Right now I’m pretty happy with my employment setup. The pay is good, the job is bearable with fun parts as well as irritating parts, as I can only assume most jobs have. But it is limited to an absolute maximum of five years, two of which I have already filled. I definitely have another year here before I’m forced to move on to other things, but I’ve been thinking lately about what I might do, and what I might like to do when the day comes for my contract to end.
There are a few things I’m pretty sure about:
1. I want to use Japanese if at all possible.
2. I don’t want to be a homeroom teacher, the stress would break me.
3. If possible I don’t want to be completely sedentary.
These points considered a few ideas have intrigued me, they are in no particular order: becoming a librarian, teaching Japanese as a foreign language, continuing to teach English as a foreign language, teaching computers/technology, working as a translator of some sort, doing some sort of non-journalistic writing, or doing internationalization work.
For the time being I’m working hard on my Japanese language skills so that I might be able to use them to my advantage when the day comes that I need to pitch my self to an employer. The JLPT level 1 is really a fancy certification to have for that purpose.
I really enjoy watching people learn things, whether I teach them or not is irrelevant to that pleasure. I however don’t relish the idea of planning daily classes or being surrounded by small over-genki children all day every day. If I were to be a teacher I think I would need to work at least at a middle school level, which makes sense in terms of the subjects I’m interested in teaching.
As far as translation goes, the work itself is not that amazing, but the product is definitely something I can be proud of. I love the fact that I helped put a bilingual guide post up at one of my village’s train stations. I also really liked working with others on that project. I think if I could work on a translation team I would find it to be a very fulfilling occupation.
Internationalization is kind of a broad term encompassing a lot of stuff that involves translation, interpretation, event planning, making connections, showcasing and promoting various cultures, and working alongside a wide variety of other people. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you can find the right position for it. I do a small amount of this kind of work at my current job, I kind of wish I could do more.
Becoming a librarian is also a pretty enticing idea. Of all the jobs I’ve done working at a library was definitely the most relaxing. Obviously this is heavily dependent upon your coworkers and patrons but that’s true of most jobs. I’m also interested to see where technology is going to take libraries in the next decade as digital readers and high-speed internet access become more common.
Besides studying Japanese I’ve also been slowly developing my writing since I’ve been in Japan. I spend a lot of time at a computer and a good portion of that is without any real task of great importance needing to be done. So I try to fill that time being constructive in some manner or another. I’ve written my first novel since being here, it was crap, but I started two others, they’re a little better perhaps. I’m working on improving my story telling, plot building, characterization, and style. Depending on what I do end up doing, I might try to self-publish some e-books one day, after I’ve improved my writing somewhat. To this end, I’ve also been spending a lot more time reading fiction and learning about how other authors manage it.
I’m open to suggestions, recommendations, or words of advice.