a website by a Leong

Browsing Posts tagged job hunting


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Found out tonight that the textbook job didn’t come through. I was definitely a little surprised when I read the e-mail, but I guess that’s how it goes. Oh well. Instead of letting myself get too disappointed about it, I’m totally kicking into full gear to find a new, real, full time job. I’m ready. If anyone has any leads, let me know.

Moving back to the US is a consideration of course, but I think I’d like to stay here if I can.

Monk-y Magic


Sent off my application and writing samples for the textbook-writing job on Monday morning. We’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I’m close to getting a job there. I’m supposed to get some kind of answer back next week. One of the samples I had to write was just a personal essay about something that impacted your life, and what I wrote was pretty much exactly the same as some of my blog entries, maybe a bit more serious and formal. But not all that much. Oh, and I guess it had a little bit more structure than the usual brainpuking I do here.

I’ve been watching a lot of the TV show Monk this past weekend. I’d seen random episodes here and there in the past because my parents watch it at home, but watching it from the very beginning has been better, although there’s not really much stuff that transfers from one episode to the next. It’s pretty much the same as watching Detective Conan, just with a different gimmick. Instead of a little kid with a bow tie and a stun-gun watch, you have a middle aged dude with OCD and a bunch of other phobias. Oh yeah, and Monk‘s not animated or in Japanese. Pretty much the same thing. Other detective shows like CSI are OK, but I like the ones that aren’t too serious, so this is a good.

I suppose it’s proof of my own OCD that I have to watch them all in order too. I don’t really like just watching random episodes of shows, even if it’s really episodic.

Life as a long weekend

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Today -Monday – was 建国記念の日 here, or something like National Foundation Day according to my Google Calendar. Most people had a 3-day weekend, but that kind of thing doesn’t effect me too much these days.

Yes, life has been been pretty relaxing recently. This month I’ve been cutting back on the freelance-type work, primarily in order to focus more on finding a full-time position. Smash Bros has sort of interfered in the latter, but I’m still making some progress. I’m actually currently in the running for a full time position at the Shinjuku head office of a company I’m quite familiar with. It would be a pretty interesting gig – writing and planning lesson material and textbooks for a national company. We’ll see how it goes. Actually right now I think it would fit me perfectly. Not TV or anything, but closer to business and I think working a job where I am project-based would be great. And in a way it would be media-related. I’m ready to do less teaching and more varied kind of work.

Last week was one of my slowest weeks ever; I had a lot of free time, which in many ways was amazing. Not to brag too much, but I think this is the kind of life people dream of. Not like lottery-winner life, but I mean a nice relaxing life where you’re not stressed out about anything. I’m making money and working, but not full time and thus have tons of time to stay up late, wake up in the afternoon, watch TV, play video games, and all that fun stuff. It’s a lot like college life, except you have more money and don’t have to go to class or study. Wait; I didn’t do those that much in college either.

But yeah, I realize it’s time to move away from this lifestyle and back into the working world. I actually want to work a full-time, more “normal” job, but I’m definitely going to hold out until I can do something that I’ll enjoy doing at least to some extent. Of course “the perfect job” at this point is far too idealistic, but there’s no way I’m going to settle for a job I hate.

Might as well

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My current job finishes up near the end of next month, which means I just have a few weeks of employment there, and even less time to stay in my current apartment. This brings me to a major life junction: do I stay in Japan or head back to the US? I’ve been running this back and forth in my head for the past few months, especially since Obon vacation when I realized how little time I had left. Regardless of what country I live in after September, I don’t have a full-time job yet, and thus need to keep up the search-and-interview process. I’ve interviewed a few times here in Japan, but so far mainly with jobs that I wouldn’t really see myself doing. I need more time to properly job hunt, and also need to be able to interview on days other than Mondays. If I were living in Japan, maybe Chiba, then I would easily head into Tokyo to do this while working part-time jobs to have at least some income. I would, however, need to find a new apartment, and deal with the ridiculous fees and costs associated with moving in to a new place here in Japan. If I were to go back to the United States right now, I would need to start up the job search there as well, and since I’m not sure what part of the US I would be working in yet, I couldn’t really move into a new apartment, meaning I would be living in my parents house until I decided on a job. So there you have it, two possible situations for The Leong.

I’m going to stay in Japan.

At least for a while.

So there you have it. Was it dramatic or anything? Probably not, since I think most people, including my parents, expected this. Right now the current plan is to stay here until the end of the year. If I don’t have a good job by then, I will most likely move back to the US. I move out of my current apartment here in Goi on September 13, so before that I will be moving into a new apartment. I’ve been looking for the past few weeks, for something ideally in Chiba city or Tsudanuma, either of which would give me direct rapid train access to Tokyo. Actually I found a really nice, brand-new apartment in Chiba that would be great if not for the expensive monthly rent. I’m going to try and decide all that today. But anyway, I’ll be living somewhere in Chiba, hunting for full-time jobs that don’t include teaching English or headhunting, although those are the most common jobs in Japan for foreigners it seems, at least on the easily accessible English-language job posting sites. I’ll be going beyond that. I do have at least 2 part time jobs lined up, one of which pays very nicely. Too bad it’s assignment-based and I won’t always have assignments. At the very least, I’ve got one in November that pays amazingly for only 6 days of work. But yeah, with part time jobs, teaching private lessons, etc., I should be able to not completely tap into my savings.

So that’s the plan for right now. I’m sorry to those of you who wanted me to come back to the US immediately, but I figure that if I want to look for a job in Japan it makes a lot more sense to stay here. If I left now there’s a chance I would never come back. A very small chance, but a chance nonetheless. I also wouldn’t be ready to leave Japan in just a few weeks – its just too soon. I am, however, thinking of taking a vacation to the US near the beginning of October, in which case I would visit St. Louis and LA for sure.

The King and I


Behold! A Burger King double bacon cheeseburger meal with onion rings and a grape soda.


Yeah, yeah, this is nothing to you people living in America, where Burger Kings are on every corner situated next to Jack in the Box, White Castle, and Wendy’s. But this is Japan, remember? There are only 2 BKs in the entire country, and both of them opened in June. Burger King was here a few years ago, but did poorly so they closed down. But they’re making a comeback. And it was amazing.

Last Monday I was in between job interviews in Shinjuku and was feeling hungry. I was passing through the i-Land shopping mall area on my way back to the subway, and checked out the directory to see what food they had to offer. And I saw Burger King. By sheer coincidence, I stumbled upon Burger King! And I tell you what, it was the most delicious BK I have ever had. It was so fresh, so delicious. Definitely beats the McDonald’s burgers, and might very well beat restaurant burgers here as well, although I don’t really get them that often. And they just started having onion rings too, which was a welcome surprise.

Every Japanese person I’ve told about this, which is about 2, gave me an unimpressed “was it really that good?” The answer is YES, it was. Too bad it’s about an hour and a half away from me.


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I’m tired. After several days where my greatest accomplishment was leaving my apartment to get food, I had a super busy day to make up for all that. Went to bed around 4:30 or 5AM last night, and had to wake up at 7. Showered and put on a suit and hit the trains for Tokyo. Morning isn’t even that hot, but the humidity and the crowded trains definitely make it uncomfortable. Uchibo trains are especially ghetto, but the Sobu trains were fairly comfortable. Either way it’s not fun wearing a suit in this weather. Had a 10AM interview at a headhunting firm, which went pretty well. I was invited back for a second interview, which I guess is a good sign. I don’t really know about that line of work, though. After that, I snagged the subway to Shibuya, where I walked around a little bit but realized the blazing sun was making things very sweaty, so I ducked into a McDonald’s for some lunch/breakfast. I was already feeling tired. Not a good sign.

Walking further up the road towards Seibu and Loft, I considered seeing a movie because I had 6 hours to kill before my next interview and needed to be inside somewhere cool. Instead I went to this pretty nice internet cafe in the Shibuya HMV building. About 980 yen for a 3 hour day pack, which allowed me to chill out and most importantly take a bit of a nap. The place must be made for salarymen to nap, because the place was really dark and I heard a lot of snoring. Please don’t tell me I’ve become a salaryman. Anyways, it would have been more comfortable, but the reclining chair had some weird springs that made the chair move back and forth like a water bed or something. Even if I moved just slightly, the whole chair would swing a bit. It was almost like being in a hammock but not as extreme. It was nice at first, but got annoying when I was actually trying to sleep.

After my 3 hours was up, I headed to Akihabara to check out the giant Yodobashi. Instead I ended up wandering around and checking out the Crossfield building area, which is actually pretty cool. There’s like a beer terrace that would definitely be nice if I wasn’t wearing a suit and wasn’t running on 3 hours of collective sleep. Wasted some more time inside a bakery/coffee shop, and started feeling really tired, almost dizzy. I figured it was time to move around. Headed to Ebisu about 30 minutes before my next interview, which was good, because it was a longer walk than I had expected and I had to take about 10 minutes to cool off and get dressed. Since the morning I had already taken off my jacket, tie, and had my sleeves rolled up.

After that interview was all said and done and I made my appointment for the second interview, I headed back to the station. Is it just me, or do second interviews this time seem easier to get? 2 for 2 so far. Oh well. Went to Shinjuku to meet up with Mizuki; we were going to hit up some Mexican place but it was crowded so we went to an Indian restaurant in Takashimaya Times Square. Times Square is a really swanky department store, and our seats were on a terrace. First off that is potentially bad because it might be super classy expensive. Second of all there is warning signs because it’s balls hot outside. Luckily, the food was relatively cheap (and really good), and the breeze made the terrace quite nice. Overall a good night after a long day of sweating my balls off all over Tokyo.

Headed back on the train and luckily had a seat the entire way back to Chiba. Good thing too, since at one point there were people packed on, and in this weather that’s got to be uncomfortable. There were some weird troubles at Chiba with the Goi-bound trains, but I got the last one and got home. I’m still super tired, need to sleep, but more importantly need to pack for Seoul. My flight leaves in less than 12 hours and I haven’t started packing. Off to do that. Next blog will probably be from a Korean net cafe, provided I can somehow communicate with the people there.

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