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14 Years in the Making. One Year to Go.

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  • 14 Years in the Making. One Year to Go.

    I am 22, will be 23 later this year.
    I am studying Accounting at a university and will graduate next year.
    My Japanese is poor but I am studying with zeal.
    I have been to Japan before for 2 months via a student exchange program five years ago. (120 Yen to the Dollar, I miss that)
    I have a plan and need advice or a better angle.


    I am planning on applying to JET this coming October for their 2014 program. I have already secured letters of recommendation from teachers. Is there a "better" program? I simply went with JET because it is the most well known and I've heard a lot of negative things about Interac.

    I am hoping to have my Japanese skills up to slightly-sub conversational level by August 2014. I realize that no matter how hard I study the jump to "conversation level" will only come with conversation with locals. I've tried the Japanese club at my university and it's full of weeabos and I mean that in the most derogatory fashion. I think it actually devolved to the new anime club that started last year.

    I am planning on staying with ALT work for about three years or so. JET caps out at five years with exceptional performance but being an ALT is hardly a career. The time being an ALT would primarily be used to further my Japanese, decided if an extended stay in Japan is truly the best option, and it seems the gentlest method of adapting cultures. From ALT work I think progression to translation or Eikaiwa would be the next logical step. Around this time I would begin earnestly aiming for JLPT 1 and hope to not be in those fields for a terribly significant period, less I find enjoyable work. My true calling is analysis for which nothing below JLPT 1 is acceptable so the preceding 5-6 years would be "training" for culture and language more than anything. If all else fails, take my new language skills with me back home and parley my way into a $75,000 a year job as a financial or business analyst.

    The Accounting degree is largely window dressing. I'll worry about certificates if I discover I need them. On that note, however, I don't believe they are but are US issued certificates any good in Japan? Further, would it be worth the pain in the ___ to maintain them despite the lack of use?

    So end goal is, career level work by age 30.

    I recognize the following facts:

    As a gaijin, I am a sub-citizen in many respects. I don't see this terribly different from my current future condition. White, male, possesses a future; what a trifecta for social blame. At least I will choose my hell.
    As a gaijin, I am a social enigma and literal outsider. While I keep almost entirely to myself presently I imagine this will begin to wear over time.
    As a gaijin, things will be made harder simply because I am a gaijin. Life sucks everywhere, does it not?
    Perhaps I will fail.
    Perhaps I will succeed.

    Thank you for your input.

  • #2
    Your dream is lovely.

    Except that there are people already here who have JLPT1, and can translate, and cant get a job doing anything except working for an eikaiwa? .... hmmm .. those career level jobs don't really exist.

    Good luck though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Not to denigrate English teachers – but I would recommend that you skip the teaching bit if you ever want to have a career in accounting. Get some experience at home if necessary, while you look for an entry level job in finance/accounting. That way – when you are sick and tired of doing something you do not want to be doing for the rest of your life – you will not have gJETh standing out (and in your way) on your resume.

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      • #4
        Is using ALT status as a stepping stone really so looked down upon?

        It seemed so much easier to use that method of entry over spontaneously appearing one day, hoping to make ends meet visa to visa.

        You have it right, I probably won't be doing Accounting for the rest of my life, hell, it'll probably be lucky to hit "extended period of employment". I doubt that I would secure any corporate job in Japan without fluent Japanese or sponsorship from a foreign company. I doubt that sponsorship would fall to a rookie employee though I could be wrong.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AidanPryde View Post
          Is using ALT status as a stepping stone really so looked down upon? ...
          Not looked down on so much as being a waste of time... Time that you should have been using as a trainee in your field. In your first career related job, no matter how old you are, or how well you speak the local language - you will be a trainee and at that time, so much older than the rest of the trainees. One solution - might be to go back home after your ALT experience and start there. Then after a few years and being able to say 'oh, but the way, I also speak Japanese' - try for a career related job once more.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AidanPryde View Post
            I am studying Accounting at a university and will graduate next year...

            I am planning on staying with ALT work for about three years or so. ... My true calling is analysis for which nothing below JLPT 1 is acceptable so the preceding 5-6 years would be "training" for culture and language more than anything. If all else fails, take my new language skills with me back home and parley my way into a $75,000 a year job as a financial or business analyst.

            The Accounting degree is largely window dressing. I'll worry about certificates if I discover I need them. On that note, however, I don't believe they are but are US issued certificates any good in Japan? Further, would it be worth the pain in the ___ to maintain them despite the lack of use?

            So end goal is, career level work by age 30....

            Thank you for your input.
            Does Matthew 22.14 ring any bell ? "For many are invited, but few are chosen."
            Our company (finance) also sometimes do recruiting and any application from English teachers immediately goes to the shredder. Rather do an exchange student program in Japan and/or an internship. Your chances to get hired at a Japanese company are close to zero, rather consider a foreign company, i.e. Banks, Funds, Rating Agencies and Financial service companies.
            Last edited by ttokyo; 2013-04-27, 11:35 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              What stream of accounting? Internal audit for a bulge bracket is a bit flexible in English-only candidates, but you would need solid experience.

              I agree with TJrandom that using English teaching as a stepping stone is a waste of time. Since you (will) have a degree, make the most of it.

              Comment


              • #8
                JET is probably the best teaching entry level opportunity with regards to setup and support. The actual teaching experience varies considerably, which is why the JET motto is ESID (every situation is different), so keep that in mind.

                Living like a hermit just to improve your Japanese skills is admirable, but you will still need to get out and practice your reading, writing, and speaking, plus as a JET ALT, I suspect you will need some time to learn just what the heck you are doing. Put all of this together for a 3-year gap in your accounting/analysis/etc. career, and it may very well not look all that good to a prospective employer, despite having moderately high Japanese fluency. (Realize, too, that book learning of a language is not going to give you street level learning of how people really speak, and there are at least 3 levels of how people use the language: casually, politely, and officially/over-politely).

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