Oct 10

Career: Okaeri – Volunteering your way to a job

AmberPhoto-2-225x300Originally posted to the JETAA DC website by JETAA DC Newsletter Editor Kathryn Kovacs:  http://jetaadc.org/okaeri-volunteering-your-way-to-a-job/

Amber Liang, a former JET participant in Kochi Prefecture, shares her experience using volunteer work to boost her resume and land a job. She is now gainfully employed and serving on the JETAA New York Board of Directors.

Volunteering. What does that word conjure up? For many people, the first thing that comes to mind might be images of serving food at a soup kitchen, cleaning up the local park, or perhaps even, playing   bingo at your neighborhood senior home. How does this actually lead to a job, you might ask? In the right context, volunteering can be a very effective strategy for laying the groundwork for a career, especially if you can mold the experience to suit your professional needs. To prove my point, I’m going to use my personal experience volunteering for JETAA New York (JETAANY) as a case study.

When I returned from my unforgettable two years on JET, I was remarkably optimistic that I would have no trouble finding a job in New York–naively so, because two weeks after my return, Lehman Brothers announced it was filing for bankruptcy and, well, you know the rest of the story. Needless to say, it was a rough time. I signed up with a number of temp agencies, but there wasn’t much that came my way and the jobs that did weren’t ones I could base a career off of.  After weeks of doing nothing, I decided to get out of the house and went to my first JETAA event—the annual softball tournament, to be exact—where I met some awesome JET alumni, many of whom became excellent sounding boards for me; they told me about their careers and gave me some valuable advice on how to approach mine. This brings me to LESSON #1: Use your volunteering experience to build your network. Do not be afraid to speak candidly to everyone you meet. Networking with those you volunteer with is the perfect way to develop relationships in a more casual way than traditional networking avenues.

In the course of my conversations, I mentioned the fact that I had organized a number of events while on JET.  I was speaking to none other than Steven Horowitz, founder of JETWit, and he invited me to help him produce an author showcase with some prominent JET alumni. Of course, having nothing better to do, I enthusiastically accepted. The event was widely successful and it confirmed that I not only enjoyed organizing events but I was also good at it. LESSON #2: Use volunteering as a way to work on your own skills and learn about your inner passions. This really gave me the confidence to run for secretary of JETAANY and continue producing events including a play reading of Sake with the Haiku Geisha, written by JET alumnus Randall David Cook.

When I went to apply for jobs, I now had substantive experience and results that I could talk about. I could also narrow down the types of jobs I wanted to that involving project management and event planning. When employers asked me what I was doing while I was unemployed, I could honestly and proudly say that I was being very productive. Lesson #3: Work your volunteering into your resume.I brought the flyers that I had created to my interviews and I showed them lists of all the events that I had organized on JETAANY. Long story short, I eventually got a job that I really wanted working in both program management and event planning, and what really brought it full circle was that my new boss knew Randall David Cook. Talk about making your network work for you!

In today’s tight job market, it’s important to stay relevant and engaged, and even more so if you are unemployed. You’d be surprised at how forgiving employers are when it comes to unconventional experiences, like volunteering, as long as you can tie it all it. So I encourage you to consider your passions, build your network, and volunteer your way to a job.

Did you volunteer your way to a job? Let us know any lessons you learned or resources in the comments.

(Hungry for more job search advice from JET alumni? Check out The Job Search section of our online Returnee Handbook).


Sep 26
Visit JQ magazine online at http://jetaany.org/magazine.

Visit JQ magazine online at http://jetaany.org/magazine.

 

As we head into fall, JETAA New York’s JQ magazine continues to provide content with an ever-expanding array of articles, interviews and features (see our recent stories here). We’re now looking for new writers, including recent returnees and JET vets, from all JETAA chapters worldwide for posting stories via our host at the global JET alumni resource site JETwit.com. (Scribes are also encouraged to join the JET Alumni Writers group on LinkedIn.)

Below are story ideas grouped by JET participants and alumni (JET World) and those more on Japanese culture (Japan World). And if you’re a JET or JETWit contributor from anywhere in the world with a story idea of your own, let us know!

Click “Read More” below for our fall 2013 ideas pitch package, and contact JQ editor Justin Tedaldi (magazine [at] jetaany [dot] org) to sign up for stories.

Now, JQ is looking for additional help behind the scenes! Our editor (celebrating his fifth anniversary at the helm in November) is seeking a capable assistant to help with the posting, social media sharing and story assigning across all JETAA chapters. If you’re a wiz with WordPress, Facebook and Twitter, and enjoy all forms of Japanese arts, events and media, reach out to Justin. Thanks and yoroshiku!

Read More


Aug 5

Job: Volunteer Opportunity- ESL/Citizenship Program with FEGS (NYC)

Posted by Kim ‘Kay’  Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97). Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.
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Position: Volunteers for ESL Classes & Citizenship Programs
Posted by: FEGS Brooklyn Resource Center
Type: N/A
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Salary: N/A
Start Date: N/A

Overview:
Position Description: FEGS offers English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes and an ESL/Civics program to immigrants seeking to learn English and/or gain citizenship.  Volunteers are needed to assist with English instruction and connect new Americans to their communities.  Volunteers will lead conversation groups for adult language learners at various levels.  Topics will be provided.

Volunteers are also needed to provide assistance with the naturalization process.  Volunteers will help clients to review the naturalization 100 questions and American History, as well as navigate ESOL and citizenship computer programs.  Volunteers will be expected to assist clients in the completion of the USA Learns intake exam and to provide pre- and post-tests to determine the client’s level of English. Read More


Jun 8

Volunteer Opportunity: English Teacher needed at International Rescue Committee (NY)

Posted by Kim ‘Kay’  Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97). Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.
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Position: English Teacher
Posted by: International Rescue Committee
Type: Volunteer – May-August, 10-20 hours/week
Location: New York
Salary: N/A
Start Date: N/A

Overview:
Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee is a leading, non-sectarian, non-profit organization providing emergency relief, protection, rehabilitation assistance, resettlement services, and advocacy for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict.  Domestically, our 23 offices across the U.S. ensure new arrivals have food, shelter, and clothing, and work with refugees to help them gain self-sufficiency.

The IRC New York Resettlement office’s Adult Education program provides free classes and educational services to our adult clients. These individuals, mainly refugees and asylees, are legal immigrants who are victims of war, persecution, and civil conflict. They have diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. Moreover, they are highly adaptable, usually multilingual, and eager to start rebuilding their lives in America. At the IRC, they may enroll in on-site English classes, attend cultural orientation sessions, participate in workshops, and register for external educational opportunities. Read More


May 30

Posted by  Celine Castex (Chiba-ken, 2006-11), currently programme coordinator at CLAIR Tokyo.

The Public Relations Office of the Government of Japan published an article on the JET Programme in their monthly publication that aims to P1020205promote a better understanding of Japan in the world. They interviewed Bryan Darr (Saitama-ken, Tokorozawa-shi, 2008-13), current JET participant in Tokorozawa Shogyo High School in Saitama Prefecture. Bryan’s contributions to the JET community include being the Education and Professional Development Coordinator for National AJET in 2011-12, a regular speaker at Saitama Skill Development Conferences and an active member of Peer Support Group (PSG), a listening and referral service administered by AJET.

Click here to see the article “Young Pioneers of the JET Age.

 

 


May 19

As part of an occasional series, Sheila Burt (Toyama-ken, 2010-2012) will begin profiling JETs who are or were in some way involved with rebuilding efforts in the Tohoku region.  The inaugural post is about Jessie Zanutig (Gunma-ken, 2009-12), who founded 3,000 Letters to Japan, an international letter exchange project aimed at lifting the spirits of students who are living in the communities hardest hit by the disaster.  Burt is currently a freelance journalist and English teacher in Matsuyama City, Ehime-ken.  Read more of her reporting at her blog, Stories from the Inaka.

Zanutig's apartment full of letters.

Zanutig’s home full of letters.

Jessie Zanutig was in the middle of celebrating her junior high school students’ graduation at a small restaurant in Kawaba Village, Gunma Prefecture, when the earthquake struck.  Buildings in her tiny mountainous town in northern Gunma shook violently, but her town was thankfully safe from the tsunami that was about to ravage several coastal communities in northeast Japan.

As Gunma residents banned together in the next few weeks to send supplies to neighboring Fukushima-ken, Zanutig began to correspond with a Canadian friend who was living in Ishinomaki, one of the hardest hit towns in Miyagi Prefecture, to learn more about the situation.  Her friend’s boyfriend, who is Japanese, lost his father in the tsunami and was struggling with the sudden loss of a family member.

“I was in contact with her a lot to make sure she was OK. Her students were having a really hard time,” Zanutig, 28, remembers.  “I thought, ‘I want to help but there’s nothing I can do.’ So I asked her, ‘If I just collected a few letters from friends and family, do you have a few students you can give them to?’” Read More


May 9

RebuildingTohokuThanks to Owen Rosa (Iwate-ken, 1999-2002) for sharing info about his project.  If you’re interested in helping, read below and contact Owen by registering on the website:

The Rebuilding Tohoku website is dedicated to providing information about the changes taking place in Japan in the post Great Northeast Tsunami and Earthquake era.

  • This website is trying to create a medium that consolidates information for all subjects related to the rebuilding efforts including but not limited to energy, politics, economics, tourism and philanthropy.
  • The site allows for people to join as members and submit articles (in both Japanese and English), pictures, videos, or documents on various subjects or projects related to rebuilding Tohoku.
  • The site also asks for Japanese language speakers to volunteer with translations of articles or project information from Japanese to English in order to provide information in English usually not available outside of Japan.
  • The overall goal of the website is to provide access to articles and promote projects outside Japan to potential philanthropists, foreign investors or others interested in supporting the rebuilding efforts.

I am reaching out to current and former JETs to ask for your support in volunteering to translate from Japanese to English or provide any information you know about projects supporting the rebuilding efforts.   Thank you for your consideration and if you are interested please go to the website at www.rebuildingtohoku.com and register, thank you.

The website was created and operated by Owen Rosa, a former JET (1999-2002) in Iwate Prefecture


Mar 14

A new effort started by Miyagi JET alum Canon Purdy:

Welcome to Save Miyagi, a non profit, unincorporated charity organization dedicated to helping Miyagi and Minamisanriku rebuild after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, 2011.

Canon Purdy and her family founded this organization after Canon was stranded without contact in the town of Minamisanriku, where she had taught English for two years before.

SaveMiyagi successfully donated to the Minamisanriku Board of Education in August (check blog for details). Our next project is sending Paper Cranes to Northern Japan to support their recovery process.

Please check out the video below or the page above, and consider getting involved.


Feb 18

JET alum’s martial arts non-profit seeks to connect with Tohoku dojos for volunteering

Posted by JET alum Jennifer Leigh-Gould (Miyagi-ken, Shibata-machi, 2001-04) to the Sendai Earthquake Friends and Family Facebook group:

Out of the Dojo, Into the World™ is a newly formed non-profit community of martial artists who are very interested in helping with disaster relief and community re-building in Tohoku. I wonder if anyone can connect us with local dojos in the area and/or service projects in need of volunteers. In the meantime, please visit and like our page. We’re just starting out and eager to connect with the international community in any way that we can. (I am a former JET 2001-2004 – in Shibata Machi, Miyagi Ken).

https://www.facebook.com/outofthedojointotheworld


Nov 23

Via JETAA UK. Posted by Kay Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97). Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.
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Position: Interpreter
Posted by: Peace Boat
Type: Volunteer
Location: UK

Salary: N/A
Start Date: N/A

Overview:

We are looking for potential EJ bilingual speakers who would be interested in coming on board as volunteer interpreters. If you speak both Japanese and English (and/or Spanish) then take this chance to sail around the world for three months, for free!

The deadline for applications is December 14th.

Info on the voyage can be found here http://www.peaceboat.org/english/?page=view&nr=104&type=4&menu=64

Info on the position/how to apply is here http://www.peaceboat.org/english/?menu=113


Oct 12

Volunteer: English/Spanish Language Instructors for Global voyage

Posted by Kay Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97). Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.
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Position: English / Spanish Language Teachers
Posted by: Peace Boat, NGO
Type: Volunteer
Location:
Tokyo, Japan
Salary: N/A
Start Date: N/A

Overview:
Peace Boat’s Global English/Español Training (GET) Programme is now accepting applications for Volunteer English/Spanish Language Instructors for the 79th Global Voyage (April 1, 2013 – July 12, 2013)

Conditions of Employment:
This position is for enthusiastic, highly motivated, dynamic individuals with a minimum of 18 full-time months teaching experience. Applicants should be highly advanced speakers of English / Spanish, although it is not necessary to be a ‘native’ or ‘first-language’ speaker. Certification or graduate degree and Japanese ability is highly regarded. This is a volunteer position but voyage expenses are covered. The deadline for application is November 23rd, 2012. If you would like to apply please visit:

http://www.peaceboat.org/english/?menu=110


Sep 14

Job: English/Spanish teachers for Peace Boat (Volunteer)

Via Peace Boat. Posted by Kay Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97)Click here to join the JETwit Jobs Google Group and receive job listings even sooner by email.
————————————————————————————————————
Position: English / Spanish Language Teachers
Posted by: Peace Boat, NGO
Type: Volunteer
Location:
Tokyo
Salary: N/A
Start Date: N/A

Overview:             
PeaceBoat’s Global English/Español Training (GET) Programme is now accepting applications for Volunteer English/Spanish Language Instructors for the 79th Global Voyage (April 1, 2013  –  July 12, 2013).

Conditions of Employment:
This position is for enthusiastic, highly motivated, dynamic individuals with aminimum of 18 full-time months teaching experience. Applicants should be highly advanced speakers of English / Spanish, although it is not necessary to be a ‘native’ or ‘first-language’ speaker. Certification or graduate degree and Japanese ability is highly regarded. This is a volunteer position but voyage expenses are covered. The deadline for application is November 23rd, 2012. If you would like to apply please visit:

http://www.peaceboat.org/english/?menu=110


Jul 28

Job: PEPY volunteer Online Media Strategist (Cambodia)

Thanks to JET alum Mark Fujishige for this posting. Posted by Kay Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97).
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Position: Online Media Strategist
Posted by: PEPY
Type: Full time (30-40 hours/week) – Volunteer
Location: Cambodia
Salary:  N/A
Start Date: August or September 2012

Overview:
PEPY is looking for an enthusiastic, creative, and dedicated individual available for a period of 6-12 months to join their office full-time in the volunteer role of Online Media Strategist. This position is part of the Communications Team and will involve managing PEPY’s online presence— especially through social media streams— and develop the ways they use content and online tools both to promote their work and to engage with a variety of partners and thought experts.

You can find additional information about this position and how to apply, via this link: http://www.idealist.org/view/volop/tj88T5hkKfXd/


Jul 11

Fukushima group releases the latest “akabeko” tees to support local charities

*********** Via Eyes 4 Fukushima 

For T-Shirt orders (international and w/in Japan), please visit http://e4f.fujet.net/shoppingcart/

All procceds will go towards Fukushima charities which are actively promoting rebuilding efforts after the March 11th earthquake, tsunami and power plant disaster.

Latest Akabeko tee

Fukushima JETs recently launched a local initiative – Eyes for Fukushima (E4F). Quick blurb from their website: It aims to promote grass roots internationalization in Fukushima Prefecture with devotion to improving the lives of people affected by the March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster through events and fundraising. Eyes for Fukushima seeks to foster ties between Japanese citizens and JET participants at the person-to-person level.

Read More


Jun 26

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JETwit recently posted a JETAA Hawaii article by chapter President Darryl Toma about Hawaii JET alums volunteering to support a visit by the Hiroshima City Mayor along with a visiting delegation from Hiroshima.

FYI, there’s also now an article in Japanese about Mayor Matsui’s visit on the Japan Local Government Center (aka CLAIR-NY) blog:  http://www.jlgc.org/TopicList.aspx?topicCategoryID=16&topicID=279&languageTypeID=2&controlType=Display

 


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