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Progressing an EFL Career vs. Other Interests
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
Certification costs vary per state.
Ohio and Tennessee are cheap.

At this point it looks like I will just might work part-time and try to get a full-time job for September.
I could go back to the US, if I could get an adjunct position, then get certified.


That sucks going from a coushy uni job to part time.

Wouldn't it be better to get certified back home and then come back and teach at one of the international schools here?
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have considered that.

I think I can get full-time work again, but not before September.
Getting a job for April is really more competitive.

Things are worse. I used to make 7 million back in 2008, then took a 2 million pay cut the next year. Now, I will have part-time work.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 398
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
Things are worse. I used to make 7 million back in 2008, then took a 2 million pay cut the next year. Now, I will have part-time work.

As someone who might look for a position at a Japanese university in the future, I'm curious: why do you think it is that you've gone from 7m to 5m to part-time? I know it's getting more and more competitive, but in the end, someone does get the job. Why do you think that hasn't been you? Other people with more research/publications, PhDs, and more Japanese ability? People willing to work for less? Employers paying less and less? Employers preferring younger applicants? All/none of the above?

I don't mean to pry. Just trying to get a better idea of what the market is like. I know what things employers list in job ads, but I'm curious about their preferences.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
I have considered that.

I think I can get full-time work again, but not before September.
Getting a job for April is really more competitive.

Things are worse. I used to make 7 million back in 2008, then took a 2 million pay cut the next year. Now, I will have part-time work.


7 million in 2008, that's a nice salary.

maybe part-time is the way to go. work for several schools - ALT + uni + eikaiwa + corporate. Then if one takes your lessons away for whatever reason, you still have the others and can compensate by finding other work.

Having a single employer and being on a limited contract, you're at the mercy of luck.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
mitsui wrote:
Things are worse. I used to make 7 million back in 2008, then took a 2 million pay cut the next year. Now, I will have part-time work.

As someone who might look for a position at a Japanese university in the future, I'm curious: why do you think it is that you've gone from 7m to 5m to part-time? I know it's getting more and more competitive, but in the end, someone does get the job. Why do you think that hasn't been you? Other people with more research/publications, PhDs, and more Japanese ability? People willing to work for less? Employers paying less and less? Employers preferring younger applicants? All/none of the above?

I don't mean to pry. Just trying to get a better idea of what the market is like. I know what things employers list in job ads, but I'm curious about their preferences.


rtm,

its because english teaching positions are now only adjunct in japan.

1 year contracts renewable only 4 times for a max of 5 years. No more.

Universities don't want to pay for a full time employee until 65 who only teaches English.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
I'm curious about their preferences.


rtm,

their preference is that you do not over stay your welcome.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 398
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
1 year contracts renewable only 4 times for a max of 5 years. No more.
....
their preference is that you do not over stay your welcome.

I understand that, and it's been discussed here ad nauseam. However, my question wasn't about why mitsui can't keep a job for longer than 5 years -- I already know that many contracts are fixed-term. If many universities offer fixed-term contracts with no chance for renewal, that means that there is a lot of turnover, and lots of hiring of new people every few years for these short-term contracts. So, that would mean more open positions to apply for (more than if most positions were permanent ones). Even if many positions are being farmed out to adjuncts rather than hiring a new full-timer, there are still some open jobs, and it sounds like mitsui has been applying to them. However, it sounds like mitsui hasn't been able to get even a short-term contract, despite (from what I remember from his posts) having a relevant MA, a few publications (though not many, from what I recall), some Japanese knowledge, and a number of years of experience in Japanese universities.

So, my question is about mitsui's opinion about why he has been an unsuccessful candidate so far, even for the short-term positions. What do other applicants have that he doesn't? More publications? Higher Japanese ability? PhD? In job ads, employers list a bunch of criteria, but it's not known to the candidate which ones are more or less valued, so I wanted mitsui's opinion, as someone with a number of years' experience at Japanese universities, on whether there are any tendencies to value some criteria more heavily than others. Of course, I understand that there might not be any trends, or that mitsui might feel this is asking too much personal information.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 398
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
maybe part-time is the way to go. work for several schools - ALT + uni + eikaiwa + corporate. Then if one takes your lessons away for whatever reason, you still have the others and can compensate by finding other work.

Having a single employer and being on a limited contract, you're at the mercy of luck.

I think that is an OK plan when one is in their 30s or 40s, but it would be harder to keep up with as one gets older. I know a few people who are around 40 and play that game, teaching a couple classes at a few different universities, a couple kindergarten classes, a few nights a week at an eikaiwa, some company classes, and a few private lessons. They are able to save some money, but they always seem tired.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of the above.
Females are preferred.
A doctorate looks better.
Publications should be recent not from years ago from a high school journal, like I have.
Often Japanese does not matter, but publications trump everything even if the quality is bad.
At least three publications with abstracts for the better jobs. This is because no one is actually going to read what you wrote, just the abstract.

Experience in Japan does not matter. High teaching evaluations do not matter.

To make money and to work full-time at a university you are forced to publish.

Even at better high schools, Japanese ability and professional development matter, as do certification in your own country, IB, etc. You have to make your resume stand out from the others.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 398
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
All of the above.
Females are preferred.
A doctorate looks better.
Publications should be recent not from years ago from a high school journal, like I have.
Often Japanese does not matter, but publications trump everything even if the quality is bad.
At least three publications with abstracts for the better jobs. This is because no one is actually going to read what you wrote, just the abstract.

Experience in Japan does not matter. High teaching evaluations do not matter.

To make money and to work full-time at a university you are forced to publish.

Even at better high schools, Japanese ability and professional development matter, as do certification in your own country, IB, etc. You have to make your resume stand out from the others.


Thank you for sharing this; it's very informative. It sounds like, for university positions, research/publications are the thing to focus on.
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Vince



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 485
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many people who get complacent with an entry-level job that "pays the bills" eventually reach a point where they want or need bigger things. At that point, they regret the time they wasted. They ask themselves why they didn't move on after a year of eikaiwa, rather than going into autopilot there for several years.

Having outside interests doesn't quite cover it, because you'll meet others who share your interests and have real careers with a history of progressive responsibility. You'll soon see that those people have the resources to explore the interests much farther than you can. The interests aside, they'll just be much farther ahead in life than you are. That can weigh on you.

Also keep in mind that you spend most of your waking time at work, so that's where most of your personal development will happen. Entry-level EFL in Japan doesn't exactly demand the most of you.

I'm not suggesting that we should all be racing to be CEOs or full professors, but that parking in an entry-level position will eventually prove to be opportunity wasted.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 398
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vince wrote:
The interests aside, they'll just be much farther ahead in life than you are. That can weigh on you.
It all depends on what you consider being "ahead". If it means responsibility, money, and things, then you are probably right. If it means a contentedness with your life, then not necessarily.

Your point about a job that, e.g., pays more money helping one to go further in their outside interests is a good one. I'd also add that not all interests require such resources, and one doesn't necessarily need to go further in something to enjoy it. A part-time job that pays enough to live and allows more time for an outside interest might be more valuable than a high-paying, high-responsibility job that leaves one dead tired at the end of the day and a couple hours to enjoy one's outside interests.

Quote:
I'm not suggesting that we should all be racing to be CEOs or full professors, but that parking in an entry-level position will eventually prove to be opportunity wasted.
If it helps one to be happy and satisfied with their life, then it's not wasted at all. Not everyone in the world defines themselves by their job. It really depends on one's mentality and philosophy.

I agree that there are more people who would look back with regret on years spent on auto-pilot in a dead-end eikaiwa job than those who would still feel satisfied. However, the latter do exist, and I have no place in telling them that they wasted their time.
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RM1983



Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It goes back to the iintial post kind of.

I have a friend here who recently turned down a very good job indeed, as he would be doing 6 full on days a week and wouldnt have any time to spend with his young family.

I have a question though about university jobs. Is the work involved in them actually more satisfying than any other teaching job or is it just the same thing with bells on? I ask cos I know people who've done Westgate which sounds just about the same as Eikaiwa.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 455
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends where you work.
You have to like teaching.
If you are part-time at a good university it is fine.
But what do you do when you have to teach unmotivated students?
You really have to want to be a teacher then.
You have to know Japanese in order to chew out bad students.
You have to show your authority, since that is what the students are used to.
Many foreigners can`t do it.
I just copy my Osaka wife, and I don`t take crap from nobody.

Being forced to publish is not fun.
Getting articles rejected is tough, but don`t give up.

Eikaiwa is not bad if you have students who want to learn.
The problem is not enough vacation and a bad boss.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 398
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RM1983 wrote:
I have a question though about university jobs. Is the work involved in them actually more satisfying than any other teaching job or is it just the same thing with bells on? I ask cos I know people who've done Westgate which sounds just about the same as Eikaiwa.
The classes that Westgate teachers teach are just eikaiwa classes. In most university jobs (for foreign English teachers), I think normal is about 1/3-1/2 speaking (conversation) classes, 1/3-1/2 reading/writing classes, and maybe 1/3 'content' classes, depending on what you know and what you can teach -- e.g., linguistics, teaching methods, CALL, cross-cultural communication, etc. A big difference, as mitsui pointed out, is that in an adult eikaiwa class, the students are there because they want to be. Also, there are usually few students in an eikaiwa class -- maybe 5-7. University students are often unmotivated, and there are often 40+ students in a class.
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