Why Do Expat Wives Need To Give Up Their Own Career?

Japan’s female employment rate has risen to the historical high these days, as in many other countries.


Japan’s female employment tops 50% for 1st time in half-century

TOKYO — For the first time in five decades, over half of Japan’s women were employed in 2018, new data showed Friday, amid a worsening labor shortage and continuing efforts to accommodate working mothers.

The country had 29.46 million women at work, or 51.3% of the total, up 870,000 from a year earlier, according to a labor force survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The growth was nearly double the 450,000-person increase in working men.


Still, there unfortunately are too many expat wives and trailing wives who needed to give up their own career to follow their partner’s work assignment typically abroad.

For expat wives who want to find a job in a new country, there typically are 3 biggest obstacles.

These are…

  • Language barrier
  • Work authorization
  • Rules and policies of their expat partner’s companies

In Japan, there still are not a few established companies prohibiting expat wives from working as they expect wives to be stay-at-home moms for expats to focus solely on work.

While there also are many challenges such as a trend that it gets more difficult for international people to get work permits in the US, technologies of today allow us to work remotely or gig-work.

There are so many individuals who started their own businesses or enjoy nomad work styles thanks to these technologies.

I might not be a typical Japanese myself because I love speaking English and feel thrilled to live abroad in a diverse society rather than homogeneous one like Japan.

Yet, even for me, it felt daunting not to be able to get a work permit here in the US to work ordinarily after giving up my career back home to follow my partner.

Then I came across an encouraging word “Joint Venture“.

One of the biggest reasons why I started this website/community is to create my own “work” that sparks joy (KonMari!) in my everyday life, making use of my skills and hobbies like English, photo taking or web design.

I hope to interact with as my people as possible who share the same vision and joy of life as “joint ventures”, not just labeled as trailing wives or expat wives.

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