I have been working as a technical consultant (software/IT in Sweden) at company "Firm". My current assignment for the last 18 months has been at company "Client". I get along great with colleagues/supervisors at both companies.
Client pays a significantly higher salary to their employees compared to Firm. I am encouraged quite regularly by my colleagues at Client to apply for a job there. They are currently hiring like crazy and I've been told by their management that I am doing exemplary work. So for the sake of this question you may assume that if I do apply, the job is mine. It would be sad to leave Firm, but for a significant salary increase it would be worth it. Otherwise not.
My idea is to talk to the boss/supervisor at Client and basically ask a seemingly harmless question: "If I were to apply for a job here, what would my salary be?"
I am however worried that asking the question might be "political suicide" regarding my relations with either Firm or Client (or both).
I want to make sure that any outcome - whether I take the job or not - does not jeopardize my relations with either company. The best case scenario is that I get to find out my worth and no one feels cheated. The question is: how do I facilitate the best case scenario?
Other questions that I would like input on, or to be considered in answering the main question, is: What if I reject an offer from Client? What if word gets to my supervisor at Firm? Can I, or should I, be accused of being disloyal or unprofessional? Should I avoid asking the question? Or am I worried about something silly?