What to do if you find out your coworker makes way more than you

Did you find out that a coworker in a similar role makes way more than you? Read these helpful tips to help you make a plan for a salary discussion.

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Print
  • It's important to discuss salary with your coworkers.
  • But sometimes you might hear information that you wish you hadn't learned—like, for instance, that a coworker in a similar role is making way more than you are.
  • Here's what to do if you find out your coworker makes more than you.

So, you asked your coworkers about their salaries—and found out that, even though they're in a similar role to yours, they're making way more than you are. Now what?

First of all, stay calm.

Next, don't run to your boss and demand a raise, said Katie Donovan, a salary negotiation coach.

"If you do find out that others are earning more, do not rush to your manager demanding more 'because so and so earns more,'" Donovan told Business Insider.

Anna Cosic, career strategist, agrees. "It's important to note that the information you eventually gather is not intended to be used towards HR or your manager saying that since X is making $Y, so should I," Cosic said. "That rarely pays off and they may have several different reasons that someone makes more than you do."

But, you should ask for a raise—calmly

Plan out a meeting with your boss in which you show why you deserve to make more. As we've previously reported, any good salary negotiation presents a case for your promotion based on data.

That data should show that you have excelled in your role. Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster, told Business Insider you should already know the quantitative ways that your company measures performance. Think sales goals, output, or another barometer.

It also might include qualitative information, Salemi said. If you led training or became a trustworthy person during a year with tumultuous office politics, you should include that in your discussion.

That data should also show that the number you're asking for is on par with what folks in your position normally make. Check out salary data websites like Payscale, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Salary to see the median pay for your industry, position, and location.

Don't tell your boss you know how much your peers make

When you talk to your boss, don't say that you know your coworkers make more than you do—and definitely avoid name dropping or number dropping. That could cause negative repercussions for your coworker.

When it comes down to it, your company "may have several different reasons that someone makes more than you do," Cosic said.

Instead, MarketWatch suggests saying something like: "It was brought to my attention that the market value for my position is X."

That way, you can protect your coworkers while still (hopefully) securing more money for yourself.

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Print
Article copyright 2018 by Business Insider. Reprinted from the December 19, 2018 issue with permission from Business Insider.
The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. Fidelity Investments cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any statements or data.
This reprint is supplied by Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC.
The third-party provider of the reprint permission and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and are not legally affiliated.

Votes are submitted voluntarily by individuals and reflect their own opinion of the article's helpfulness. A percentage value for helpfulness will display once a sufficient number of votes have been submitted.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

Please enter a valid e-mail address
Please enter a valid e-mail address
Important legal information about the e-mail you will be sending. By using this service, you agree to input your real e-mail address and only send it to people you know. It is a violation of law in some jurisdictions to falsely identify yourself in an e-mail. All information you provide will be used by Fidelity solely for the purpose of sending the e-mail on your behalf.The subject line of the e-mail you send will be "Fidelity.com: "

Your e-mail has been sent.

Your e-mail has been sent.

Get more insights from MyMoney

Just sign up and we'll email our latest thinking every 2 weeks.
Not sure? Learn more
We understand that privacy and security are important to you and will only subscribe you to the MyMoney newsletter. See our Privacy Policy.

Here's what we suggest you explore next

Savings accounts vs. CDs vs. money market mutual funds

Do you know what savings options work best for you? Learn the basics with a breakdown of savings accounts, CDs, and money market mutual funds.

Like your checking account, but with some useful extras

All ATM fees reimbursed. No minimum balance. Pay bills. Deposit checks.

You might also like

From the ice rink to the office, how I've embraced "Agile" with my teams

Discover how this Fidelity employee is improving her agile skills, by comparing her agile experience in both sports and her professional career. Read more here.

Onboarding: Three secrets for nurturing new employees

Attracting rock star employees is a challenge for most companies. Here are three secrets to hiring and nurturing new employees.

This is the best way to follow up after an interview to stand out

The interview went well and you left feeling optimistic, but how do you follow up? Discover the best steps to take after an interview to help you stand out here.

Like your checking account, but with some award-winning extras

All ATM fees reimbursed. No minimum balance. Pay bills. Deposit checks.