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How To Talk Salaries With Coworkers

Hmmm… when I saw this article on finding out if you’re underpaid by discussing salaries with coworkers [3], it really piqued my interested because salaries are usually held really close to the vest. The article even starts off explaining why sharing salaries sharing salaries is dangerous, how feelings can get hurt, and how if done incorrectly can derail friendships. So, how does Money recommend you go about finding out salaries and talking money with coworkers?

First, do some online research with salaries databases. While they won’t be keyed in on your specific company, they will give you a general range for your demographic and geographic location. The next step is to find a mentor that will be able to sneak you some salary information without getting into specifics. Now, your mentor will have to be in the know because if they aren’t, they’re not going to be able to give you any useful information. After that, turn it into a game where people can anonymously share their salaries. Money illustrates a “game” where people put their salary on a slip of paper and look at the numbers.

Okay, did you think that was a weak answer with such a big buildup? Yeah, me too. Play a game? Honestly, the only way you can talk salary with a co-worker is if they won’t get worked up over hearing the numbers and can understand that by sharing numbers you’re only gaining more information to go into battle with against your employer when it comes to talking money again. Now, that means only a small subset of your co-workers are going to be okay with talking dollars and see it from that perspective. These aren’t the folks that you only see at the office every day, these will have to be people you hang out with at the bar on a weekly basis, and they will have to be able to check their ego’s at the door in this sort of talk.

Anyone have any tips to share?