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Negotiating a Raise

Savvy Confessions: Can I Negotiate a Raise Using My Co-Worker's Salary?

This reader posted in our anonymous Savvy Confessions group, wondering if it's OK to bring up her co-workers' salaries during salary negotiation. Do you have any advice for her?

My annual review is coming up, and it's the time where my company gives small raises based on performance. Instead of a measly three percent raise, I'd like to ask for a larger amount. Like so many women, I was ignorant and didn't negotiate my salary when I first started my job. I soon learned that my co-workers (in the same position, doing the same work) earn more than me (like $10,000 more!), and I have a PhD, and they don't. Is it kosher to use my co-workers' salaries as leverage to negotiate a raise for myself? I know colleagues usually shouldn't talk about each others' salaries, so I don't want to look unprofessional in front of my boss, but I really want to be compensated fairly. What should I do?

Pose your own anonymous questions or off-load your work confessions by posting in the Savvy Confessions group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out.

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bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 5 years
You should come up with a list of reasons why you are qualified to receive a larger raise. You can even bring up that you may have not negotiated well when you were hired. But do not bring up your co-workers salaries as leverage - it's not going to put you in any positive light to whine that they are getting paid more than you. You need to show your boss that you earned a right to make as much, if not more money than your counterparts.
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