Do “what I want to do”, go through happy life even after 10 years”

[:ja]谷脇[:][:en]Yoshitaka[:] [:ja]至峰[:][:en]Taniwaki[:]

by Yoshitaka Taniwaki

Main roles during the internship in Cambodia

My name is Yoshitaka Taniwaki quitted my job at an auditing firm and did an internship at NGO Kamonohashi Project in Cambodia.
The reason why I decided to quit my job and join an internship in Cambodia is written in the previous article “Reason why I quitted a job at the age of 32 and made an internship in Cambodia”, so please check it as well.
In this article, I’ll write about difficulties and insights during the internship in Cambodia and the result of my trying to make a career change.

The work which I was in charge in Cambodia is mainly the following three.

  1. Create the business plan in next three years
  2. Cambodian branch of Kamonohashi Project had to be inevitable to rely on donations from Japan though, the management team had a vision to be able to do business independently from Japan in the future. Then I created the business plan in the next three years based on current accounting figures and future forecast figures with my work experience.

  3. Create a format of cost calculation
  4. At the beginning of I started the internship in Cambodia, there was errors in cost calculation and the figure required for the decision of management was not managed. Then at the same time as re-costing, I created a format of cost calculation in order to let Cambodian staff be able to operate cost calculation by themselves.

  5. Check accounting process
  6. At the beginning of I went to Cambodia, there were several errors in the monthly accounting process and the errors happened over and over. So at the same time as checking the monthly accounting process, I created a checklist that summarized the places where errors were likely to occur, so that Cambodian staffs would be able to discover errors by themselves since then.

Two difficulties I faced during the internship in Cambodia

Two difficulties I faced during the internship in Cambodia

  1. Can’t speak English
  2. During the first month of the internship in Cambodia, before talking about work, I couldn’t communicate even in the daily communication, and I felt very frustrating.
    So I listed words I couldn’t convey well and I checked all later. Also, looking back at the list, I was conscious that I could use it the next time.
    A half of year later, I think I could convey feelings.

  3. Hesitancy on what the external humans from Japan point out
  4. Even I found points that should have been improved at work, I had hesitancy to point out that to Cambodian staffs because I was not Cambodian and didn’t know the background well.
    Regarding this point, I showed an understanding of the partner’s idea and telled what I thought should be improved as much honestly as possible. As Cambodian honesty accepted my words, the hesitancy disappeared.

Three things I gained through the internship in Cambodia

Three things I gained through the internship in Cambodia

  1. English skills
  2. I became to be able to communicate in English even the words and grammar were wrong.
    Also I began to be able to explain my intention through doing presentation and meetings in English and my writing speed was improved by writing emails and documents in English everyday.

  3. Experience working with the founder of NGO
  4. I could gain the experience thinking the project from the perspective of management through creating the business plan with the founder.
    I experienced not only social activities but also business activities as producing and selling products.
    Therefore I could work while experiencing the speed of the founder who was quick to make decisions.

  5. Confidence to work in developing countries
  6. Although my accounting knowledge was never better than people in the previous job, I was convinced that the expertise cultivated in Japan could be utilized in developing countries. Also, I felt Japanese people overwhelmingly the basic work skills.
    While having languages, culture and outsiders barriers, I was able to communicate, so I was convinced that I can build relationships with people even in foreign land.

Result of aiming to make a career change…

Through the experience of internship at Kamonohashi Project in Cambodia, now I got a job at Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory and was assigned in the department of international development advisory. In this department, I am developing governance of government of developing countries (making mechanism to eliminate fraud) and advisory on infrastructure of developing countries.
While accumulating experience here, I’d like to become a human resource who will get projects related to developing country development with my own power and manage the organization eventually.

Do “what I want to do”, go through happy life even after 10 years”

Do “what I want to do”, go through happy life even after 10 years”

When thinking about a career, I think that there is a tendency to think that what is visible on the extension line now (≒ that suits you) is all. It was the same as myself when I was thinking about changing jobs in the area close to the former job such as accounting. However, before thinking about “what suits you”, let’s think about your own future and hear your voice, “what you want to do” once.

Through the internship experience in Cambodia, I met a person who quitted University of Tokyo and started NGO, a person who quitted a big company or international organization and joined NGO, a person quitted a job and got starting a social contribution organization in Cambodia. I think some of them who do “what they want to do” have regret and they might be happy even if they choose “what suit them”.

But They, chasing “what they want to do”, affirmed their present self, walked forward and was living a life.

It was passed only a half of year since I returned to Japan though I could affirm that I was able to get a job “what I want to do” by the support of friends and family who forgave my decision to quit my job. If I were thinking about changing jobs with only the mind of “what suits myself”, I could not take this option.

I don’t know how my thoughts will change in the future, but I think that I will go through my life, that do “what I want to do”, go through happy life even after 10 years.

I am pleased if I could encourage you a little to make your career change in the future. I hope everyone will make better decisions about the future.

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