Dear Lifehacker, I have applied for a position internally with the company I already work for. The application process requests you to supply an "asking salary". My application was successful after several rounds of interviews but I was not given any information around salary, so I assumed my asking salary had been accepted. I have since discovered that the company has gone with a much lower salary than expected (25 per cent difference).
What can I do here? If I have been accepted for a position where I have supplied an asking salary and this salary amount was not challenged before agreeing to hire me, are they obligated to take me on at the asking salary? Thanks, Worried Worker
This all depends on whether you already signed the agreement or not. Your salary should have been clearly outlined in your new employment contract. If you signed this without question, you only have yourself to blame.
The whole point of these contracts is that they give both sides an opportunity to negotiate before a final agreement is made. In other words, you need to arrange a favourable outcome before you sign the contract. As it stands, your employer never explicitly promised you a specific pay rise so they haven't broken any agreements. The onus is on you to push for a better deal.
With that said, your asking salary definitely should have been addressed during negotiations, especially if your employer had no intention of meeting it. This is just poor form and detrimental to building a lasting professional relationship.
The take home lesson here is that you should never assume something is guaranteed without double-checking — especially when money is on the line.
If you haven't signed anything yet, you are absolutely within your rights to negotiate a better salary. This is standard practice and no decent business will begrudge you for making the attempt. You can find some useful salary negotiation tips here, here and here. Good luck!
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