth and power, and that was fine by me.


    TLDR:
    Yes, Money sucks
    Yes, coworkers can often blow chunks. espcially non-educational bosses.
    Yes, job security is shit because most places have no value for training/skills and will take any English speaking monkey.
    Wow! Thanks for writing all that.
    I'm starting to get a broader understanding now.

    In your opinion Gizmotech: do the positives out weigh the negatives?

  19. #39
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    I want Gizmo's job.
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    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

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  20. #40
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Life after JET?

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I want Gizmo's job.
    Some lucky early departure next year will get it.
    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.

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