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Discussing Salary With Peers

Should You Never Talk Salary With Your Co-Workers?

“If we can talk about how many orgasms we have with our mate, why can’t we discuss how much we make,” asks 32-year-old Ilana Arazie of Manhattan in a New York Times article called "Not-So-Personal Finance." She has a powerful point, but it still isn't so easy to open up the door to discussing salary with our peers. The article points out that while younger generations of workers are more likely to talk about salary than our parents, we're more inclined to have these discussions with friends and not with colleagues.

It's natural for workers to discuss first job offers with their friends because they're not yet sure what they're worth and what's fair. But it seems that as careers progress these salary-focused conversations disappear — it's not as worthwhile to compare paychecks when your careers don't relate to one another. It would seem more beneficial to discuss pay with your co-workers than your friends, but the article refers to a 2007 survey that showed 84 percent of respondents under age 35 agreed with the statement “you should never let your co-workers know how much you make.” Do you agree with these respondents?


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