Offer received; advice whether I should take it?

Hi, I’m a web and mobile developer who made the shift from non-dev work to dev work some 6 or so years ago, giving up a non-dev position that paid ca. ¥7.5 million per year. I have about 5.5 years experience now at a small client-based studio where I was making roughly ¥5 million per year (with profit share, the most I made was ¥6 million, but ¥5 million was probably more the average). The majority of my experience has been with Rails and React. I have some experience with React Native but haven’t done much more than spin up a hobby project or two in the last several years.

I’ve just received an offer for a backend position at a medium-sized (200–300 people) company. The offer was for ¥7.3 million, no bonus, but an automatic 5% increase after the first six month.

Does this seem like a good offer, salary-wise? It’s a nice bump from my last position (although I felt I was underpaid there) but isn’t quite as much as I was making before transitioning to development. Ideally, it would be nice to get around ¥8 million, but the company does seem attractive from what I’ve seen so far (nice people, sane interviews, fully remote with good core hours, semi-well known company).

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!

¥7.3 million per year is the median compensation we found among developers with 4-6 years of experience. This was much higher than the national average, which would be closer to ¥5 million. So from that perspective, what they’re offering seems above market overall, and typical for the kind of person that uses TokyoDev.

If ¥8 million is your target though, you could just try negotiating, basically saying to them what you wrote here: you like the company (nice people, sane interviews, fully remote with good core hours, semi-well known company), but were really hoping to get ¥8 million. Worst case they say no, but you shouldn’t be in any worse position.

Thanks for the well-considered response, Paul. You’re right: From the data you’ve compiled ¥7.3 million does appear to be the median for TokyoDev developers with my level of experience.

Regarding negotiation, as I don’t have much experience with this, is it typically best to do so after receiving a formal written offer and not before? What I’ve seen online seems to indicate that’s the case. Has your experience borne that out?

I don’t personally have first hand experience with salary negotiation in Japan. Our article on the topic suggests doing it after you receive the formal offer though.

Thanks, Paul. Much appreciated!