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Average Salary for an experienced javascript software engineer in Tokyo


#1

Ohayo,

Am looking to switch to Fast Retailing (UNIQLO) Tokyo as a React/Node.js developer from India. I have around 5years of experience.

I was asked for my expected salary. Am planning to give 7.5million yen.

Questions:

Is 7.5million yen too much to ask? How far can I stretch it to?

How’s the office politics in Japan? Long work hours? Are they friendly to expats?

Are Japan IT companies open to negotiation interms of salary?

From the list below, what all things should I be careful about sharing with them. I need to understand from a Japanese perspective as I have an Indian perspective.

Also, these are the things that they wanted me to submit apart from the normal stuff-

●Previous annual salary and its details( Bonus, overwork payment and other allowances)
●Desired annual salary(Minimum requirement if any)
●Detailed breakdowns of benefits not included in the previous annual salary(transportation fee, housing support or lunch support, so on)
●Desired joining date
●Other job offers if any and priorities among them(much helpful if you kindly let us know the reason of the priorities)
●Name on the family register(if different from that written on CV) and business name if desired
※It is necessary for preparing employment notification.
※We can accept business name only if it can be confirmed in the public record such as certificate of residence.

Arigato gozaimasu


#2

Developer salaries are all over the place. Companies in Japan didn’t traditionally value developers, and so they paid them as they paid any other “salaryman”. In Tokyo, that was about 50,000 + your age * 10,000.

That’s changing though, and I’d say a typical but not exceptional range for developers in your position is ¥5,000,000 to ¥8,000,000. Of course, ultimately your salary depends on how valuable the company perceives you to be, and could vary wildly from this.

Personally, I think it is unethical for companies to be asking for previous salary information. The only reason a company wants to know that is so they can lower the offer they’ll give you, which helps to reinforce income inequality.

Also, in cases like yours, where you’re presumably relocating, your previous salary isn’t really comparable anyways if you’re giving it in absolute terms.

How you approach this depends on how strong a candidate you think you are, and how much risk you’re willing to take.

Personally, I wouldn’t answer the salary information nor other questions in an initial application. Maybe that means they reject my application outright, but I’d rather take that risk than disclose it.

If you’re unwilling to take that risk, another approach might be to not give an absolute number, but rather a percentile. E.g., I was paid in the 95th percentile (top 5%) of developers in a comparable position.

That Fast Retailing is asking these questions implies they probably aren’t a great place to work (at least if you get in on the standard track). But I personally haven’t talked to anyone working their about the working conditions.

More generally, working conditions are all over the place. Maybe the average Japanese company has long working hours, but when I working for a startup here, I never worked overtime, and know developers in a similar position.

As far as negotiation goes, I can’t say for companies generally, but among startups it is common for them to expect negotiation. Not every company is, but I think it is always worth trying.