What to do when you find out a coworker earns more than you

10.31.2015 Article, Careers, Faculty News, General

Sherry Moss, organizational studies professor at the School, was featured in this Money.com article. She offers this advice on how to handle the news that a coworker who is doing the same work as you is making more:

Make it about you. If you want your employer to bridge the gap between your pay and that of a co-worker, career experts say, focus your argument on your own performance. “Managers will be more open to talking about your specific case than they will be to comparing one person’s case to another’s,” says Sherry Moss, a professor of organizational studies at Wake Forest University School of Business. “Whether you know your co-worker’s salary or not, you are better off demonstrating to your manager why you are worth more money than you are currently making.” Even if you’re lucky enough not to work for one of the companies that implicitly or explicitly discourages salary discussions, it’s not professional to bring up what someone else makes for comparison. Instead, remind your boss what you earn (they don’t necessarily know off the top of their head) and when you got your last raise. Then, treat the meeting like a performance review, Moss says, outlining your accomplishments and specific ways you’ve brought value to the company. “[If] you can’t point to special accomplishments or enhancements to your value… look at your colleague to see if she has indeed done so,” Moss says. If so, that could be why she’s making more.

Read the full story at Money.com.