Co-Worker Earns More Than Me But Started When I Did


November 3, 2009 by sparktalk

Dear Experts,

I just found out my co-worker, who was hired at the same time as I was, is getting paid $5K more than me! We do the exact same job and have the same level of experience. We are both recent college grads. I know she got recommended for the job by her mom who is friends with our boss. However, I don’t see how she is doing any more work, or brings any more to the job than me. How do I approach my boss about this? I don’t’ think I can continue working here knowing how much more she makes than me!


Salaries are a tricky matter and, generally, should not be discussed among coworkers (or anyone else for that matter)… Your co-worker may have just negotiated a better salary and I would not recommend approaching your boss directly.

Now that you know an equal is making $5,000 more than you, I would recommend that you set about requesting a 6 month review and request a raise near that amount.  Of course, you should have facts, figures, and achievements at that meeting.

Do some research beyond your own performance as well:

  • Read articles on negotiating salary.
  • Practice with someone whose opinion you trust.
  • Have labor market information at hand to use as a basis for your proposed raise.
  • Highlight any other benefits, perks etc. that other companies are providing.
  • Be careful to underline that you plan to be with the company for many years to come and want to be sure you will be taken care of.

Good luck!

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About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
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