Tuesday, April 23

Where It's At

Spring at Meijo Koen

So despite my best intentions, I ducked away for what I thought would be a second and turned out to be three weeks. Sorry.

I have been lost in the confusion of job-hunting. The weekend before Nico started school, I lost my job. Or more accurately, I was squeezed out. It is for the best but it has left us scrambling to figure out lots of boring but important things. Like how to stay in Japan or how to pay the electricity bill. We are still working on it and I think I have it almost figured out. It is tricky though because I am sorta getting what I want. I want to work for myself, as a writer and craftsperson. I just didn't plan on it happening so soon. Puts a lot of pressure on my fledgling talents/business. I actually want a day job for a bit longer but I can't seem to find one that wants me.

You see, when a population shrinks that means there are less students and less students means less teachers are needed. Things were different a few years ago when I started my MATESOL, having the degree plus experience was the ticket to a somewhat plush university job. Now those jobs are few and far between and demand publications and Ph. D.s, for a salary that is just a bit above what I made on the JET Program. I've always considered teaching my day job so putting so much into something that would leave me too exhausted to do much more than lay on the tatami when I come home is not ideal. So I already started looking for a new path but I am also in a country where my skills are limited to the classroom. Like many other underemployed/unemployed people, I am overqualified for most jobs and under-qualified for jobs that would have been mine a few years ago. I am obsessively looking for a position and open to moving, though that is not really ideal for us right now. I have actually been job-hunting since August, to be honest. I was more discriminating then but now even the corporate chatty-chat boxes could have me.

It is frustrating but also liberating. I have figured out a way to extend my visa, get unemployment, and insurance to cover us. That is the good thing about living in a country with a social safety net (aka nanny state for my more cynical readers). I'll have three months to push harder than I have ever done before. Haru Aki will be busy, with new designs and pieces added daily. And I also have a list of articles to be written alongside my weekly short story. Now it may seem crazy but really, if anyone is going to pull this off, it is going to be me. You know why? Because this is the challenge I have been given and I don't like the alternatives. So, yeah, that's where it's at.

Wish me luck.


Russell said...

Good luck my friend. I hope you find the stability you need.

becca said...

wishing you the best of luck.
I know of a very nice man who runs a school in Shingu, wakayama (v. lovely place to live..but quite rural..praps not what you are looking for at present?) who is, i think, looking for a new teacher for his Eikaiwa..if you think you might be interested I can email you his details. let me know. my email is monicabob at hotmail.com

Suzy said...

Well done for staying positive and determined in turbulent times! I hope you can find the right position soon.

T.M.K. said...

Thank you everyone! I took this post down for a bit while I was job hunting. Made no difference. We are going home but we are happy with it now. I appreciate your support!