Does your idiot coworker make more than you do? Does that make you mad? Find out why a seemingly unqualified person may make a higher salary than you do.
They may be more qualified than you think.
So Susie may pronounce “shrimp” as “shrtimp.” That doesn’t mean Susie’s an idiot. Susie may be great at number crunching, fluent in Mandarin, charming with clients, great on the phone, a whiz at PowerPoint, or she may whoop ass at Mortal Kombat. The point is, just because you think someone is a dope based on superficial and silly things, it doesn’t mean they are.
Their job description may be different, or they may have a specific set of skills required to do the job.
Just like Liam Neeson in Taken, a particular set of skills can make you more of an asset to a company than a jack of all trades. Lots more companies are searching for specialized skill sets. You may be pretty good at everything or have nine out of ten required skills in your job description, but if Susie has all 10–or just the one important one that you lack–she may be seen as a bigger asset to the team.
They may have more experience.
Just because someone is a douchebag in meetings doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t know his or her trade. In fact, that douchebag may be able to teach you a few things.
Their education may be different from yours, but that doesn’t mean it’s any worse.
If someone has a G.E.D. instead of a B.A., it doesn’t mean they’re dumb. It means their life took them in a different direction. In fact, it can arguably mean they’re brighter than you are–because they managed to land the required skills and a higher take home pay than you did despite skipping out on college. This is no place to be a snob.
They may have more potential for growth.
You may be overqualified for your job. If that’s the case, your boss may assume you’re leaving soon. If your colleague is simply qualified or slightly even underqualified, your boss may think there’s still a chance for them to grow, improve and progress within the company. As part of hope of keeping them on board for the long term, they may get a better offer than you did.
They may be better at negotiating than you are.
Sometimes a deal is just a deal and there’s little else behind it. But negotiation is a skill in and of itself. HR may have been impressed by their gumption!