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Ask L2: The 'corporate machine' is at it again.

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

"I'm concerned if I don't apply (for a higher position), my current position is going to be dissolved.."




The corporate machine is playing 'profit over people' and I don't want to be on the losing end. Do I stay and play?

My real advice, and what I’m most confident in, is that you need to find another place to work that doesn’t base their hiring and promotion practices on actual fraud.


Disclaimer: Identities are kept confidential. The advice given here should be taken at your own risk. If you are having true mental or physical issues, please seek professional assistance.

The only way to get promoted at my company is to apply for a higher position. I'm being gently pushed to apply for a "promotion" that came about because someone moved positions.

The posted salary, I was told, is not "really approved" but they have to get moving on interviewing for this backfill.

Based on what people are making on my team and surrounding teams, this salary range is definitely not going to be approved so it feels like they want to hire someone to take on a lot of work and for not much more than I'm making now. I'm concerned if I don't apply, my current position is going to be dissolved. #CorporateMachine


Sounds to me like they have set you up for failure no matter how you slice it. How do they post a salary that isn’t approved? Not to mention, you’re so skeptical, it sounds like this might be something they do fairly frequently, so there is reason to believe that they would do something that bizarre and dishonest.

I’m sure there are lots of ways that you can navigate the current situation, but I can’t imagine any of them are good for your mental health or long-term career goals. My real advice, and what I’m most confident in, is that you need to find another place to work that doesn’t base their hiring and promotion practices on actual fraud. You can stay where you are while trying to figure out what’s next, but I can’t imagine that this current situation is tenable long-term, even if you do get the promotion.

If staying where you are is what you’re set on, then it’s time to demand some transparency. Sit down with the hiring manager or the appropriate HR contact and ask if the salary range is actual or aspirational. If they can’t give you a real answer, that tells you exactly what you want to know. I would also directly ask if your role is on the chopping block. That doesn’t mean that they will be honest with you, but it does mean that you’re on the record as asking those questions and not getting a real answer. I would document the time, place, and content of all of these conversations, and save them on both your work and personal computers.

If you decide to apply for the position, it’s okay to be clear about your salary expectations as well as your hesitations about accepting the role without a significant increase. Is there a chance that will cost you the promotion? Sure, but do you want the promotion if it doesn’t come with a raise? Nope.

Either way, I would consider going for the promotion as part of the job hunt and not the entire job hunt. Start building your network and talking to people who work in fields that align with your skills. I’m confident that this is not an environment that you want to be in long-term if that kind of deception is acceptable as SOP. Better is out there.




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