It can be infuriating to find that your co-worker earns more than you do, for putting in the same amount of work. Here are a few reasons why this form of salary disparity might exist in some workplaces.
Negotiating better during hiring process: There is a lot of variation in how people negotiate salary when being hired. Some people accept on the spot, others push for a little more, and others push for a lot more. And some of them get it. Unfortunately, negotiating after you have accepted the job is never an easy process.
Difference in job market at hiring time: In job markets during economic crisis, employers can hire good people for lower salaries. But when jobs are more plentiful, employers probably had to offer more money to attract the best people. If your co-worker was hired during an employee’s market, and you were hired during an employer’s market, that could explain the difference.
Possessing needed skill-set: Even if you and your co-worker are doing roughly equivalent work, the company may put people with certain skills, degrees, or certifications into a higher salary category.
Overestimating your work: A lot of people overestimate their own performance, and often fail to recognize that could be the case for salary disparities. It is worth considering whether there might be good reasons why the company might not value your work as highly as they value your co-worker’s.
So how do you go about handling salary disparities? Rather than focus on the disparity, it would be more beneficial if you concentrate on the salary you deserve, independent of what your co-worker makes. Do some research on industry norms for your particular work in your geographic area and see where your salary falls relative to those markers.