Apr. 2015

Working in a Way that Improves Both Work and Private Living Working in a Way that Improves Both Work and Private Living Working in a Way that Improves Both Work and Private Living

Yoshioka Naho/MAMA PRO Leader/Copywriter

Improving our private lives is a key to expanding our free thinking.

Yoshioka Naho

MAMA PRO Leader/Copywriter

Born in Tokyo in 1976, Yoshioka Naho graduated from the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Letters at Gakushuin University. After working at a travel agency, advertising agency, and other places, she joined Nippon Design Center in 2003, and became the MAMA PRO leader in 2013. In addition to regular copywriting, she also has expanded the range of her work into coordinating, facilitating, planning, and other areas. She is the mother of two daughters.

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Hello, I am Yoshioka Naho. I am now a copywriter and doing exactly what I loved doing when I was a child. I read around 500 books every year, on all kinds of topics from novels to business books. Every day I spend every free moment turning the pages of a book, whether on the train, in an elevator, during lunch, or in the bath. I want to read simply because that is what I love doing. Reading allows people to acquire knowledge and refine their sensibility at their own pace, and this also suits me well. In fact, my home contains no newspapers, radio, or television. I have two daughters, and they also love to read and to draw pictures.

MAMA PRO was launched in 2013 by myself and two of my colleagues who were also raising children at the time. It is true that having children puts physical limitations on a mother’s working hours, however that does not mean that she suddenly loses her abilities. Rather, I felt that having children opened up new perspectives and ideas, and expanded the possibilities for new work through the friendships that are formed by involvement with the community and schools. Instead of working unnecessary overtime, we work in a highly concentrated manner, so that we can run through at high speed and produce the creative results that only we can make. Others who share this idea have come together in MAMA PRO. There may be some persons who ask, “But can you really arrive at high-quality expressions without spending time on them?” However by improving our private lives, we have expanded our free thinking, and as a result we have also increased the percentage of competitions that we win. Our minds and bodies are healthy, and we are able to work in a way that is sustainable. We concentrate on work during working hours, and also enjoy housework, child-raising, English conversation classes, hula dancing, travelling, and being host families. The positive cycle that results from this is something that we can feel in our everyday lives. I wholeheartedly recommend this sort of lifestyle not only to persons who are raising children, but in fact to everybody.

Before, I worked steadily and consistently at copywriting. However since MAMA PRO was launched, my work has expanded broadly into other areas. For example, based on whatever the issue is at that time, I organize the MAMA PRO Meeting where mothers from different companies come together to discuss and form plans. My work now includes organizing the results of these discussions and presenting them to companies, as well as launching new projects. Although I love writing, through these experiences I have come to think that work such as coordinating with people, facilitating a venue, and planning are also good jobs for me. I also understand how it is better to make use of the skills of a variety of persons rather than completing a job on my own. I often hear that this is the time of co-creativity and co-working; it is possible to improve and enlarge creative results by going beyond the resources located within a 50 meter radius and utilizing perspectives from other industries and ideas from different cultural spheres. Whether developing products together with MottoBene, creating home tools that incorporate the female perspective with Tokyo Tatemono, or working on the Kids Global Vision with Next Age Homestage Japan, thinking and sharing with outside brains and successfully launching the project has given me much confidence.

Just as books have taught me so much, I think that I would one day like to communicate something to somebody – that there is something I would like to give to the world, and this is why I am writing a book. I will describe what it is about another time, but it is based on a variety of things I have learned from work and my private live. The senior coworker who taught me about copywriting at the advertising agency where I used to work is now a successful novelist, and is someone who I have always looked up to. The manuscripts which that person carefully corrected in red ink are something I prize very much. Although we have not seen each other for a long time, I hope that we will meet again someday. I will continue to make writing a cornerstone of my life, but my goal is to work freely and dynamically without being limited to the position of copywriter. I want to be my own job description.

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