Dec 4

Kitcher’s Café, a new series by Lana Kitcher (Yamanashi-ken, 2010-12) is an assortment of articles, topics and commentary written for the JET Alumni community. Lana currently serves as the Business Development Associate at Bridges to Japan, a New York-based cross-cultural consulting firm founded by JET alum Jennifer Jakubowski (Hokkaido, 1995-97). 

Dear recent JET returnees and current “job hunters,”

Cards.LinkedInI was given the opportunity to speak at the JETAANY Career Forum in New York City a few weeks ago. Approximately 25 recent returnees (plus JET alumni going through a career transition) attended the event and were able to learn from the presenters, and also from one another, about how to successfully land a job in today’s economy. We learned that it is important to keep strategies current as technology continues to change and as the methods of yesterday are not necessarily effective for our search today.

I would like to share with you some of the points from my presentation called “Making the Most of Your Network,” in case some of you are also going through this transition now. When I first returned home from the JET Program I had a really difficult time figuring out how to start the job search. At that point my only full-time job had been teaching English in Japan, and I didn’t know how to start looking for a new job from scratch. It took me until mid February to get a job, and I really wish someone had told me what I needed to hear earlier.

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Aug 30

Kitcher’s Café, a new series by Lana Kitcher (Yamanashi-ken, 2010-12) is an assortment of articles, topics and commentary written for the JET Alumni community. Lana currently serves as the Business Development Associate at Bridges to Japan, a New York-based cross-cultural consulting firm founded by JET alum Jennifer Jakubowski (Hokkaido, 1995-97)

Japanese Stationery

Although it has been a full year since my return, I continue to enjoy sharing stories and experiences with my friends from and in Japan. Recently, one of my old colleagues from Yamanashi visited New York for the first time and contacted me through facebook to meet up. I took her and her travel partner to “Penelope,” a small restaurant on E 30th and Lexington Ave in New York. I was pleasantly surprised to see facebook photos of them going there for breakfast every day thereafter for the duration of their trip. It was a great and satisfying feeling to make these arrangements with her and be able to see the results.

As you are settling into a familiar state, maybe even feeling like your time in Japan was actually all a dream – you may wonder how it might be possible to keep up with your friends and colleagues that you met while in Japan. Thanks to social media, staying in touch has never been easier.

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Jul 25

Kitcher’s Café, a new series by Lana Kitcher (Yamanashi-ken, 2010-12) is an assortment of articles, topics and commentary written for the JET Alumni community. Lana currently serves as the Business Development Associate at Bridges to Japan, a New York-based cross-cultural consulting firm founded by JET alum Jennifer Jakubowski (Hokkaido, 1995-97)

As I sat in my empty Yamanashi apartment, one year ago this month, a flood of feelings rushed over me. I had come full-circle, able to cram everything into two suitcases again with anxious yet excited feelings of leaving home for something unfamiliar. I had a bundle of memorabilia set aside to take with me, and pictures of the last days that I had with my students, coworkers and friends. I knew it was going to be hard to say goodbye and turn the page to the next exciting chapter of my life, but I didn’t think that it was going to feel so daunting. This was the first time in my life that the next steps were utterly unplanned and unpredictable. After high school I knew I was going to college, during college I knew I wanted to work for the JET Program… but now that the JET Program was over, the next year was a completely blank slate. I was going to have to return to my hometown temporarily to figure it out, and that idea to me was terrifying.

Japan, ALT, JET Program

LRK ©2013

Many of the JETs that are in Japan right now are clearing out their desks, packing up their apartments, attending farewell parties, and being brought to tears by the students and coworkers that shared many moments with them this past year (or five). Where once was an unfamiliar, foreign and strange place, has become normal life. Do they realize that many of them are about to leave Japan, bound for an even stranger land – the one that they once called home?

As many of us have experienced, returning to your home country after any amount of time living abroad is more challenging than it may seem at first. They try to warn us about reverse culture shock, but we convince ourselves that “I will be different,” and “It won’t happen to me, I already know what to expect.” Some people really don’t experience any strange or frustrating feelings when returning home, but for individuals like myself, the first year back may be a challenging and rocky road.

As JET alumni, what do you wish someone had told you during your final days in Japan? What are some of the words of wisdom that you wish you had known before coming back? How can we help these transitioning JET participants, soon to join the alumni community? My advice to them would be this: Read More


Mar 30

Job: Economic Advisor, Embassy of Japan (London) 03.30.12

Via JETAA UK. Posted by Kay Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97).
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The latest from JETAA UK – Job Vacancy

Economic Advisor, Embassy of Japan – Embassy of Japan in the UK – Embassy of Japan, London, W1J 7JT
To view details about this job vacancy visit: http://www.jetaa.org.uk/jobs/economic-advisor-embassy-of-japan/


Jul 6

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JET Return on Investment (ROI) is a new category on JetWit intended to highlight the various economic, diplomatic and other benefits to Japan resulting from its investment in the JET Program.  Why is this important right now?  Because the JET Program and JET Alumni Association may be cut by the Japanese government, as explained in this post by Jim Gannon (Ehime-ken, 1992-94) titled “JET Program on the Chopping Block.”

JET alumni and current JETS:

Please click here to sign the petition

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/save_the_jet_program

(Make sure to list your prefecture and years on JET in the “Last Name” field.)

From the petition:

“As part of Japan’s efforts to grapple with its massive public debt, the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Program may be cut. Soon after coming into power, the new government launched a high profile effort to expose and cut wasteful spending. In May 2010, the JET Program and CLAIR came up for review, and during the course of an hourlong hearing, the 11-member panel criticized the JET scheme, ruling unanimously that a comprehensive examination should be undertaken to see if it should be pared back or eliminated altogether. The number of JET participants has already been cut back by almost 30 percent from the peak in 2002, but this is the most direct threat that the program has faced in its 23-year history.

“We are asking JET Program participants past and present, as well as other friends of the program to speak out and petition the Japanese government to reconsider the cuts and explain to them what the return on investment of the JET Program is in the form of individual experiences and stories. Please sign this petition in support of the grassroots cultural exchange the JET Program has fostered and write directly to the Japanese government explaining the positive impact the Program has made in your life and that of your adopted Japanese community.

“For more background on this issue, please refer to “JET Program on the Chopping Block” by Jim Gannon on jetwit.com.”

Save the JET Program


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