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Thread: Shortlisted, but unsure

  1. #1

    Default Shortlisted, but unsure

    Hey folks,

    I've got a problem. I was shortlisted this year, which is amazing.

    That being said, I recently accepted a new job that I start on the sixth, copyediting listicles and shit like that full-time, salary, benefits, etc. I'm a good editor, and it's what I've been doing for a couple years, but I don't love it exactly. It's just decent work. Anyway, the job is 100% work from home. Fully remote. I can travel if I want.

    I like teaching, and I've considered pursuing a grad degree in ESL or English education in the future, and I think JET would be a nice segue into that. But also, the editing job is good, steady, solid, and remote.

    I'm having a hell of a time choosing between the two. Especially because, as many JETs have said to me, "JET isn't a career." I get that, but it is a way to prepare for the future, right?

    How many times does one get the chance to get immersed in another culture this way? I taught English in China for a year and loved it, but I understand it's not real work or real teaching. Also, how many times does one get the opportunity to work fully remote?

    So many questions.

    Anyway, this has been an impossible decision for me. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Could you keep a finger in the pie of the editing stuff on freelance? Depending on placement you might have plenty of time to keep doing editing on the side.

    In terms of career if you fancy being a teacher then Jet is a better option than editing clickbait articles from your bedroom. For a future in anything except teaching Jet will be a hindrance.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    How old are you? If you're 22, then JET seems like a reasonable choice, but if you're 30, take the real job.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    I wish I could! The editing stuff is full time. If I am conciliatory with the company, maybe I could work some freelance stuff as a writer, and keep myself in good standing for the future despite turning them down. But it's a risk, of course. I don't think I want to be an editor for my entire life, however. It's been a few years already, mostly in publishing, but also copyediting.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    I'm 25. I already have some work experience in the field. So it's a bit of a tossup. Especially since I like teaching a bit more than editing.

  6. #6
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by hachemancour View Post
    I'm 25. I already have some work experience in the field. So it's a bit of a tossup. Especially since I like teaching a bit more than editing.
    You say you like teaching, but what do you actually like about it? Teaching english abroad and teaching are two entirely different things, with very different reinforcement systems.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    I'm never sure whether to recommend JET to people who like teaching. In most placements it's pretty much as far away from teaching and still technically be teaching as you can get.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    You say you like teaching, but what do you actually like about it? Teaching english abroad and teaching are two entirely different things, with very different reinforcement systems.
    Well, I enjoy watching my students learn something new and grasp a new concept. I also just enjoy getting them interested in English. That's what I enjoyed about teaching in China -- getting them motivated enough to care more about English.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    I'm never sure whether to recommend JET to people who like teaching. In most placements it's pretty much as far away from teaching and still technically be teaching as you can get.
    I understand -- I get that being an ALT can really be uninvolved, etc. I think the time spent "teaching" would also be a good time to prepare for grad school applications, etc. But I'm also afraid of ending JET with little to show for my efforts. It just seems like a risk.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    It is a risk. Anyone who tells you otherwise is an idiot. But you're young enough you can take risks. Just don't be one of the idiots (example A- me) who stays too long. Be ready to bail even if you're enjoying it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    If you don't have anything really looking like an opportunity coming up I think it's fine to fart around traveling for a few years. When else are you gonna do it?

  12. #12
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    Just don't be one of the idiots (example A- me) who stays too long. Be ready to bail even if you're enjoying it.
    I'm already an idiot, can I stay too long too?
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  13. #13
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    no such thing as "too long"
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Keep it in the lounge you drunk dummy.
    Last edited by mothy; April 3rd, 2017 at 08:47.

  15. #15
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    no such thing as "too long"
    You've never met my first boyfriend then.
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Some words from someone who went the other way.

    I started working immediately after graduating from university, did my masters, currently in a stable position at my company, getting paid quite abit more than what JET is paying. Decided to take a break, had learnt some rudimentary Japanese in secondary school and thought I'd go live in Japan for awhile. Shortlisted this year, spoke to my boss, taking a year of unpaid leave, and the current plan is to return after that and continue real life. It's not a job that I love, but it's a job that's decent, solid, steady, benefits, etc. I'm a pragmatist, and it sounds to me like you're deciding between a definite reasonable career opportunity now, vs a potential boost to a potentially more enjoyable future job (grass is greener effect).

    In any case, I'm sure JET is still gonna be around for the next few years, so if your editing thing doesn't work out, it's still not too late. Everyone's path is different, and priorities can change in a few years too. Hope my version of things help. Good luck!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    It is a risk. Anyone who tells you otherwise is an idiot. But you're young enough you can take risks. Just don't be one of the idiots (example A- me) who stays too long. Be ready to bail even if you're enjoying it.
    I'm worried 25 (and 26 next month) is getting to be too old to take the risks. I'm not sure. Giving up a job that's stable, though not as rewarding as a future in ESL education might be, feels like a mistake, but I can't say that for sure now. I'm too wound up in possibilities and what ifs and future anxiety, which is annoying.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    If you don't have anything really looking like an opportunity coming up I think it's fine to fart around traveling for a few years. When else are you gonna do it?
    Yeah, I guess if I wait much longer past 25/26, it's getting to be too late. I mean, the fully remote copyediting job could let me do that as well, I suppose.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Sounds like you've not really decided what to do with your life yet, so if your current job is just "ok" it's probably worth trying Jet for a year. Your age isn't really an issue and a year out to try something new at 27 isn't exactly unusual.

    But have to point out that unless you are a fully qualified teacher chances are you won't find a long-term career in ESL rewarding. Opportunities are limited and a quick glance round the pit of despair that is the Daves ESL Cafe forums would put you off the idea for life.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Shortlisted, but unsure

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    Sounds like you've not really decided what to do with your life yet, so if your current job is just "ok" it's probably worth trying Jet for a year. Your age isn't really an issue and a year out to try something new at 27 isn't exactly unusual.

    But have to point out that unless you are a fully qualified teacher chances are you won't find a long-term career in ESL rewarding. Opportunities are limited and a quick glance round the pit of despair that is the Daves ESL Cafe forums would put you off the idea for life.
    Yeah, I appreciate that reality, it's a valid point. My goal is to head to graduate school for the actual pedagogical study and degree after JET, if I follow that route, so as to achieve an actual and potentially rewarding career. What do you think of that?

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