Here's What You Do If You Find Out Your Co-Worker Is Making A Lot More Money Than You

Photo: Flickr/miggslives

Companies discourage their employees from discussing salaries and benefits amongst one another, but it doesn’t stop any of us from wondering. So what do you do if you find out your co-worker is substantially making more money than you? Do you bring it up to management and if yes, how so? 

First, you need to figure out how you will bring up the conversation. Since you’re not supposed to be discussing salaries, it’s probably not a good idea to tell your employer that that’s exactly what you did. Put together a legitimate argument as to why you should be getting a raise and use sites like to see what the average salaries are for someone with your job title. If you work for a public institution, all of this information can be very easy to find out.

When “See Debt Run” blogger Jeff found out his colleagues were making significantly more money than him, he decided to approach his employers with some valid points about this own work abilities:

  • The amount of projects that [he] ran, compared with [his] teammates.
  • The critical nature of the projects that [he] was assigned to.
  • The fact that other folks on [his] team, and on other teams, always come to [him] for assistance when there are issues.
  • The fact that [he is] the Subject Matter Expert on more technologies than anyone else on the team.

 Another employee Charles says to “handle this situation [like] a business proposal, not a personal insult.”

Never, NEVER, mention to any superior that someone else in the organisation makes more money than you. NEVER! 

Instead, use the knowledge as a benchmark to what you should be asking for, but don’t attack your employers. After all, they don’t have to give you a raise:

Why does [your colleague] make more money? Perhaps, they have “better” credentials. Perhaps, they have more experience, perhaps they have more education. The truth is you, the employee, do NOT know. So, don’t grip about it; especially to a manager.

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