I’m Underpaid Compared To My Peers. How Do I Bring This Up To My Boss?

“I’ve just found out that I’m being under-compensated. When I speak to my boss on this, should I bring up how my peer is being compensated vs myself given that we hold similar job scope / responsibilities?”


Unless your company has a policy of salary transparency or your country has an Equal Pay Act, using your peer’s compensation can be viewed as unprofessional and get yourself (where did you get that information?) or your peer (if he/she is supposed to keep his salary confidential) into trouble. Also, you want your employer to see that it is right for you to deserve a higher pay because of the value you have brought and can bring to the table. Not only because the person next to you is being paid more.

That’s not to say you should stay silent on the matter. Here are my three cents’ worth on navigating this tricky conversation.

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I Just Had Another Kid. How Do I Ask for A Pay Rise?

Baby Romper

“My stay-at-home wife just had our third child, and we’re feeling it financially. I’m thinking of asking my boss for a pay rise so that we can have a more sustainable lifestyle. Is this a no-no?”

Well, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous when employees come with a sob story (however true it may be) and use it to justify a salary increase. A company hires you to do a job for a price that you agreed on. It’s largely a money for labour transaction. Expecting it to compensate you for your personal issues is just not reasonable. If I have a penchant for expensive cars, I wouldn’t go to my boss and ask for a raise so that I can afford one right?

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Should I Accept a Counter-Offer?

Counter Offer

“I submitted my resignation as I’ve found a better paying job, but my boss wants me to reconsider. He has indicated he is happy to give me a salary raise to match what the new job offer. Should I accept and stay?” 

You need to assess if salary is the only thing you are dissatisfied with at your current job. 9.5/10 times, that’s just not the case. And if it’s not, don’t hold out hope that things are going to change if you accept. Sure, in the short run, your boss may treat you a little better, but once you’ve thrown in the towel, you get the words “flight risk” added to the end of your name. Your commitment will be questioned, so you’re likely to be first on the chopping board when cutbacks happen, and last in line for promotions.

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