My less-qualified replacement makes more than I do

Nine To Five: Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Sunday, October 20, 2013

THE QUESTION

I am an area manager for a mid-sized company. About a year ago, after substantially improving profit in the office I managed, I accepted a promotion to a significantly larger territory, which had also been struggling. Recently, I found out that the person who took over my previous territory is not only being paid more than I was , but is also getting more than my current salary. This person has less experience and fewer academic credentials. Also, this person has essentially destroyed my old territory, as 90 per cent of the profit I added last year has disappeared. I brought this to management’s attention and they have decided to not do anything about it. What do you suggest I do?

THE ANSWER

I feel your angst. It must be heartbreaking to see your work destroyed by an inferior-performing colleague! You need to look at the big picture, and weigh whether you want to stay with this company. It is hard to leave a position, especially when you have made an indelible mark. At the same time, it is wise to leave a job when you are at your peak, so as to command a deserving salary and to be attractive to companies that require and will appreciate your talents.

If you decide to stay, go to bat for yourself on the salary issue. Prepare some numbers reflecting the industry standard, what the other person is making compared with you, and what you believe you deserve. Be careful how you react to management’s response to your request for a salary increase. If you don’t hear what you want to hear, put on a stoic front, get your résumé fine-tuned and start looking.

Colleen Clarke
Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer

Author of Networking How To Build Relationships That Count and How To Get a Job and Keep It