Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Finding a Job After JET

I've got to keep it real! I've heard horror stories about JETs failing to find good jobs after returning from Japan. 

The JET Program (and teaching in Japan) is an amazing experience for personal and professional growth. However, this experience may be disconnected to your home country and/or your career path. Therefore, if you've signed the papers stating that you will not continue on the JET Program, immediately restructure your resume and begin your job search. 

In February (yes, February), I began restructuring, well, my life. I took down old photos from Facebook, updated my Linkedin, put my Instagram on private, and worked on the content and overall look of my resume.  I researched typography and learned about contrasting fonts and styles in order to make my resume pop. I also asked a friend, who studies design, to suggest any changes. You'd be surprised at the difference!

Speaking of friends, my two best friends handled my resume and cover letter. It was important to have another person proofread the content, correct mistakes, and suggest changes. To this day, I can't thank them enough! Love you both!

In late April, I began to actively search and apply for jobs. I signed up for alerts on indeed.com and notified my references that they may receive calls in the near future. During my free time I would apply for jobs. This was the most difficult part of the processes but I knew that if I wanted to be anything other than an executive/administrative assistant, I needed to work and find a career or a career-building job. 

I received an email for an interview in late July. It was my first time participating in a Skype interview and, due to the time difference, I would interview at 10pm. On the day of the interview, a typhoon directly hit Okinawa and caused my internet to disconnect. I panicked but since I still had electricity, I used iPhone as a hotspot and Skyped from my laptop. The interview went well and I was asked to interview again the following week. Long story extremely short, I was offered the position and I had a good job secured before returning home.

Finding a job prior to returning home is a possibility if you put in the work. But more importantly, do not give up! The more jobs you apply to, the better your chances are at finding a job!

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