Well, it’s been a long time coming and I’ve been avoiding this because I didn’t get the desired result, but I got a result nonetheless so I figure that it’s only right that I update you.
On the 15th January 2013, I had an interview for the JET Programme.
On the 6th April 2013, I received a large envelope indicating that I had been granted Alternate status.
For those of you not in the know, an Alternate is a reserve/waiting list candidate. Alternates can be upgraded anytime between May and December of the same year (although in the UK, an upgrade after June is very unlikely) and are necessary because shortlisted candidates on occasion drop out for various reasons.
As I’d been following the forums the day before where masses of British folk kept stating that they were shortlisted – and therefore definitely going to Japan, when I received my letter, it virtually translated as “you were good – real good…just…not good enough”.
What can I say? I was heartbroken. It’s like an A grade kid getting a B in their best class. It feels like you’ve been shot. And all the optimistic comments of “have faith” and “you’re still in with a chance” make you feel like gouging someone's eyes out.
I’d been due to go out for a work colleague’s leaving do that evening and didn’t even go to that to cheer myself up.
What equally frustrated me was the amount of paperwork we have to do despite the uncertainty of an upgrade. Collectively, I’ve spent over £150 on this programme already and considering that I was pretty much broke last year, that cut deep.
But even though I’ve submitted all my paperwork now, I’m moving forward. Currently, the Americans are getting their placement information – the cities and prefectures that JET will be sending them – and Brits will receive theirs in the post meaning that more upgrades will be underway.
Am I holding my breath?
Maybe just a bit. A work colleague told me my phone was ringing in the middle of my shift today and my brain immediately considered that it might be the JET Desk before I came to find that it was just a call from my mum.
Do you remember this post of mine? Well the Busy Bee Syndrome has been well and truly repressed now. Things have dried up on the tutoring front and I haven’t taught a lesson since last year. In fact, the only thing still consistent from that era is that I still have my CertTESOL certificate and I’m still doing my Japanese-English language exchange…which is more of an English-English language exchange these days as work has virtually sucked away all my energy.
But ultimately, now that I have my senses about me, I don’t think I deserve JET as much as some of the other people. I’ve heard of people crying in absolute disbelief upon hearing the news that they’ve been shortlisted and I’ll admit, I rolled my eyes thinking to myself “Don’t cry about it! Go out and celebrate!”. However, contrary to how melodramatic I might think these types of reactions are, I reckon these are the kind of people that probably deserve it because clearly they wanted it really badly. And as for me, I distinctly recall that during the time I put together my application for JET, I was thinking about my chances with another company.
Low and behold, however, I submitted an application to said company a few weeks ago now and received a phone call which culminated in them inviting me to interview.
I interview next month and have started preparations for it.
Wish me luck.