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Ideal situation for getting started: smart/doable plan?

 
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macandcheese



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Ideal situation for getting started: smart/doable plan? Reply with quote

So I've gone ahead and applied to JET with no clue as to what my chances might be (the last time I applied somewhere, to transfer graduate programs, I thought I'd have a good shot and didn't even score an interview. Ouch.). But if I do get rejected on the first go-around, I'll know by late-January -- plenty to time to get Plan B enacted, right? (And if I pass the interview, I still won't know the final decision until after the first, key portion of Plan B has passed.)

Plan B: spend the next few months sending out applications/cover letters/resumes to as many jobs as I can, although my ideal situation would be something somewhere in Hokkaido (extreme heat + me = grouchy, angry, disgustingly sweaty me). Set up as many interviews in advance as possible, and fly to Japan in mid/late-March (maybe 9 or 10 days starting on the 16th) to interview and do as much as I can to sew up a position. Unfortunately, assuming someone is kind enough to sponsor me a visa and offer me a position, I wouldn't be able to actually start until early/mid-May, until the 10th or so.

I'm white, male, from the USA. I have a BA degree and I have 4 years of teaching in an unrelated field, as well as an unrelated MA. I've also been doing volunteer work teaching ESOL to non/American residents/citizens, so although there's no official certification, there's something, at least. CELTA would, obviously, be ideal, but it'd have to be put off until the future because I think I'll only manage the $4-5k starting costs... provided I actually succeed in getting hired somewhere. Groupon has an offer right now for an online $600 TESOL cert marked down to $69, but.... it's online. Enough said, so I've read on here.

Sooo after that long-winded lead-in: Question: does Plan B seem realistic? I know that April is when things really get rolling, academic-wise, but that month is out, unfortunately (obligations here in the States). I'd REALY rather not put all my eggs in one basket (JET) but really don't think I can take another full year of doing what I'm doing now....

Thanks in advance. Smile
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are that dead set on being here as early as possible, what you've outlined may be the only route to take. Be prepared for employers to want people more often for April start date than May, though. Good luck.
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plan B seems okay, as you already know that your options will be more limited because of the May start. I would be very clear on that when you apply to places, before you fly over for interviews. It might be better to just wait until May and interview then. The money you will save on flights should put you up for a month or so in Japan.
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macandcheese



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blerg. Thanks. Yeah, the money issue is a concern.... although selling my possessions (car, TV, etc.) will help, lol. Good idea to "screen" potential employers by whether May would be alright (I could potentially push it up a week, but not sure how much of a difference that would make).
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also be aware that some people may be very excited about their new job which started in April, only to be disappointed a couple of weeks in, so they might bail out and leave a May opening...but to a poor quality job. Ask to speak to previous or current teachers.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1041
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems realistic. If you can cope with the winters, I generally hear good things about teaching English in Hokkaido.

An online cert isn't worth much, but if you have nothing better, and if you can spare the time and the cash, $69 doesn't seem too much to pay.

If plan B doesn't work out, there is a plan C: take any job that offers a visa. Try some place like GABA. GABA's business model is that all their teachers are freelancers and are paid per lesson. You'd have to really hustle to get a living wage, but it's better than just coming over and living off your savings, and you'll have plenty of time for job-hunting. The visa, the experience, and the income (however meagre) could all be a big help.
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macandcheese



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
It seems realistic. If you can cope with the winters, I generally hear good things about teaching English in Hokkaido.


I would love to be in Hokkaido. I moved from Atlanta to Connecticut a few years ago to escape the heat down south -- I like the cold. Smile

Strangely, I hadn't even considered Gaba.... thank you!
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