Is 90 Days Really Enough Time to Find a Teaching Job?

by Mika
(Ohio, USA)

Super useful site! I do have a question that I couldn't find an answer to. I haven't had much luck in finding a job in Japan so far and it seems like people that are already in Japan have an easier time getting work. I have a degree but haven't saved so much money so it is kind of scary to me to go without a visa. Any suggestions or advice?
Thank you.

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Dec 17, 2019
How Much Money Should You Save Before You go to Teach English in Japan?
by: John

Hello and thanks for the comment,

Okay well you have a degree. So of course that is critical. The information you provided us is a bit scant so we'll do our best. Firstly, you have to apply to many schools to get accepted so if you applied to only one and then think "I can't find a job" then that is a mistake. Apply to as many as you can.

Regarding your second point of it being easier to find work once you are here, that is right. It is easier for quite a few reasons. The companies don'T have to go through sponsorship paper work etc. Just to put it as simply as possible it is much less of a hassle for the company to hire within Japan.

Do you have TEFL certification? If not look into it. A couple of them we recommend are:  Mytefl 120 Hour and also i-toi's online TEFL course.

However if you have a bit of teaching experience, even if it is volunteer, it will help a lot and you may be able to skinny by without one. If you don't have one then get one as many teachers get them to speed up the hiring process. (It also helps the teacher feel more at ease if you know a thing or two about how to teach ESL. The first time you're standing in front of the class with all those eyeball staring at you can be nerve racking.)

There are plenty of on-line ESL courses and you complete them while you're looking around for work all at the same time. Here's a guy who got one for teaching in Thailand and worked on getting certification while job hunting.

So regarding your point of 90 days, with your degree and a certificate I wouldn't be to worried. Tons of recent grads do just fine working within that 90 day window to nail down an entry level ESL teacher job.

Regarding money, you will see on some sites numbers like bring $5,000 USD. These numbers are ridiculous. $2,500 will cut it. Guest houses are cheap and will give you time to get settled, make contacts etc. I definitely wouldn't go over with $1,000 USD. You don't want to pile extra pressure on yourself if you don't need to. (It shows in the interview you know!)

If you decide to go without a visa make sure you don't go during major holidays over here. New years /Christmas time, Golden Week in early May or Obon in mid August. Everyone is on holiday so there isn't a chance for interviews etc.

Best of Luck to you.

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