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Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 11:11 AM   #1
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Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

So does anyone break that rule of not discussing salary? I'm totally guilty of it In fact I have a friend who moved to a cheap part of the east coast, and just got a new job making 6 grand more than me, and I'm saying, "Dang! Game on!" in a friendly competitive way. I have friends who are totally against this, who adamantly refuse to discuss it. I understand you don't want to cause hard feellings, but I've always felt I use good discretion as to who I talk to about it, and usually the difference in salary with those I talk to is relatively small, like the case above. When I find out somebody has been making more than me, I'm like, "dang, how did you do that? I'm going to pick your brain!". I don't get all bent like my more discreet friends warn me I might. Am I crazy?
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 11:18 AM   #2
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Better to discuss your sexual practices than your salary. At least it was when I was working.

If you're making more than me, I'm mad; and vice versa. Causes all kinds of trouble, especially if I see myself as more qualified, harder-working, etc. I never discussed it, especially with friends or co-workers.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 11:25 AM   #3
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

People will just be jealous and think they deserve more. Same as discussing FIRE plans... I think it is human nature. *It is actually much easier to be petulant

It is one of the major reasons that I get so bored with co-workers.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 11:42 AM   #4
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

A few weeks ago, I read this article in Psychology Today:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/artic...808-000005.xml


...
Sure, images of Donald Trump's gilded Boeing jet or of Kimora Lee Simmons's 30-carat diamond ring and 42-inch legs feed into our status anxiety on some level. But at the end of the day, we're concerned with our immediate reference group -- one made up of about 150 people. "When you see Bill Gates' mansion, you don't actually aspire to have one like it. It's who is local, who is near you physically and who is most like you -- your family members, coworkers and old high school classmates -- with whom you compare yourself
...
In the 1980s, Frank dismantled a premise central to economic theory: People will always choose the greatest absolute amount of wealth. Landmark research shows that our preferences are actually quite relative. We'd rather make $50,000 while living in a neighborhood where everyone else makes $40,000 than earn $100,000 among those who are raking in $150,000.

Peers in our little pond, such as the old college crew, are the most accurate yardsticks of our own performance. They probably started out in life with the same advantages as we did and are the same age. They are our rivals, fair and square.
...
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 12:10 PM   #5
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Am I crazy?
As Martha Mrs. Putin says: "Alexander Vladimir, never ask a question you don't already know the answer to. You nut."

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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 12:27 PM   #6
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

I've found that the only people truly happy for you are your parents. They would love to here about your large salary or maybe an increase.

Everyone else is Jealous or envious.

No advantage for you to discuss your salary with anyone except your boss if you have one.

JMHO
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

It's a good idea not to ever discuss your salary with co-workers.

I work in area which supports HR and PR systems for mega-corp and I see mega $$$$$$$$ in various types of compensation pass by my computer screen. At first I was shocked (more in awe as to what these people's lives must be like), then upset when I found out some of my peers were making way more than I was, then I learned to completely tune it out. Working in this capacity with mega-corp has been a good lesson for me. It also taught me to negotiate my salary much better with future employers.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 02:19 PM   #8
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

I worked for a company with the policy to terminate an employee that discussed their salary with another employee.
We believed them and didn't share our salary.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 02:27 PM   #9
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
It's a good idea not to ever discuss your salary with co-workers.

I work in area which supports HR and PR systems for mega-corp and I see mega $$$$$$$$ in various types of compensation pass by my computer screen. At first I was shocked (more in awe as to what these people's lives must be like), then upset when I found out some of my peers were making way more than I was, then I learned to completely tune it out. Working in this capacity with mega-corp has been a good lesson for me. It also taught me to negotiate my salary much better with future employers.
I don't want to leave the impression that I advertise it, but I do communicate at times wrt salary on a one on one basis and I guess the consensus here is it's a bad idea. But here CR touched on why I find it useful. No web site is really going to give me good salary research for my niche and geographic location, but research of my true peers does. For example, I'm mentioned I just moved to a new department, and while the immediate change in salary was slight, I was able to learn it had much better long term salary prospects in part by having these type of conversations on both sides. The department I left was not bad work, but I learned that I was fast approaching the upper limit of what I could make (i.e. I was only ten grand below my boss, and only 20k below the Director!). I guess I always took the information that some one made significantly more than me as good news, in the sense that "it can be done". Maybe I'm cruising for a burn when somebody learns I make more than them. I'll try to show a little more discretion.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 02:33 PM   #10
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Discussing salaries among your peers only encourages people to expect you to pay more than your fair share of a dinner or bar tab. For all of the utility in knowing that it's possible to make more money than you are, it's more likely to invoke envy because there's nothing you can do in the short term to alleviate the discrepancy.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 03:00 PM   #11
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Quote:
Discussing salaries among your peers only encourages people to expect you to pay more than your fair share of a dinner or bar tab.
that is true or borrow money and not pay it back
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 03:04 PM   #12
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
No web site is really going to give me good salary research for my niche and geographic location, but research of my true peers does.
Very true. I used salary.com but find their job descriptions way too vague sometimes. As far as your manager and director, sometimes there are swings all over the place within a salary range. My boss is at grade XX and she has many counterparts throughout the organization who make 20-30K per year more per year, with the same responsibilities. I've also seen big variations at other grade levels. It has nothing to do with tenure either. It's hard to gauge reality sometimes, with so many swings at the same level.


Where's brat? She should be able to shed some light on this issue.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 03:13 PM   #13
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

I discuss it with a close friend on occasion, but this is somebody I've known for 20 years. We aren't competitive with each other, so it works. I don't discuss it with my parents, who I am otherwise pretty open with (I manage their money, I'm the executor of their estate, etc.). They have a tendency to think that I can go hod wild on consumption because the top line number sounds good to them. Meanwhile, I bet my mortgage is bigger than all the loans they ever had.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 03:25 PM   #14
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Had a group of old friends over for dinner a couple years ago ... the "mine is bigger than your's" discussion started.

I said "Keep your fly's up gentlemen ... it's what you've saved that counts. What's in the retirement account?"

End of discussion.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 03:32 PM   #15
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Discussing salary is a great idea. As long as you're discussing it with the person who sets it. Salary is more a function of your willingness to negotiate than anything else. Most people just accept the first offer. Rarely a good idea. Job hoppers also tend to make the highest salaries.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 03:35 PM   #16
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Discussing salary is a great idea. As long as you're discussing it with the person who sets it. Salary is more a function of your willingness to negotiate than anything else. Most people just accept the first offer. Rarely a good idea. Job hoppers also tend to make the highest salaries.
Excellent insight, my man. You hit it hard and true with your last sentence.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 04:32 PM   #17
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

I have never discussed salary with anyone other than my direct boss and my wife. It would create jealousy and animousity amongst friends and family.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 04:48 PM   #18
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Most Americans are reluctant to reveal salary info. This is not true with Asians. They share salary info and career ambitions.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 04:53 PM   #19
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Discussing salary is a great idea. As long as you're discussing it with the person who sets it. Salary is more a function of your willingness to negotiate than anything else.
Everytime I bring up this issue, my boss would say it is out of my hand. It is futile to discuss it with him. It seems as if I am talking to the wall.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 06:10 PM   #20
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
You hit it hard and true
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