Friday, 4 April 2014

Well Laid Plans - Job Training and What I've Been Up To

This is a follow up from my previous post Job Training in America - November 2013

It’s been a long time since I last wrote an update with work and Japan and everything. The last time would have been written at about the end of November 2013/beginning of December and now it’s April 2014!! As always things didn’t exactly turn out the way I had expected or planned.

I should probably start with what happened after my trip to Detroit last year. The meeting with the Japanese went well although I was heavily embarrassed by my lack of ability to explain things in Japanese. So I decided to take lessons as soon as I got back to the UK to learn/practice business Japanese. I started that in January after Wes came to the UK for Christmas and it went pretty well. They were private lessons which were expensive but I got what I paid for and found it useful considering I didn’t have much time (or money) for lessons. Together with the lessons I practiced Japanese in my free time with Memrise, listening to business Japanese courses and general study. I didn’t do as much Japanese as I’d hoped/planned though. (I had aimed to get N2 vocab revised by the end of January and that still hasn’t happened).

I’d previously said it would take 3-4 months before I was in Japan, well THAT didn’t happen. The plan was that I would go to Japan in January/February to begin the research process for setting up the office and the move (costs etc), although with another quarterly meeting with the Japanese. Not only was the meeting not in January or February but after a month of bugging them for a date they turned around and said “you organize it”. So that’s what I did and it’s the beginning of April and I’m in Japan in said meeting. Hazzar! This is why I’ve not moved here yet. I haven’t even been able to begin researching the costs because it’s taken so long to get this far. That and boss wants me to train myself more before I move. So it looks like at this rate I’ll be moving to Tokyo in August.

So what I’ve been doing for the last 4 months since Detroit is work from home translating and studying Japanese while learning the company projects and process. Besides work, when I realized I’d have plenty of time before moving to Japan, I took the opportunity to make a load of cosplay I’ve been meaning to do for a while and to go to a few cons and events I hadn’t been to in a long time. I also spent the time playing on a lot of the games I’d been meaning to play on but haven’t had time/been out of the country. It was good to actually have the free time to do those things, but I do think I much prefer an office environment so that I don’t have any distractions and have a clear distinction between work and play :/

I have ALSO started up another blog teaching people how to teach themselves Japanese! It's called J-Talk Online (as in Japanese Talk Online). So been spending a lot of time not studying myself to help other people study. It's called productive procrastination and I've really enjoyed helping others with their Japanese so I don't care too much that I've been neglecting my own Japanese.

I feel like I’m complaining a lot, but I’m mostly just taking everything one day at a time. It’s frustrating when things happen at the last minute or I don’t have much communication for the American company as what I’m supposed to be doing or what’s happening within the company. But it’s also really nice to have the freedom, trust and responsibility (and money because as of January I’ve been getting paid! Yay!) So this job is having its ups and downs, although these are mostly ups, and it’ll lead to a lot of new things I think. Unless that plan goes to pots as well!

Job Training in America - November 2013

I'd written this at work in November 2013 but didn't realise I hadn't posted it! Woops...
This is a follow on post from the previous one First Business Trip to Japan and America Job Training

It feels like I’m doing a master’s degree in my company with Project Management and Japanese in the Automotive Market. I’m serious; I have spent the last month doing practice translations, learning automotive vocabulary (for Japanese and English), researching the company, interviewing people, writing up my findings, getting it corrected and just now gave a presentation on everything I’ve learnt. I got feedback from the entire team on what I should word differently and everyone brain stormed ideas for what I should learn next. Which is still a lot and I only have one week left here. I was going to be leaving this weekend, but the Japanese are visiting and so we thought it would be better for me to stay the extra week to sit in on meetings. It was actually my idea. I really enjoy working here. The work’s interesting and the people are nice. It’s just freezing cold and I can feel myself turning into an introvert not seeing people outside of work (besides Katie at the weekends).

Although I did see Wes last week for Thanksgiving, which was super nice. It was good to be with him again. We went to the cinema twice, played games with his friends, watched movies, cooked food, and got to spend Thanksgiving with his aunt, mum, brother and granddad. I miss him already. It sucks that we aren’t in a short distance relationship. I was really hoping that after Japan we would be, but alas governments suck and force us apart because neither of us can afford to live without working and he can’t work in the UK and I can’t in Portland where he is. But he’s looking for a job in Tokyo and because he’s so amazing, I know he’ll get one and we’ll move there together and it will never be long distance again.

So next week the Japanese come here and then at the weekend I go back to the UK. The plan is that I’ll be working/training from home as well as organizing the office for Japan and my working visa. What’s annoying is that it’ll be another 3-4 months before I’m in Japan, which means that long away from Wes (except for Christmas) unless we can afford another visit again. Perhaps if I come back to Detroit for more training?