Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finding Work in Japan After JET

Some people have been wondering about my life post JET Programme and how I came to find stable work in Japan. Here I try to explain a little about my current situation and how it came to be while offering advice to those who may soon be in the same boat (so to speak).

My job now is basically the same as JET but I get to do more. I work for a city government, privately. The pay is less (way less), but since we moved in with my wife's parents I haven't noticed it too much.

I lucked out finding the job early though. Roughly *two weeks after I quite the JET Programme and I had absolutely nothing lined up.

However, let me state that I did apply with the job services here in Japan--called Hello Work. There is a ton of paper work to go through... so you will need your significant other, or a close native speaker of Japanese, to assist you--but you should definitely apply.

Here's why.

You get paid for looking for work in Japan! They go by your previous earnings. Every week you make a percentage, which is taken out of your unemployment tax which you've been paying the whole time you've been working and living in Japan. I would have made 9 man a month (roughly $1,000 American)... however, because I found a job within 2 weeks of signing up they gave me the 9 man plus a 20 man early find bonus! I literally made 30 man (approx. $3,000) in less than 3 weeks.

Here's the thing though... Hello Work SUCKS for finding jobs--and you have to go to one of their seminars and listen for two hours to a Japanese person drone on and on about finding work in order to get the money back. As a foreigner, absolutely NOTHING they say in the seminar will apply to you. Nothing.

I went the the "International" section of the Hello Work agency and tried to find someone who spoke relatively good English. The person does not exist! At least not in my area. Hiroshima City ought to have one.

I left Hiroshima and came down to Kumamoto, and they had no English section, but looking online I found that the Fukuyama branch in Hiroshima has an English speaker. If you're in the Hiroshima area here's their address and phone number of their Hello Work English contact information.

3-12 Higashi Sakura-cho Fukuyama-shi


So anyway, Hello Work pretty much sucks for finding work when you a non-native. That said, I still recommend applying to them to get the extra money--because you won't know how long it will be until you find work--it may come in handy. If you get lucky like I did, it's a pretty nice bonus. Kind of makes up for the five years on JET I worked without ever getting a single bonus. 

I found my current job on a local city listing online. But the best place to look for work in Japan (at least for foreigners) is on

Make sure you sign up to their job listing section. Your name will be posted for companies to contact you as well as allowing you to see all the job listings. 

I received tons of job listings for English speakers with moderate Japanese. Everything from bar tending to the same old ESL grind. There are translation jobs, as well as personal tutoring jobs, among many other jobs to select from.

Well, that's the low down on what I know. Like I said, I found work right away so I didn't struggle too much. I wish you the best of luck and hope this info helps.


Bikkuri Vick

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