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Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 10:55
Hi there,

I have a little dilemma right now and I hope you guys can help me out with this.

I've studied and worked in Japan for 2 years under a student visa.
It has always been a dream to be able to work full-time in Japan I finally just got my work visa (Engineer / Humanities / International Services) approved by the Japan Immigration Bureau.

I'm planning to head to Japan by February 2020 and only then will I sign the official contract, and immediately after that, my job commences. Hence, nothing is official for now, or so I think. I'm not too sure about the procedures.

However, I've managed to come across another job offer which has a better pay and in a better and familiar location (Osaka - where I was working and studying previously). I know that I'm able to switch jobs under the same visa, provided that the new job falls under the same visa category, but is it possible to do it even before signing the contract?

I don't want to go through the hassle of moving multiple times, and with all the issues with rent and all. So, could you guys give me an opinion on what I should do?

Can I just go ahead and apply with the new company and tell the company who sponsored my visa that I don't wish to work with them?
by Twiggy (guest)  

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 12:31
If you really want to go to the second one and get an offer, what you should do is to call up the company who offered you the job first and helped you get the visa, tell them you are not going to work for them, ask them to (or they are obligated to) inform immigration that you are not going to work for them so that that visa gets nullified, then ask the second one to start the whole visa procedure from zero.

You can change employers once you are in Japan and after a while you want to go work for another company for the same type of work. But as far as I know, initially the visa is tied to that particular employer who sponsored you.

You made a premature decision, or things came at an unfortunate timing...

I hope you would not just fly over on the current visa and upon arrival tell the first company you are not going to work for them; they would inform immigration and could tell them that you entered Japan with an fraudulent intention(legal issue), and also that would give bad reputation to other non-Japanese who are coming to work in Japan, and the first company would need to find a replacement at a short notice (ethical issue). They took care of the visa application procedure without you signing, you should reciprocate on that trust.
by ........ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 12:37
Understood. Yeah, flying over to Japan and telling the first company that I don't want to work for them isn't an ethical thing to do and it would jeopardize the reputation of all non-Japanese.

My sincere apologies for my post. I was in quite a dilemma but you pretty cleared it out for me.

So just to confirm, say I work with the first company for a few months and then I finally decide to quit and move on to a different company, would that be possible? Would my visa still be valid?

Again, I really appreciate your help in this matter.
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 12:43
Often if a company is supporting your visa there maybe a requirement you have to work for a period of time for the company. The company has put effort in getting you in to Japan to work for them.

You way of handling and what you want is not counting at this moment.

You need to approach this well with the first company. Because the first company can inform immigration you are not complying with the requirements.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 12:45
Thatfs not quite ethical either if you know you want to change in a few months, but apart from that, youfd need to see what the contract says. Do you know for what term the contract will be? One year? Three years? It might say you need to give a two- or three-month notice to quit, or that you are in trial period during the initial six months, or something like that...
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 12:45
Understood. Thank you so much.
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 12:54
Well, the contract states 1 year with an initial 6 months probation. And my visa lasts for 1 year too. It also states that I have to give 1 month notice if I wish to quit.
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 13:07
Then if I were you Ifd stay for at least six months. Ifd probably work there one year, and see what other opportunities there might be toward the end of the year, when(possibly) renewal of the contract comes into view.
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 13:28
Understood. So when time for visa renewal comes, do I renew with the current company or do I start applying with the new company?
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 13:50
When you apply to extend your period of stay, on the application form you write the information of your employer at the time of the application.

Whenever you change employers, you must notify immigration. In fact you must notify whenever an employment contract is terminated or a new contract is made, even if they are with the same employer.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 17:22
Noted. Thank you so much.
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 17:41
you know, companies are also not very ethical a lot of times....
I would say, if the salary difference is considerable (more than 1 million/year) and you already have secured the job offer from the second company, and the second company is at least equally stable and reputable, then cancel your current process, explain the situation to the second company, and start over with visa procedures. remember you come first. corporations will always find a replacement; most likely you're not Einstein (i don't mean that as an offense though). I recommend you to set your foot in japan with the highest salary possible because once you're in, salary increases are rare (unless you work for one of those few companies here that value performance over seniority).

but, if you end up arriving to japan on the visa provided by the first company, then definitely stay with them for a while. moving to a new company after 3 months, 6 months, a 1 year, or whatever, is always a very personal decision and not necessarily wrong or unethical. Remember companies also fire employees, even the most loyal ones, when they need to. Of course, changing companies after a very short period (less than a year) will upset a lot of your coworkers and boss, but there a few and precise moments in your career life when moves like this are justified and can be worthy. This is usually recommended in your mid-career years, when you are now able to leverage your hard-earned experience and negotiate a significant step up with other companies. Be wise about it.
by pepe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/18 18:42
Wow, thanks a lot pepe. I appreciate the rational and balanced point of view. I was thinking the exact same way with regards to how unethical some Japanese companies can be. I mean I was staying in Japan for 2 years, I do understand how non-Japanese can ruin the reputation of other non-Japanese by their bad conduct and all but Ifve also heard of cases where expats give their all to the companies, I mean really sacrifice their time and effort only to be treated as a mere statistic in the end of the day and to be easily replaceable.

Of course, not all Japanese companies are like that. But like you said, itfs about how i make decisions.

Well, Ifm gonna give this company a shot for a few months, if it doesnft work out, then Ifll apply with the other company.

I know this is a stupid question but should I apply while Ifm working? Or quit first then apply?
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/19 10:48
basically, it's better to apply to other jobs while you're still employed. you will always be more attractive to other prospects while being active and you'll be in a better position to negotiate benefits. use your private time for job hunting without neglecting your duties towards your current company. use paid holidays if necessary - you may not want to do so, but betterment only comes through sacrifice and the delay of gratification.

not having a job can make other employers think of you as someone unstable, easily defeated, or with no sense of responsibility. it's certainly not impossible to find a job under these conditions, but it may require a good and consistent explanation.

by pepe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/19 11:02
@pepe

What do you know about the current situation, currently OP has not informed the difference in pay.
Payment is different by company, that is why people look for the best. I do not think there is a situation here which is incorrect. Unless more information is provided.

Second you inform OP to cancel the visa for the first company which is already processed, and the second company has not started such a process yet. The risk that the second company may not proceed is still present.

Starting the application may take another 3 months

It would not be be ethical to turn a company the back like this just because of payment. OP should have considered and search well be fore accepting. Because the first company already put effort and time.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/19 11:32
@pepe
@justmyday

Hey guys, chill. All the comments here have been useful so far. And I really appreciate all the help Ifve received so far

As the comparison between the first and second companies, pay wise would be a difference of about 50,000 JPY per month but I feel like the location is more of a factor to me.

First company - Tokyo.

Second company - Osaka.

Although both are cities, Ifm pretty much more used to the life in Osaka and I feel like Tokyo will be a bit too busy and expensive for me.

Pepe, thank you so much for the wise words. I really do find them useful, encouraging and I know what you mean. Please do let me know if you have anything else to share.

And thanks guys for all the advice. I really do appreciate it. Itfs helping me through this little dilemma Ifm facing.
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/19 16:08
@justmyday

I don't think I ever said I had all the information. All I did was telling OP some of the things he might want to consider before making a decision. There's no right or wrong answer and it depends on each situation and individual.

Now, I won't discuss about what is ethical or not. Everybody have their own values and perceptions of it. You have yours and it works for you, and that's ok.

OP should have considered and search well be fore accepting. Because the first company already put effort and time.

I don't think life works like this - but this is just my opinion and you're free to think differently. I've seen companies withdraw offers at the last minute after candidates have dedicated time and effort and even rejected other prospects. Is that ethical? I guess if we follow your line of thought we would say no (unless you side with the organization because it's larger than an individual and you think their actions are more justifiable). And I agree that it might feel like it's not fair, but it happens. That's life. And it can also happen the other way around if circumstances demand it. Yes, he might be blacklisted by the company, but this is the price the candidate would be willing to pay. After all, who can plan exactly the moment when a new and better job proposal will come? you? I suggest that you keep your morality to yourself. No need to spread it around others.
by pepe (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Switch jobs before signing contract? 2019/12/19 16:18
@pepe

Wow, that makes a lot of sense actually. I totally understand where @justmyday was coming from and I donft disagree with what @justmyday posted but what you said had some wisdom in it.
by Twiggy (guest) rate this post as useful

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