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We are now living in the fourth phase of industrial revolution. Unlike the first three industrial revolution, the fourth is expected to see the most influence in terms of technology advancements. It has changed many businesses to higher level of innovations and marketings. Global Economic Forum released that industry 4.0 has a potential in digital connect networks and dramatically improved the efficiency of organisations. Not to mention, many believe that new technology advancements will increase the demand of talents with IT expertise.   

Highly on demand, no wonder there are many companies that are willing to pay more for those who have tech skills. Not only high salary, you will likely to get a vast reward and employee benefits. Thus, making advancements on your technical skills will give you a big plus when applying for a job. Here, we list top 7 most popular tech jobs that pay the highest, according to Glassdoor.

1    Software engineer manager ± $163,500 / year

Being a software engineer manager requires you to be able to manage and oversee design and development of software applications. You will also lead a team tasked with developing, researching, and testing company’s software. Another job is that you should direct the work of engineers to ensure the best practice, report to a senior manager, and manage a day-to-day performance of your jobs and other employees.

Skill requirements – Knowledge of software technologies, familiar with coding and computer language, management skills, agile management experience, deep understanding in company’s engineering processes, products, and visions.

2    Data warehouse architect ± $154,800 / year

A data warehouse architect is responsible for designing data warehouse and working with conventional data warehouse that support a business. They also often take client needs and work in developing a specific architecture for a specific purposes.

Skills requirements – Data modelling, ELT* development, data cleansing, online analytical processing (OLAP) design, application development, production automation, general system and database administration

*ELT refers to extraction of data from source systems into staging, transformations necessary to recast source data for analysis, and loading of transformed data into the presentation repository.

3    Software development manager ± $153,300 / year

Being a software development manager means you should be able to develop, manage, and prepare software development team, provide project management and technical leadership. Guiding, coaching, and mentoring are also your responsibilities. In other words, you will lead a team for developing and testing certain system within the company.

Skills requirements – Strong technical and analytical skills, expert knowledge of computer software languages, platforms, and methodologies, strong leadership, budgeting, and managerial skills, excellent in written and verbal communication.

4    Infrastructure architect ± $153,000 / year

If you want to be an infrastructure architect, it means you will be in charge of underlying IT system in company including servers, data centres, or cloud computing system. You will ensure that all system are working optimally and support the development of new technologies and system requirements.  

Skills requirements – Project management experience, web technologies and enterprise architecture roadmaps, familiar with web server and application server administration, web tech experience (PAN), architecture certification, Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), knowledge of Cisco network and technologies, CCIE, Linux, and Unix.

5    Applications architect ± $149,000 / year

Application architects are responsible for choosing strategy for application within company such as when to use existing tools, build new one, and occasionally develop company’s prototype for further development. They play important role in designing and analysing software projects. They also create new application and improve existing one.

Skills requirements – Good leadership skills, know how to design and test methods, good creating custom solution, and able to integrate application with existing system.

6    Software architect ± $145,400 / year

Software architects design and develop software systems and applications. They are responsible for setting an overall plan and strategy for building software. They act as a high-level decision makers in the process and are determining everything from deciding choices to technical standards. Being one of them means you really set the pace and goals for other teams of developers.  

Skills requirements – Board knowledge of software development process and technology, knowledge of architectural styles and design patterns, understand various of codes and computer languages, data modelling and database design experience, experience with software development lifecycle (SDLC), service oriented architecture (SOA), enterprise service bus (ESB), and content management systems.

7    Technical program manager ± $145,000 / year

If you want to be a technical program manager, you are in charge of handling all aspects of technical projects for your company. You are responsible for initiating programs, following its progress, and serving as sport providers if there is issues arise. You should also be able to track technical issues and implement solutions in a good manner.

Skills requirements – Interpersonal and presentation skills, ability to identify and track dependencies, project management skills, financial and cost management, understanding business goals, and able to manage risks.

Read also: 4 Things to Remember: How to Make Employer Falls In Love with You

How do you spend your weekend or holiday? Be it trying out a new cake recipe, planting your favourite flowers in the garden, or bringing your camera for a photoshoot, there are good chances that you want to use your spare time to engage in something you’re passionate about. Not only a good and positive way to let off steam from your weekday work, you can also turn your hobby into a side hustle that allows you to earn additional income.

A side hustle does not have to be something big and ambitious. For a start, you can begin with simple ones, such as making regular vlogs on culinary trip and uploading them on YouTube, or selling items related to your hobby on eBay. If taken seriously, all these little things will eventually take you to a bigger place.

Picking up a side gig does not only give you an opportunity to make more money, but it also widens your knowledge and experience, especially if you deal with something completely different from your primary profession. Moreover, the advancement of internet and technology has made it easier for you to have two or even three jobs at the same time. Many opportunities allow you to work remotely from home, which means that you can be arrange your schedule more flexibly as you do not have to stay at the office all the time.

Still doubtful whether you should have an extra job or not? Worry no more. Below, we share five good reasons why you need to start a side hustle. Hint: it is not necessarily about the paycheck.

  1.    Gain valuable skills

Doing a part-time job can help you hone and grow valuable skills. For example, you have a main profession as a financial consultant in a finance company. If you want to share your knowledge while learning for more, you might want to start making a blog or website where you can write useful articles about financial management for your readers. This way, you can hone your writing skills while contributing for more people.

  1.    Learn and discover new things

At some point in one’s career journey, there are good chances that you will end trapped in a job role with boring and menial tasks that make you unable to make full use of your utmost potential. For example, you are a senior web developer for a giant company. While you are happy with your current role, it is rather discouraging that your boss is not really interested in exploring new ideas. If you want to try out new things outside your niche, a side gig is a good opportunity for you to learn and discover new arena while revealing your hidden talent you never know before.

  1.    Build a sense of purpose

Do you find your current job no longer give you a sense of purpose in your life? If the answer is a ‘yes’, you should not rush sending that resignation letter right away. Instead, getting yourself a side hustle can help you find more meaning from your day job. Even when it seems that you are more passionate about your side gig, it does not mean that you should necessarily let go of your stable, full-time job. You can use the excitement from your side hustle to come to your office with a new zest and energy, thus help you do better at your main job.

  1.    Expand your network

Having more than one job gives you the privilege of getting to know more people and expand your professional network. Building a network base with people from your area of expertise is proven to be handy not only when you are in the process of job search, but also a good strategy to maintain a solid personal brand.

  1.    Get paid for doing your hobby

Earning extra money from your side job is nice. It is even better when you actually love doing it. This will not only give you a sense of fulfillment, but also a financial security as you do not have to always rely on what you receive from your day job. Not to mention, a side gig can open a new career opportunity when you decide to pursue it further.

Next read: Stressing about Work Even at Home? Tips to Leave the Work at Work

Imagine a scenario where your boss delegate you to be the leader of your dream project. Despite all the time, energy, and efforts you devoted for the project, at the end of the day your supervisor still criticise it and give you negative feedbacks. Trapped in such situation, you might feel both upset and anxious. But relax! Getting negative feedbacks does not mean the end of the world. Rather than letting yourself down feeling defeated and angry, this is the right time for you to wake up and get motivated.

Dealing with the fact that you get negative feedbacks despite all your efforts is not an easy thing to deal with. This becomes more difficult to cope with when you think that you have given the best performance, so such undesirable review will discourage you from striving to do bettter instead.

However, getting negative feedbacks does not mean that you are a poor performer, or your career is going downhill. Everyone has their ups and downs in their job, so do you. Rather than blaming yourself (or maybe others) for the bad review, you should alter the perspective and let the criticisms sink in your mind. Manage the negative reviews the right way and it will turn you to be a better employee.

Here are some ways you can get motivated from negative feedbacks that will encourage you during down times:

Stay calm and listen carefully

It is crucial to not lose your calm when you hear a negative feedback from your boss. The first thing you have to do is take a deep breath and relax. When the feedback is delivered face-to-face, calmly wait until your supervisor finish and focus on what they are telling you. Do not build up a defensive attitude because this will only backfire you. If the feedback is delivered in written form, take some time to pause and digest the words. When you have calmed down, write your boss back and kindly say thank for the feedback. For both oral and written, ask your boss to not only provide negative feedbacks, but also the solution for your shortcomings by providing constructive ones as well.

Act only as needed

Do not be caught off guard and let your emotion mounts up, or else you will lose control of the whole situation. You might want to to defend yourself, but it is important to act sensibly by refraining yourself from doing anything excessive. If you are given an opportunity to present your reasons or refute your boss, do it politely so there will no prolonged problem in the future. Instead of showing defiance and make your boss upset, it would be tactful if you comply with them for the moment.

Make a plan

When you have stayed calm and acted sensibly, the next step is to make a plan. When you get negative feedback, something might be wrong with your job. You are not always right, so is your boss. That being said, this is the right time for you to evaluate your working method. Make a reachable plan that will help you become a better employee. Sketch out an attainable plan that will help you achieve the goal. Observe the root problems that lead you to the negative feedbacks and see the room for improvement. Only when you know what the real problem is, you can think of the way out.

Follow up

Learn from the past mistakes. When you have discovered the root problems and collected the tools that will help you improve your self-development, all that is left now is how you get to make it work. You should evaluate your own performance to assess whether you have been running on the right track or not.

Receiving thumbs down from your boss never comes as a pleasant experience. However, it does provide you opportunity to gauge your own quality and make improvements on it. The main hack to handle this situation is by changing your perspective and turn the negative reviews into positive ones in the future.

If there’s anything stronger than your resume to secure an interview call, it is your cover letter that creates an impression on the minds of the employer. A brilliant resume might showcase to your future employer, that you possess the required educational background and promising potential. However the truth is a resume in itself is not enough.

Among other equally qualified and talented candidates, why should the company choose you instead? What could make them believe that you are the best fit for the job role? Relax! A well-written cover letter is the answer to these questions.

If the process of job searching can be pictured literally to draw comparisons with ‘hunting’ experience, then you do need resilient weapons to bring the game home. If a resume can be said to be an arrow, then cover letter is the bow that will help the arrow to hit the target right.

This creative example applies in job seeking too, wherein a cover letter is meant to complement the resume. But can’t you just rely on a resume? Not all of it. It’s important to remember that, the arrow released from the bow will work more effectively than those arrows that are thrown away with empty hands.

Going by the parable, we can say that cover letter is a complementary tool to confirm and empower what’s being stated in the resume. It is an efficient way to demonstrate your skills and experiences. Therefore, the writing process of a cover letter should not be taken lightly.

In just a few paragraphs, you should be able to explain your qualifications and experiences in the right professional tone and retain the hiring manager’s attention to be thereafter called for an interview. No wonder, writing a perfect cover letter requires extra efforts and commitment.

Then the real question is, how should you write a compelling and meaningful cover letter, instead of a cliché one? To help you stay off the damaging cover letter pitfalls, here are 9 things you should never state:

  1.       Wrong or false information

Well, this might be obvious. But actually, to find candidates telling lies in their resume is not something uncommon. Don’t risk your reputation by putting wrong or false information in the cover letter as well. Always pay attention to minute details, usage of words and phrases, and double check if you have written the name, address, job title, and other information correctly.

  1.       Spelling or grammatical errors

Your friend might just shrug his shoulder when you make typos during a friendly chat. However, if such typo errors are found in your cover letter, it will impact your chances of getting called for an interview, not sure if hired later either. Therefore, after penning down your cover letter, check for  grammatical and spelling mistakes or punctuation errors. To avoid making silly mistakes, you can perhaps ask your friend to proofread the cover letter as well.

  1.       Cliché language

There are hundreds of resumes and cover letters piling up on employer’s desk everyday for a certain job role. If you bore them in your cover letter using cliché and generic language, then you fail to position yourself differently and unique than anyone else. This could make the recruiter to simply lose interest in your candidature. Therefore, showcase your efforts by crafting the cover letter carefully to eliminate usage of cliché phrases, and by replacing them with unique expressions that reflect your true personality.

  1.       Revealing your weaknesses

A cover letter is all about telling what you can offer, if selected for the position. So, do not mention any skills and qualifications that you do not possess at this point in time, because it will only reveal your weaknesses instead. Focus on how you can make most of this opportunity to retain the hiring manager’s attention, impress the potential employer with your skills and knowledge to be shortlisted and called for interview rounds.

  1.       Negative remarks

Maybe you left your last job in awkward situations and not really amicable terms with your past employer. However, this does not mean that you can talk negatively about them, criticise or badmouth the former organisation. Such attitude is not only unethical, but your potential employer could also perceive it as a sign of attitude or performance issues.

  1.       Personal information

Cover letter is about you on what you can offer to the company and how. Therefore, it is crucial to always appear professional in a cover letter. You should not mention any personal information that has nothing to do with the job or the company. If you want to talk about your personal issues or challenges, you can wait until you get selected for a personal round of interview.

  1.       Overselling yourself

Yes, it is important to emphasise your pluses rather than minuses. But there’s a thin line of difference to be followed as your sell your skills to the future employer – do not sound conceited, egoistic, closed minded or over proud of your achievements. While you need to highlight your accomplishments positively, make sure to not make it sound exaggerated.

  1.       Excessive flattery

Do not sugar-coat your cover letter with excessive praise and flattery, just for the sake of gaining attention. People can easily tell the difference between genuine remarks and the empty sweet talks.

  1.       Talking about salary

While we all know that every hiring process will come down to the money-talk. There is always a time right for discussing salary and compensations later, but not to state the same far ahead of time on your cover letter. This is one big mistake. Unless you are asked to mention and clearly state your salary expectations in the cover letter, you should rather keep such discussions until you are called for a personal interview.

Cover letter can help you unlock doors to the best job opportunity and get your candidature shortlisted for the interview. Going beyond traditional resume, a cover letter allows you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and key selling points. Therefore, craft it right in a good, professional tone to empower your resume, and make the interview feel it’s worth the time and energy invested to meet you in person for an interview.

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An interview is like a trade. You show off your skills, experiences and proficiencies, ‘sell’ it to a company, and they ‘buy’ them. When you are being offered the position, your salary negotiation skill will come into place!

Other than the need to know your worth and the median salary range in the market right now, you need to be equipped with negotiation skills! Using the wrong strategies might just lead you to the path of failure. No one wants to be underpaid and learning some great negotiation skills will do you some good!

Can’t wait to negotiate? Slow down! Be a smart candidate and here are the top 5 mistakes when negotiating a salary that you have to avoid:

Lack of research

Some candidates state their expected salary without much researching. They tend to decide the salary expectation merely based on what they need or by guessing.

Do research the valid market rate for the job position! Considering the working experience, qualifications, responsibilities and the geographic area of the industry are essential, as these points will determine the standard wage you deserve. Online salary reference is a useful resource, but keep in mind that the listed job titles might have a different scope of responsibilities.

It is also advisable to check within your network of people in the same job position. If it’s needed, do cross check with some recruiters from a professional organisation to find out how you should measure your expected salary.

Not asking for more

For some people, it might be awkward to negotiate a sensitive topic like salary. However, not negotiating at all might be worse off. Are you afraid if the employers will pull the offer? As long as you know where your capabilities are and the ability to fulfil well or even more than what the company expected. Do not ‘downgrade’ yourself so that you can get the job! Other than just considering the salary you are asking for, employers are also looking for the right talent fit!

Failing to consider non-salary items

Monetary might not give you the job satisfaction you need. Value your future employers, as they might be giving you a standard base salary but they could be offering other great benefits. A yearly bonus, regular business trips (across the cities or countries!), allowances, rewards to achievements and great retirement plan are some non-salary items worth considering! Thus, look at the overall package they are offering you.

Allow your future employers to know your last drawn salary

Some employers will ask you about the salary you are drawing in your previous job. Let them know and justify why you are currently asking for more.

Don’t take it personally

Salary negotiation is a good idea, but you might feel undervalued should the process goes the opposite direction. Do keep in mind that, business is still a business, and the employers will hire the best talents they can afford. When negotiation goes tough, and you are not able to accept the undervaluing offer, just let it go. Some companies also have their standard rules to the tier of salary package offered.

Salary negotiation is both challenging and tricky. Avoiding these 5 mistakes might help you out in future! Check out www.jobiness.com and find out what are you worth now!

Next read: Are You Well-Prepared for Your Internship? Beware of These Top 8 Common Mistakes!

Should You Share Your Salary Information?

Salary is a sensitive issue that most people might not be open to discussing. But people, always want to find out how much are you getting currently. From your colleagues to your future employer. The question is, should you share your salary information with them?

It is advisable that you keep your salary information to yourself as usually in your letter of appointment, most companies do include a clause that you should not share your salary information with anyone. However, it depends on who you are talking to.

Let’s see who they are:

1. Colleagues

Some companies have a policy of the prohibition of sharing salary information with colleagues. It seems like a wise choice since some employees can find it disappointing after they know other employees paychecks and increments. Feelings of unfairness might arise and disrupt the smooth flow of the company operations.

Indeed, it’s way better for you to avoid discussing your salary with other employees. It could affect you or the other person’s work performance. Salary is confidential information, just like every HR would say.

Bottom line: Don’t share your salary information with your colleagues, even if it’s your best friend in the office. Conversely, don’t ask other employees’ their salaries. In the end, it could affect your commitment and dedication to the company.

2. Future employers

During a job interview, salary talk might be your favourite topic. However, remember to postpone salary talk until there is an offer on the table. In fact, there is no right or wrong answer, because you don’t know what the future employer  But most of them would like to know your salary history, so they are in the driving seat of the salary negotiation.

Bottom line: Don’t give your salary information from the beginning. Try to postpone it as long as you can. The tactic is to make a bargain with the future employer as some might deter from meeting you due to perhaps, your current drawing salary is above what they would like to offer to their new employee. Let them know that your expected salary is negotiable so that you can negotiate an acceptable salary package with your future employer.  

3. Job communities

Many job communities encourage you to share your salary information anonymously. Is it safe for you to do that? Apparently, yes. You can now contribute to the professional world about your salary, and no one will ever know that it’s you.

Sharing salary information on these kinds of websites is good as at the same time, you will be able to know your worth. If many professionals do this, it will be easier for us to research our market value. You don’t even need to ask your colleagues about their salaries!

Bottom line: Job communities are there to solve this salary information problem. In real life, the norm is to avoid discussing salary. But in the cyber world where you can go anonymous, it’s the right thing to do.

Start with yourself. Contribute to your favourite job community regarding your salary information. You can share your salary information on Jobiness, here. Anonymously.

Salary Talk: Are You Underpaid or Overpaid?

Many feel that they are being overloaded and yet the returns they get from their company is less comparable or rather, doesn’t justify the workload. However, the fact might be the opposite, because each job has their own standard salary. Your job could be one of the most underpaid jobs, and you simply can’t blame your company.

If you are an average worker, you should realise that your contribution to the company could be justifiable for the paycheck you are getting. Take a look at someone in your office who might be getting a higher salary than you. Sure thing, they might need to handle more areas, and are more likely to spend more time at work than you. As a paycheck rises, so does the stress level.

It is way too early to feel unappreciated by your company. You will always wish you were earning a little more, so it is better to be realistic and rational at this point. Not to mention that a higher salary always means greater responsibilities.

Indeed, there might be a chance that you are underpaid, but there is also the possibility that you are overpaid. It depends on your profession.

1. Most underpaid professions

It is quite clear that people who works as agricultural workers and workers in the service industry like waiters and cooks are those who are underpaid. However, the world needs them to still work that way. Some people like to promote wealth distribution and equality, because if there weren’t people willing to work for that salary, those workers deserve to get higher salaries.

2. Most overpaid professions

Any top professions in the office are most likely overpaid, such as financial managers and CEOs. Yet, those overpaid professions only represent a very small minority of the total workforce.

Still, there are some reasons why CEOs, lawyers, and doctors are the most overpaid professions. Simply, it takes a lot of work and time to be in that position. From intense medical school to 60 hours a week of work.

 

If you would like to know what is the median salary people who are in your position are getting now, why not check through Jobiness Top Salaries here? You will be able to check the salary range for your profession in your own country! That way, you can really decide whether you are unfortunately underpaid, or luckily overpaid.

Apart from that, you should be wiser when managing your finances. If you are overpaid, don’t overspend on unnecessities, because if anything happens to your company, you might feel harder to cope. While if you are underpaid, look through more opportunities for bonuses, pay rises, and increments. Or else, work harder. Prove that you can take more responsibilities, so then you be able to negotiate for a higher salary package.

How to Get Your Well-Deserved Raise

Do you feel like your work is a bit overwhelming, but you are underpaid? Every employee understand that they have to perform well, and the raise might follow. But some companies are not good at employee retention. Of course, most companies don’t want to hand out money only for its employees. It is normal for them if employees come and go, yet the factor is only about low salary.

It might be tempting to just secretly looking for a new job with better pay. However, you enjoy working there, apart from being underpaid. You are not so sure that you are going to love the next company you are working for as much as this one. You bonded well with your colleagues, and you like the company’s work environment as well. But, your salary is just ridiculous.

Here is how to get your well-deserved raise:

1. Research first

Is your salary really low based on your position in the office? Let’s be realistic for a while. Do some researches on the pay-information sites. Check whether your current salary is below the standard. For more information, discuss earnings with your colleagues, especially those people in similar positions. But the latter tip may be confidential for some.

However, research is absolutely necessary, as it can help you determine how much a raise is reasonable to request. You must know the exact number that you will ask for a raise. Plus, you have to be sure that the number is a fair amount of money to ask for.

2. Pitch your raise proposal, privately

You can’t just go straight to the boss room, and ask for a raise. There is an unwritten manner about it. At least, schedule a meeting for you and your boss to talk about your ‘career growth’. It will not leave your boss confused with your sudden raise proposal.

When the meeting occurs, you need to strengthen your pitch. Tell the case of why you should be an exception in the company to get a raise at this moment. Focus on explaining the results you have achieved for the company.

A good pitch is mostly research-based. Your boss should understand how valuable you are, but it is not a self-acclaimed one. Also, no need to threaten your boss that you will leave the company if you don’t get the salary that you deserve.

If you are not sure about your pitch, you can always practise first with a friend who can be a tough negotiator. That way, your pitch and negotiation are going to be better.

3. Dig other perks and benefits

It might be the time of high turnover, or your company is not doing very well at the moment. But you can always ask for other options, such as incentive compensation, stock options, education benefits. Even more personal days and extra vacation days are attractive. Just ask for it.

Bottom line

A well-deserved raise also needs a right approach to your boss. No bad timing as well. It also depends on your contributions to the company. Showcase your accomplishments, and if those are not good enough, maybe you need to step up your game to get a raise.

Responding The Salary Question during a Job Interview

The salary question is a tricky one to answer for any job seeker. Moreover, your answer could possibly break your chance on landing the job. To make it even worse, we won’t get the salary that we want most of the times.

Yes, salary negotiation is not that simple. Most job seekers aren’t sure about when or how to ask for the salary they want. Here’s some tips on facing the salary question during a job interview:

1. Don’t lie about your current/last salary

Everybody wants to get a better salary on their next job. That’s why, sometimes they tend to lie when the interviewer asks, “How much is your current salary (or the salary you were drawing at your last job)?”.

However, it’s not that hard for a company to check the truth, such as through a reference call. Of course, you don’t want to start a new job with a lie. If you are afraid to answer this question, try to postpone this subject. Never try to negotiate anything —until there’s an offer.

2. Keep calm about the salary until the end of interview

Let the interviewer be the one who makes the first offer. Yes, you can’t always control this, especially if the interviewer ask about this on the early-stage of the interview process. Just keep in mind that it’s better to negotiate when they have decided that they really want to have you. That way, you are in the pole position to negotiate and get the salary you want.

3. Your expected salary should be a range or odd number

How do you answer about your salary expectations? Most job seekers give an exact amount based on their last job. However, it’s better to offer your next employer a pay range. It opens up room for discussion. Also, the answer shows that you are pretty flexible.

If they push you to give exact number, it’s better to give them an odd number. Say, $4,750 than $5,000. This precise number, instead of rounded numbers, will give you a solid anchor. Even when giving a range, you should also use precise numbers. It makes you appear that you know the market and have done some research.

4. You only have one chance to counteroffer

After the employer made an offer, you can do a counteroffer. But remember, no employer wants a pushover. Thus, you should not negotiate more than once, since it might annoys your future employer. These kind of negotiations are often frustrating. In the end, it’s your choice to take it or leave it.

discussing salary with colleagues

Bessie is a freelance writer and has 10 years of HR experience. She is currently a Regional HR Business Partner with a US MNC. 

Many of you were informed during your 1st day orientation with Human Resource that discussing salary is a taboo under the company policy and should be avoided at all cost. Nonetheless, many employees continue to discuss salary openly during and after working hours. Whilst you may be curious to what others are getting, would it be even wise to discuss salary with your colleagues?

Over lunch time, you learn that your colleague doing the same job as you is getting $500 more than you every month. You concluded right away that the company has an unfair pay scheme and contemplate resigning from the job. Feeling enraged, you shared this information and your salary details with other colleagues. As an employee, you believe that you are not obliged to treat salary information as confidential because the company told you to do so.

Take a step back and reflect on these three points: “how would you feel personally when you know what others are earning?”; “how would people react to you when they know what you are earning?”; “how do you determine the information that you are hearing is accurate?”

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Different Generations                                                         

In an organization, we have different generations at work and they hold different perspectives about discussing salaries. Employees from generation X and Y tend to have no qualms about sharing their salaries openly; while baby boomers believe strongly that salaries information should be kept strictly confidential.

Don’t feel obliged to share your salary if you belong to a certain generation. Do remember that this is your personal information and you have no obligation to let others know.

Read also: How Companies Determine Salary for New Employees

Check the Accuracy of Information

Saving Face (面子)

If you choose to engage in such discussion on salary, how do you determine that your colleague is telling the truth? In the Asian context, the concept of “saving face” is still very inherent in our culture. Employees who take the initiative and are very open to share information may be the ones who need to feel good about themselves at the expenses of others. I had a past experience whereby an employee told another that he was getting $10/hour when the normal rate for others was only about $8/hour. The word got around quickly and a few co-workers stormed into the HR department to demand an understanding for such unfair pay scheme. It turned out that the employee who was boasting about his high pay was getting only $6.50/ hour due to his tardiness and poor performance.

Years of Experience

In addition, we have to consider employees with relevant experience in other companies. In many occasions, employees complain that a new hire is getting a higher salary than them, without knowing that the new hire has far many years of relevant experience in previous companies.

It is normal for everyone to make assumption but do you think it is worth allowing such unverified information to affect your feelings?

Read also: How to Handle Salary Questions During Your Interview

Knowing Your Colleague’s Salary Can Incite Negative Feelings

Salary can affect one’s job satisfaction and performance at work. You feel good when you are earning much more than your co-workers. However, upon learning that someone else is getting a higher salary than you, you may tend to feel dissatisfied.  If you dwell too much into that information that you are hearing, you may develop into other harmful feelings such as jealousy towards your colleagues or resentment towards your manager. Once that happens, your work performance and satisfaction can be negatively affected. These negative feelings can even spill into your personal life.

If you opt to participate in such salary discussion; you allow such “culture” to be further established within the organization. Subsequently, others will also know about your salary and may develop negative feeling towards you.

What Motivates You?

Marslow’s Need Hierarchy

Besides salary, there are many other motivational factors at work.  There have been many motivation theories to understand how employees are motivated. One of them is the Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory (Maslow, 1943). According to Maslow, employees have five levels of needs: physiological, safety, social, ego, and self- actualizing. He believes that the lower levels needs had to be satisfied before the next higher level need would motivate employees.  The lower needs include basic issues of survival such as salary and job security.

Once these basic needs are met, the employee will to be accepted socially in the company. After that, employees would seek recognition; progression and achievement The main concept of this theory is that employees’ needs are constantly changing and transforming. Salary can never remain as a carrot and stick approach to retain and motivate employees.

Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory

In Herzberg’s two- factor theory (Herzberg, 1968), motivation is categorized into two factors: Hygiene and motivational factors.  Hygiene factors include salary; job security etc while motivator factors include recognition; job satisfactions etc.

A simple illustration: In a company whereby there is high hygiene and low motivation factors; employees will regard their jobs as a paycheck with low motivation. On the other hand, a company with low hygiene and high motivation are jobs which are challenging but low salary. The ideal situation is to have both high hygiene and high motivation factors.

Personally, I do agree that salary is one of fundamental motivators but it is not the only one. If you happen to know what your colleagues are getting, you should never allow that to be the key factor to leave your job.  You should think of other factors that motivate you at work.

After reading this article, do you really think it is wise to discuss salary with your colleagues? Will you be more motivated after knowing what others are making? Does it bring you any benefits revealing your salary to others?