Aug 22

By Jon Dao(Toyama-ken, 2009-12) for his podcast Discussions with Dao. Jon works as a speech coach andpersonal trainer.

 

 


Fresh off the plane (okay maybe more like a few weeks) from a 5 year stint in the JET Programme, here’s graphic designer Patrick Finn! Be sure to follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

The “Best Thing” being back (1:20)

Using Credit Cards Over There (4:10)

Music/Concerts in Japan (8:38)

Japan Apologists (15:20)

Why do the JET Program? (17:10)

What kept you going for 5 years? (20:10)

Is JET “worth it” for personal and professional development? (26:41)

“Just living alone and kind of having to start fresh, I could throw away any ties I had to people, right? Okay, I can finally be me. No one expects anything of me because they don’t know me. So I don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations. Be 100% me and build my reputation around that.”

Traveling “Outside” (31:17)

Silence on the Struggle (33:07)

 Get the Pension Refund (37:40)

Fan Question (40:32)

 

“If you find yourself doing things that you could’ve been doing where you came from, You shouldn’t be there. You’re making a mistake. You’re not making the most of your time, and you’re wasting someone else’s opportunity.”

 


Sep 17

Life After JET: Take Pride in Your Choices

Check this excerpt from blogger and podcaster Jon Dao (Toyama-ken, 2009-12)!

CHOICESDecision-Making

Two years ago I made a choice. Having to choose can suck.

I was working a comfy teaching gig overseas. The good was good. I didn’t have any problems with my co-workers. In my third year, the kids were probably the best I’d ever seen. I remember there was a point in time I even thought I loved my job. But as time went on something felt “off.”

Some people talk about a “calling.” Well, I felt something along the lines of moving on to “bigger and better.”

Read the rest at BostonUrbanNews.com


May 2

Eric Baker (Fukuoka-ken, 2006-08) will be writing the Baker’s Dozen column as he  approaches the end of a year of travel and reconnecting. He will discuss his thoughts and experiences as he transitions back to working in the States after two years on JET.

Like many folks, I discovered JetWit through a JET friend. Joining the Facebook group, I began exchanging messages with Steven, our prescient leader, who suggested I start writing a few posts about my life as I, too, join the increasingly anxious fray of those looking for work. michigan-hand-ma

You may wonder how it came to pass that I’m starting these posts now, in May. I’m either ahead of the game for an ’09 JET or way behind for the group who finished in the summer of ’08. As you may have guessed, I’m the latter–I took a scenic western route returning from Japan to round out 2008. This year I’ve balanced my time between reading and fitness binges at “home” in Detroit, and with a number of week or two-long stints on the road, reconnecting with my diaspora of American friends, seeing how they live.

So far I’ve found value through the ups and downs of my deliberately gradual reentry. But while my old friends are well on their varied roads to success, evidenced in their shapely Apple and Ikea products and the flatscreen TV pandemic (when did that happen?), I turn 25 tomorrow, am living with my parents, and am increasingly in need of that pension refund. I check my account most days for that deposit, and in the meantime my 0% American Express keeps me afloat. But with my Nokia prepaid phone, goodwill cutlery and non-HD compatible 27″ JVC, I’m clinging to the fringes of social acceptance.

In fits and starts, I’m making the inevitable transition to commence thinking about and searching for my next job. I’ve missed most grad school deadlines, so that is eliminated for now. But most everything else is up in the air. Like my friends, I’m happy to move since—my pride in the Great Lakes (五大湖, anyone?) and ability to use my right hand as a map of my state aside—finding work in Michigan isn’t realistic right now. And for better or worse, I sometimes feel more socially isolated being temporarily back “home” than I did in my inaka hamlet.  I’m becoming antsy to really Read More


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