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fall 2002

Volume 8. Number 3


The JET Quarterly Update The newsletter for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association of British Columbia


Career Seminar Main Speaker


Career Seminar Main Speaker Toshimi Ono

Career Seminar Writing a Resume

by Sarah Dakin

SFU Courses for returning JETs


Book Reviews by Monkey Girl “The Japanophile” Event Photos


JETAABC Announcements


Consulate / CLAIR Announcements


Classified Ads


About JETAABC UpcomingEvents

About Us

Toshimi Ono is the program director at the David Lam Centre for International Communication at Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre. She has a wealth of experience in language teaching, translation, cross cultural counselling, career management and providing training and consulting to professionals from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Everyone was looking a little sleepy as we wandered in Saturday morning for the Re-Entry and Career Seminar, but Toshimi helped give a dynamic start to the day and soon had us all up, engaged, discussing and learning. Her insight into the changing world of work was excellent, and even though I consider myself settled in a career at this point in time, I was inspired to start thinking about what my next step will be. Some of Toshimi’s key points include: 1. The world of work is changing. We can no longer count on having a 9-5 Monday to Friday job with one company for the rest of our lives. Most of us will need to juggle a variety of contracts, consulting, part time work and entrepreneurship to sustain ourselves. The flexibility of this new way of working can allow for much more integration between our careers and our life vision. 2. Successful candidates in this new world of work will be flexible, creative, and always learning . In this new world of work, the expectations for performance and productivity are increasing. As the pace of change continues to increase, and with increasing technology in our lives, it is more important than ever to be flexible, able to learn quickly and to have a variety of skills one can combine in different situations.

3. Career planning needs to be an ongoing thing. Even when we are in a job we are enjoying, we should always we looking out for the next step. Where would you like to be in 5, 10 years? What skills or contacts could you be developing now to help you get there? It is important to always be adding to and updating our skills. We need to learn to be self reliant and able to market our own skills. It is important to know our own skills and to be flexible and open to situations where we could use them. When looking for work, keep in mind… “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us” Emerson. It is important to have three points ready to use to sell yourself and to explain to others what you are about. Practice, so that you can speak clearly and articulately about what you are interested in and what skills you have to offer. Remember most of us are working jobs that we never knew even existed when we were younger, so don’t limit yourself, or say combining certain passions of yours is unrealistic. Be clear about what you would like to do, and then be open to opportunities that might come your way. Research finds that the number one thing employers are looking for are interpersonal skills. They are also looking for creativity. The flexibility, teamwork and communication skills we learned on JET are a valuable asset.

Volume 8, Number 3


Always be the best you can be, no matter what it is you are doing. It would be better to be a street cleaner who does a great job than a university professor who cuts corners and does a bare minimum. Take some time to do a personal assessment and to identify your strengths and barriers. - What have I lost? - What have I gained? - What are my interests? Skills? Values? - What is my personal style? - What leisure experiences and hobbies do I have I could incorporate into a career path? - What is my communication style? Am I an agreeing, collaborative type of person? Or am I more confrontational? Neither is better than the other, it is just important we are aware of our style and how it fits in a certain situation, rather than just falling back to our default style. Some other key areas you need to look at when considering career change include: Motivation - Identify your own motivation - Balance your commitment and behaviour – look at what else you have in your life besides work, and what your priorities are. - Develop an action plan and be responsible for doing something. Even a first small step like getting out and meeting people in your area of interest can start the ball rolling. Education - It is important to develop self-confidence. - Consider whether or not you need further education to reach your goal. - Be alert to potential barriers – such as money, time, and prerequisites. If you think about barriers before hand, you can start to plan how you will overcome them. - Find out about other ways – get creative! Transferable skills - It is important to think about how we package or describe the skills we have - We need to look at our language. For example if you say “I studied English but now I want to go into biology” it gives a different impression than someone saying “I am expanding on my skills in writing, and English by moving into the area of biological sciences.” Support Systems - Re- thinking our career paths can be disconcerting. It is important we develop a support system. Different people can help support us in different ways. We might want people who can be our cheer leaders, others who will listen when we are struggling, and others to just have fun with. Timing

Fall 2002

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER: The Jet Quarterly Update is a newsletter that provides current information about JET Alumni Activities & Japanese Cultural Events in BC / Yukon. Got an idea for an article or want to post an announcement contact the editor via email:

- Plan your timing when you are going to make a big move, or starting sometime new The morning with Toshimi was an inspiring and energizing one. I am sure the new JETs who have just arrived back will find her thoughts helpful. Toshimi helped set a positive, enthusiastic tone for a very successful Re-Entry and Career seminar. I am a great believer in the power of JET networking and these seminars as I am currently working at a job I got through attending the JET Re-Entry seminar when I came back. I am an elementary school teacher, and a fellow JET told me that a certain school board was looking for people experienced with special education. She told me who to call and a week later I was on the job working. Ah, if only it could be that simple all the time! But a big thank you to Toshimi for volunteering her time to come and speak to us.

Editor’s Note: Please see the facing page for courses specifically designed for returning JETs!

Event Photos

Resume Writing Seminar


by Donovan Kuehn

Career Seminar Leader Toshimi Ono

The resume workshop was hosted by Toshimi Ono and was full of useful information applicable to newly returned JETs, as well as those who have been back for a w h i l e .

SFU announces new programs for returning JETs by Shirin Eshghi The Japanese Culture and Communication Program at Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre will be offering a JET Career Development Program starting November and continuing in the New Year. This class is perfect for JETAABC members because:

First off, Ms. Ono left us with a sobering thought. Most HR professionals spend a grand total of sixty seconds reviewing resumes that come across their desks. This leaves a very short amount of time to make an imppression. She then explained how to make the most of those sixty seconds.

1) it is designed specifically for JET’s - using your JET international experience to move ahead - using your JET skills in the Canadian workplace - promoting your JET experience in resumes and interviews - reintroducing the Canadian job search climate to new returnees

1. Acknowledge the Reader

2) it teaches lifelong skills for any career path - personality and job assessment - job search skills - educational options to facilitate career change - resume & cover letter creation - interview preparation

-tailor the resume to fit the job you are applying for. Using the same resume to apply for different jobs isn’t effective. Some skills are more helpful at some jobs than at others. -research the company that you are applying to. Showing that you understand the company’s needs and products can give you an edge.

The course also includes one private career counselling session (40 minutes in duration) up to 6 months after course completion.

2. Demonstrate your skills -be specific. Don’t say “team teaching” - say “taught lessons with three different teachers.” Highlight the skills you have in managing different situations. -don’t undersell yourself. Instead of focusing on duties, focus on skills that you developed or used. You didn’t “teach an ichinensei class,” you “managed a class of 35 students.” 3. Avoid Information Overload -sometimes too much information can hurt you. Try to keep job highlights to a maximum of four or five points. Leave something to talk about when you get to the job interview! -organize your information so it is easy to read. People read documents from top to bottom and left to right, so try to put key information in these areas to catch their eye. The workshop was really helpful and gave its particpants a lot to think about. Toshimi Ono will be hosting an employment working group on November 15 and everyone is welcome. See the JETAABC website for more details.

Future sessions: January 13th to 22nd, 2003 (Monday and Wednesday nights) January 18th and 19th, 2003 (weekend session) Place: SFU at Harbour Centre, 2nd fl. Cost: $160 ALSO: SFU - NIHONGO BOOK CLUB Students read through a book of short stories in Japanese. The class meets every other week for text analysis and topic discussion. TRANSLATION STUDY GROUP Students translate articles of their interest from their designated textbooks. Translations are reviewed and discussed in class. Textbooks vary according to ability, so both intermediate and advanced levels can participate. For more information, please contact Shirin Eshghi at the Japanese Culture and Communication Program by phone (604-291-5117), fax (604-291-5112) or e-mail ( This program is sponsored by the David Lam Centre for International Communication, SFU at Harbour Centre.

Volume 8, Number 3


Fall 2002

Monkey Girl’s Book Review by Grace Hiromi Mikasa

If you remember in Japan, as soon as the hot, humid summer ended and Autumn came along it was also time to read. So in this spirit I wanted to recommend some books. Recently I have been into Asian authors, so here are two that I liked. My Year of Meat by Ruth Ozeki. It is an interesting book to read especially after working in Japan. It’s about Jane Takagi a Japanese American who works for a Japanese TV company. Takagi’s job is to travel around America to look for the typical American family for the Japanese company. As she looks for the family, many interesting plots unfold! Must admit though the beginning is kind of slow! The other book is called, Disappearing Moon Cafe by Sky Lee. Again another slow beginning but it gets pretty juicy! The cool thing about this book is that it is based in Vancouver. This story is about a Chinese man immigrating to Canada in the early 1800s, and how his family settles in to Vancouver over the next couple of generations. If you are into reading about family roots and cultural stuff you’ll love it. But you need a good memory for Chinese names because the story is told from various members of the family. All time classic recommendation: The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff for all those lost souls out there! Hope you enjoy the books and have a happy autumn!!!

Japan on the Web Those mad celebrity Spots Contributed by Geoff Reid

On December 3rd, there will be a free lecture about the cinematic work of Akira Kurosawa at SFU Harbour Centre. Those who are interested need to make reservations with me (Shirin) at 604-291-5117 or via The details: As part of our Awareness Japan Information Forum, Dr. Jan Walls will present “The Legacies of Kurosawa: Rashomon and its Influences”. Dr. Walls is the Director of SFU’s AsiaCanada Program as well as the Director of the David Lam Centre for International Communication at SFU’s Harbour Centre campus. Though the lecture is free, reservations are required. Date: December 3rd, 2002 Time: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Place: SFU Harbour Centre Campus - A-list American celebs sell themselves out on Japanese TV. The site’s by a Saskatchewan girl living in Japan... Gaijin a go-go café (done by former gaijin who now have a design firm in Victoria) Sold Out British architects living in Tokyo (check out the ”canned” section as well)


November Career Think Tank Sessions by Kristin Olson

Upcoming Events JETAAI Conference Dinner For this year’s JETAAI International Conference, which is taking place in Vancouver from Thursday November 21st to Sunday November 24th, CLAIR and JETAABC will be hosting a reception for the delegates from all the various JETAA chapters around the world. On the Friday evening (22nd), there will be a reception open to all members of JETAABC. This reception will be a great opportunity to meet delegates from 45 cities in 12 countries around the world. All delegates are former participants in the JET program. The reception will begin at 6:30 pm in the Cristal Ballroom of the Metropolitan Hotel located at 645 Howe Street near West Georgia. Due to limited space, it will be first come first serve open to JETAABC members only. Please RSVP ASAP before Monday November 18th, 2002 to me at

JETAABC will be hosting a series of career think tank sessions with experienced career counsellor (and current program director for the SFU Harbour Centre Japanese Culture and Communication Program) Toshimi Ono. If you missed the career seminar or if you are looking for a follow-up to the seminar, this is an opportunity to discuss any career issue you bring to the table - resume feedback, interview questions, or perhaps a brainstorming session on “what else can i do besides teaching?” Sponsored-inpart by the SFU David Lam Centre, the first Think Tank will be held on Friday, November 29, 6:30-8:30pm at SFU Harbour Centre. Please RSVP to

Career Seminar a Success!!

by Kristin Olson, Events/Programs Coordinator

Volunteers needed for JETAAI Conference Volunteer positions for the 2002 JETAAI conference are still needing to be filled. The conference is taking place between Nov 21-24. If you are interested, please e-mail me at, for more information about the conference check the website: jetaai2002/

Sign up for the JETAABC e-tree! Are you a newly returned JET who has signed up for the JETAABC and still feel out of the loop? Then become a member of the Yahoo Groups list and receive JET / Japan related information via email. Signing up for JETAABC, doesn’t automatically subscribe you to this follow this link and get connected:

Angie Freedman & Kristin Olson share a smile

Response from this year’s re-entry & career seminar held on Saturday, Oct.19 has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to everyone who came, and special thanks to our volunteers; Toshimi Ono, Christiaan Bernard, Derek Fairley, Brian Lennox, Sarah Dakin, Andrea Jacques, Ryan Butt, Angie Freedman, Liz Stephen and Kimiye Kawashima.

Volume 8, Number 3



Fall 2002

by Steve Chevalier Assistant to the Consul, Cultural Affairs The Consulate of Japan

Japanese Lanuage Training Program The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is offering a Japanese language training program for former JET participants currently engaged in Japanese language education or studying to teach Japanese. The program will be held from February 17-28, 2003 in Tokyo. Meals, transportation, including airfare to Japan, and accommodation will be provided. To apply, submit an application form along with a one page (8 1/2 x 11) essay, written in English, stating the reason for applying to the program. Deadline: December 2, 2002. Applicants are then required to complete a Japanese language test in early December; date to be announced. An upperintermediate level of Japanese (between level 1 and 2 on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is recommended in order to complete the test. Sixteen of the top applicants from around the world will be announced as participants in mid January, 2003. Previous participants of this programme are not eligible. Application forms are available from Steve at the Consulate: 604-684-5868, ext 223 or

JET Recruitment - Deadline November 22, 2002 Recruitment for the 2003-2004 JET Programme is well underway. Information and application forms are available on the Consulate of Japan’s website at To be eligible, applications must be postmarked by November 22, 2002.

CLAIR NEWS CLAIR announces new newsletter “JET Alumni-All Around The World” As you may have read in the July 2002 edition of the JET Streams newsletter, CLAIR is currently in the process of creating a one-shot publication tentatively entitled “JET Alumni-All Around The World The publication will focus on areas such as life after JET; JETAA chapter activities around the world; the continued exchange between Host Prefectures / Designated Cities, Contracting Organisations and former JET Programme participants; etc. to name a few. The publication will be divided into 5 main sections. The sections are as follows: A) JET Alumni Association Chapter Activities B) JET Alumni Personalities and Career Profiles - Life After JET C) Continued International Exchange From the Perspective of Japan D) Alumni Photos E) The Future Direction of the JET Programme Best regards, Archie Mochizuki Programme Coordinator Implementation Division JET Programme Management Department

Nao Kitamado Assistant Manager Implementation Division JET Programme Management Department


Classified Ads Accomodation ROOM FOR RENT - There is a wonderful, bright, quiet bedroom available on the top floor of a great character house in the heart of Kitsilano—on the corner of 1st Avenue and Yew Street. It’s close to Capers, Safeway, all that great 4th Avenue shopping. And did I mention it’s two blocks from the beach?? Here are some details: - large kitchen with gas stove - great bathroom with old-fashioned tub (with clawed feet!) - great view from the livingroom with French doors leading out onto a small balcony - lots of storage space and 2 in-house washers and dryer - cable is included in the rent & shared ADSL available - two fun, considerate female roommates in their early 30’s (one has even lived in Japan...) - available for December 1st, or the beginning of January, if that suits you better - $550 plus utilities (but divided by three, it’s not all that much..) - Call 604-737-7750, and ask for Luisa or Karen

Moving After their wedding nuptials, Boleyn Relova and Robert Clegg (PNWJETAA) will both be at home in the Seattle area by early December. Boleyn will miss being an active committee member of JETAABC and JETAAi.

Mokuyokai Dinner Greetings to all JETAABC members! Time is rushing by, the holiday season is nearly upon us! We would like to invite you to the upcoming Mokuyokai-sponsored BONENKAI extravaganza!! As a special benefit, all JETAABC members can join Mokuyokai for half the usual fee for only $20/individual, $27.50/family per year. For details on what Mokuyokai is, please visit our website at: DATE: December 1st, 2002 (Sunday) TIME: 6:00 - 9:00 pm LOCATION: 34th Floor Hyatt Hotel, Downtown Vancouver (on Burrard, between Georgia & Dunsmuir)

MEAL COST: $35 for members, $45 for non-members MENU: 4 course gourmet meal *** No substitute is accepted unless guest has allergies or is vegetarian. GIFT: Please bring a wrapped gift, maximum value of $10, for the gift exchange. TO REGISTER: 1) E-mail or phone Yoshiko Hosokawa for more details by Sunday, November 24 at: or 604-684-2681

Employment Employer: A very high profile lumber company Position: Sales/Marketing for China and Taiwan market Salary range: 50K - with competetive benefits Minimum requirements: 1. Fluent in English and Mandarin/Taiwanese an asset 2. Some experience in lumber (or building products) trading 3. Some sales/marketing experience Others: The employer is a very high profile company, thus the individual needs to be able to establish relationships with other executives. Must be mature and have excellent people skills. The employer will consider either: Entry level: speaks Mandarin but does not have any business/Canadian experience (Entry level salary: approx. $50,000) or Account Executive level: Lumber Trading or Manufacturing experience in industry and Mandarin language. Salary range does depend on experience. The employer is very negotiable and does not turn down those who are seeking a high salary. Education: Post Secondary Education (university or college) but it need not be in Forestry. This is a sales and marketing position. Essentially, the employer is seeking an individual who can become an account executive. This means the successful candidate will work on developing clients and servicing clients in China and Taiwan. He/she will be selling lumber to the overseas markets. There are some established clients but the incumbent will be responsible for developing new accounts as well. Please reply directly to Pan-Pacific Personnel Inc. at * We thank all applicants; however, only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.

2002-2003 Steering Committee President - Ryan Butt (h) 604.775.5590 (e)

Past President - Elizabeth Stephen (h) 604.738.3360 (e)

Secretary - Kristin Olson (h) 604.730.8426 (e)

Treasurer - Matthew Fedoruk (e)

Newsletter Editor - Stefan Chobotar 1756 East 11th Avenue Vancouver BC V5N 1Z1 (h) 604.709.4527 (e)

Assistant Newsletter Editor - Julian Rendell

What is this organization called JETAABC? So, you’ve signed up for JETAABC, now what? Luckily, you’ve signed on with one of the most active and organized JET Alumni associations in Canada. This is a rough list of what we do: o Produce a newsletter every four months. o Join the Mokuyokai on a hike each month.


o Organize an orientation seminar for new JETs in the Spring.

Programs and Events Director - Suzette Bradford

o Organize a re-entry and career prep seminar in the Fall.


Membership - Elizabeth Stephen (e)

o Hold major gatherings in September, January, and June.


o Send a delegate to the JETAA international conference.

Chapter and JETAA Canadian Representative

o Help produce the Cross Canada newsletter once per year.

Elizabeth Stephen

o Keep a website up to date

Island Representative - Alida Abbott

(h) 604.738.3360 (e)

Consulate General of Japan Contacts 900 - 1177 West Hastings Street Vancouver BC V6E 2K9 (t) 604.684.5868 (f) 604.684.6939

Mr. Steve Chevalier

Questions or comments?


Nov 21 - 24 JETAA International Conference in Vancouver Nov 25 - 27 The Ship for World Youth Vancouver Port of Call Nov 29 Career Think Tank contact November 30, Saturday, 1 pm First Annual Bamboo-In Shakuhachi Student Perform ance and Potluck Tonari Gumi Japanese Community Social Services 511 East Broadway, Vancouver 604-687-2172 Donations to Tonari Gumi are welcome. Those interested in attending please contact 604-904-2069 to confirm.

December Dec 1 -18 Bamboo Harvesting, Perform ances, and Shakuhachi Study Tokyo, Saitama, and Nagano, Japan. (Contact for exact locations.) Dec 1 Japanese Equivalency Test go to project/jlpt/jlpt.html Mokuyokai Bonenkai at The Hyatt call Yoshiko at 604-684-2681


Dec 2 MOFA Japanese Language Program deadline contact Dec 3 FREE Kurosawa Lecture at SFU call Shirin at 604-291 -5117

Thank you Contributors Sarah Dakin, Donovan Kuehn, Shirin Eshghi, Grace Hiromi Mikasa, Geoff Reid, Ryan Butt, Kristin Olson Steve Chevalier, The Japanese Consulate in Vancouver, CLAIR, Julian Rendell & Toshimi Ono

PROMOTE, EDUCATE, INFORM - send articles here

Fall 2002 Volume 8 Issue 3  

Newsletter of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association of British Columbia and Yukon - Fall 2002: Career Seminar | SFU Courses for...