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Issues around Confidentiality of Your Salary: Don’t Communicate!

It’s one of the unwritten protocols in business: Never, ever discuss your salary with anyone besides your manager! (Or immediate family.)

I have seen so much damage done by people comparing notes on pay levels. You gain nothing by knowing this information, and even less by discussing it freely.

You might think that knowledge of what others are paid will help you in your salary aspirations. It won’t. Rest assured, most organizations try to pay (and treat) staff fairly.

Recognize two additional unwritten rules about compensation.

  1. Every position has a certain value to an organization. This value is based in part on what it would cost to replace you.
  1. No mileage exists for anyone in underpaying you. The longer you stay with a company, the better you will end up being paid.
It’s not unreasonable to ask for more money. Just discuss it with your manager ALONE.

Otherwise, be discreet about your compensation and do not discuss with anyone other than your manager.

Focus more on increasing your value to your company. This usually translates into better pay!


1 comment:

Susan Gregory said...

Great post. I've heard of people being fired for revealing this information. It is confidential, after all! In Think on Your Feet we cover how to handle answering questions that ask for confidential information and this question is one that often arises.