Jul 31

By Jon Dao(Toyama-ken, 2009-12). Jon works as a speech coach and personal trainer.


August is an exciting time for the JET community. For some, it’s the start of life as an ALT and CIR. For others, it marks the time to say goodbye to that trek and return home.

The decision to come home is a sigh of relief for some. I’ve heard many JETs say, “If this experience taught me anything, it’s that I never want to be that far away from family again.”

For me, it was a little harder to get adjusted.

But it’s not just the change of scenery that takes getting used to! What’s next for your career is something that isn’t covered enough.

Maybe you’ll go teach abroad in another country. Maybe you’ll apply to grad school. Maybe you’ll enjoy a year to “take it easy” and do some soul-searching. All of those are perfectly fine choices.

Back then, I’d disagree. I’d say that’s a waste of time. I would’ve said that’s just putting things on delay.

But no, all of those paths were much better than the one I took. After I became PA, I felt like I couldn’t just be an ALT anymore. I should be moving on to “bigger and better” things– something that I never clearly defined. And so I went back home without any real inkling of what to do next.

It became too easy to regret my decision.

I kept my sights set on the past which only made me more miserable. My day to day was just about existing, not living.

Finding a new job wasn’t easy– and this is something that deserves more attention.

For all the JETs who have their next gig lined up, that is great stuff.

For all the JETs who have no clue what’s in store next, I just want you to know you aren’t alone. There are many JETs in the same boat who don’t speak up enough about it. And when you don’t hear those kinds of stories, you might get even more frustrated with your situation.

But again, you are not alone.

Page Rank