Case study:  A mother and daughter’s experiences job-hunting

Sakura and Yumi

In the brisk bloom of spring, a young woman named Sakura graduated from the University of Tokyo. Donning her cap and gown, she stood on the cusp of a new world, the world her mother, Yumi, navigated almost three decades ago during the dizzying heights of Japan's bubble era. Despite the different eras they graduated in, both women shared the same spirit of ambition, courage, and a twinkle of uncertainty in their eyes.

Yumi's job hunt in the bubble era was a whirlwind adventure. Those were the days when the "corporate warrior" was the buzzword and salaryman culture was the norm. Yumi, a fresh-faced graduate in economics, was a novelty in a sea of suits and ties. She vividly remembers the countless interviews, the days she returned home exhausted, only to be greeted by rejection letters. Yet, Yumi persisted, breaking barriers and landing a job at a reputable bank, a feat that seemed almost impossible for many women at the time.

Fast forward to Sakura's era, and the landscape is different. The towering skyscrapers are the same, but the people filling them are more diverse. Sakura's job hunt is facilitated by a technology-driven world, full of virtual career fairs and Zoom interviews. She feels the pressure, but also a sense of optimism, borne from witnessing her mother's strength and the slow but steady changes in society's attitudes towards working women.

Despite numerous challenges, Sakura feels less alone, having role models and mentors who guide her, a luxury Yumi never had. She finds herself in a pool of opportunities her mother could only dream of. More and more women in leadership positions, more companies encouraging gender diversity, and more acceptance of balancing family and work life.

Even as Sakura looks ahead at her path, she realizes her journey won't be a cake walk. But she's hopeful, as she carries her mother's spirit of tenacity and determination. Yumi watches her daughter step into her own story, a sense of pride swelling within her. It's not a perfect world, but it's a world that's changing, slowly yet surely, just like the cherry blossoms every spring. And Sakura, much like her namesake, is ready to bloom.


How are the experiences of mother and daughter different?