Can I negotiate salary after Job offer in Japan?

Working in Japan

"Can I negotiate salary after the Job offer in Japan?"

This is more of a concern to many Non-Japanese people.

In conclusion, it is OK depending on the situation, but the compensation package initially presented is rarely improved.

Situation that make sense to negotiate

Situation that make sense to negotiate is as followings:

  • In case of Starting-up company
  • The salary has been reduced considerably from the your curret job

In case of Starting-up company, the salary table for all employees has not been finalized yet, and due to the nature of the business, there is room for improvement by appealing your success.

In case that the offered salary has been reduced considerably from the previous job, it is still negotiable.

In Japan, when determining compensation, it is compared to the salary of the previous job rather than to the market.

Many understood lower salary than previous job is not a good offer.

Situation that does not make sense to negotiate

  • Mid-sized or large-sized Japanese company
  • The salary offered is not less than the salary of the previous job
  • Not less than around 10% reduction in salary you requested

In cases like the one above, to be honest, most negotiations won't give you good results.

For Japanese Mid-sized Company and above, the salary of the employee is decided based on your company's salary table. The company is very cautious about breaking the rules of the salary table.

Furthermore, before you receive a job offer letter, the company is likely to have approved the offer from the HR manager or executives. Your job offer has gone through a long approval process and cannot be easily changed.

As I mentioned earlier, it is customary to make sure that your compensation level in Japan does not reduce below your previous job's salary, rather than adapting to the market. Therefore, no matter how much you have market value, if it is almost the same as the compensation of your previous job, the company will judge that there is no problem.

How can I get reasonable job offer ?

Firstly, be sure to present a salary level higher than you want in advance. Obviously, the company rarely proposes more than the desired salary. Due to the customs of Japanese companies, it is rare to change from the once proposed job officer, so it is important to communicate your request in advance.

Secondly, if you still don't get the salary level you want, suggest other fringe improvements. For example, suggest sign-on bonuses when you join the company, stock options, additional allowance and more. Depending on the situation, the company may take care of them.

Job offer negotiations are a tough job. Let's face after preparing in advance and making measures!

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