[This entry was first published briefly 1 week ago. I chose to take it down for personal reasons, but can now put it back up]


Let’s have a picture of the moon as seen from our balcony – pre-water discovery.

So, as I mentioned in a post a few days back, I’m moving on from my current day job. It’s been a priceless experience and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to work there. It’s given me an insight into what working for a Japanese company can be like, which will certainly inform any decisions I make about work in the future.

Where am I moving on to? White Rabbit Press.

I first had contact with them back in the summer thanks to Japan Podshow – possible collaboration was discussed, although it was decided then that the timing wasn’t right. Fast forward several months and I’m at the Good Ideas Salon event. Things draw to a close, and we’re all loitering in the foyer. I say hello to the interesting-looking guy behind me – he gives me his card – it’s the owner of White Rabbit Press. That night a bunch of us went for a drink at a local izakaya. There was no talk of work that night, but fast forward another few weeks and emails are exchanged, we meet, he kindly offers me a job.

Incidentally, last week I also went for an interview with All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s no.2 airline – this opportunity also arose thanks to personal contacts. The  interview took place in an office overlooking the runway at Haneda Airport. The position: an instructor responsible for testing pilots in an international English test that was introduced last year as a part of new regulations aimed at cutting the number of accidents caused by pilots not speaking good-enough English.

I won’t go into details about the interview as during proceedings two of the pilots shared the fact that they had been reading this website the day before (despite my not mentioning anything about it in my application). Ultimately it turned out though that their having seen TameGoesWild helped my application, they were impressed and entertained, apparently…!

As well as 50% more money than my present salary, I was also offered free flights for myself and my family. Initially this started out at about 3 return flights per year, but as the days progressed and I continued to say no to an offer, so it rose to 8 trips annually.

It was a tough decision to make. On the one side I was being offered a lot of money and free trips anywhere around the world, and on the other side I was being offered the chance to work for a comparatively small company operating in an industry that I’m very much interested in (publishing / audio / video) – but without free holidays!

I think I knew the answer from the start though. By working for White Rabbit Press I’ll be able to push myself further, to acquire new knowledge and skills, to gain an idea of what it’s like to run a business here in Japan.

It’s also a chance to continue to grow up. By being made responsible for key parts of the business the pressure will be on to deliver real results. In my current job there is little chance of my actions having any real impact on the overall profitability of the business (which leads to boredom, stagnation, no need for growth). In my new position if my actions don’t have an impact upon overall profitability I’ll be out of a job!

I really do see it as a golden opportunity to take the next step towards the goals I have for my Tokyo life. The manner in which the chance presented itself (it was an incredible series of ‘coincidences’ only touched upon above) reinforces for me that this is the right thing to do. *Twinkle* is supportive, and happy that I’ll be working a lot closer to home so that the 7.5 hours a week I will no longer be spending commuting can be spent on cleaning the house (which, for the record is nearly all done by me already!)

I have another 10 days in my present job.



4 Responses

  1. This is interesting. Congrats on the job. I run a small online music label (www.ptesquad.com), and I was contacted a few months ago by Max from White Rabbit Press about them using some of our music on their Realtime Audio Tours. I don’t know whether they used it in the end as I haven’t heard from them in a while, but it’s certainly a small world.

    Incidentally, I’m applying for JET (CIR and ALT) this year, and hope to be back in Japan myself next year.

    1. Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your feedback. I’ll check with Max about your music when I join the gang next week.

      Good luck with the Jet program – I hope it goes OK for you. In the past few years there have been a lot of cutbacks and I’ve heard some real horror stories (such as local Boards of Education ending JET contracts after 6 months and rehiring them through the provate agency Interac (starting to dominate this field) minus a lot of the benefits, and on a lower salary.

      Hope to meet you when you get here.

    1. Thanks! Whilst my working hours per week will be the same, my travel time will be cut from 2 hours to 25 mins-ish, and I won’t be the wrong side of Tokyo for a lot of events as I am now. So hopefully I’ll have a little more time 🙂