So, after spending two months in my apartment, I’ve decided to start looking for a job.
Did a lot of hunting around and found the best places to spam my resume. I figured it would either be really easy, or really hard. When I first arrived, I spoke to a guy I made contacts with while still in Sydney. He didn’t seem all that keen until we met and started talking about Windows Mobile. He started as a tech without any Japanese, and was sick about I.T. Recruitment agencies screwing their clients, and started an I.T. company himself. He would have liked to take me on board but their business was quite small and couldn’t afford a new starter. I was quite surprised to be honest, as he asked me to speak a little Japanese and I said “今まで。。。自己紹介しかできない。” (“Up to now… all I can do is introduce myself.”) Which isn’t really true, but interviews make me nervous and it’s all I could think of at the time. Even with that, he was still willing to let me do work for him part time. Maybe Japanese isn’t as required as I thought?
A few months after I passed my Japanese Language Proficiency Level 3, I realised that my Japanese had a huge problem. Most of my study was self study, reading and translating, listening, watching, flashcarding and the like. I’d never put the language to use. I’d been focusing on the JLPT Level 3 which is all multiple choice, reading and listening comprehension. There’s no speaking portion of the exam. So I’d been studying for… two and a half years without putting the language to use. I could understand a lot more than I could use. I think I may have assumed that one goes hand in hand… you understand it, so you can use it right?
No, it doesn’t work like that. I’ve been using it as much as possible here in Tokyo and it seems to be that when I use something twice (word or function/grammer) then I can use it without thinking about it. Otherwise I’m stuck there saying “ええっと．．．何と言う．．．”(“ehh… how you say…”) with a quizzical look.
Anyway, so after spamming my resume out to a few places, I’m getting some responses. Usually interviews are good signs but it was very difficult to find IT jobs that require Coversational Japanese. That I could easily do, but many of them require JLPT Level 2 or a “Business Level” of Japanese. The problem with Japanese is that as soon as you get into a Client-Service scenario the language completely changes in order to show respect to the client. That’s why foreigners over here teach English – you can’t work in a bar or cafe without knowing the proper language. I have no problems understanding it, it’s the usage that does my head in. I know if I get into a company where Keigo (uber polite Japanese language) isn’t all that necessary I can use it to practice and move up, but the trick, like all people starting in a new field, is convincing the employer to hire you despite not having prior official expeirence.
Hmm. Being new to this bloggeration thing is interesting, I always end up having more to say than I think. Either way, I’ll end this here. I have to reply to a mail from a recruitment agency where the agent has said he “will be assisting my career search from now on.” I sure hope he can!
Here, have a gif.