I went to a Life After JET conference up in Yokohama the other week and I thoroughly enjoyed it; I checked out the famous Chinatown, did karaoke with friends, and went to the theme park near the conference centre to go on the awesome roller coaster.
Also, the conference itself was pretty interesting.
It was all about how to slot ourselves back into the real world after living in Japan, with an emphasis on getting a Real Job.
There was a lot of talk of CVs, resumes, networking, interview skills, graduate programmes, and the recession. All very scary words to someone who has been living in the Japanese inaka bubble for nearly two years.
Of course, because the focus of the conference was what we’ll do after JET, people were constantly asking my current least favourite question: “So what are YOU doing when you finish?”
To avoid the hysterical laughter and subsequent facial twitching that was my usual response to that question, I have outlined a few possibilities:
1. Social media-ist. That’s a thing where you go to work and look at Facebook and Tweet all day.
2. Networker. Apparently you do this to get a job, so why not just forget that second step and make this my job?
3. Conference speaker. Based on what I saw at the conference it seems pretty cruisy.
4.Roller coaster attendant. When I snuck out of the conference to ride the nearby roller coaster it seemed really fun.
5. Professional blanket-hider-underer. The real world seems a bit intense and scary so I’m not ruling this out.
I left the conference feeling a little shaken by the reality that is about to hit. It’s going to be a bit of a shock after the last couple of years.
But I figure if the real world has roller coasters it can’t be all bad.