A new study found a whopping 66% of participants said they are more comfortable talking about money than love
Millennials don’t shy away from sharing how much money they make, but they’re professionally prude when it comes to talking about sex at the office.
Salary and pay is now more openly discussed among coworkers than their personal love lives, despite being once considered a taboo subject, a new report from beqom, a cloud-based compensation management software provider, found.
The company surveyed 1,200 US respondents aged 18 and up and asked them questions about their workplace habits. They found that 46% of those polled said they’ve shared or discussed their salary with colleagues, and 45% admitted they know how much their co-workers make.
Respondents were so comfortable talking about their bottom line, they preferred that conversation over spilling details about their romantic lives: A whopping 66% of participants said they are more comfortable talking candidly about their money than they are regarding the details of their sex life (20%).
The findings also revealed that younger workers are more likely to share salary information than older workers: 56% of millennials (ages 25 to 34) said they would indeed share or discuss their paycheck with fellow employees compared to one in four (27%) Baby Boomers (55 and up).
“Knowing what your friends and colleagues make in a similar field is empowering in making sure you’re being compensated fairly and gauging when it might be time to move on or request a raise,” Sarah Berger, founder of TheCashlorette.com, tells Moneyish.
If you want to be forthcoming with your finances, be strategic about it, Berger suggests. For example, the gender pay gap could give you motivation to seek out a raise.
When New York native Kelly Maxwell, 26, transitioned from an on-staff job in television production to freelance for reality TV shows, she candidly disclosed her rate with industry friends to see how much she should ask per gig. She realized her rate was much lower than her industry’s standard.
“When I told a friend the weekly rate [I was making] she was basically like ‘If you accept that you’re stupid,’” Maxwell says. Knowing what her colleagues make for similar jobs has helped her ask for more. “When I get hired on a job I have other rates for that same role that I can compare it to and I’ll know if they’re low balling me.”
While it worked out for Maxwell, a boss could be upset if he or she finds out you’re sharing how much you make with colleagues. In some cases, it could pit employees against each other if one finds out their counterpart is making more than them for doing the same job.
“You don’t want to go around telling everyone in the office what you make,” Berger advises. “Your co-workers could end up resenting you if they find out you’re making more.”
But it can do more good than harm. The Beqom,study also went into pay parity regarding race and age and found that nearly one in three (31%) of employees in the US do not believe their colleagues are fairly compensated. And what’s more, 34% of US workers didn’t believe their pay is based on performance or experience at all, and instead was solely based on whether their manager or boss thought they deserved it.
That’s why it’s important to know your worth, and ask for it, career coaches say.
“If you realize that you may be paid below your colleagues and you’re working at the same level or above, having that benchmark is enormously powerful,” career coach Roy Cohen says. “Then you have information you can work with to make other important decisions — additional skills or getting more confident in negotiating what you’re worth.”
Before you ask your boss or a potential employer for more, first you need to evaluate what you bring to the company whether it’s a skillset, years of experience or particular work ethic. Look up what the market value of your position is worth on sites like Glassdoor.com or Payscale, Cohen Berger suggests.
“It’s important to remember that in many fields, your salary is determined by factors other than just your job title, like experience or work performance,” says Berger.
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