Tokyo Dev

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Considering move from one large tech company to another


#1

TL;DR: See bolded questions at the bottom.

I currently work for a large US-based tech company in Japan.

When I relocated to Japan from the US, I took a paycut of about $15k/year.
What they didn’t tell me is that my paycut extended much further than this. The stock I got in the US runs out this year and next year, I am getting about $25k less in stock than I was expecting (after adjusting for stock price differences between when it was granted and when it vested).

This was a huge shock to me, as I didn’t find out about this second paycut (that is nearly double what the first one was) until about a year and a half after I moved. I was not planning to move to another company, but figured I might try to get in at Google Japan since from what I can tell, they pay quite a lot (and I really like the company and their products, of course). Although this difference might not be so much in Japan.

By the time I am planning to interview, I will have had 2 years experience at my current company as a QAE having written test automation and designed and implemented an automation deployment system. And 2 years experience as an SDE (entry level). I don’t have a CS degree, but I started to regularly take a lot of MOOCs last year (currently on ML, love it). I also have JLPT N1. After the second pay cut, I will make about 9mil yen/year. Very good, except that I moved here under the impression it would be 11.5 mil/year.

Even though Google may pay roughly 9mil for someone in my position, is the process of moving from one large company to another with that experience more likely to result in a salary increase?
Also, I may be promoted by the end of the year, and I don’t think I would try to interview anywhere within 6 months of being promoted. Even if I was promoted a year from now, would be best to wait on promotion rather than interview elsewhere?


#2

Sorry, no experience with big companies. I’m guessing while the amounts of the compensation schemes are different than other places, the same negotiating tactics apply as anywhere else. Here are two good articles on salary negotiation generally:

One thing that did stick out to me, you mentioned you’ve been relocated here, but don’t have a CS degree. Does this mean you’re on the intra-company transfer visa? If so, you may have issues changing jobs due to visa issues.


#3

No worries!

Oh! I read the one by Patrick that I saw posted somewhere else here. I’m actually having coffee with him on Wednesday. Thanks for the article! I will read the second one you suggested!

Ah, yeah, my visa is odd. Basically, the company that specializes in visas told us to just add, “requires Japanese translation ability”, because my major was in Japanese linguistics (even though that isn’t written anywhere on my actual diploma). And that was good enough (also have N1). I technically do have an engineering visa, but it is a good for a variety of jobs. Basically, it’s a “slash” visa. Engineering/humanities/international whatever. It’s also good for 5 years and I could always switch to a marriage visa if need be.


#4

The whole visa unification thing that happened a couple years back seems like it wasn’t so well thought out. I’ve finally done a bit of digging into it, and based on my understanding, you’re allowed to do any job related to any of the categories while on it. However, when going to renew the visa, you’re only allowed to renew it for a job related to the category you originally had it for (humanities). So perhaps it isn’t as big a deal as I though it was, as you should theoretically be able to get hired as a developer by another big company, and only need to deal with it when you’re renewing it.


#5

Oh, nice. I didn’t know it got restructured. The biggest restructure I am looking forward to is the permanent residence waiting period that may or may not happen(?). I saw some news about it a few months ago. Based on a point system, “highly skilled foreigners” can get PR after 1 year of living in Japan. I filled out the chart and I qualify, but it sounds like it is still being worked out, as I have not seen any news on it since it has been announced.
If that does work out before 2021, I can get PR before I would even have to renew, which would be nice (especially since it would drive down my mortgage interest).