The well-being of foreign early career academics (FECAs) has been the subject of research attention in relation to present demanding academic milieux in general and to those unfamiliar workplace settings in particular. A traditional variable-oriented approach that focuses on mean scores can easily gloss over the diverse nature of the group under study. Our study, conducted in Japan, took a person-oriented approach and identified FECAs’ distinct well-being profiles and the associations of their personal attributes with the profiles. Most (64%) were classified as having the highest stress scores and moderate scores for sense of belonging, control of workload and career development engagement. The second-largest profile (29%) included FECAs characterised by the lowest stress score and a strong sense of belonging, control of workload and career development engagement. Those in the smallest profile (8%), who had moderate levels of workload control and stress, lacked a sufficient sense of belonging and career development engagement. Among FECAs’ personal attributes, contract type was significantly associated with their distribution across the three well-being profiles, whereas no attributes of FECAs’ unique nature significantly pertained to their distribution. Our results suggested that support for well-being may be important regardless of background. Our investigation, using multifaceted well-being subscales over a composite scale, offers analytical, strategic support for academics in globalised higher education.