Author: M.Kok

Is a quick job change still a stigma in Japan?

You got hired or found a job at a Japanese company, but now you think about quitting? Before you do, you want to make sure that the reasons are justified and that it is not just a caprice caused by <insert your inconvenience of choice>. But more than anything you want to make sure that you have planned your job change out properly and that you (and your future employer by association) benefit from it.

Change jobs to level up

a)Perhaps the technology and methods you work with are outdated, and your colleagues and management regrettably unable to notice. The only option for you is to change jobs for a more modern workplace.

b)You are a specialist that urges to do especial things, but your current managers won’t let you. Surely this would warrant a job change.

All of the things above might be true, but before you change you have to ask yourself will the next job be any different? Also, you need a comprehensive method to show that you, in fact, are capable of the things you think you are. And that it is not you that is the problem.

Change jobs for more money

This one is tricky. There are no downsides to getting paid more right? Before you change, check the contract for details and ambiguities. The places to direct the most attention to are usually over hours and the bonus payments. But be sure to understand all parts of the job offer and the contract before you give your leaving notice.

It is not that common to get offered much more money for a similar job with similar responsibilities. The usual mark-up is not more than ten percent of your previous wages. Unless of course, you get headhunted, but that is a different thing its entirety.

Change jobs for the sake of changing

Maybe you are tired of the people you work with, or one of your superiors is unreasonably demanding. Again, make sure it is not just you. Burn out is a real thing. More so if you live in one of the big Japanese cities that never sleep.

How do you fancy your chances of getting something better if you give ‘annoying work-mates’ and ‘needy boss’ as reasons for quitting?


To change jobs is not a bad thing. And what Churchill said about change and being perfect is not necessarily wrong. But needs to be put into the right context.

You need to know and understand your options and how your choices affect them.

For example, you want to work for a large traditional Japanese company some point in the future? One needs to be consistent for that, so no job changes.

Or you feel that your current job is holding you back, and you want to be part of a vibrant multi-national team that uses cutting edge technology and is up to the brim with maverick innovators. If you are sure you are one of them and can prove it, go for it change.

For everyone between, right timing and truthful self-evaluation is probably the thing to go for. Make sure you have gotten the most of the job you currently have and that you (really) have outgrown it so that you won’t find out that it might not quite be the case later (when you are already at your new job).

Leave with warm hugs and handshakes, or whatever the Japanese equivalent at your company is. Burning bridges is never a good thing.

It might be better to sometimes wait a little longer just so that everyone parts ways happy.

Is there still a stigma attached to changing jobs soon and often in Japan?

  • Yes, for sure.

Is there still a stigma attached to changing jobs in Japan?

  • Yes, sometimes.

Is it a good thing to change jobs?

  • Yes, depending on your circumstances.

It is not a taboo thing, but it is definitely one of these things you want to go on about with caution and care. Like often in my other articles, I recommend consulting a professional. For example here.

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