FIT is what YOU make it

Posted by David Chester on 10 February 2017

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When I first created FIT, my idea is that a community of like-minded freelancers would contribute ideas, suggestions, websites and more to support a "community" that would meet on a monthly basis and help to expand opportunities for all. I worked very hard to create that and in the beginning it was fun. But as I was the one coordinating everything, it eventually became too much and/or I didn't see the interest that I had hoped I would. 

Instead of just casual get-togethers, I also tried to unify people by presenting unique films made in the West about Japan in hopes of sparking conversations and again creating a sense of community. Again, it was fun for a while, but it became a huge drain of my time. 

Shortly before composing this I updated the "Helpful Websites" page of this site. It was a massive job and a bit natsukashii. There were so many people that had created helpful sites about things connected with living in Japan (whether it be about food, language, cultural information, etc.) and it was clear that many of them had poured their hearts and souls into these sites. But as I was updating, I saw that many of them had not been maintained and even more had vanished. It made me sad. 

Technology has also eliminated the need for many of the sites and the products and services they offered. It was shocking, in a way, to discover how far we've come in such a short time and I can only wonder how much farther we'll go in an even shorter time. 

That said, despite the adjustments that I had to make to "Helpful Websites," one thing still seems clear to me about FIT: People still do not seem to understand that there are multiple employment opportunities available to them in Tokyo. As recently as last week, I met a young man who said his passion was cooking, but instead he was "teaching English" to survive. I gave him a brief lecture about how I had managed to be a well-paid "Chef for a day" because I had networked and made myself available for almost any challenge that came my way (in this case: "Can you cook French food?"). The young man seemed extremely surprised to know these kind of paid experiences were out there. I really couldn't believe that he was limiting himself. 

But I have encountered this over and over here, with people completely unaware that there are opportunities a plenty if you are willing to embrace them. At the same time, I have encountered a sort of "Can you give me the opportunities and information and do everything for me and just get me the job" attitude. 

No, I can't and I won't. You must take the initiative and create your own fantastic experience in Tokyo. I hope you will and I hope that the updated "Helpful Websites" page is in fact, just that: helpful. The idea of FIT is: I present you with hard-earned nuggets of advice and information and you go out and get fantastic jobs for yourselves. It can happen... but only if you make it happen.