So I started job hunting -like, focused job hunting- over the weekend, and I’ve got to say… this is the least fun thing about being an adult living through their first pandemic post-international move.
(Goodness, what a mouthful that was! But you know it’s true!)
I knew it would be weird to start looking for work post-JET Programme, but there’s something uniquely… stressful about searching mid-pandemic. Not only are at least 30 million Americans unemployed: companies big and small are facing cuts as the economy continues to nose dive. It’s a grim time, and it’s hard to imagine finding work while all of our lives are being upended.
But I need work -for a variety of obvious reasons- and I want to work: I like knowing I did a good job, and I like learning. And honestly, I also need something to continue to hope for, otherwise 2020 will be a complete wash, and I won’t stand for that. Too many people arefighting to make this year a year of growth, even if everything feels like its constantly on fire.
Thankfully -as you probably know, dear reader- most work is remote right now: and if I’m being honest, I want to work remotely, not solely during the pandemic, but… on-going, at least for now. I’d certainly like benefits -insurance, dental, the like- but I just… would prefer not to work in an office.
My desire to work remotely is largely a mental health thing: I would be better served dedicating half of my personal room in my house to an office space. It would be easier if I could . I’d still get my communication via Slack and Zoom and just going out, which is what I used when I worked for Siliconera: but I would be in control of my own space, which… would be better for everyone, especially right now.
(The other half? It’s for my cosplay and crafting!)
Actually, oe of the hardest parts of being an ALT -at least for me- was being in the teacher’s room. In case you, dear reader, don’t know what a Japanese teacher’s room looks like, here’s a generic image of what pretty much every teacher’s room looks like, at least in regards to high school:
It’s… a very crowded space, even now in the midst of coronavirus.
At times -most of the time- it’s actually quite pleasant being in such an open space: you can call out for another teacher when you need help, pop by their desk with don’t have to go up dozens of stairs, and there’s always company.
But at times, it’s overwhelming: you hear and smell everything, especially at lunch. When I first started working, I did it without headphones. After about eight months, I quickly adopted listening to music and podcasts most of my work day. It got to the point where a day without headphones was quite difficult for me.
A lot of American offices have that open concept space, which -as you can tell- I’m not a fan of. If there’s one lesson I learned as an ALT, its that. But… back to the topic at hand.
I started job hunting this week: though actually, I’ve been applying to a few places, and have even gotten positive reception. In terms of editing and translation, I’ve got one pending application and one surefire editing test sometime in the future, which means… most likely this month. I’ve also put up my resume and info on places like LinkedIn and Indeed, so… it’s just a matter of time and effort.
At the end of the day, it’s all progress, and it feels good.
It feels really, really good.
I’ll admit that I still feel a lot of nerves: I still feel very anxious about the future. It’s hard not to call myself “lazy” or “irresponsible”. It’s hard to remember that I just spent the past few weeks upending my life, and that I’ve also only been in the states for six days. I think it’s okay to cut myself some slack.
(You, dear reader, should be cutting yourself some slack too.)
I’m not really sure how to wrap up my thoughts, largely because I’m blogging at 11:30 p.m. and am… pretty ready to read a book, listen to a podcast or two and go to bed. However, what I will say is that if you’ve read to the end of this post, please consider gifting me a nice cup of Ko-Fi.
I’ll most likely be between jobs for at least a few more weeks, and honestly… money is tight, as I’m sure many, many people feel. You don’t have to kick me much: honestly, small amounts build up very, very quickly. It all helps, in the end.
For now, I’m going to do exactly what I just said: put on a podcast, choose tonight’s book, and enjoy getting some well-earned rest.