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Dilemma of leaving an easier gig in the US, and trying to justify Japan

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  • Dilemma of leaving an easier gig in the US, and trying to justify Japan

    So, I'm facing a dilemma here. Currently I'm making about $20 an hour in New York City and I get to make my own schedule. I get to make anywhere between $2000 and $3200 a month. This is all because I'm pretty much my own boss and I can take off as many days as I want. For the last 6 months, I've been making at least $3200 or more. Anyway, I am being asked by my long-term girlfriend (about 7 years) to go to Tokyo (she can't legally come here right now and we looked at other options but my going to Tokyo seems like the best.). The problem is that I feel I'll be working twice as much, and making less money, and everything will be more expensive that in my native NYC. Also, I'll have less opportunities overall in Tokyo, so...what I'm asking is: what other ways of making money are there out there in Tokyo?

    I've lived in Tokyo before. I taught private English lessons. I'm wondering what else can I do to make money that won't eat up all of my free time (as that's what I truly value about my current set-up). I figure I can make about $2500 USD a month with a full-time English teaching job.

  • #2
    You could try selling yourself to Korean males, from their 20s up, who come as tourists here. Many of them are closet cases or swing both ways regardless of all the homophobic ____ they spout in Korea: "I hate gay"... etc.

    When I lived in Korea it wasn't unusual to hear about so called straight Korean blokes sucking each other off in definitely not gay saunas called jimjilbang which are supposed to be kind of family saunas or just for travellers who need a place to stay. And the conbini in Korea are often where married (most Korean men 30 and over are married) men pick each other up. So just hang out where Korean male tourists hang out in Tokyo and you'll get tons of offers and can charge good money. Best of luck!

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    • #3
      Yes, it sounds like you are spoiled.

      If you live with her, your rent won't be as high.
      If you marry her and get a spousal visa, you can do any kind of work and not be dependent on an employer for a visa.

      Live with the fact that for the first year, you will have to work FT somewhere, but that you can also take on any PT jobs that fit your schedule. After that, if you have not gotten married, you can "self-sponsor" with any number of PT gigs, and that could mean a substantial increase in salary. It all depends on what you find and what you are willing to take.

      I don't think everything is more expensive than NY over here. Many people find ways to live cheaply.

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      • #4
        I've lived in Japan before so I know that there are ways to live cheaply in Tokyo.

        Right now she is living with her family in Kansai. If I would be living with her in Tokyo I'd be paying the rent, so I don't see the spoiled part.

        I don't wanna marry her and stay in Japan. If I were to marry her, I'd bring her with me to the USA.

        I don't mind being employed full-time if that's what I was looking for (if that makes any sense). I just know, or at least believe that I have more opportunities in NYC. I've lived in Japan before, but its been awhile, so I'm not sure if a young-ish hustler can still make a good amount of money over there without having to be a super-slave to the system.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr.WannaKnow View Post
          I've lived in Japan before so I know that there are ways to live cheaply in Tokyo.

          Right now she is living with her family in Kansai. If I would be living with her in Tokyo I'd be paying the rent, so I don't see the spoiled part.

          I don't wanna marry her and stay in Japan. If I were to marry her, I'd bring her with me to the USA.

          I don't mind being employed full-time if that's what I was looking for (if that makes any sense). I just know, or at least believe that I have more opportunities in NYC. I've lived in Japan before, but its been awhile, so I'm not sure if a young-ish hustler can still make a good amount of money over there without having to be a super-slave to the system.
          Are you strickly talking about teaching English over here, or would you like to continue to do what you currently do in NYC?

          If you are looking at doing the former then, yes, it's definitely possible. Does your GF work? If so, why would you take on all of the rent? You wouldn't expect her to pay? Personally, if someone expected me to move to other side of the world, when i really didn't want to, and then expected to live with me and I would be the one paying the rent, then I would tell them to think of another plan.

          The thing about teaching English in Japan is that a lot depends on you. If you want to work PT then the opportunities are there, and it's the same if you want to work FT. It all depends on how much you want the opportunities, and how you go about getting them. I completely agree with Glenski in that you really should at least spend your first year here working somewhere FT; not just for the visa, which is necessary, but also to get some experience. I know you have some experience previously, but gaining more teaching experience will really help you with private lessons. If you know what you are doing then students will pay you more, will be less likely to cancel and will recommend you.

          Having a year in a FT position will also give you time to build up a good number of PL students. You can cut the cord with the FT job then if you feel that you can survive without it. It will require a lot of time commitment from you in the first year though. How's your Japanese by the way?

          I am going to tell you about my friend. We both started at the same time at one of the big English teaching companies, full-time. He left after a year and a half and now teaches only private lessons. He loves it too; he makes far more than i do and he works on average about 5 hours a day, 4 or 5 days a week. I was thinking about doing something similar and so I picked his brain about it. He told me that he is so glad that he came over here on a visa and worked for a year and then decided to focus on PL students after leaving. He said that there's no way he could have survived without building up a decent student base before leaving his FT gig though; although living in Tokyo gives you access to more people, it's also puts you in the middle of all the other gaijin teachers trying to compete for the same students. He also said that PL student can be fickle, and so you need to be flexible. He's also an incredibly affable guy, so he doesn't have a hard time getting students, and many of his students have recommended him to their friends. It's because of this that he can charge a little extra, have a more relaxed schedule and he has a pool of potential students should he want to get anymore.

          What i am saying is that the opportunities are out there. If you aren't a friendly, outgoing person then it will be much more diffcult if you want to support yourself outside of a FT job though. If you are then the potential is amazing.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mr.WannaKnow View Post
            I've lived in Japan before so I know that there are ways to live cheaply in Tokyo.

            Right now she is living with her family in Kansai. If I would be living with her in Tokyo I'd be paying the rent, so I don't see the spoiled part.

            I don't wanna marry her and stay in Japan. If I were to marry her, I'd bring her with me to the USA.

            I don't mind being employed full-time if that's what I was looking for (if that makes any sense). I just know, or at least believe that I have more opportunities in NYC. I've lived in Japan before, but its been awhile, so I'm not sure if a young-ish hustler can still make a good amount of money over there without having to be a super-slave to the system.

            Mate, don't know you from a bar of soap, but this seems to have disaster written all over it in permanent ink marker! Sounds like you're trying to recapture your youth.

            And...
            Seven years and you still don't know if you want to marry her? Doesn't that tell you something? Perhaps you're just after a bit of excitement because you got a great job that is stress free with plenty of time off. Why not use all your time off for an extended stay in Japan with her?

            Good luck!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mr.WannaKnow View Post
              ... I just know, or at least believe that I have more opportunities in NYC. .
              And you`re probably quite right.

              Maybe it`s best you both go your own way.

              Originally posted by Glenski View Post
              ....I don't think everything is more expensive than NY over here. Many people find ways to live cheaply.
              Can`t say much about NY but using 100 yen to the USD I find the cost of living (excluding housing) maybe 30-40% cheaper in Cal.

              You need a car in Southern California which isn`t cheap but then public transportation in Tokyo isn`t either.

              I spent a good $800 a month last month on daily expenses and no major purchases.

              In Tokyo I usually spend maybe 125,000-150,000 yen.
              Last edited by Ken44; 2012-09-22, 05:58 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr.WannaKnow View Post
                I've lived in Japan before so I know that there are ways to live cheaply in Tokyo.
                Then why did you say it was more expensive in Tokyo?

                Right now she is living with her family in Kansai. If I would be living with her in Tokyo I'd be paying the rent, so I don't see the spoiled part.
                These are unconnected. You yourself admitted you are spoiled with your job situation. That's what I meant.

                As for paying rent all by yourself and she lives with you, SHE is the spoiled one. Why would you ever agree to paying HER rent while the two of you SHARE an apartment?

                I don't wanna marry her and stay in Japan. If I were to marry her, I'd bring her with me to the USA.
                You might want to ask HER opinion of this or you are going to be in BIG trouble. You don't have to stay in Japan a long time, either. Getting married provides you with the spousal visa, which makes certain things in life hear easier than being single and/or on a work visa.

                I've lived in Japan before, but its been awhile, so I'm not sure if a young-ish hustler can still make a good amount of money over there without having to be a super-slave to the system.
                If you indeed have the energy, ideas, know-how, and persistence to get jobs, you will make the money. Nobody will tell you it is easy, though.

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                • #9
                  For NYC that pay isn`t good. New York is expensive.

                  Maybe if you can work at a CUNY branch or at Westchester Community College you can do alright. You would probably do better in Tokyo.
                  Thing is though, it takes time to network and get better work.

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                  • #10
                    New York is a zoo. Come to Japan.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mr.WannaKnow View Post
                      ...so...what I'm asking is: what other ways of making money are there out there in Tokyo?

                      I've lived in Tokyo before. I taught private English lessons. I'm wondering what else can I do to make money that won't eat up all of my free time (as that's what I truly value about my current set-up). I figure I can make about $2500 USD a month with a full-time English teaching job.

                      Can you earn money outside of teaching English?

                      Guess that depends on what marketable skills you have besides being a native English speaker.

                      Look. You`ve lived and taught English in Tokyo before. Do you really want to start chasing after teaching gigs? These days the market in the Kanto area is tight and you`ll likely ended up taking whatever jobs you find and dancing to whatever tune the schools play. Unless you`ve got some teaching qualifications my feeling is you`ll be making a big mistake coming back here.

                      If you want to keep the young lady start planning on marriage. Seven years? Can`t keep on stalling my friend. Won`t work. Either yes or no.
                      Last edited by Ken44; 2012-09-22, 10:23 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Better explanation of what's up

                        -I really appreciate the responses. Let me try to answer y'all. In NY I work for events Fashion Week, Different Conventions, NY Auto Show, Parades, Festivals, etc (since NYC is so busy, this is pretty much a full-time job if you want it to be) . Basically, I am not able to do the same thing in Japan. I work as an Independent Contractor in the USA.

                        -Me and this girl have talked about marriage before. I'm not against it, its just that the timing isn't/wasn't right. Also, even though I have a good amount of money in cash, my legal paperwork (debts, taxes, etc. is not all on the up and up) so even if I wanted to do the marriage thing, I don't think I can provide the sufficient info for the affidavit of support. I'd rather her in NYC. Why would I wanna give up a cushy gig and way of life just to go work the straightedge lifestyle as a teacher. But then again, she's not actually able to be here right now (doesn't qualify for any visa), and I'm not trying to break up with her. And I don't want to make her wait for me for too long (cause there's been enough of that in this relationship), so, that's kind of the dilemma.

                        -New York is a zoo, but the zoo is cool and life needs challenges. Settling in Japan for too long may be an easy cop out.

                        -I don't really have any other skills. I can write (but who can't), and I may be able to pick up some other skills that I can charge people for once I make it to Tokyo, but its not like I'm a fire-breather or anything like that.

                        -It is possible to live cheaply in Tokyo, but it is possible to live even cheaper in NYC.

                        -ChucklingJawa, I really appreciate your answer.

                        -I'm not selling myself to any Korean males.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mr.WannaKnow View Post
                          ...-It is possible to live cheaply in Tokyo, but it is possible to live even cheaper in NYC.
                          If you don't mind living in a small two room apartment you can probably find one in a decent location not too far from a train or subway station for around 120,000-130,000 yen a month. I've only visited NY once but from what I gathered housing is more costly in NY than here. However, the cost of day-to-day living I find more expensive in Tokyo than say in Southern Cal. .
                          Last edited by Ken44; 2012-09-23, 11:30 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for not indicating until now that your previous work in NY was not teaching.

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                            • #15
                              Sorry about that. For a second I guess i forgot I was in the Teaching forum. And its my fault as I added too much of my story perhaps. I guess the original question I asked was what else can I do besides teaching to make money (I just posted here as teaching seems to be the main thing young expats do in Japan)

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