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Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/22 04:04
Hi,

I teach English as a foreign language (children and adults) and have been applying for teaching/tutoring jobs in Japan. I got a few Skype interviews but haven't landed a job yet. I'm concerned the way I look might have something to do with it.

I am 37, male, have a trimmed 3 -inch-long greying beard and slightly long brown/greying hair, enough for a man bum. No tattoos or piercings.

I searched the web and found that facial hair, or hije (hige?), is frowned upon or even forbidden for certain jobs, such as banker, but nothing about EFL teachers or long hair on men.

I'm thinking about shaving my head and found that shaved heads can be a punishment for children or a sign of punishing/purifying yourself, but no clear info if a shaved head would deter me from a getting a teaching/tutoring job.

Can anyone shine a light on this matter?

Thank you
by Teacher Dennis (guest)  

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/22 11:36
I think your reading into Japanese culture waaay too much.

Note that there is now more competition for jobs compared to a couple of decades ago. A beard and shaven hair might make some difference with some people, but may be a slight advantage with others.

In general, there are different rules for Japanese workers and overseas workers in appearance. For example, tattoos can be acceptable for westerners but not as much for locals. I do however think that the expectations in how people act and behave is much closer than appearance though but this is true of almost all the countries I've lived in.

Others and specifically locals will know more than me.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/22 13:14
For Job interviews it is always better to look shaved and comb your hair etc.
For a English teaching jobs in Japan there is a lot of competition in the big cities but if you dont mind the location you have also bigger change. There is a high demand in rural areas of Japan. Or less popular places
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/22 16:13
Is there any way you could contact your interviewers and ask if they can provide feedback on your interview? Otherwise it's only really guessing and maybe.
by Rumble (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/22 16:22
Traditionally, preferred glooksh for job interviews in general are clean short haircut, clean shaven. So if you have a 3-inch long beard and long hair, it is not going to please the conservative type of people. By the way, I would not shave head – no need to be concerned about punishment or anything, but long beard and shaven head combination gcanh look menacing, if you know what I mean. Hair and beard looks friendlier.

But as others have said, there is a lot of competition depending on the positions; seeing your age and experience, which some schools would definitely consider as a plus, might not make you the easier candidate for some other schools if the school wants younger people who would not have any teaching style of their own so easier to get them to adopt the schoolfs teaching style/fixed curriculum.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/22 23:41
Are you a native English speaker? If not, you may have better chances teaching your native language.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/23 01:44
Ifd like to thank everyone who took the time to reply to my question. Not many people would be so kind, so I truly appreciate it. Season greetings and a happy new year to all.
by Dennis (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/25 02:32
One thing that may also play a factor is your age. I had a similar problem. Alot of schools might not say it but, they tend to want young people (18-20's). In their eye's they are easier to break in and honestly are more likely to tow the line/put up with BS. Being that you are in your late 30's they may wonder why you are not looking for "better" work. Often I would be told I was overqualified and that they "knew" I wanted to be a manager or hold a more senior position simply because of my age. I also had some schools tell me they thought I might quit once I found something "suiting my age". Some of this I took to be true, the rest I understood as code for "we only want to hire young people". Ageism is very common among the Japanese, so it shouldn't be surprising that it happens to us westerners too.
by Rogue (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looks and jobs in Japan? 2018/12/31 15:41
Try to remember the questions and already prepare in advance good answers and learn them, so you can answer with confidence.

You should especially work on your answer, why you want to work there (especially why at the school you are applying). Saying just you want to live in Japan is not a suitable answer with the high number of competitors.

But again, prepare your answers in advance. I am in a position where I have to hire people and sometimes I donft care so much about the content of the answers to basic questions, but just so I know if the applicant has prepared and is serious about getting the job or not.

I had even got 2 job offers at Japanese companies where they expect me to speak in Japanese, just by doing enough predation for the interview, although my Japanese is still limited.
by City Hunter (guest) rate this post as useful

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