My Career Will Not Be Wasted 私のキャリアは失われない

Published on: March 09, 2020

What does “career” mean to you? Living in Thailand for a limited time revealed a good opportunity for Machiko Mori to think about what she wants from her career and life.


By Machiko Mori / Translated by Hanae Matsumura [日本語記事へ]


Two years ago, I left the company where I had worked for years as my husband was transferred to Bangkok. I was struck by the fear that the career I had worked hard to build would be lost.


“I am worthless if I don’t work.”


I was a care worker at a nursing home for the elderly for eight years. It was fulfilling to be able to influence someone’s life through my job. So I wanted to keep moving forward and devote myself to it further by building more experiences and getting licenses.

It was at that time when my husband’s relocation was decided and I had to leave my job. I felt like everything I had built up in my job was collapsing to the ground.

For a while, after I came to Bangkok, I occupied myself with organizing our new life. However, once we had settled into our new living arrangements, my life, which was all about household chores and childrearing, started to become stressful for me.

My visa does not allow me to have a job in Thailand. I felt jealous that my husband could work. I felt bored with housework, which I don’t like in particular anyway. I didn’t even have fun when I was doing my hobby. The frustration began to head towards my husband and son.

‘Household chores are not something I’m good at,… my son never acts as I wish…’

I hated being a housewife. And the idea that ‘I am worthless if I am not working’ gradually crept into my head.


New encounters in Bangkok


So you know what I did? I googled my inner desire: “want to work, Bangkok.” Then I found a gathering for Japanese women living overseas for their husbands’ jobs. The gathering was dedicated to discussing thoughts concerning “work”: frustrations over not being able to work because of visa restrictions despite wanting to work, and the reason why they want to work.

I was relieved to join the gathering. I could openly speak about my frustrations. I then decided to join a related community called Manatomo. “Mana” is from the Japanese word “manabi,” which stands for “learning,” and “tomo” is from “tomodachi,” which means “friends.”

It’s a community that helps people who feel anxious about their career to find what they really want to do. We encourage each other and make progress together. Members meet once a month and discuss a given theme or personal goals, work, and dreams. Their diverse thoughts and viewpoints changed my own way of thinking.


My career is my whole life


Career consists not only of working.

Career means my whole life.

All that I have done so far and all that I have built so far will never leave me.

Therefore, my career cannot be lost.

This concept made me think about how I want to have a positive mindset about my career (which means life to m). Now I’ve met some friends in Bangkok. We have started several new activities and will keep encouraging each other.

One activity is hosting a roundtable talk about caregiving for our parents. This is where I can utilize my knowledge and experience as a care worker. Another is to organize a study group for mothers of children with developmental disorders. I have also joined the administration team of “Manatomo.” There are still times when I get haunted by the uncertainty of my career—but I’m no longer afraid. My friends are with me to lend a hand.

I now feel confident in myself. I’m proactive, and I can give something back to society even though I cannot work. I will keep on doing what I can here in Bangkok to build a career of my own. I believe that this period when I cannot work is not a “blank” but a breakthrough in my career.




文:森 真智子


















そんなとき、「働きたい バンコク」でネットを検索したところ、駐在妻のための「はたらくを語ろうの会」を見つけました。その会は、私と同じように「働きたい」という気持ちを抱えながらビザの関係で働けずに悩んでいる人たちが、「なぜ働きたいか」について話をする会でした。

















About the Author

Machiko is a licensed care worker and care manager who worked at a nursing home for eight years in Japan. She came to Bangkok two years ago following her husband’s job transfer.  She is engaged in supporting children with developmental disabilities at graduate school.




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