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Can I just fly into Japan and get a teaching job?

 
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 788

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Can I just fly into Japan and get a teaching job? Reply with quote

I am visiting a friend in China. I am thinking about working in Japan. I don't want to work in China.

Can I just fly to Japan and get hired to teach. - Yes, I am qualified.

Is this plan doable?
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you willing to take even low-paying Gaba or dispatch ALT positions? Are you under 40? And do you have enough savings to tide you over for at least two months? If the answer to all three of these questions is "yes," then my answer is "maybe."

That said, have you tried applying to positions here from overseas? In some ways, your options then would be better. For instance, the JET Program is a very nice gig:

https://jetprogramusa.org/

Finally, "qualified" has different meanings in the Japan context. If you have a teaching license from (and work experience in) your home country, you should consider applying for a position at an international school. If you have at least an MA (PdD increasingly preferred), 3+ publications, significant teaching experience and Japanese language ability, you can maybe find full-time, tenured work at a university. Otherwise, I'd try JET before anything else.

Good luck!
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 788

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm almost 50.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, there is a certain amount of age discrimination in hiring for many positions in Japan.

If you're over 40, then unless you meet the hiring criteria for an international school or tenured university position, I personally would not try it. And to be honest, many universities here won't hire you full-time once you're over 50. (Among other things, age impacts salary at most universities, meaning that they'd have to pay you up to 50% more as a new hire than somebody, say, in their 30s.)
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 788

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information.
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Cole



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject: Age is an Abstraction. Not a Strait-Jacket Reply with quote

Being almost 50 certainly won't disqualify you from getting a job. I was 47 when I entered Japan and got a job quite easily. I stayed for almost 8 years and don't regret it one bit. Of course, you won't get rich if you go; it's about the experience. Look at it this way... if you don't go and 40 years from now when you are dying in your bed, do you think you'll be saying to yourself "God, I'm so glad I didn't go to Japan"? If you have the scratch to go, then go while there's still time.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you can get a bad job quite easily.

Cole, I'm not sure when you were in Japan, but salaries and working conditions for entry-level positions have been dropping fast in recent years. Here's a video breaking down the take-home salary of a typical entry-level dispatch ALT position:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G95K0vjB3A

Not the life I'd want to lead at 50.

Many (most?) foreigners over the age of 40 in Japan are not trying to survive by working entry-level eikaiwa or entry-level dispatch ALT positions. The vast majority of the over 40 teachers I know came out in their 20s or 30s as eikaiwa teachers, as JETS, or as dispatch ALTs. They then worked their way out of their entry-level position into something better.

Doing so takes time--often years. It takes a combination of improved qualifications, Japanese language ability, and making connections (particularly for direct-hire ALT positions), not to mention a certain flexibility over where one lives. (E.g., I've heard that it's often harder to find stable work with good conditions in Tokyo.) And yes, even then, there are no guarantees.

Arriving here over 40 yet without the qualifications for stable employment seems absolutely crazy to me, particularly given how age discrimination and declining student numbers will increasingly make things harder for such people going forward.
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timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 492

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rioux, you said were qualified. What kind of qualifications do you have? Do you have a Masters in Tesol? Have you taught in another country before? Have you taught in public schools? Can you speak any Japanese? How much? It might help to know these kinds of things to give you more advice - though you probably have more than enough info now to base your decision on.

One more thing, just starting out here is not a great way to deal with debts (student loans or credit cards) if you have any. You can save a little, but really only a little money at a starting out salary. That's just something else to consider.

As far as what other posters have said is that they are probably right, but nothing is set in stone. If you have money in the bank to tie you over for a little while when you arrive, you may do better as you'll have more time to get a job.
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Cole



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:56 pm    Post subject: Open the Door Reply with quote

Most are bad if you want to choose to look at it that way. Certainly, with time you can move into something better... but only relatively better. How many tenured university jobs are available really? And with the demographics going south like they are, there won't be more positions added in the future. In the end, if you want to really want to make a good life in Japan, you need to do something else. Get a job at Costco Japan where there's a good chance at advancement if that's the goal. I suspect Rioux is just looking for an extended teaching experience and nothing more. In that context, all work is good work. There's no indignity in being almost 50 and taking a low-paying, entry-level position. I encourage you to go for it Rioux.
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