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Finding Short-Term Work

2Japan

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Hello,

I am interested in living and working in Japan for 6 months, with an eye toward potentially staying longer. Several years ago I visited the country as a tourist and found it completely fascinating. I am a 30 year old American with a degree in Computer Engineering, and I also have experience teaching English. I'm just getting started exploring this possibility, so this forum seemed like a good place to start. Here are a few questions I have:

1) I would like to work in the country from April through September 2014. Is procuring this sort of contract a reasonable goal, or would I need to sign a year long contract in order to get a work visa?

2) Would the combination of my computer engineering degree and my English teaching experience potentially make me attractive to "tech" companies looking to improve their employees' English? If so, how could I approach these companies?

3) From my research it seems that it's far better to get a work visa before arriving in Japan, or to at least have interviews lined up. How would you all recommend that I get started on this process?

Thanks for your help!
 

Glenski

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1. More than 9 times out of 10, jobs are a minimum of a year. The government recently established a 3-month work visa period in the hopes that it would attract more foreign workers, but I have not seen any job that short in the 15 years I've lived here and worked in the EFL biz.

You have a degree and nationality that suits immigration. You need a job before you get a visa. Simple as that. I'd say chances are slim, so if you don't have qualms bailing out of a contract early, then I'd say change your plans to stay at least one year.

2. Maybe. How much work experience do you actually have in both fields? There are some business English agencies that try to match teachers to clients on the basis of their work experience, but in my experience with engineers, the field of comp sci tends NOT to use much English especially in a spoken way.

3. See above, re: need for job before visa. Most employers here don't recruit teachers from abroad. Those that do either have a very few offices scattered in anglophone countries, and you have to pay to go the interviews which could last 1-3 days, or they use Skype (darned few despite the fact that Japan is considered technologically savvy). So, you would have to arrange an interview based on coming here most of the time. Go to the ESL Cafe web site discussion group and ask for more help.
 

2Japan

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Thanks for the help Glenski. I'm waiting to be registered for ESL Cafe (apparently Dave Sperling needs to personally approve of my account before I can log in.) In the meantime, do you know what the repercussions could be if I bailed out of a year long contract after 5 or 6 months? Could either

a) my work visa be revoked

b) this lessen my chances of ever landing another job/work visa in Japan should I apply for another job (or work visa) at some point

c) neither of the above?

Re: work experience, I have worked at computer engineering firms for 5 years, and taught english for one year. Do you think that could be attractive to tech companies?
 

Glenski

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Bailing out early is a moral decision sometimes. But you have to consider how students feel after having you for such a short time, especially if they paid money expecting you to be their teacher longer. The company can always find someone to replace you (although some may actually try to hold legal proceedings over your head, which is very hard to do). Their main goal is money, students in their seats.

Your absence will put other foreigners in a bad light to the company and students. So, keep that in mind for the next guy and those of us who choose to stay here longer. Poor company attitudes are one thing, but sometimes they put legal clauses and restrictions in their contracts as a result of such things. Again, think of the next guy.

As for your other questions:

a. No. Odd question since you plan to leave anyway.

b. Maybe. Depends on whether the next employer asks why you left after a short time, and if it was in your contract to be so short.

Re: work experience, I have worked at computer engineering firms for 5 years, and taught english for one year. Do you think that could be attractive to tech companies?
To teach English or do tech work?
 

2Japan

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Thanks again for the help, Glenski. I can see now how leaving a contract early could be a moral dilemma.

To teach English or do tech work?

To teach English to employees at a tech company (not to do tech work). Do you think my background would be attractive?

Also, (forgive me as I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere) do companies normally want to see some kind of TEFL certification, and if so, which one?
 

Glenski

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There are business English agencies that cater to companies who want their employees to learn English. Such agencies either have their own courses or they send a teacher to the client. Usually, they want the teacher to have some experience in a field related to their clients, so they already know the terminology and perhaps even the type of language application/situations where it is used. So, in that respect, yes, you would probably look qualified to the agency.

I don't know if such agencies want a TEFL/TESL certification. I know that some hire without it. Unfortunately, many employers (that type and others) accept people as teachers on the bare "requirement" that they are a native English speaker. Your one year of experience helps, but I don't know how much, mostly because I don't even know what it was. It's worth a shot, though.

Look up companies such as these. I don't know if the links are still active:

AIT info-japan | Yellow pages
Many foreign languages taught, as in-house or corporate lessons.

English Language Education Council (ELEC) ニ竪ニ椎槌鍛ニ誰ツ:ヒ?ェ窶敕環催?窶冂窶邸ツ人窶ーpナ津ェ窶ケツウヒ?ァ窶ケツヲ窶ケc窶ーテッELEC窶ーpナ津ェナ陳、ツ修ツ焦?/窶ーpナ津ェツ講ナスt窶拮ナ陳ュ(ツ出窶卍」窶ーp窶ーテッヒ彙)ニ池ニ淡ニ値ニ湛窶ーpナ津ェ-(窶愬停?ケナセツ:ツ静ァ窶佚」窶彡窶ケテヲツ、窶敖シ窶伉?窶禿・ツ静シツ、窶佚・ナスティ窶卍ャ)
Japanese site, but here's some English about them. ELEC on the web: About ELEC ニ竪ニ椎槌鍛ニ誰窶堙俄?堙や?堋「窶堙Ъ/url]

Japan Concept Corporation [url]http://www2.gol.com/users/jconcept/en/index.html

From the Web site, they offer classes in "Survival Skills, Cross-cultural Awareness, Business Writing Skills, Speed Reading, Pronunciation, TOEIC/ TOEFL, Deep Listening Program, Technical Language, Business Negotiations/Presentations/Debating Skills, Public Speaking, Business Correspondence Skills, Project/Time Management, Case Analysis, Financial Language, Overseas Study Program, Socializing etc. "

Phoenix Associates Phoenix Corporate Services Department - Communication Training & Development
Offices in Tokyo and Osaka.

Simul http://www.simul.co.jp/english/index6.html
The Corporate Training Center provides language training for corporations mainly in English, Chinese, German, and French.

Sumikin International 窶愿コ窶彜ツ住窶ケテ?ニ辰ニ停?愴耽ツーニ坦ニ停ぎナ?窶敘スツョ窶ーテッナステ深/url]
They are based in Kansai and basically service Proctor & Gamble, Sumitomo and Mitsubishi. People who work there need to have a business background and/or bona fide TESL experience.

The Tokyo Center for Language and Culture (TCLC) [url=http://www.tclc-web.co.jp/]テ・ツ、窶禿・窶コツスティツェナセテッツシヒ?ィ窶ケツアティツェナセテ」竄ャツ?ィツォツクテ・ツ、窶禿・窶コツスティツェナセテッツシ窶ーテ」ツ?ョテァツキツ湘・ツ斥?」窶堋ウテ」ニ陳ウテ」窶堋オテ」ニ陳ォテ」窶堋ソテ」ニ陳ウテ」ニ塚?」竄ャ竄ャテヲツ敖アテ、ツコツャテ・ツ、窶禿・窶コツスティツェナセテ」窶堋サテ」ニ陳ウテ」窶堋ソテ」ニ陳シ

Offices in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kitakyushu. From their Web site, they offer "offer English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Thai, Indonesian, Korean, German, Portuguese and Japanese conversation seminars, English business and technical writing programs, correspondence education
courses, overseas study programs, interpretation and translation, and a wide range of language and communication consultation services."

BL&C (Business Leaders and Communication)
http://www.kk-blc.co.jp/en_home1.html
Teach ESL related to business language, meetings & discussions, presentations, negotiations, socializing, teleconference, telephoning, debates, speed reading, writing skills (technical reports), email writing, ESL fluency, TOEIC, and TOEFL.

Forum Corporation
Forum Corporation
Business English courses include Financial, Information Technology
Sales & Marketing, Legal, Pharmaceutical, Retail, Customer Service, Secretarial, and more. "Soft Skill Business English programs" include Cross-Cultural Seminars, Training for Overseas Assignments, Presentation, Negotiation, and Coaching for Development, International Meetings and Discussions, Writing and E-mail Courses, Peer Relations and Team Building.

CTS Nichibei (CTS = Communication Training Support)
CTS窶堙娯?愿≫?卍・ツ ナ?テゥ窶ケテ??愿?ナ津ェナ?wナ陳、ツ修ツ【ニ歎ツーニ弾ニ達ツーニ竪ニ湛ツ】

PCG (Pan-nations Consulting Group)
ニ池ニ淡ニ値ニ湛窶ーpナ津ェ窶堙?坦ニ蓄ニ停?ヲニ男ニ単ツーニ歎ニ停?。ニ停?懌?堙娯?伉債坂?。ニ探ニ辰ニ暖ヒ?ェニ致ニ椎槌端ニ停?愴弾ツーニ歎ニ停?。ニ停?懌?氾坂?堙?窶ケツュ窶ーツサ

Interlang Service(no Web page)
 
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