カテゴリーのアイコン Finding Jobs in Japan
A Guide to Changing Jobs in Japan
Dec 01, 2023
5 min read
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Changing jobs in a foreign country can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to navigating the unique job market and regulations of Japan. This article aims to provide a step-by-step guide to help foreigners looking to change jobs in Japan. Whether you're seeking a blue-collar position or a more specialized role, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and insights needed for a successful job change in Japan.

Visa Procedures Required When Changing Jobs

The most important thing to remember when considering a job change in Japan is the Visa procedures involved. These may change depending on the nature of your visa and the job change.

  • You may change jobs freely during your permitted period of stay in Japan.
  • If the type of job changes (ex. IT Engineer to Teacher), you must apply for a change of residency status.
  • If the type of job does not change, you must still inform the immigration to the Ministry of Japan, 14 days within the change.
  • Finally, if your visa is close to being expired, you can apply to extend your Visa from up to 3 months before the expiry.

(via Yokoyama Legal Service Office)

Carefully check the guidelines set for your visa type. Failing to do so may result in your visa being revoked!

In many cases, the prospective employer will handle the visa process on your behalf, but it is best to speak with their HR team. Usually, all work visas require sponsorship. If necessary, consult with an immigration lawyer or a Japan-based employment agency to ensure compliance with legal procedures.

Preparation and Searching For a Job

A job change is not an easy process, and will typically take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.

When beginning your search, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the Japanese job market. Research and familiarize yourself with the industry you're interested in to gauge job availability, demand, and required qualifications. Additionally, consider the cultural and linguistic requirements associated with the specific job sector in Japan.

Resume and Cover Letter Preparation

Your resume and cover letter play a crucial role in securing a job in Japan. Tailor your resume to highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications for the desired job. Ensure your cover letter is concise, professional, and showcases how you fit the position. You can find our guide on filling a Japanese resume out here.

Job Search Platforms

Utilize various job search platforms to find openings suitable for you. Online platforms such as Guidable Jobs, GaijinPot, and LinkedIn are popular resources for job seekers in Japan. Submit your resumé and cover letter through the platform's application process, while making sure that they are error-free and well-structured.


In Japan, networking is a powerful tool for job search success. Attend industry-specific events, professional meetups, and seminars to expand your professional circle. Engage in conversations, exchange business cards, and build relationships with people can potentially lead to job opportunities and referrals.

Language Proficiency

Proficiency in the Japanese language is highly desirable for most job positions in Japan. Enhance your language skills through formal language courses, self-study, or language exchange programs. While it may depend on the type of work, it is widely said that a Japanese level of N3 or higher is required for most jobs. A commitment to learning Japanese will greatly increase your chances of securing your desired job.

Job Interviews

Prepare thoroughly for job interviews, as they are critical to the job change process. Research the company, review common interview questions, and practice your responses. Familiarize yourself with Japanese business etiquette dress professionally and arrive early for interviews.

After Obtaining the Job

Once you have successfully found and secured a new job, you may be eager to celebrate. However, there are still a few more important steps to take care of for your smooth transition.

Contract Negotiations

If you are offered a job, carefully review the terms and conditions of the employment contract. Seek clarification on any unclear aspects and negotiate if necessary. Pay close attention to details such as salary, working hours, health insurance, and other benefits.

While it is not common to negotiate in Japan, it is not impossible. When negotiating, understand that the culture generally values loyalty to one’s employer and work.

Resignation Process

Before leaving your current job, follow the proper resignation process. Give adequate notice as per your employment contract (typically about 2 weeks) and maintain a professional attitude during your notice period. Hand in any necessary documents and tie up loose ends to leave on good terms with your current employer.

Notify the Immigration Bureau

As mentioned above, be sure to notify the Immigration bureau and handle any procedures that may be required for your job change. Try to be swift transitioning to your new job, as gaps in your work may raise questions for the government. If you are unemployed for over three months, the Immigration bureau may revoke your residency status.

Settling into the New Job

Adjusting to your new workplace and Japanese work culture may take time. Be open-minded, respectful, and eager to learn. Take advantage of orientation programs and training opportunities provided by your new employer. Build strong relationships with colleagues and seek opportunities for professional growth.

Tips for a Successful Job Change in Japan

Changing jobs in Japan requires careful planning, preparation, and understanding of the unique job market. With this step-by-step guide, you now have the necessary tools to begin your job change journey in Japan confidently. Remember, persistence and a positive attitude will greatly contribute to your success. Best of luck in your endeavors!


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