I was at my last job for a year and some point after first starting I realised that in our team of 20 people we all were being paid different amounts. I found myself feeling guilty because I was the newest member but I had the highest salary. There were a few reasons for this but I found as the year went on things changed and there were multitudes of factors at play as to who got what bonus and what percentage increases.
If you have found your co-worker is making more than you, you might be inclined to get a little mad. Often you will probably become disengaged or even look for another job. Take a breath and read these because you may not have considered them before.
Your co-worker has more experience
For most of my team mates this was their first ‘real job’ aside from the usual waitressing or McDonalds stints. For me I had already worked in banking for 3 years and actually changing roles within that company was moving down a grade.
Because I needed to get out of where I was I was happy to do this and it resulted in more money anyway. People were somewhat shocked when they learned about the knowledge I had. Sometimes people have had more experience than you, potentially having either a higher or wider skill set that puts them ahead.
Your co-worker is a better negotiator
Some people simply are better at negotiating than others and some are not afraid to go for it and ask for more money.
It is commonly attributed that men are better negotiators than women-I believe this is true in most cases. I have often found that women who are trying to be assertive tend to just come across quite mean which does nothing for their standing with others. Other women might just simply be afraid that if they ask they may be at risk of losing their job.
It is common practice to negotiate income especially if you are at senior levels. You need to learn these skills if you are going to avoid getting the raw end of the stick compared to your colleagues.
Your co-worker may have a degree
Some places of employment or bosses are more willing to hire someone with a degree than someone who doesn’t have one. Whilst this may not be the case everywhere, studies have shown that those with a degree tend to have higher salaries than those without. You may also find in some cases those with degrees are more likely to be promoted.
Your co-worker is friends with your boss
I have seen first hand what being besties with the manager can do for some people in terms of bonuses, pay rises and other opportunities such as courses and longer lunch breaks. Whilst this is extremely unprofessional there are some managers who just are blatant about it. Unfortunately with these ones unless you become part of the inner circle you are unlikely to receive those benefits too.
Try and at least establish a good relationship with your boss and keep things friendly. Even if they aren’t going to be professional it is always better if you are because you never know who else is judging what you do.
Your co-worker is an ass kisser
Similar to above but without the besties elements. There is always someone who is willing to fall over backwards to do anything for your boss. And this anything may be something you are not willing to. Depending on the boss this person could be seen as thoroughly annoying, a real go getter, or they may just thrive on the power that they have to get others to do what they want.
Your boss wants you to leave
I have seen a lot of cases where a manager wants to get rid of someone but they don’t have enough grounds to do so. There is often cases in the media about unfair dismissal cases, so companies do have to be careful about the reasons they let someone go.
But your boss may not want you around, so they are removing the dirty work and trying to get you to quit instead. They may be restricted or withholding bonuses or pay rises to encourage you to seek work elsewhere.
Your co-worker is a better employee
I think that most people are in denial about how good a worker they are. I think everybody thinks they are undervalued, under paid and that they always go above and beyond what is required.
In reality, this may not be the case, and it may be that someone just is better than you. This might be in terms of productivity, quality of work, being five minutes earlier than you-the list goes on. When it comes to pay increases many companies use a distribution curve where you are rated against others. Sometimes it is just that coming or staying five minutes more that may make the difference.