5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding on a Job Change in Japan

We all know what it’s like to do the same things over and over at work every day. If you have reached this point, it can be hard to mentally prepare for the next day. Perhaps, it’s about time to consider a change.

Also Read: Here’s What Expats Need to Know About Finding Work in Japan

But will changing jobs in a foreign country such as Japan, be the best solution after all? In this guide, we list down five questions you should ask yourself before jumping ship – if there are plenty of prospects, even, to even consider this move.

Ask Yourself These 5 Questions Before Considering a Job Change in Japan

5 Things To Ask Yourself Before Deciding on a Job Change in Japan

For many mid-career professionals, job hunting can be a bit challenging. It can also be a bit of a risk to start looking for a new job. This list is designed to help organize your thoughts about changing jobs, especially if you’ve only recently moved to Japan.

1. Am I looking for something new to do, or just a different environment but the same routine?

If the reason for your job change is due to dissatisfaction with the industry you work in, then it’s important to know why and how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. There are many factors that go into deciding on the right path for you.

Although horizontal job moves can be easier than vertical ones, they can be harder to do if you’re not fluent in Japanese. If you’re planning on getting into IT, you might be disappointed.

Understanding your limitations and market value will help you get the job that you deserve. Be patient and don’t rush into any job that’s outside of your current track.

2. What’s the outlook of the job market?

During the pandemic, Japan’s job market seemed to recover one moment, then suddenly reverse course. This leaves us with the question: When is the best time to enter the job market?

Doing so much of the usual job hunting activities is not only harmless, it can also help you keep track of the things that are important to you in the first place.

3. What job-hunting strategies are available to me?

When it comes to finding a job in Japan, the best place to start is with a recruitment agency. Human resource departments of top companies are very familiar with the country’s labor market and can connect you with potential employers.

Top companies in Japan have deep relationships with recruitment agencies, and these can bring highly skilled individuals job opportunities on a “silver platter”.

Many people who work in the creative or artistic field do not find it beneficial to work with many recruitment firms in Japan. Instead, they rely on traditional networking and job boards to look for work.

These types of professionals tend to rely on the many job boards in Japan for their recruitment needs. These sites are usually well-suited to the needs of Japanese natives.

4. Is working in rural Japan a possibility for me?

If you’re not feeling good at work, it might be because you’re not getting along with the people in Tokyo anymore. There are plenty of ways to improve your work-life balance without giving up on your job. The good news is, Japan is one of those countries where you can find diverse options for work, whether you’re in the city or in smaller towns.

The question here is whether or not you’re flexible enough to take on new challenges in moving to another place for work. Perhaps moving away is too big a decision, even, when all you need might be much-needed time off from work. This is totally understandable, too. After all,  we’ve been holed up long enough because of this pandemic, also, no work and no play makes any of us burnt out or sick in the head – one way or another.

Aside from being able to work in remote regions, Japanese engineers and teachers often need to work in areas that are shrinking communities to keep them relevant in the ongoing migration to urban areas.

5. Do  I have options for work abroad?

Many of us find it hard to imagine leaving Japan. If you are not happy with your current job, then it may be time to consider moving to an overseas country. Again, consider the timing and the experience of moving to another country.

If you’re struggling right now, what makes you think that it won’t be the same when you leave for other countries? Are you financially and mentally prepared for this though? Remember, if you’re down in the dumps, maybe you won’t feel as confident or sure about your decision once you’re feeling more grounded or at least refreshed, right? Think about it.

It’s not impossible to come back to Japan someday. Many people who have been away for a long time tend to enjoy coming back home.


Sometimes a strong reality check is all that’s needed for you to sort things out, if not make the best decision with the circumstances you’re dealt with. There’s no such thing as ‘forever’ in any job or in any field, for that matter. That said, you need to be sensible and consider the things beyond what you feel at the moment, such as your career prospects and goals in the future.

A good balance of what you expect a few years from now versus what’s right in front of you, oftentimes, should help you reframe your purpose and weigh in your options intelligently. Hopefully, through the help of this guide, you can decide what’s best for yourself right now, and to your future self, who might be waiting on the other side where the grass is greener, or perhaps in the same place, where you’re growing as freely and as quickly as the grass beneath you.

Think about it. Decisions like this need not be rushed, especially right now, when the last thing in most people’s minds is leaving their jobs. Thus, you better have some good reasons for deciding to take on this risk. Otherwise, surviving on a day-by-day basis on the job seem so bad as having no job to go to at all. You choose.

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