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I'm an employee at a fortune 500 IT consulting company, and my current project is coming to an end. Naturally, I'm applying to other projects within the company before the current project ends and I'm unemployed.

The other day I applied to a project, but the person whose job is to email my resume to the different project tells me that the salary expectations for this new project is lower than my actual salary.

I emailed him that I don't mind a salary cut since it's either that or be unemployed. Unfortunately, he says the company doesn't allow pay reductions to switch to other projects. I emailed him that I want to work, and that in a month I'll be unemployed so that policy, at least for me, doesn't make sense. He didn't respond.

Another option I had was emailing the region's VP since he's a nice guy, and asking him if an exception can be made considering my situation. But I don't know what to write in the email.

What other suggestions do you guys have?

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    Are you a contractor or a full time Employee - it sounds like you are a contractor, but not sure. Commented Jul 8 at 21:14
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    I'm an employee.
    – Jim Scott
    Commented Jul 9 at 2:11
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    @JimScott - So what’s your question? Your company as a policy, not to offer a job to current employees, that would result in a reduction in pay. There probably is a good reason for this, for instance, to prevent those employees suggesting they deserve their old rate in their new function. This is a problem only you can solve by getting someone at the company to ignore that hiring policy or applying to the job after you’re unemployed. They could also just be politely not selecting you for the job.
    – Donald
    Commented Jul 9 at 5:19
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    Why will you be unemployed if you work for the consultancy? Will they fire you if you don't have a new assignment? Commented Jul 9 at 9:02
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    I think a country tag would be helpful. If you are really an employee (and not a contractor) it would be illegal in many countries \ to fire you just because your project is done. It would also help if you could quote the relevant parts of your contract or corporate policy.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jul 9 at 9:07

2 Answers 2

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First thing, talk to your current manager (if you have not done that already). For most of the cases related to internal transfer, and more so when the transfer is not initiated by the employee (i.e., willingly moving out of a running project to join another one) - there are exceptions made to accomodate and retain the talent. It is much easier to reassign an existing employee to a different role rather than finding a new (external candidate) one and train them for the job.

Talk to your manager, and with their suggestion, write/talk to the VP as needed. When you are communicating keep below points mentioned:

  • You are transitioning as the current role in the current project is coming to an end.
  • For other internal opportunities, the talent management team (or the equivalent in your organization) is facing a policy issue related to your current pay scale.
  • Ask for advice on how to navigate the situation and find a new role in the organization.
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Your situation isn't unusual at least in US companies that are government contractors. If they can't charge for your hours, they will not keep you around long. Sometimes you can find another contract or even an internal project.

The policy about cutting your pay is also standard. Many people will take a 10% or 20% cut instead of a 100% cut. Of course they will be anxious to find a project at 100% of their old pay. That means they will jump to another contract or company at the first opportunity.

You may find that once you get to the final weeks management can make exceptions. This can be done by putting you on a project but then having to pay you more than they budgeted. They sometimes have internal projects. These can be research and development work that doesn't have a customer, but will hopefully result in future sales/contracts. I have seen situations where you won't even know about the internal projects until you have only a few weeks left.

Your manager should know about all your options. That is one of the jobs of supervisors. They want to keep their team growing not shrinking, so knowing what to do at the end of coverage is an important function they should know about. This includes knowing who needs to approve what, and how to ask for it.

Sometimes there is a HR position related to your situation. Their job is to keep valuable employees employed.

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