Finding out that a co-worker makes more money than you can be a tough pill to swallow.
It may leave you feeling undervalued, and unappreciated and it can also be very hurtful especially if you have been with the company for a longer time or have a similar job as them.
While chances are good that you will be emotional when you find out this information, don’t be too hasty.
Your gut reaction may be to rage quit or storm into the office to demand a raise.
However, it’s important to breathe and even take a day or two to evaluate things.
Once you have centered yourself and are not reacting emotionally, you will be better equipped to deal with this scenario professionally and effectively.
Our blog post will explore five steps you can follow to resolve this issue of finding out a co-worker makes more money than you.
What To Do If You Find Out A Co-Worker Makes More Money?
While the news of finding out a co-worker makes more money than you can sting and leave you feeling frustrated and a bit demoralized, you must not jump to conclusions.
While the person may not have been at the company as long as you, their background may justify their higher wage.
You don’t know all of the facts, so don’t assume that you do.
The same goes for if they have the same job title and responsibilities as you, they may have past experience that your employers considered when negotiating their pay.
If you feel that the situation is fair, unjust, and even discriminatory in any way, it’s important to gather the facts before making any moves or wrongful accusations with management.
But make sure to remind yourself of your worth and that if it is in fact unfair, you deserve equal pay.
5 Steps to Take When Finding Out a Co-Worker Makes More Money Than You
1. Don’t Freak Out
We get it. It’s absolutely infuriating and disheartening to find out that you’re not making as much as someone who does the exact same thing.
Take a breath, go for a walk, and compose yourself in the bathroom. Just don’t react instantly and emotionally.
You will most likely be emotional and won’t want to do something irrational that you’ll regret later.
Maybe even sleep on the news for a night or two so you can calm yourself down and figure out a rational plan of attack.
2. Get Your Facts Straight
Find out if this information is from a reliable source before moving forward with doing anything.
If it is just a rumor and not really based on facts, you should tread carefully.
Many people are comfortable discussing pay and an equal amount is not.
If you heard it right from this person’s mouth, while they may be embellishing, it could also be true.
If you think your source is reliable, proceed with your fight for fair pay.
3. Don’t Take It Out On Your Co-worker
While you may resent them for being the person who is making more, this is not their fault.
You do not get to bully them or be mean to them simply because they were a better wage negotiator than you.
Steer clear of dragging their name into any meetings you have around this and just strictly focus on you.
When addressing it with your boss don’t say that you should get paid more because so and so gets paid more.
Be prepared. List your strengths, what you’re bringing to the company, and what you’ve helped them achieve.
You deserve more and you should get more.
Since you will be leaving your co-worker out of it, you need to have tangible numbers and info to help build your case.
Do market research and look up what your position is getting paid outside of the company.
Maybe make a sheet that shows how much contribution you bring to the company and how your salary doesn’t match that.
If you show data that reflects why you should be earning more, they will have a hard time arguing otherwise.
Your boss most likely already knows that your efforts make them a lot of money and that they are underpaying you if you show that you know that too, they will be more prone to admit defeat and give you the raise you deserve.
5. Renegotiate Your Salary
Request a meeting with your boss, even if it’s not annual review time.
Many companies say that their policy is to only give raises during their review period.
This may be a policy but it doesn’t mean they still can’t give you a raise any time of the year.
If you are not being paid what you are worth, advocate for yourself then and there.
If they try to make you wait until the review period comes around, I would question whether you should be sticking around to work for them long-term.
If the relationship is one-sided in their favor, you may be better off finding an employer who actually values you.
How to Ask For a Raise?
If you are going to confront the higher-ups at your office about a co-worker who has similar experience and knowledge making more than you, more power to you!
Many companies rely on people, especially women not negotiating for pay and they don’t feel bad if they are underpaying you.
They know they are, they just are doing it because they know they can get away with it most of the time.
It’s up to you to bring awareness and call them out on this.
While it’s frustrating and unfair practice on their end, it’s so common. It happens to so many of us.
Know your worth and fight for fair pay that reflects your experience, background, and contributions in and around the office.
Our Promotion Request Checklist can help you prepare for the conversation with your manager. You can download it for free after subscribing from our Free Career Center!
Over to You
Have you been on the receiving end of finding out that a co-worker makes more money than you? How did it make you feel and what did you do about it?
Let us know in the comments section on our social @netwerkmovement.
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