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Working in Japan - Sound Production, or a work towards...

GoneForLife

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After Googling and coming up with nothing but people saying it is next to impossible and to give up, I've decided to ask myself and hope I don't get the same response! :). This is going to be rather long-winded, so if you know anything about working in Japan I hope you stay on for the ride!

Intro
As of now I'm on my second year of a Bachelors degree in Multimedia, Majoring in Sound Production. This includes studying everything from Web Design, Digital Film Production, Basic Programming and last, but not least, my desired field which is Music.

I also have a casual job as a swimming instructor, and have been teaching swimming since mid 2012, and was a lifeguard before that. These came as a result of a multitude of certificates and other qualifications required to maintain my job in those roles.

Japanese Experience
I studied Japanese throughout my primary and secondary education, and now study Japanese in my own time and can read Hiragana and Katakana, although I have a little trouble with Kanji. I suspect this won't be much of a problem in 2 years time with more study, however no doubt you guys have more experience with this then me! I would say I have an elementary understanding of the Japanese language, being held back because of limited vocabulary knowledge and usage of the language.

The Final Question
I guess what I'm asking is if in 2 years, with my current Bachelor in hand and hopefully a Japanese Proficiency test under my belt, would I be able to get a job in Japan? Do you guys have much experience in these areas? I hear a lot of people saying they went into teaching English first and then branched off into their desired careers as they got the connections to do so, would this be a smarter move? Also I see a lot of jobs require you to already be living in Japan, is this really a requirement, or does it factor in the acquirement of a visa and the moving of country?
 
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ishibai

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Save some money, come to Japan find a job teaching English, get a visa. Then study Japanese, get 2kyuu and then look for a job in your field. This is the easy way to do it. Some super motivated people take 2 years of study to get kyuu, people like me took 20 years and never got it.
 

WonkoTheSane

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Going purely by feel... I think you'll stand a better chance if you put a year or two into working in virtually any capacity in music in Los Angeles. I have no idea why, considering the drek my homeland puts out in terms of media, but many Japanese seem enamored of it. Having worked in LA will automatically confer a bit of authenticity to your credentials.

You might still have to do the teaching thing initially, but that's all outside of my knowledge so I won't comment.

Good luck!!
 

Glenski

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I guess what I'm asking is if in 2 years, with my current Bachelor in hand and hopefully a Japanese Proficiency test under my belt, would I be able to get a job in Japan?
In your field? Probably not. You would need to show some valuable work experience to go along with that degree. Otherwise, you're not really that much of a commodity to a company, certainly no better than a Japanese graduate.

Do you guys have much experience in these areas?
Which areas? Your field, no. Teaching English, yes (15 years here).

I hear a lot of people saying they went into teaching English first and then branched off into their desired careers as they got the connections to do so, would this be a smarter move?
It depends. If you get the work experience at home, try applying here for internships first, maybe at the same time as for jobs in your field. If you come without the experience, you're probably not going to get hired in your field even if you do English teaching.

Also I see a lot of jobs require you to already be living in Japan, is this really a requirement, or does it factor in the acquirement of a visa and the moving of country?
I researched this a bit a couple of years ago. About 1/3 of the English teaching jobs had that requirement. Main reason was probably to get people who were not total newbies to life in Japan and therefore make it harder for the company to indoctrinate them to daily life and such. It also showed that people were more serious. Mind you, only 1/3 of the full-time jobs at that time showed it. Go to Ohayo Sensei and download one free listing that they put out twice a month and do the research yourself. In addition, the bigger outfits will have recruiters stationed overseas in a few anglophone countries, so you don't have to be here to interview with them (that includes eikaiwas, a couple of ALT dispatchers, and the JET Programme). You still have to pay expenses to visit them in your home country, but the fact is, they hire the bulk of teachers here.

My question to you is this:
What kind of job are you looking for? You said your BA was going to be in "everything from Web Design, Digital Film Production, Basic Programming and last, but not least, my desired field which is Music".
 

johnnyG

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Well, what you want will be next to impossible. Don't even think about it, and so I'd advise giving up on it and targeting something else.

An ESL colleague at my school quit and went to UK for an MA in film and TV production (he had a BA in that from once upon a time). After finishing (over ten yrs ago?), he did get a few jobs, even with NHK, but was only contracted on a per-job basis. His Japanese was decent, probably a lot better than yours, and he had an MA, and working in Japan was still an impossible nut to crack.
 

GoneForLife

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Save some money, come to Japan find a job teaching English, get a visa. Then study Japanese, get 2kyuu and then look for a job in your field. This is the easy way to do it. Some super motivated people take 2 years of study to get kyuu, people like me took 20 years and never got it.
How hard is it to get a job in teaching? I know some people who plan to do it and they are getting bachelors in languages and graduate diplomas in education, is that really needed?

Going purely by feel... I think you'll stand a better chance if you put a year or two into working in virtually any capacity in music in Los Angeles. I have no idea why, considering the drek my homeland puts out in terms of media, but many Japanese seem enamored of it. Having worked in LA will automatically confer a bit of authenticity to your credentials.

You might still have to do the teaching thing initially, but that's all outside of my knowledge so I won't comment.

Good luck!!
I'm afraid I live in Australia so getting a job in LA is as far off as getting a job in Japan at the moment! I'm used to teaching so I really wouldn't mind if I had to do it for a couple of years. Thanks for luck! :).

It depends. If you get the work experience at home, try applying here for internships first, maybe at the same time as for jobs in your field. If you come without the experience, you're probably not going to get hired in your field even if you do English teaching.
The Uni I am going to already organizes internships during our degrees for 6 months as one of our subjects, which continue after graduation if we want them to. I'm also active inside Uni and around the community with projects, you have to do those kinds of things to set yourself apart in Australia, the Music Industry is small and only 1 city has any kind of music scene. The Uni I go to is renown for having an extremely good music program, and is quite hard to get into (to put it in perspective, 4000 flute players auditioned last year and 2 got in). I understand that the field I want to go into is difficult to crack, I used to be a singer before I went into the technical side of things, so I know its difficulties, especially in Australia. I hope I didn't sound like I was boasting about my uni, it's just every person I talk to that is in the music industry goes "wow!" when I tell them where I am going.

I researched this a bit a couple of years ago. About 1/3 of the English teaching jobs had that requirement. Main reason was probably to get people who were not total newbies to life in Japan and therefore make it harder for the company to indoctrinate them to daily life and such. It also showed that people were more serious. Mind you, only 1/3 of the full-time jobs at that time showed it. Go to Ohayo Sensei and download one free listing that they put out twice a month and do the research yourself. In addition, the bigger outfits will have recruiters stationed overseas in a few anglophone countries, so you don't have to be here to interview with them (that includes eikaiwas, a couple of ALT dispatchers, and the JET Programme). You still have to pay expenses to visit them in your home country, but the fact is, they hire the bulk of teachers here.
Thanks for the information! I'll do some research into it, it is still a far way off before I have to be considering this kind of stuff, although now that I look at it 1 year does seem extremely close!

My question to you is this:
What kind of job are you looking for? You said your BA was going to be in "everything from Web Design, Digital Film Production, Basic Programming and last, but not least, my desired field which is Music".
I'm 1 year into my BA and those are what I have studied at the moment, for the next to years it is almost exclusively sound production based. My end goal is to work in recording studios, however any role that includes audio interfaces, condenser microphones and multiple channel mixers are fine with me. I hope that answers your question, I'm kind of not biased as to where I work in sound. Snatching up any opportunity no matter what I'm doing recording is kind of what I've learned to do since I got involved in the music scene here is Oz when I was in high school.

Oh and johnnyG, I'll never break into the music scene there if I don't try, and I'm prepared to do what is necessary to get into it. Trust me when I say that getting into the Music Industry in Australia is one of the hardest things to do, so I'm expecting Japan to be not that much different. I know I'm a foreigner going into an Industry that is hard to crack in any country, even when you are a resident, but it's what I want to do and I'm prepared to put in the hard yards!
 
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Mike Cash

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Why Japan?
 

GoneForLife

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It's hard to explain, I just have a fascination with everything Japan, mainly the music culture. I almost exclusive listen to Japanese music now because I love it and the recording quality is top notch, with a bit of Korean and Mandarin as well, although I am mainly a rock and punk listener so your experiences may vary. If you know what to listen for you can hear the distinct differences in the quality of sound between an American track and Japanese track if you know what to look for. Also the recording studio environment is, apparently, completely different to the west, and I know some sound studio people who found it extremely interesting and they learned a lot from going over there. Though they went over as part of a Western recording company for a few months.
 

Glenski

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How hard is it to get a job in teaching? I know some people who plan to do it and they are getting bachelors in languages and graduate diplomas in education, is that really needed?
That is not a simple question other than for the degree.

You need at least a bachelor's level degree to get a work visa. It also depends on which type of work visa. PhD is needed for the professor work visa, I believe.
You also have to qualify what type of English teaching -- business English, eikaiwa, ALT (dispatch vs. JET program), college/uni, etc.).
Your nationality also matters.
If it's your first time round, I will assume you are not in Japan yet, so you don't have a different work visa to change, or a spouse visa, dependent visa, student visa, etc. to rely on. Full-time work requires work visa or spouse visa or working holiday visa (if one qualifies, and you do) or PR. The other visas only permit PT work. And, yes, even PT uni work nowadays often/usually requires a master's degree and publications!

My end goal is to work in recording studios, however any role that includes audio interfaces, condenser microphones and multiple channel mixers are fine with me.
You're going to need quite a bit of Japanese language ability, spoken and written, to go with that experience.
 

GoneForLife

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You need at least a bachelor's level degree to get a work visa. It also depends on which type of work visa. PhD is needed for the professor work visa, I believe.
You also have to qualify what type of English teaching -- business English, eikaiwa, ALT (dispatch vs. JET program), college/uni, etc.).
Your nationality also matters.
If it's your first time round, I will assume you are not in Japan yet, so you don't have a different work visa to change, or a spouse visa, dependent visa, student visa, etc. to rely on. Full-time work requires work visa or spouse visa or working holiday visa (if one qualifies, and you do) or PR. The other visas only permit PT work. And, yes, even PT uni work nowadays often/usually requires a master's degree and publications!
Yes yes I understand most of that! and you are right I don't have a visa of any kind. I was looking at doing Eikaiwa work and it seemed really good, depending on who you go with.

You're going to need quite a bit of Japanese language ability, spoken and written, to go with that experience.
Yes yes I understand that most, it is why I was thinking of moving there, doing some English teaching style work, so I can get used to the culture and work ethic before I do some work requiring solely Japanese for the work.
 

Mike Cash

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Take it from a guy who makes his living in a field where everything is 100% Japanese all the time and where I'm the only foreigner....working as an eikaiwa teacher will do NOTHING to ease your transition.
 

GoneForLife

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Take it from a guy who makes his living in a field where everything is 100% Japanese all the time and where I'm the only foreigner....working as an eikaiwa teacher will do NOTHING to ease your transition.
Better then not having any experience in Japan and going straight into a job where all communication is in Japanese! I just want a little experience, however minute!
 

Mike Cash

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Better then not having any experience in Japan and going straight into a job where all communication is in Japanese! I just want a little experience, however minute!
No doubt.

My point was that the typical Western work ethic (and especially that of many eikaiwa teachers) does not map onto the Japanese work ethic. Military service in the enlisted ranks would come closest to it.
 

johnnyG

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No doubt.

My point was that the typical Western work ethic (and especially that of many eikaiwa teachers) does not map onto the Japanese work ethic. Military service in the enlisted ranks would come closest to it.
Hey, I was RA once upon a time. (since my draft number was all but a single digit)
 

ishibai

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No doubt.

My point was that the typical Western work ethic (and especially that of many eikaiwa teachers) does not map onto the Japanese work ethic. Military service in the enlisted ranks would come closest to it.
I doubt it. Eikaiwas have Japanese staff who expect gaijins to adhere to Japanese rules and regulations. I have read of gaijin being asked to vacuum rooms at eikaiwas, now that's as Japanese as you can get. The fastest and easiest way to get to Japan will be fly over and looks for English teaching jobs. It should not take long to get one, there are so many and they will pretty much hire anyone, especially if you are white and look semi-decent, clean cut and well dressed. Find a job where there is loads of down-time like an ALT position, you can study Japanese and get to 2kyuu. If you are based in Tokyo and spend a lot of time in bars that people in the music industry frequent, you can make friends and wangle an internship or something on a non-paid basis. If you schmooze the right people and work on your Japanese you could end up getting a job in the music industry, but if would involve a lot of socializing, you could always look at bilingual job sites but there would be lots of Japanese candidates competing for the same position.
 

Mike Cash

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I doubt it. Eikaiwas have Japanese staff who expect gaijins to adhere to Japanese rules and regulations. I have read of gaijin being asked to vacuum rooms at eikaiwas, now that's as Japanese as you can get. .
Doubt as much as you like. My remarks were based on personal experience of both. I fail to see what is so "as Japanese as you can get" about being asked to do some minimal policing of one's own workspace, though.
 

GoneForLife

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I fully understand that the work ethic is very different, as I've said I know some people who worked there and they were a bit shocked at the difference.

I doubt it. Eikaiwas have Japanese staff who expect gaijins to adhere to Japanese rules and regulations. I have read of gaijin being asked to vacuum rooms at eikaiwas, now that's as Japanese as you can get. The fastest and easiest way to get to Japan will be fly over and looks for English teaching jobs. It should not take long to get one, there are so many and they will pretty much hire anyone, especially if you are white and look semi-decent, clean cut and well dressed. Find a job where there is loads of down-time like an ALT position, you can study Japanese and get to 2kyuu. If you are based in Tokyo and spend a lot of time in bars that people in the music industry frequent, you can make friends and wangle an internship or something on a non-paid basis. If you schmooze the right people and work on your Japanese you could end up getting a job in the music industry, but if would involve a lot of socializing, you could always look at bilingual job sites but there would be lots of Japanese candidates competing for the same position.
Haha it is the same where I work at the moment, if we have no students in our classes we are expected to either assist another class or wash and clean the workplace. I mean only a couple of days ago I had to go outside and sweep the leaves out of the parking lot.

So you would recommend an ALT position if I plan to network in my down time? I read up on Eikaiwas and a lot of them have you potentially working until 10pm, not leaving a lot of time for going to gigs.
 

WonkoTheSane

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...I have read of gaijin being asked to vacuum rooms at eikaiwas, now that's as Japanese as you can get.
Every Thursday I have to participate in field day and clean and sterilize one of the rooms at work. Of course this is in addition to keeping my office clean and sterilizing all of my equipment.

I work in a US Naval hospital on an American military base... It doesn't get much more American than that.
 

Glenski

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I was looking at doing Eikaiwa work and it seemed really good, depending on who you go with.
I don't think many people would brazenly call even the best of eikaiwa work as "really good". I had a good eikaiwa (paid airfare & housing, no Sat/Sun, complete control over my classes). All pretty rare then and now. What is your definition?

it (needing Japanese) is why I was thinking of moving there, doing some English teaching style work, so I can get used to the culture and work ethic before I do some work requiring solely Japanese for the work.
But, I think you are missing the whole point of having a non-teaching career here, namely needing field-specific work experience. I can see your point about being in the country to gain some language ability, and it is very likely you will pick up some. A key question, though, is how much do you expect? I ask because probably the majority of people come here and don't really take studying Japanese seriously. They may pick up a few phrases or beginner level grammar, but they are against setting aside enough time away from new-found friends (or potential ones) and shunning the gaijin bubble in order to study.

Work ethic. Well, it might be safe to say that eikaiwa doesn't have as much traditional ethic that a lot of other jobs do. Eikaiwa is sometimes relegated to pitching or selling the product -- English with a foreigner, and not always for serious study but for casual conversation or gawking. You might pick up a tad of J work ethic, but it depends a lot on how much you put into observing it. Most eikaiwas have you in a classroom most of your work day, instead of interacting with the J staff, so that's where you lose a lot of opportunity. When you aren't in the classroom, you're likely scrambling to put together something like lesson plans, and in the remaining off time you could be interviewing potential students (or just hanging out in a lounge to attract them or chat them up) or eating a meal. Again, very little office interaction. So keep this in mind when you think about learning work ethic here.

Better then not having any experience in Japan and going straight into a job where all communication is in Japanese! I just want a little experience, however minute!
Please let me be a grammar Nazi for just a second. It's "than", not "then".

As for what you perceive as valuable, I really don't think you're going to get what you want, not unless you invest lots of time studying the language and trying to hang out with anyone in your field. I wouldn't even know where to start doing the latter. Making contacts is very important here. And, even knowing someone will gain you nothing if you haven't got the work-related experience that I've been harping on for all of this thread. A year or perhaps even two in eikaiwa will not get you closer to your dream, IMO. It also creates a gap in your resume so that if you decide to return home to get that experience, employers will see your stint here in a negative way.

Have you thought of an internship in your field?

So you would recommend an ALT position if I plan to network in my down time?
Yes, that over eikaiwa, but even ALTs have to work until 4 ot 5pm, so who are you going to find to network with at closing time or on a weekend?

But please reread what I just wrote in this post and mull it over.
 

GoneForLife

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I don't think many people would brazenly call even the best of eikaiwa work as "really good". I had a good eikaiwa (paid airfare & housing, no Sat/Sun, complete control over my classes). All pretty rare then and now. What is your definition?
A professional work environment with reliable pay and set hours. I've worked as a lifeguard for 4 years with my boss and some of my colleagues were alcoholics, I can put up with quite a bit before a crack.

But, I think you are missing the whole point of having a non-teaching career here, namely needing field-specific work experience. I can see your point about being in the country to gain some language ability, and it is very likely you will pick up some. A key question, though, is how much do you expect? I ask because probably the majority of people come here and don't really take studying Japanese seriously. They may pick up a few phrases or beginner level grammar, but they are against setting aside enough time away from new-found friends (or potential ones) and shunning the gaijin bubble in order to study.
I have said I have an internship lined up for next year, and have already done some field work in the past with clients and myself (solo projects). Along with this I have performed in live shows (Broadway musicals, music theater, and rock shows) and have also done front of house for both genres as well.

I studied Japanese last year as a Uni subject for a semester, and started 3 months ago studying Japanese 3 times a week for 1-2 hours in amongst my other subjects. I don't have a problem settings aside time to hit the books, with some study stints during the course going for 6 - 7hours.

Work ethic. Well, it might be safe to say that eikaiwa doesn't have as much traditional ethic that a lot of other jobs do. Eikaiwa is sometimes relegated to pitching or selling the product -- English with a foreigner, and not always for serious study but for casual conversation or gawking. You might pick up a tad of J work ethic, but it depends a lot on how much you put into observing it. Most eikaiwas have you in a classroom most of your work day, instead of interacting with the J staff, so that's where you lose a lot of opportunity. When you aren't in the classroom, you're likely scrambling to put together something like lesson plans, and in the remaining off time you could be interviewing potential students (or just hanging out in a lounge to attract them or chat them up) or eating a meal. Again, very little office interaction. So keep this in mind when you think about learning work ethic here.
Yeah I've come across a lot of people who have been saying the same thing about eikaiwas, and it has put me off a little. I already have quite a bit of experience with teaching, especially with putting together lesson plans with my current job, as I teach all ages (2 to 15 years of age) and have taken on adults in the past. From reading, it sounded a lot like what I currently do, with a little more sales and marketing and a bit less swimming :p. It does worry me, the lack of interaction with Japanese people, though I would be going out some nights to interact with other people :).

As for what you perceive as valuable, I really don't think you're going to get what you want, not unless you invest lots of time studying the language and trying to hang out with anyone in your field. I wouldn't even know where to start doing the latter. Making contacts is very important here. And, even knowing someone will gain you nothing if you haven't got the work-related experience that I've been harping on for all of this thread. A year or perhaps even two in eikaiwa will not get you closer to your dream, IMO. It also creates a gap in your resume so that if you decide to return home to get that experience, employers will see your stint here in a negative way.

Have you thought of an internship in your field?
I mentioned before that I have work related experience, though guess I really didn't talk it up a lot. I'm not planning on going to Japan and dropping all the networking I have already done, I fully intend to maintain what I have built up. I also plan to continue with some of my solo projects in my spare time while I'm over in Japan. When it comes to the year being negative, I can see where you are coming from, however, in Australia, it is seen as a positive to have been overseas and worked, in any fashion or form. That is according to the career counselors I have talked to, as well as my professors in the music sides of things. I wouldn't be considering it if it was going to be such a huge negative on my career.

Yes, I already have an internship lined up for next year, but that is here in Australia. Did you mean I should try and get one in Japan?

Yes, that over eikaiwa, but even ALTs have to work until 4 ot 5pm, so who are you going to find to network with at closing time or on a weekend.
Ok that sounds a lot better, thanks for the info!

Please let me be a grammar Nazi for just a second. It's "than", not "then".
Please, fix my grammar, I don't mind :p.
Sorry if I sounded a bit defensive with my replies, I'm not somebody who jumps into things without properly thinking about the consequences. I also apologize if I came across as somebody who was doing just that.
 

johnnyG

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GoneForLife,

Just so you know how to evaluate some of the advice being given, above:

ishibai said: (in another thread)
I am extremely out of touch, just want to live in Japan again for the nature and culture and of course golf.
So this poseur--who hasn't been in Japan for ten years or more, and is trying to escape the middle east and find a job here himself--is simply pontificating when he says:
Eikaiwas have Japanese staff who expect gaijins to adhere to Japanese rules and regulations. I have read of gaijin being asked to vacuum rooms at eikaiwas, now that's as Japanese as you can get. The fastest and easiest way to get to Japan will be fly over and looks for English teaching jobs. It should not take long to get one, there are so many and they will pretty much hire anyone, especially if you are white and look semi-decent, clean cut and well dressed. Find a job where there is loads of down-time like an ALT position, you can study Japanese and get to 2kyuu. If you are based in Tokyo and spend a lot of time in bars that people in the music industry frequent, you can make friends and wangle an internship or something on a non-paid basis. If you schmooze the right people and work on your Japanese you could end up getting a job in the music industry, but if would involve a lot of socializing, you could always look at bilingual job sites but there would be lots of Japanese candidates competing for the same position.
In reality, he doesn't know jack about Japan. He's working off memories of long ago and internet stuff he's read in the meantime.

Take his posts with a grain of salt.
 

GoneForLife

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GoneForLife,
Just so you know how to evaluate some of the advice being given, above:

So this poseur--who hasn't been in Japan for ten years or more, and is trying to escape the middle east and find a job here himself--is simply pontificating when he says:

In reality, he doesn't know jack about Japan. He's working off memories of long ago and internet stuff he's read in the meantime.

Take his posts with a grain of salt.
Thanks for the heads up johnnyG! I'll certainly take that into consideration.
 

Glenski

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GoneforLife's definition of really good eikaiwa:
A professional work environment with reliable pay and set hours.
Well, you are either totally uninformed at this point in your research, or you are misinformed. Eikaiwas have a poor reputation here, especially towards professionalism. They are businesses first and foremost, with the sole intent on making money, not in teaching well. Read this article on professionalism. The Power of Perceptions: A Look at Professionalism in Private Language Schools in Japan (Special) | ELTNEWS.com for Teaching English in Japan

"Set hours" may be just that, or they may change at the owner's whim. You may also have to cover for Joe Drunkard or Jane Sot, who have hangovers or unannounced trips keeping them from coming in to teach class.

From reading, it sounded a lot like what I currently do, with a little more sales and marketing and a bit less swimming :p. It does worry me, the lack of interaction with Japanese people, though I would be going out some nights to interact with other people
Those other people are probably initially going to be only your fellow foreign coworkers. Japanese coworkers will likely consist of your boss, a few OLs, and nothing more, not very likely that you will mingle socially with them except at the Xmas party.

I studied Japanese last year as a Uni subject for a semester, and started 3 months ago studying Japanese 3 times a week for 1-2 hours in amongst my other subjects. I don't have a problem settings aside time to hit the books, with some study stints during the course going for 6 - 7hours.
Just a mild reality check here.
1) One semester is not very long.
2) Kudos on the 3x per week studying, but please keep in mind that 2-3 things get in the way of it over here:
  • foreign friends wanting you to go out with them in any off time
  • the exotic appeal of the country pulling you out to sightsee
  • your lack of experience in teaching, which will force you to spend time making lessons
I...have already done some field work in the past with clients and myself (solo projects). Along with this I have performed in live shows (Broadway musicals, music theater, and rock shows) and have also done front of house for both genres as well.
You use words like "some" or nothing at all to describe exactly how much experience you have. Years? Months? A one-off? I don't know your field specifically, but I can practically guarantee that any interviewer will ask the "how much" question. What will you say?

I already have quite a bit of experience with teaching, especially with putting together lesson plans with my current job,
Would that be teaching swimming? Apples and oranges, my friend, and especially when you will find it very hard sometimes over here just to get your instructions or explanations across. Keep this in mind.

I already have an internship lined up for next year, but that is here in Australia. Did you mean I should try and get one in Japan?
Yes, of course!

Sorry if I sounded a bit defensive with my replies, I'm not somebody who jumps into things without properly thinking about the consequences. I also apologize if I came across as somebody who was doing just that.
We've seen far worse here! It's not all doom and gloom here, but people like me are here to tell you about as many potential problems as well as answer factual questions. Have seen too many people with rose-tinted glasses giving and taking advice. Head to the ESL Cafe discussion forum to talk to a boatload of teachers and wannabes. They'll know my name from a decade of posting there.
 

ishibai

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GoneForLife,

Just so you know how to evaluate some of the advice being given, above:

ishibai said: (in another thread)


So this poseur--who hasn't been in Japan for ten years or more, and is trying to escape the middle east and find a job here himself--is simply pontificating when he says:


In reality, he doesn't know jack about Japan. He's working off memories of long ago and internet stuff he's read in the meantime.

Take his posts with a grain of salt.
Yes, that is true I haven't been in Japan for 10 years, but I spent 20 years there. I wouldn't know much about eikaiwa since I have never worked in one, nor have I been an ALT; however, I have met around 50-60 people working in ALTs and eikaiwas over the years in Japan and chatted and listened to them multiple times. Do I need to actually get a job in an eikaiwa to realize how lousy it is? Would one need to become incarcerated to realize prison food isn't the same as the food served in Gordon Ramsey's restaurants? I have gone straight from grad school to University work in Canada and then 20 years at universities in Japan. I have spent the past 10 years in the middle east and I am very happy there, being of Arabic descent I have no problems with the culture or food. The only thing I am a bit uncomfortable about the middle east is the fact I am an arab and drink,some muslims do not look on this favorably. I am in no rush to move to Japan: as I previously said I am considering it. I am trying to give the OP some good advice. If you think telling people to going out and schmoozing people is the wrong way to do things, go ahead. I am an HOD on a huge salary, don't you think I have experience in buttering people up?
 

Mike Cash

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For the benefit of the OP, I would like to mention that the number of years a person has spent in Japan is a reliable indicator of only one thing....the number of years they spent in Japan. You should never assume the number means anything more than that, nor should you be impressed by it.
 
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