It may happen to the best of us. You think you have done a stellar job of negotiating your compensation package only to find out shortly after you start your pay is substantially lower than a colleague’s in the same position.
Salary is a sensitive topic for everyone concerned and the reasons some people are paid more and others may be unquantifiable. There are reasons you might be paid a different salary than your colleague in the next cubicle, and your talent might never be one of them.
On the one hand, you want to be paid appropriately for the skills you’re contributing to the business — and rightly so, however, you also want to be the new person which comes in and starts with a positive attitude without rocking the structure of your new position within the company.
Depending on the company set up, either speak directly to your line manager or go to HR and highlight your concern. Realise there might be good reasons why your colleague is being paid more than you. Discussions about salary, if you handle them carefully and tactfully you may be able to get paid what you’re worth.
Set clear expectations for yourself. Once you’re settled in and you’re sure you’re being paid less than the other person for the same job, and you know you want to be paid more, let the decision makers know you are keen for more. It’s highly unlikely an employer gives you a higher salary because you say it’s the fair thing to do. Be ready to take on more work or to hit certain benchmarks to unlock higher pay.
Remember pay difference are there for a reason. Employers are allowed to agree to pay different workers at different rates of pay for doing the same job, as long as they do are not breaching equality laws.
If you are concerned about a difference in pay where you work, it is usually a good idea to raise this with management – informally at first, and then in writing. It is often easier to tackle this sort of topic collectively than on your own. You may well find there are others at work who is affected by this and speaking about this may resolve the situation leaving everyone in the workplace in a positive mindset and outcome.
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