I've joined the company without experience, when it was pretty small - only a handful of employess. I've been aware that the wages are lower than in big companies, but it was ok for me. Over two years the company grew by a lot, as have I - from no experience I now have best knowledge in my field in the company, and knowledge-wise I'm on-par with best employees in other teams.

The thing is, I feel like my salary - despite some growth - is more in the area of what the company was paying when it was small. New hires in my team are offered at least 50% more (based on job offer; I'd meet all requirements except from required experience, although I'm really good at what I do), and I know some people I work with from other teams (with the same responsibilities) that were hired quite recently earn ~80% more.

How do I ask for a raise in such circumstances? I'm pretty sure I would get some raise if I asked for one, but I still don't want to be underpaid. I don't know how to approach my boss and ask for 60% raise, when seemingly nothing changed.

tl;dr Joined when company was small. Company grew, salary not so much. If I were being hired right now, I'd probably get 60% more than I earn now

  • Thanks Jane, I've read that question, but I still feel company growth is quite relevant here, and it's not part of the other question.
    – Chris
    Mar 5, 2016 at 11:45
  • apart from experience did you also gain further qualifications?
    – Kilisi
    Mar 5, 2016 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


As you go through these steps, continue (improve?) your high-quality work and, despite how you're feeling, try to maintain a positive attitude.

Keep in mind that if you are in fact a great employee who is underpaid, you have a good opportunity to repair the situation, because it's much better and cheaper to hold onto great people than to replace them. Finding, interviewing, hiring and training new people to replace good ones who leave is costly and filled with risk for the employer (people who turn out to be dishonest or crazy, litigation, etc.).

Take time to really think through whether or not this is the right place and job for you. If getting paid fairly is the only issue and you're otherwise happy, go for it. If it's not really the path you want to be on, keep working hard, but find that right path and get on it.

Your question says "I feel like my salary..." What are the facts? Invest time to thoroughly research what salary/bonus/benefits your skills and experience command in the marketplace. Make sure to talk with trusted peers, recruiters, and other advisers "in the know." Document your data points and sources (you'll use them later).

Create a document where you carefully compare your firm's job advertisements with your qualifications, item-by-item. Are you truly as qualified for these roles as you're saying? Are the areas in which you fall short minor gaps or vast canyons?

When employers talk about "years of experience," it's an easy metric, but the truth is that 1 year of excellent work with tremendous learning and growth could be worth 10 years of "experience" that turns out to actually be coasting in mediocrity.

Once you know what your skills and experience are worth on the open market and within your company (if you were a new hire), schedule time and have a conversation with your employer. Provide a summary of your research and the value you bring to the company, let them know you are happy here but want to make them aware of the gap between your pay and what's justified, considering your market value and the company's success, and would like to get close that gap very soon. be clear about what you're looking for, and perhaps options you're willing to consider (phased-in increases over 6 months, guaranteed year-end bonus, etc.).

Respectfully make the point that you can both win here - you'll be paid market compensation and the company benefits because, again, it's much better and cheaper to hold onto great people you know than to replace them.

Tell them you have not been looking for a job and you don't need an answer this minute, but you do need to schedule a date 2 or 3 weeks in the future to continue the conversation. This gives the company time to evaluate what you've shared. Getting a date on the calendar to finish the conversation helps prevent endless delays.

Prepare yourself for "yes," "no" or something in between.

Good luck!

  • Thanks! This is mostly what I did regarding research. I'm having troubles getting datapoints from other companies (without going through recruitment process), but other than that I did my best. I'll try and focus less on what I feel and more on specifics (e.g. regarding current offer), but I'm pretty confident I'm qualified for it, since I'm also partly responsible for assessing candidates' qualifications, so I know what we're looking for. Overall great advice, thanks!
    – Chris
    Mar 5, 2016 at 12:28
  • 1
    Yes and no for it being less expensive to hire new employees. For individual employees the answer is certainly yes. However, I was told by an HR person at a biggish company that they are aware of that fact but if they did indeed give existing employees raises to compete with new hires then it becomes too costly. Thus, they are willing to lose the occasional "good" employee in order to not have to meet market rates for the 10 or 20 employees who aren't ready to leave without a salary increase. The fact is that the best way to get a good raise is via a "big" promotion or company change.
    – Dunk
    Mar 7, 2016 at 21:53

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