I was hired at company X on a project for year on contractual basis. At the end of the 12th month, I had a performance review which was great and helpful.

After that they wanted me for another year but we could not agree on conditions of a new contract so I left (unemployed.)

Meanwhile, I was interviewing at "company Y", the company at which I am very very well aware of the salaries since my past colleagues have been there. Company Y offered me "$X" which is lower than what they usually pay to people of my skill set and experience.

Is it a good argument to let them know that "I am well aware of the general salary at your company, so can you kindly raise it"?

If so, what is the reasonable way to argue this? If not,is there any better way to frame it?

  • this post is rather hard to read (wall of text). Would you mind editing it into a better shape?
    – gnat
    Feb 22, 2017 at 5:56
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    If they want to pay you less because you're out of a job and desperatly need one. That's basically them shooting themselves in the foot. Even if you were to get hired. There would be a higher chance for you to simply leave after the trial period. You'd get your salary and have had more time to find a different job.
    – Migz
    Feb 22, 2017 at 8:19
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    Salary isn't really about fairness or about what "colleagues of similar skill and experience" typically earn. It's about what you can leverage in a negotiation and how well you can sell yourself.
    – bhnn
    Feb 22, 2017 at 12:42
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    How do you expertise and experience compare to the expectations for the position? Are they flexing to accommodate you? Or are you overqualified, so they're hedging on you leaving as soon as you find something better? Some more context would be helpful.
    – sleddog
    Feb 22, 2017 at 13:56
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    I think you would lose a leverage by exposing you have this information. If you are confident of their salary levels and know there's room for negotiation, I would rather tell them that you fell that's a bit low offer for your level & expertise and you think you would get better offer elsewhere. If you bluntly tell them you know they pay more and expose your cards, they can pull any argument against you of not being there yet for more $. They have the upper hand on knowing all the salary details of their workforce despite you having this nugget of information.
    – JarkkoL
    Feb 22, 2017 at 18:35

3 Answers 3


Is it a good argument to let them know that "I am very well aware of salary at your company so kindly raise it"? if so, what is the reasonable way to argument this?

It doesn't matter what they usually pay, only what they will pay for you.

If you think what they are offering isn't enough, you would be better served to say "I want $Z" and work from there. Be prepared to walk away if they decide you aren't worth that much.

  • 3
    Only you can decide how much you think you're worth. Most companies will try to stay low. I've had a brother who went from €2500 to €3700 per month simply by asking more at a different company and not telling his previous salary. If the company really wants you, they will raise their offer if you wont take it.
    – Migz
    Feb 22, 2017 at 8:24
  • And if they don't want you enough to pay more after a polite "I was really looking for $XXX,XXX", it's your choice whether to settle for what they are offering or continue interviewing elsewhere... but those really are the two choices.
    – keshlam
    Feb 22, 2017 at 14:08

Every company will low ball you. They rely on the fact that most of the time people say "Oh well I need the work so actually x less per year isn't a big deal...".

Don't tell them you know what they're paying. Look at other positions in the area and see what they're offering for the same job and use these.

"Well I have checked a number of different jobs which I can show you if you'd like, but based on the average salary from these similar positions I would be expecting an offer around x".

If this is lower than what your friends are getting, then you'll have to take it on the chin. You can't use your knowledge to get a better offer in this situation. If the average is about right, then you're onto a winner.


It's usually wise strategy because you basically provoke them into finding out reasons why they've valuated your skills below their average.

They will always find a reason why someone who already works (for X years) is more valuable and deserves better pay. Instead of comparing, concentrate on your value added and alternatives you have.

A company has no reason to worry on how unhappy you are with the salary until you'll accept it anyway. Convincing them, you won't accept any offer under X because you can easily get that somewhere else is a good argument for them to reconsider giving you better deal. Unless it's too much for them to be profitable. Or they won't believe you and think you'll take anything whatsoever.

Taking what you doesn't like, you risk only being unhappy. Playing high, you risk getting nothing (and sitting 3 months idle, getting much better job afterwards).

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