What is the meaning of Korean women's career-leaving experience? To answer this question, this study adopted a hermeneutic phenomenology approach. My intention was to search for the deeper meaning of Korean women's career-leaving experience from their perspective.
Ten Korean women who had left their careers due to their domestic roles in their families were selected and interviewed. Tentative themes were drawn from the analysis of the first interviews, and 12 themes under four thematic categories were confirmed after follow-up interviews: Theme Group 1: Being a Woman is a Handicap at Work. 1-1) Glass Ceiling? There was a glass partition (or shield) for women at work. 1-2) The workplace did not welcome my marriage or motherhood. Theme Group 2: Leaving Work Was to Become a Better Mother. 2-1) I needed to protect my pregnancy away from the stress of work. 2-2) It is my job to raise my child by myself; I feel first-hand responsibility and full commitment to my child. Theme Group 3: Work after Career Leaving Becomes Being a Full-time Housewife. 3-1) Being at home is difficult. 3-2) Housework and childrearing are much more difficult. 3-3) I feel a loss of myself. Subtheme 3-3-1) I do not have time for myself. Subtheme 3-3-2) I do not have my own money. Subtheme 3-3-3) I do not have my own individuality. Theme Group 4: I Am Rethinking Myself and My Career. 4-1) The previous work experience was a good experience. 4-2) Getting credentials is the way to women's careers. 4-3) Career leaving could be a chance for a career change. 4-4) I design my own career path. 4-5) I am waiting for my time to come. The themes were then discussed through a post-analysis literature review, and recommendations for policy and future research were made.