Job Search Basics

A handy resource for jobseekers who do and don’t have a definite career goal alike, this book covers some pretty good information for getting started on your road to finding a job after JET:
What Color is Your Parachute? 2005: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
by Richard Nelson Bolles;  ISBN: 1580086160

Keep positive!

  • There are always jobs vacancies waiting to be filled. Even when the job market is in a slump, there are still companies looking for employees.
  • Be realistic and take jobs that will lead you to where you eventually want to go. For those who have no set idea, going for growth industries ensures you have a broad range of organizational styles to choose from.
  •  Action brings results. You have to work at finding a job. You have many fantastic skills, but finishing the JET Programme won’t necessarily guarantee you a job. Be active, not passive.
  • Change your search method if things aren’t working for you. If you find yourself not having much luck, even after numerous attempts, don’t just do more of what you’re currently doing, try something else.
  • Talk to successful job hunters and find out how they found and landed their jobs.
  •  Don’t rule out internships, temporary positions, entry-level or part-time jobs—it’s very possible that if you do your job well, you can be promoted to a permanent employee (full-time position).
  •  Saying ‘thank you’ through follow-up letters can really make a difference.

Where to look

  •  Press: newspapers, radio, magazines.  Trade magazines can be especially helpful for some fields.  Consider browsing the periodical section of your local public library to save yourself from buying loads of magazines.
  • Internet: See from page 54 of the After JET Guide for worldwide and country specific job seeking websites.
  • Recruiting firms (“Head hunters”): these agencies are paid a fee for finding you a job, so they have vested interest in finding you employment.  However, it’s very important for you to know what it is you’re looking for.  Head hunters are paid to place you in a job—any job.  They aren’t paid to place you in a position that fits what you want or excel in.  Good head hunters and placement agencies should interview you to discover your interests, skills, expected salary range, and availability.  If they don’t ask, be sure to tell them other important things you need from a work environment.  Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their placement statistics and how long they anticipate it taking to find you work.
  • Career centers:  go back to your old university.  Use the resources there that are available to alumni.
  • Personal networks: by far the most effective of all.
  • Talk to people in the fields you are interested in and let them know you’re looking for employment.
  • Set up informal interviews where you can ask people who hold jobs of interest to you questions about what exactly they do.  Explain your interests and skills to them and ask what kind of jobs in the industry match your qualities.  Be sure to thank them and tactfully add, “I know you aren’t looking for employees now, but can I leave my CV/resume with you?”
  • Become a member of relevant groups.  If you’re interested in business, join your local chamber of commerce.  Print up some personal business cards so you can stay connected with those you meet.
  • Keep in touch with other Sendai/Miyagi JET alumni.
  • Sign up with JETAA (JET Alumni Association).