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THE INC. LIFE

What to Do When You Realize Your Coworkers Make More Money Than You

Count yourself lucky if you get this lesson early and relatively cheaply.

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BY Quora - 27 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

How do I digest that my colleagues of my experience at my new office are getting paid more than me? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by John L. Miller, Software Engineer/Architect @ Microsoft, Amazon, Google, PhD, on Quora:

How do you get over finding out some coworkers get paid more than you? You welcome this as your first lesson in how business works, and count yourself lucky that you got the lesson early and relatively cheaply.

Realize the following:

1. Not everyone with the same experience has the same value. You are worth what someone will pay for you. If you accepted what they offered you, that instantly becomes what you're worth. If other people require more money to be hired, or others accept less, that's what THEY are worth. The fact that you have about the same experience (as far as you know) is incidental. Besides, you have no real idea if those people interviewed better or worse than you.

2. It's not about being fair. The business doesn't have to be fair. They have to make sure they have enough people to get their work done, at a price and attrition rate the business can manage. Fair doesn't enter into the picture, unless being unfair puts their business at risk.

3. You have to ask for what you want. Sometimes you'll have management that is proactive about giving you promotions and raises. More typically they will focus on people who are at risk of leaving (and who they don't want to leave) to the exclusion of those who voice no complaints. If you want more money or a promotion, you'll need to ask for it.

Accept that business isn't automatically fair. Be diligent about understanding what you're worth and what you can ask for. Then ask for it.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

• Respect: How do I earn respect at a toxic company?

• Teams and Teamwork: What are some ways you keep your team focused?

• Meetings: Why do meetings have such a bad reputation in the corporate world?

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