Japan · Life · Mental Health

Food, jobs, and anxiety…

Diana and I ended up venturing out to a Buddhist temple today to have 精進料理 which is the food of monks, and it’s vegetarian (or vegan depending on where you go).  It was so delicious.

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We we so happy with everything and fully stuffed by the end of the meal.  Afterwards I went to the job interview for Company RU.  Counting today’s I have had nine interviews and not a single job offer.  I left RU thinking that I would not take a job even if one was miraculously offered to me, but then I’m no further along in getting a job.  RU has two major negatives working against it.  It’s around 1 hour and 30 minutes from my house and they require work on a Saturday (which they offer a half day off during the week as compensation for).  Even though the salary is quite high, I don’t need to work a job that takes so much time from me I can’t ever get back.  Plus, I have Small Lady and Endymion to consider.  Even though Saturday is only a half day of work, it’s time I don’t get to spend with Endymion, time we can’t go away for the weekend, take day trips, or even travel extensively on.  I would have to leave my house around 6:30 every day to take 3 trains and a bus to be able to arrive on time to start the day.  I don’t even want to think about doing that 6 days a week, and how much time Small Lady would have to spend alone.  I cried on the train ride home because I’m just feeling so beaten up by this job search.  I can’t understand why I don’t have more job offers and why this is so difficult.

When I lamented to Setsuna about the job search, she tried to remind me to stay positive and said that adjustment takes time.  Yes, I know.  I’m trying.  Then she said something that made me pretty angry.  She said I should work at an eikaiwa to tide me over until I find something permanent.  If you don’t know what an eikaiwa is, I’ll explain it and try not to be overly critical.  An eikaiwa is an English conversation school.  Japanese students go there to learn English when their regular school isn’t cutting it.  I’ve heard horror stories from people working at eikaiwas (all kinds of horror stories even though Setsuna swears she’d had a good experience).  Basically eikaiwas hire anyone with a bachelor’s degree.  They don’t care if they hire teachers because they hand foreigners a binder of materials to teach to the students.  They don’t care what someone’s degree is in, just that it’s a bachelor’s degree (it could be in Russian history for all they care).  Why did this make me angry?  It took me a long time to decide on a career.  I didn’t just come to Japan to do a job like a lot of foreigners do.  I came here to further my career.  I am a professional in my field with almost 15 years experience and multiple degrees IN MY FIELD.  My career isn’t just a job.  It is my life.  It is the only thing I’ve ever been really awesome at doing, and it’s the only thing I want to do with my professional life.  I will never work at an eikaiwa.  I am not some 24 year old foreigner fresh out of college looking to party down in Japan who needs a job to tide them over while here.  I am serious about being here.  I am serious about my chosen profession.  For me an eikaiwa is demeaning.  I wasn’t a bitch to Setsuna though.  I just told her that I’m glad it worked for her, but it’s not for me.  That’s the beauty of text.  Tone can be conveyed as calm even when steaming.

Everything about this job search is taking a tremendous toll on my mental health.  I keep thinking “Why haven’t I been offered a job yet?”  The fiscal year starts in April.  Companies should be making decisions already.  “Am I doing something off-putting in the interviews?”  They seem to go okay.  “Is quitting before my contract up reflecting poorly on me?”  It wasn’t my fault!  “Am I too qualified? Or is there just someone more qualified than I am?”  (Hard to believe as I’ve only seen it once in a group interview, and I was okay losing the job to her because even I was wow’d by her quals.)  “What if I don’t get a job?”  Then the gap on my resume continues to grow, and I fear getting a job in the future will be even more difficult no matter what my qualifications are.  (Even though Diana says this isn’t so and foreigners are often expected to have gaps as long as they aren’t giganamous.)  “Is there just more competition for fewer jobs in a smaller city?”  I can tell by the job postings that this is true; there are fewer jobs here. These are just a few of the many questions plague me daily.  Let’s not even get started on how many jobs I’ve applied for.  I don’t like where my anxiety is at right now.

Endymion says I don’t have to work or if I do get something with a low salary, so that his company will pay for my health insurance and city taxes.  I don’t want a low salary job (but then I don’t need a job with a ridiculously high salary either).  I want to be able to take frequent trips back to my old city and spend time with my friends.  I can’t do that very often if I’m only making a couple hundred a month.  I’m so very tired of all of this.  When will it end?  Is something good coming my way soon?  I hope so.  I don’t know how much more of this my mental health can take.  Tomorrow, I’m not getting out of bed.  I already decided.  I’m over it.

Is Princess of the moon a job that’s hiring because I legit already feel like living on the moon.

 

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