Tag Archives: jobs

The Job Search

Looking for a job is one of my least favourite things to do. But it’s something I have to do. I worked for eleven years at my previous job in Japan, so it’s been a long time since I’ve had to change jobs.

Oddly, I enjoy looking at what’s available. It’s like going through a catalogue or browsing a bookstore. Interesting to see what there is, which ones I’d consider. Of course, many of them I don’t qualify for. But I’m putting out applications several times a day.

I’d say my least favourite part is writing cover letters. I have to customise them for each job, and it takes a lot of time to do it. The resume’s done, and I just tweak it for each position, highlighting what they ask for.

My second least favourite part is the wait. After having several resumes sent out, I’ve had one response. And that one was saying that the position I applied for is not available, but please try again in six months. And it was the job I wanted most, actually. But there are some other promising ones that look quite interesting. I just have to wait. And they’ve said they won’t contact anyone until after the closing date for each one. So, I have to wait until then.

At least I have something to occupy myself for the rest of the day today. Get my bank card finally sorted out and visit my daughter’s school for a parents’ orientation. That should be interesting. I’m looking forward to it.

What are your experiences in searching for jobs? How long did it take to find one? Let me know in the comments below.

What’s In a Family Name?

Family names are interesting. In many cultures, they tell a story about your family history. In Japan, they often refer to where your family comes from, rather than a job. In England, it tells about your ancestor’s job. But what about other countries?

If I look at my family name, I can tell that someone in my family’s history was an archer. Someone used a bow and arrow. I don’t know when it happened, but that’s where the name originates from.

So, if you’re willing to disclose your family name, what country is it from, and what’s the story behind it? Let’s discuss this in the comments below.

My Master Plan for the Year

With February coming to a close soon, our last month in Japan is fast approaching. Things are changing rapidly. I need to plot a course of action for the future. There are many things to consider, and not everything will be set in stone. But I do have a plan for the rest of the year.  This is it.

Our Move to Canada

Until March 22nd, I’ll be working still, but also packing and cleaning at the same time. Everything must be completely packed and everything must be ready to be taken out of the apartment by March 23rd. That’s the day we move out. We will spend the next couple days cleaning the apartment from top to bottom while our daughter stays with her grandparents. From the 26th to 29th, we have some free time to meet friends, go places we want to see for the last time while living in Japan, and restaurants we want to eat at once more. March 30th is the day we leave Japan. We’ll arrive in Vancouver the same day, although it will be at an earlier time (time travel!). And then it’s on to Vancouver Island for a week visiting family and sightseeing. We’ll then arrive in Edmonton and move in to my sister’s house.

The First Week in Edmonton

There will be a lot to do while my sister has a week off to help us run around and get things done. First order of business is to get my Japanese driver’s license and driving record translated at the Consul-General in Calgary. I need photo ID as soon as possible. I’ll then get my license changed to an Alberta license. During the rest of the week, I need to arrange health insurance for myself and my daughter, as well as change address at my bank, get my daughter’s social insurance number set up, and get her registered for kindergarten. My wife’s permanent residency will come, but not sure when. Once it does arrive, she’ll also need to have her health insurance and social insurance number set up.

Employment and Education

I already mentioned in yesterday’s video (see this post) about what I’d like to do for a job. I’m interested in working at a travel agency, bank, book store, or teaching English. To teach English, I need to get my CELTA, which is an ESL teaching certificate through Oxford University. It’s a six week course that I can do on the weekends.


April will be busy, but I think I’ll be able to get back into writing by May. I’m going to focus on writing every day at that point. I want to finish Journey to Ariadne this year and start outlining the first novel of Ariadne. I’ll also be working a lot on planning a nine part science fiction series, which consists of novellas, rather than full novels.


I will be setting up my account at YouTube for monetization, which means I’d get paid by YouTube for advertising on my videos. I’ll get that done after I set up a US dollar account for YouTube and Amazon. Best to keep that separate from my regular account, because I’d need to keep track of American income for tax purposes. I don’t expect it to amount to much this year, though.

I will continue working on videos chronicling our move to Canada and our adjustment to life there. I will also do all 30+ videos about Japanese sightseeing, as well as a new series on what it was like to live in Japan. That will be based on questions that have been asked to me on this blog. I also plan to focus on writing and book videos.


Pretty much everything will continue as usual on this blog. However, I do have the planned weekly flash fiction series to start up, hopefully in May. I’ve seen some interest in it, so that’s great. I also have plans to get guests for Authors Answer. We will see who will be guests.

Official Author Website

I should consider getting a domain name. Also, I plan on getting a lot of reference material up on the official website as I write Journey to Ariadne. I’m hoping to also do up some concept sketches and have them on the website.

Language Studying

This is more of a personal thing, rather than anything related to business. I hope to completely finish the Esperanto course on Duolingo, then get back to French, then Spanish. It would be nice to get those done this year. After those languages, probably going into 2017 and beyond, I’ll work on German, Norwegian, and Russian. But I also want to learn Greek, Dutch, and Italian.

There’s a lot to do this year. I don’t think this plan is particularly ambitious. It’s realistic and achievable. My goal is to complete every aspect of it. What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

Saying Goodbye

Today, it felt like everything was real. The move to Canada feels more real than ever. You see, I had to say goodbye to some students I’ve been teaching for several months. And this isn’t going to be the last time. It’s just beginning.

Whether it’s only a few months or several years, I have a lot of people to say goodbye to. I didn’t really know how I would feel about this, but now I do. It doesn’t feel good. It was difficult to say goodbye. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my job teaching English, and there are many I’ve been teaching for five and a half years. There are also some I have known longer, but haven’t taught recently. I won’t have the chance to properly say goodbye to them.

I’ll be saying goodbye to more coworkers, friends, and students over the coming four weeks. I’m finishing at one school next week, but I’ll be at four others next month. I feel some regret that I won’t be able to say goodbye to the students I’d taught for more than five years on Saturdays. But I’ll try keep in touch with some of them.

Eleven years in Japan is coming to an end soon. It’s such a strange feeling. I know it’s real, and it’s feeling real. I’ve been doing the same job for a long time now, so looking for another job is a daunting task. I know what I want to do. I have four jobs I want to go for, but I’ll have to see what’s available. I made a video about this. Watch it below.

Finishing this job and looking for a new one is pretty bittersweet. I started teaching English with a feeling of nervousness. I had no idea how to handle children. Now, it’s not an issue. I actually enjoy teaching kids now. I originally planned to stay in Japan for a year or two, but as time went on, I really enjoyed my job. My personal life changed a lot, but my job was constant. But with the end near and so many goodbyes to be said, this is the worst part of leaving Japan. I’m going to miss it. I’ll miss a lot of people.

I hope to someday see some of my old students again when we visit Japan. There are some old students I need to see before we leave. There are friends and coworkers I need to meet. I’m pretty sure I’ll see them again, someday.

This chapter of my life is coming to a close, but there’s an exciting new one starting soon. But I’ll never forget my amazing time in Japan. More than a quarter of my life. It’s a very large part of me now.

Authors Answer 64 – Authors’ Childhood Dream Jobs

Did authors always want to grow up to be authors? Some did, of course. But most probably didn’t think of writing as a profession that they wanted to do. There’s a wide variety of jobs, and most probably wanted to do something entirely different.


Question 64 – When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Linda G. Hill

I always wanted to be a veterinarian, probably because I read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot at a young age. But come high school I took physics instead of biology because I couldn’t stand the thought of dissecting a frog. By that time I was much more interested in human psychology anyway. Though I never went to university to study what makes people do the things they do, psychology continues to fascinate me.

Allen Tiffany

First a scuba diver, then a soldier (an infantryman). I became a soldier – which I greatly enjoyed – and then transitioned to the business world. Along the way, I’ve always written (baring one 15-year hiatus), but I’ve never thought of writing as something one does for a living, and I still don’t. I don’t think I’d enjoy writing for a living. I fear the need to produce to generate income would drive me to first think about writing to sell rather than writing from the heart.

D. T. Nova

A paleontologist. I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs, and when I was a kid I wanted to discover one.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

What didn’t I want to be when I grew up? I changed my mind multiple times throughout my childhood. The first thing I can remember wanting to be was a nurse, but only because as a child I misunderstood my mom’s job and wanted to be what she was (she was actually a personal care worker at an old folk’s residence). As I got a little older I got big into writing stories and determined that I wanted to be a writer, but then I also got big into drawing and fancied myself as a future cartoonist. At some point I also figured I was going to be a famous singer. Eventually my aspirations became a little more typical…I basically figured I’d be doing something in “technology”, which at the time meant I imagined myself sitting at a computer all day. But the one thing that I never let go of was that I knew I was going to be some kind of writer, even if it wasn’t my actual job, but more of a side-thing.

Paul B. Spence

An astronaut, but then I got too big. I’m just a little too tall. I also wanted to study dinosaurs, which I have. I have a degree in geology and have worked at a dinosaur bone quarry and at a museum working with dinosaur remains. I’ve always liked archaeology and ancient cultures, so my current career as an archaeologist suits me just fine. Of course, I always wanted to be a writer, too.

H. Anthe Davis

A writer.  Tada!

Seriously.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted, and though I’ve tried many other arts and sampled many fields of science, it all comes back to just writing.  I read and research and travel and interact all so that I can put everything I’ve learned back into the story.

Eric Wood

I only remember deciding to be a teacher in sixth grade. A friend and I were really into the American Civil War and loved history. I didn’t know what I could do with history other than teach it. So, at the ripe old age of 11 I decided to be a teacher. 11 years after that, I was. Before that, I don’t remember.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I never settled on this for sure until I was out of high school.  One idea that I always came back to was cooking, and that helped me decide to go to culinary school and work to become a chef.  Writing is great, but I never expected it to pay the bills especially at my pace.

Jean Davis

I wanted to be a teacher and played school with my little sister all the time. That didn’t work out so well though because by the time I was in high school, I realized I didn’t like dealing with people, and other people’s kids drove me nuts.

Gregory S. Close

A Jedi, a pilot like Han Solo, or possibly some Jedi space pirate pilot combination.  Obi Han Solo, perhaps.  Shortly after the realization that these were unlikely professions in our galaxy, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I guess that notion stuck with me over the years!

S. R. Carrillo

I wanted to be a published author. I also wanted to join the military. I give myself credit for achieving both of those goals before the age of 21. Or thereabout hahah.

Jay Dee Archer

I see I’m not alone in this, as I also wanted to be a palaeontologist. Well, I also wanted to be an astronomer. But I lived in Alberta, which is one of the best places to find dinosaur fossils and is home to one of the best dinosaur museums in the world. I loved reading about dinosaurs, and even took pictures of the skulls and skeletons and traced over them, trying to make more realistic pictures of them. As for astronomy, I was fascinated with space from an early age, and imagined discovering new things and studying the planets. By the time the end of high school came around, I had to make a decision. Those two passions stayed with me and are still two of my favourite things to study. I chose astronomy, even though I never worked as a professional astronomer. Sometimes, I think that if I ever go back to university, I’ll study geology with a minor in palaeontology.

How about you?

What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child? Did you become what you wanted? Let us know in the comments below.

A to Z Theme Reveal Missed

Well, I missed the A to Z theme reveal a couple days ago, but I’ll do it anyway.  On April 1st, the A to Z Challenge begins, and I need something to write about.  Well, I finally decided what to do.

I’ll be writing very short flash fiction stories, which I said before.  However, there will be an overall theme.  In these stories, the A to Z part will be the main character’s profession.  But that’s not all.  These stories will all take place on Ariadne.  This will introduce you all to the world in small snippets, but it won’t give away what’s going on in that world.  You’ll see some place names, maybe.  You’ll see hints about what life is like there.  It should be interesting.

And tonight, my theme is to get caught up on all those comments!