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I began a new position at the end of October last year, leaving an underpaid and overworked role at my previous company. During the interview process, I conducted research on platforms like Glassdoor to gain insights into salary negotiation. About four months into my new job, a team member in a lower position than mine asked about my salary. I provided an approximate figure and was surprised to learn that this team member, with three years less experience but one more year in the business, was earning 40% more than me. They suggested I request a salary adjustment to market value, which I did, and it was granted.

In summary, we lost some more senior team members, and the company promoted others, including the team member who had previously advised me. While I was told they hadn't forgotten about me, obtaining a second promotion within six months was challenging due to shareholder and board constraints. This wait extended until now, in October.

It's worth noting that there is little difference in skill level between me and the other two team members. They hold master's degrees, while I am self-taught. However, my extensive work experience compensates for this difference. They tend to focus on one project, while I frequently switch to new projects. Our performance reviews typically range from 4 to 4.5, with me scoring a 4 and them scoring around 4.3 to 4.5. The varied projects I work on sometimes impact my scores negatively.

When they were promoted, they received around 30% salary increases, in addition to their yearly 4%. I received my promotion letter with the expectation of a 20-25% increase, given my shorter tenure, but was offered only a 15% raise. This seemed disproportionate and left me feeling uneasy. During the meeting, when they asked if I was satisfied with the figure, I expressed my concerns, though I indicated I needed time to consider my next steps. Notably, I did not receive a yearly increase either.

I'm seeking perspective on whether I'm being unreasonable. While I understand the significance of receiving two substantial increases in one year, I believe the company should have offered me market value from the beginning. If my concerns are valid, how should I address this issue? I cannot explicitly mention that others received higher increases. What approach should I take?

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    Does this answer your question? How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid?
    – gnat
    Oct 5, 2023 at 5:33
  • @gnat not really this is a bit more complicated then just asking for raise, Its not so much about the money its the trajectory of it that bothers me, If this is the case now 2 years from now I will find my self far worse of position then other team members thats mainly the issue I have with it.
    – Azurry
    Oct 5, 2023 at 5:47
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    You state your colleagues have more education, better performance reviews, and longer tenure than you - that sounds like eminently reasonable grounds to pay them more. Oct 5, 2023 at 13:57
  • Why are you switching to new projects frequently? Is it the company shuffling you around to help or is it by your own decision? Either way, in most industries there is a wind-up time to starting on a project where you generate less value so frequently changing projects might be(/might be perceived as) limiting your business contributions. Oct 5, 2023 at 14:29

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IANAL, and cannot comment the legality aspect of this (considering the country / applicable laws), but in general, the overall compensation/ benefits for a new job depends on the negotiation skill and the opportunity (how critical or urgent or important).

That said, you should be measuring your worth based on the value you add to the team / organisation, not by how much others are getting paid. Sure, there is a comparison with the overall market rate - but that should not boil down to one or two individual in the same group.

I'd advise, as you mentioned earlier, go back to doing some market research and based on your current role and responsibility, come up with the compensation amount you think would be fair for you. Then, go ahead and ask for a revision - if they agree, good. If they do not agree, you need to look for someone who is willing to pay that much. Plan and simple - if you're not satisfied, there is no point dragging that engagement, it's not beneficial to either parties.

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  • Fair enough, I am however very happy at this company they do treat us well. My concern is the Trajectory of the situation I understand the fact that in general its best not to compare to other team members but rather the market value, I just feel that the disparity between the team members increases is the problem if it was a minor 5 or even 10% I would understand but double is what gets me, The company has a big thing about trying to keep Team Salaries as close to each other as possible, Which is why I'm using them as a Scale. So do you think it would be fine to ask for a revision?
    – Azurry
    Oct 5, 2023 at 5:58
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    So do you think it would be fine to ask for a revision? Only if you can justify the raise, and that justification is based on your value (to the company), not on what others are getting paid. Oct 5, 2023 at 7:12
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    @Azurry - The first thing is why you are getting lower performance scores, if you say your capabilities are much stronger, you should have higher scores. What are they doing or what are you not doing to justify the lower scores. The difference between a 4 and a 4.5 is likely pretty (relative) significant.
    – Donald
    Oct 5, 2023 at 12:31

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