How to ask for a pay rise in Japan

By Robert Half on 3 October 2022

Not sure how to ask for a pay rise in Japan?

The right approach could get you a healthy jump in your next pay cheque, giving you another good reason to engage in salary negotiations during your next review.

Negotiation may be the first approach that comes to mind when considering how to ask for a raise, but persuasion is a softer approach that could come in handy with this aspect of your career.

Both techniques need to be executed with finesse in order to achieve your goal of a pay rise, so read on to find out how you can use them for your advantage.

Should I negotiate my potential salary?

Negotiation is used when your meeting is focused on the amount in question.

Putting figures to how much new business or revenue you brought the company will give your boss an idea of whether it’ll be wise to further invest in you.

But before you even begin the conversation, it’s best to benchmark against the industry on what you’re asking for with the Robert Half Japan Salary Guide.

When it comes to who brings up a dollar value or percentage first, let your boss make the first move. That could set the lower limit for you to negotiate up from.

If you are made to offer a number first, aim high within realistic confines with the goal of meeting your boss’ offer in the middle.

If what’s offered isn’t satisfactory or a raise isn’t an option at the present moment, there is still sense in being flexible about what else you can negotiate for.

Regard this as your Plan B and make a list of items which could be feasibly negotiated for, such as a title promotion, more vacation days or flexible working arrangements.

How do I prove my worth?

Persuasion is useful when a change in mindset or attitude is sought, and it involves a degree of influence that extends beyond what’s being said at the table.

Like everything else in life, it’s best to be prepared before the meeting.

Start by anticipating the objections your boss might come up with, and think of ways to address those pesky ‘buts’ positively.

Take note of your body language – a relaxed but upright body posture indicates confidence and sincerity, encouraging the other party to let down his or her guard, and helps keep the discussion open and flowing smoothly.

Timing is integral in a successful persuasion, such as when you choose to sit your superior down for "The Talk." Besides trying to gauge whether your boss is having a good day, take into consideration how your company has been faring.

How to ask for a pay rise

Asking for a raise when stock prices have been dipping and people being made redundant will not reflect well on you.

Raising the subject of an increment after something positive has happened, such as a recent glowing performance review or just after winning an award or exceeding sales targets, will dramatically increase your chances of success.

There is no one text-book method to how to ask for a raise and how your boss will react when approached, so be situationally-aware and it’ll be easy to figure out which technique works best.

It is not a battle or argument; aim to see eye to eye with your superior in order to produce the best outcome for yourself, your career and the job you love.

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