Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Failure Tip #2: Uninformative and Informative Rejection Letters and Next Steps

The last week of September was a peak time for receiving responses from colleges (all rejections). These letters differ pretty strongly in terms of how they sound and how much English they involve (and how correctly they use it). One university helpfully indicated how many applicants they considered in total: 11. So that means I failed in a one for eleven application process -- not terrible considering I did not perfectly match what they were seeking to hire. Another college wrote in the actual letter "you did not make the short list." A third college said I failed "among other qualified applicants" -- clearly an attempt to copy the Western rejection letter (but one that may have missed that their statement did not imply that I was qualified).

My prediction is that this year will be a total bust on the Japanese job front -- but that's fine. I learned a great deal about the process and will be much better positioned for next year. In terms of positioning for next year, I am teaching a course at a university about an hour away as the instructor of record and I will teach part of a course at the nearest university on logic and normative thinking.  Moreover, I will be taking the JLPT N1. I think I still have a ways to go in studying for it, but I'll do what I can.

Japanese universities only value teaching experience in Japan. I cannot fully blame them for that sort of bias. It is not as if American universities would accept teaching anywhere but America, England, Australia, and New Zealand as having equal merit. (At the same time, I greatly question the quality of Japanese university teaching on average since faculty start with tenure and have no incentive to teach well).

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