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Post-JET Career Options

Page history last edited by KumamotoPA 13 years, 5 months ago


Post-JET Career Options




  With TEFL/TESL qualifications, you can teach abroad or work with people in your home country.  Exciting options in your home country could include working with exchange students, citizenship programs, refugees, and even adult literacy.  Jobs are also available at language schools, international business firms, or in contract training.  Internationally, CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) are some of the most recognized qualifications, but Trinity is also acceptable according to the British Council.  Organizations that can provide more information on earning TEFL qualifications include the British Council, International House, Shane, and Nova.  All of these organizations have offices in Japan and can be contacted via the Internet.  (See Post JET Education Section for more information on obtaining your TEFL certificate.)

                                                Working in Japan

There are many work possibilities in Japan other than teaching.  Possible industries include International Business Development, Finance, Legal, Marketing, Journalism, etc.

If you wish to remain in Japan, you will need the following:

1) A passport

2) Alien registration card

3) A contract, stating duties, rate of pay and period of employment

4) Tax payment certificate

5) Letter of guarantee

6) Statement from employer saying why you're needed

7) An appropriate visa

If your would-be employer won't provide you with numbers three to six then we recommend you look elsewhere for a job.  After all, you want an employer who cares about you and who will take care of you.

Applying for a job in Japan requires a slightly different set of skills.  First off, you will need to make a Japanese-style resume. Perhaps the key difference is that a Japanese CV is handwritten and on special paper.  There’s a special form (called rirekisho履歴書) sold at any stationary store.  It goes without saying that you should have a Western style CV done up as well.  

As in most countries, networking seems to be the way forward.  Business cards are an important item to have and distribute.  It also helps if you tell everyone, even other foreigners you know, that you are looking for a job. 

Here are a few questions to consider if you want to work in Japan (Please also refer to the Japan section of our Job Hunt listings for more information.):

-Expatriate or local-hire?

 Expatriates are on loan from their home country, usually for a limited time, and, generally, they get much better packages in terms of pay and benefits. Local hires might have an easier time developing rapport with local staff because of their permanence, however.

- Japanese company or branch of a foreign company?





Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering not only gives you a chance to contribute and learn more about a community, it also allows you to see what is going on in different organizations as well as make great networking contacts.  Working in a free health clinic or with a tree conservation group can help you decide if you want to pursue medicine or environmental studies.  When job openings arise you will be the first one to hear and will be known by the people doing the hiring. 

Many overseas volunteer groups or organizations require participation fees and airfare.  However, paid group leaders are needed for programs aimed at college or high school students and your JET experience could be just what they are looking for!  See the Volunteer Opportunities for a (by no means comprehensive) listing of volunteer organizations.





Working In Your Home Country

Your experience in Japan is relevant to almost any career you choose to pursue.  When looking for a job in your home country, it is important to be ready to explain what you did and what you learned during your time on the JET Programme. What did you accomplish? What skills did you gain (language, adaptability, patience)? 

See the section about Reference Letters (page 9) and the following Resume/CV/Interviews section for information on how to successfully showcase your JET experience to potential employers in any field.





Higher Education

Many JETs return home from Japan to continue their education.  In the same way job applicants showcase their JET experience, your time in Japan can often be used as a beneficial attribute for getting accepted into your program of choice. The final section of this packet has lists of educational opportunities, including scholarships, fellowships, exchange programs, and educational agencies

Teaching Overseas

If your goal is to teach overseas, there are a variety of ways to go about getting a job.  In certain countries it is possible to pick up a teaching job once inside the country, but overall that avenue is becoming less feasible.  Many governments are becoming strict about work permits for foreigners, and the mobility of people like us make being a native speaker of English less of a marketable novelty. 

Rather than waiting to find a job in the country where you’d like to work after arriving there, try to research that country prior to your departure.  Back issues of Transitions Abroad, The International Educator and TESOL Matters may offer useful tips about the job market in desired locations. 

The relatively secure option of landing a job before you head overseas is one that needs to be looked into months before actual departure.  Transitions Abroad is an invaluable publication for anyone starting their job search from the US or Canada.  Much of the information in this section comes from a compilation of articles from that publication. 

The qualifications necessary for teaching overseas vary but common requirements are two years of experience, teaching certification, and a two-year commitment.  In reality many of these requirements are waived if the candidate seems to be a promising teacher with a caring attitude and a sense of humor.  The path to securing a teaching job overseas follows a fairly set course.  If you do not have a contact overseas, this is the standard route to take:


Begin your job search at least 9 months in advance.



Contact schools for positions opening the next school year (see list of international school directories below). Send potential employers a cover letter, resume or CV, transcript, and at least two letters of recommendation.  The cover letter should present your strengths as a teacher, extracurricular activities in which you would like to be involved, and where and when you may be interviewed. 


Register with private agencies or universities that place teachers in international schools.  Find out what services they offer, the number of teachers they place yearly, where their job fairs are held, and if they charge a placement fee.  The main benefit of these agencies is to give you access to job fairs. Attending one or more job fairs is strongly recommended if you are serious about landing a position.  Fairs provide meeting opportunities between prospective applicants and employers, thus, giving you the chance to schedule interviews.  


Interviews can be the most important factor in the application process.  When being interviewed try to appear knowledgeable about and interested in the country and school.


If doing all of this fails to land you a job, don’t despair.  Many schools are still searching for people during the summer, so be persistent and follow up on schools you have contacted.



Teacher Recruitment Organizations

Recruitment fairs are run differently by each organization.  Some charge placement fees, some are only open to dues-paying members, and some have limited enrollment.  Most require registration in mid-December and hold the fairs between January and May.  Contact the organizations early to secure a place at the fair.



International School Services (ISS)

PO Box 5910, 15 Rosezel Rd., Princeton, NJ 08543 USA. 

TEL: 609-452-0990

FAX: 609-452-2690. 

Recruitment centers are held twice in winter and once in the summer (June-ish) Only those registered with ISS may attend.  It is probably the biggest of this kind.  Requirements are two years experience teaching K-12 school (certification not necessary), or 1 year if you are certified and are prepared to go anywhere.  They’re more flexible if you plan to teach math or sciences.  Registration is $100, attending the fair is $125.  Members receive a monthly newsletter that Includes job openings.  They also publish the Directory of Overseas Services (ISS) Princeton, NJ, USA.




Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA)

1470 NW 77th Court, Suite 210, Miami Lakes, FL  33016

TEL: 305-821-0345

FAX: 305-821-4244 .  

Fair held early in Dec. Placement fee is $125, by invitation only.


Queens University

Placement Office, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L3N6, Canada. 

TEL: 613-545-6222,

FAX: 613-545-6584. 

Fair held in February, requirements are 2 years experience and certification.  



European Council of International Schools (ECIS)

2113 Lavant St., Petersfield, Hampshire, GU323EL, England

TEL: 44-730-68244. 

Fairs held during January and May in London.  There is no attendance or placement fee, but attendance requires an invitation.  They also publish the International Schools Directory. Check for this at libraries.  They are out of London.  www.ecis.org


And our big list of links is here



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