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Should I shave my beard?

 
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Evil Giraffe



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Kofu, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 4:30 am    Post subject: Should I shave my beard? Reply with quote

I know it's a silly thing to ask but I have a JET interview coming up and a couple people have told me that Japanese people don't like beards. I'm not sure about this, but hey, they might know something I don't.
I'm also wondering if it's just a good idea in general before a professional interview.
I keep it short and neat so I think it looks fine but one never knows. So does anyone have any inside knowledge on this?

Also, the email I got from JET said to dress in a professional manner. Does this mean a coat and tie? Or what?
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: Should I shave my beard? Reply with quote

I was so curious, that I just asked my JET supervisor. She tells me that she personally likes beards, and that they do not have any kind of stigma here, but that men here don't grow them because they don't have the time to keep them groomed. She says to tell you to keep your beard. Dress in a professional manner means dress pants, white shirt, tie, and a sportcoat. You could opt for a suit if you so wished.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 7:46 am    Post subject: Keep it! Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Giraffe in Bakersfield,

I worked in Japan for 2 years, in Ibaraki Prefecture, in a town called Tsuchiura. Not far from Tokyo, actually. I too have a neatly trimmed beard, which I kept during my entire 2 years there.

During my second year working for "Promesa Academy Club", I was asked by the general director if I would be willing to "pose" for the school's advertising poster. I agreed. Long story short; my smiling, bearded face now adorns every pepsi machine and telephone pole from Kashiwa to Tsuchiura. Laughing

If they were really "anal" about beards, they wouldn't have made me their poster boy.

And finally, a big "yes" on wearing a jacket and tie. Japanese are indeed very concerned with appearances and looking professional.

As they say in Nihonggo, "Ganbatte mas!"

JustMy2CentsForYa,

Kent F. Kruhoeffer
Linguamir
Samara, Russia

5 February 2003
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Evil Giraffe



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Kofu, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks to both of you. you have eased my worries. i didn't want to have to shave but i was and am willing to do so if that's what needs to be done. the only doubts i still have are some words my brother said to me. he said, "look, it cannot help you get the job and it just might hurt you. so you should shave it." but i must remember that he works in a company that doesn't allow facial hair. he interviews people.
and they call this a free country. Rolling Eyes

thanks again.
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Lucy Snow



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 218
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 7:58 am    Post subject: Facial Hair in Japan Reply with quote

My husband had a beard the entire time he taught at a university in Japan, and never heard any complaints from anyone.

BTW--what kind of company doesn't allow facial hair?
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steven_gerrard



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah come on, beards are foul in whatever country you live in.

If I had interviewed two very similar candidates, one hairy, one not, I would go for the non- beardy one every time.
Especially if the hirsuite one was a woman.....

SHAVE! You'll look years younger and not as repulsive to the opposite sex....
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gerard



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 581
Location: Internet Cafe

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy was given the best advice by his brother---Wont help and it might hurt---says it all.........I have nil against beards,tattoos,long hair or much of anything really but employers tend to...Hey you only have 1 beard but there 1000 jobs out there ....
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't listen to these people who are telling you that they lived in Japan and had a beard, etc. You're not there yet. Shave your beard for the interview, and grow it back after you get the job.

Figure: The guy who interviews you is going to choose someone for the job who fits, as closely as possible, his idea of what the ideal candidate looks like, walks like, talks like, smells like.... The world is NOT full of open-minded, easy-going, live-and-let-live people. My advice is to figure out, to the best of your ability, who the interviewer wants to see, and then you BE that person -- for the interview, anyway. Unfortunately, looks count -- a lot.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 8:13 am    Post subject: respectfully disagree Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Dundat,

You are correct about your comments regarding (some) employers who are looking for the "Ken & Barbie" stereotypes. I can't argue that point, especially in Asia, where I spent six years teaching English. There *are* schools who care more about "how you look" than "what you know" or "who you are".

On the other hand, my motto...and advice...to anyone starting out in this business is simple: "Be yourself" during the interview, and forget about employers who consider 'appearance' to be more relevant than character and/or experience.

This philosophy has worked extremely well for me over the past 14 years in ESL.

Think about it, Bindair: I am a 41 year old male. If the interviewer is looking for a 24 year old female with blonde hair, blue eyes and a nice figure, would you advise me to show up at the interview "in drag"? Laughing

God save us. If you think my beard is potentially unattractive to prospective employers, you ain't seen "ugly" until you've seen me in nylons and high-heels Exclamation

Regards,
kent
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Evil Giraffe



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Kofu, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, thanks to all. my interview is wednesday and i am still deciding what to do. i think i might shave though. cause the truth is that if i don't get the job i'll be wondering if it was the beard. now, some may say that if they are going to base a decision on such a stupid aspect then maybe i'm better off not working for them. but the truth is that i really wan't this job and that i can always grow the thing back.
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Brenda



Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you've made the best decision simply because you're comfortable with it. If you're willing to change your look to get the job, go for it. If it helps you get the job, hourray! But I'd also keep in mind to remember to ask later on if it's ok with your new employer whether they mind if you grow it back once you've got the job.... Wink
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 5:23 am    Post subject: Good Luck ! Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Giraffe in Bakersfield,

Since we've pretty much exhausted the facial-hair topic, (Thank God!) here are a couple more last-minute "tips" for you to think about during the JET interview.

Arrow If you wear earrings or nose?rings, it's a good idea to remove them for the interview.
Arrow It's best not to sit with your legs crossed, as it is considered very rude in Japan to point the soles of your shoes at someone.
Arrow Don't chew gum. This is a no-brainer, but some people forget.
Arrow As I mentioned above, "be yourself", and don't be afraid to show your sense of humor, if the opportunity presents itself.
Arrow Speak *slowly* and *clearly*, especially if the interviewer is Japanese.
Arrow Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Anyway, Good luck on Wednesday Exclamation I really hope you get the job, with or without facial hair! Laughing

Best wishes,
kent
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Evil Giraffe



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Kofu, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr kruhoeffer,
thanks for the advice. most of it is common sense to me but like i told my father, it never hurts to be reminded of such things.
my interview went very well as far as i can tell. of course, i won't really know till april but it was fun and i think i made the right impression.
anyway thanks for the wishes. april won't come fast enough.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:53 am    Post subject: sitting on pins and needles, eh? Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Giraffe in Bakersfield,

It was nice of you to reply. If you feel you made the right impression during the interview, I'm sure they did too. Wink

Who knows; this post might still be around in April, so I do hope you'll come back and let us know if you got the job.

Sincerely,
kent
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