#NotAboutThatLife Part One
By this time, I realized that working as an ALT was not a sustainable career choice and I needed to accelerate my plans on making a career change a lot sooner than I thought, because if I didn’t then I’d be in deep waters.
I’m going to fast forward a little bit to the part when by the grace of God, somewhere during these turbulent times, I met a very special person who brought new fulfillment and happiness in my life. Challenged me to become a better version of myself every day. And eventually would become my life partner who I’d travel around the world with. This person helped me through some of my toughest times and even pointed me in the direction that would lead me to realize my career calling.
It was during this time when I realized where I actually wanted to be career-wise. After going through a whole lot of soul-searching and career tests, I knew from this point on that I wanted to break into the IT field. It was a field that was much more suited toward my personal interests and natural talents. But there was definitely no way I’d land a job in the tech field at that time since I was only getting started. I knew that if I wanted to have any sort of fighting chance, I’d have to do a lot of studying, networking and resume-building beforehand if I wanted to be successful. And that would obviously take some planning and a lot of time.
The priority however was to first GET OUT from the ALT biz and from Interac, and find a better job. At this point, a better job was basically any job with a salary higher than the one I currently had, even if it was another teaching job. The goal was to find a job that would at least get me out of poverty-level living, and would allow me the time, energy, and financial resources needed to focus on starting to make my career change.
I signed up for multiple job boards to get me started with my search. Here are some of the main ones I used:
These were all great services, but the one that ultimately helped me out the most was a local service based here in Sapporo, but covers areas also outside of Hokkaido. This service is Hokkaido Insider and is run by Ken Hartmann, a long-standing member of the Hokkaido community — I could not recommend his service enough.
In fact, JapanTimes.co.jp wrote an article about his amazing life story and contributions to the Hokkaido expat community, check it out!
Hokkaido Insider is basically an email subscription service to job listings that you won’t normally find on other job boards. To get a feel for what I mean, here’s a screenshot of my inbox:
Perhaps with a stroke of luck and some vigilant job post watching, I eventually found a teaching position as a native English teacher for a private high school.
Getting the position at the school was not hard, and I believe most of it had to do with my prior experience as an ALT. Another factor that I believe played a large part in me getting the role was the fact that Ken directly passed on my resume to the principal and personally recommended me.
I met with the principal at the school a few days later, and what I thought would be a formal interview ended up being just a semi-casual meeting. I was asked a few general questions about myself and then after some more back-and-forth small talk, I was asked when I could start, and that was it. Direct hire position achieved!
For the time being, I was finally set free from the time-consuming mentally-draining soul-crushing minutia that is ALT work.
***Maxceed was Interac’s alternate name for the company’s existence specifically in Hokkaido.
My ALT Timeline (3yrs)
- 2011 Feb 02 – Submit Online Application
- 2011 April 28 – Phone Screening Request
- 2011 May 06 – Phone Screening
- 2011 May 21 – Interview Seminar
- 2011 June 02 – Offer of Employment
- 2011 August 15 – Japan Arrival + Training (15th~20th)
- 2011 August 21 – Sapporo Arrival
- 2011 September 01 – START
- 2014 August 15 – LAST DAY