I am not trying to compare myself with anyone but the guy getting assigned almost zero tickets per day is earning 30% more than me who is getting assigned ~10 tickets everyday. It's not fair at all. In performance appraisal, I didn't set my salary expectations (stupid me) and I'm now lowballed to this extreme.

What should I do? Should I talk to my manager first or seek a different job, get higher salary then ask with my manager? I am really finding tedious and uncomfortable to ask for higher salary as he indeed asked me my salary expectations earlier and I told nothing to him (I'm shy as I'm new to workforce. Been just 9 months-raise happened at the end of 6 month).

My problem is that I'm 0% motivated to work on 10 tickets per day when I am severely underpaid. It just doesn't excite me to do this anymore. They're taking advantage that I am a passionate person who loves doing the job I feel so.

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    Benefit from the experience and interview for somewhere else. Either you leave for higher pay or he pays you to stay...
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 30, 2023 at 15:22
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    How do you know that the “guy” gets a 30 % higher salary? Who assigns the tickets to you and the “guy”? Do you know why the one who assigns the tickets assign you 10 times the number of the “guy”? Do you and the “guy” have the same title and work on the same level? Nov 30, 2023 at 15:22
  • Same guy assigns ticket to both of us. Because that's how the clients are allocated. Clients whose ticket volume is high is assigned to me. We've same level, same title, and started at the same time in this job. I know because I asked him. Nov 30, 2023 at 15:25
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    I put a long answer before you added the part about the motivation - if you are truly unmotivated and don't make as much as you should for the industry, then yeah, just leave. I hate "just leave" answers on workplace, but that's unfortunately the case. Interview around and get a handful of offers so you can see what your value on the market truly is before you leave, though - it may be that you make the normal amount, and your coworker is overpaid for reasons unknown to you. And then of course, you have offers lined up to accept for your exit plan if you still want to do that. Nov 30, 2023 at 15:34
  • Do any of the answers to this question workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/1025/… answer your question?
    – Anketam
    Nov 30, 2023 at 19:08

4 Answers 4


Right off the bat - don't use other people's salary as leverage. It's fine to compare to get an idea for how your compensation stacks up, but making that comparison with your employer will usually not go well. This other employee might be doing other work for the company that is incredibly important, or they might be doing nothing at all, but the managers will be aware either way. All you need to know is that if your coworker can make that much, then so can you with the right strategy.

Talking to your manager is absolutely the right course, but it's not the first step. When you go to them, you are going to be arguing that the value you provide to the company warrants higher compensation. To do that, you're going to want to document, document, document. Get daily counts of how many tickets you do, how many hours you work, any major projects or tickets you contributed to, and anything else you did that was above and beyond. The longer of a period of time you have this for, the better. Avoid directly documenting anything regarding your coworker's work (for example, writing how many tickets you did and how many tickets the person who is paid more did, to show that they did fewer).

Once it comes to an appropriate time to ask for a raise, such as on the 6 months mark or for you the 1 year mark, ask to meet with your manager, and present your case as to why you are a hard-working, consistent, loyal employee who deserves a raise. Bring up what you documented (don't just hand them a paper with everything written on it - speak to the points) as proof of your hard work. And at the end, ask for a raise that you can justify. 30% is a hard number to sell, but you can ask for whatever you want and they can say no. I'll say it again - do not bring up your coworker as justification for your raise

Even if you can't secure a raise that is satisfactory, this was still worth doing before you leave - you can compound the raise you got into a new job. Say you get a 10% raise - go interview for a new job elsewhere, and then when you're asked your salary, you get to say a 10% larger number. Then try to get another 10% on top of that from the new company as incentive to leave your current company. It will all come down to your negotiating skills, though.

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    One exception to the "don't compare" part - it probably be alright to ask your manager for advice on how to do better and bring up your coworker as an example. "Hi boss, I just wanted to check in on how I am performing and how I can do better. (coworker) seems to be very highly regarded and skilled at their job, and I would like to progress to that point in my career as well. What do you think my path to that point is?" Nov 30, 2023 at 15:32
  • Right. Focus on "what do you need to see from me to justify a raise/promotion/both"
    – keshlam
    Nov 30, 2023 at 15:54

You were new and had no idea what your worth is. It happens, good lesson to learn. Now that you have a good comparison of someone else in your role at your company, you should go to your manager, explain you did not have a good sense of your worth and now that you do you feel undervalued. No need to bring up your coworker's salary, just say you understand the market for your role now. Tell them that you now think you are worth X amount and see how they respond. If they are unwilling to increase your compensation and you are unhappy staying there for your current salary, then by all means start looking for a new job. I would try to stay until the 1 year mark though.

Keep in mind that raises are a thing. Is your coworker in his first year same as you, or has he been there for a while? If it is the second one, than his salary being higher than yours is normal and reasonable. You may still be underpaid because 30% is a big difference, but don't expect to be paid as much as people who have been there longer. Also, do not bring up your opinion of the work you do vs. the work your coworker does re: the first sentence of your question. That has no bearing on your personal compensation and it is not your place to try to assess your coworkers value.

Also try to get an understanding from your manager as to what you can expect in terms of raises. If your company refuses to up your salary now but has a compensation plan that would get you to your coworkers level in 2 years, would you stay? Just stuff to think about.

  • Thank you for the solution. While not in the same role, he has indeed worked longer than me. 1 year more than me in a different role (which had nothing to do with current role). Nov 30, 2023 at 15:26

Initial agreements are hard to renegotiate

First negotiations are a big deal when working at a company. Choosing to have a the hard conversation at the start of the business relationship establishes the foundation of the rest of the business relationship. Changing your compensation radically after the negotiation has already been established is hard to justify, especially just because you've found out someone else negotiated for more.

My suggestion would be to look for other offers and intentionally take on the hard conversations needed to get offers you'll feel are fairly compensating you, and then if you'd like, ask your current company if they will match.

You've already stated to the company that you're willing to trade your current workload for the compensation they're giving you, so you really have two options:

  1. Change your workload at your current company to demonstrate your compensation should be increased.
  2. Demonstrate your compensation is tangibly worth more than you're currently being paid.

You took a new job and made some mistakes at the start, it happens.

While, as other said, you shouldn't try to use your coworkers salary as leverage, you can try to find the differences between you and your coworker. You will probably find that there are interpersonal differences that are contributing to the difference. Being given more work could be a positive or a negative for you. It's possible that you are trusted with the work more than the other employee, or the person assigning tickets could just like the other person better, or they are better at "being too busy". The possibilities are endless for interpersonal differences.

As for fixing it. These types of stumbles at the start of a job can take years to correct, unless you are willing to find a new job. If you like the company, you could try to find a new position in another department. Otherwise, expect a slow stressful climb to prove your value to the company.

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