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?”


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?

Bessie is a freelance writer and has 10 years of HR experience. She is currently a Regional HR Business Partner with a US MNC. 
One of the common questions that you can expect during a job interview is the salary question. Employers will usually ask about your current salary and expected salary for the role to assess your suitability. Some of you may find it rather uncomfortable to disclose your expected salary since you are unsure of the chances of securing the role. On the other hand, some of you are perfectly comfortable declaring that you are expecting a minimum of 20% increase from your base salary.
What is the right way to give to an employer so as to ensure that you are not giving the impression that salary is the main factor for applying the job? Under such a situation, below are some suggestions on how you can handle this tough question.


Do your research

Before you attend the interview, it will be useful to research on the average market pay of the applied position. Several big recruitment agencies publish such salary information on an annual basis and are available to public on their website. is also a good resource whereby you can review the available salary data submitted by employees in various companies. Such information will provide you with an estimated range that you can expect for similar position. However, do bear in mind that salary ranges in companies and industries differ significantly. Hence, you should only use these information as a guide in preparation for the interview.

View Salary Data of 1000s of Jobs in Singapore


The term “negotiable” is usually the easiest solution when handling a salary question. Most interviewers tend to probe further in order to understand your expectation. If you are really unsure of how you are expecting, decide on a range that you are looking at. For instance, you could tell the interviewer that you are looking at a 10% to 15% increase, but you are willing to negotiate based on the salary range for this position.

READ ALSO: How Companies Determine Salaries for New Employees

Declare your minimum expectation

If you have in mind the least amount that you can accept for the role, do inform the interviewer of that minimum expectation. This is especially applicable for candidates who are considering a career switch. With no relevant experience in the new role and industry, you may not receive the same or higher salary as your current role. While considering the satisfaction that you can expect in the new role, it is also realistic to consider the lowest amount that could support your current lifestyle. As an Engineer, you may be earning a basic salary of $4000 while career switch may mean a reduction at least $1000. Do consider if the reduction is an amount that you are able to accept. You should be open to the interviewer and tell him or her that you are willing to accept a pay cut but $3,500 may be the minimum that you will consider.

You are strongly discouraged to tell the interviewer that you are willing to negotiate when you are not. The interviewer will be able to determine if they should continue with your candidacy if your expectation exceeds the salary range. In that way, it will save time and effort for both the company and yourself.

State your actual expectation
You may be one of those candidates who decide on a job solely based on the offered salary. There is nothing wrong with that but it is advisable to discuss that openly during the interview. If the interviewer is aware that you will not consider a role unless there is a 20% increase, it will help them to decide if they will like to continue with your candidacy based on your relevant experiences, job fit and internal salary structure and equity. Interviewers have met many candidates who tell them that they are willing to negotiate on the offered salary. However, when the job offer is presented, candidates turn it down immediately with the reason that the offered salary is less than the amount that they are expecting. That could set a very negative impression of you as a candidate. If you are attending interviews in the same industry, don’t be surprised when word gets around as the people within do know each other.

READ ALSO: Questions to Ask at the End of the Job Interview 

On a closing note, regardless of whether your interview is from the Human Resource or the hiring manager himself/herself, the same method applies when answering the salary question. Another mistake that candidates make when handling salary questions is asking too many questions in return. Examples of these questions include – “how much will you pay me for this role”; “what is the salary range for this position”; “what other monetary allowances can I expect”. These questions are internally sensitive and should be avoided until the advanced stage of the interview process when you are confident that you will be offered the job. Otherwise, these questions may bring down your overall interview scores.

What was your interview experience like? Share with us here.


Photo Credit: Wetfeet

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

Here’s a common scenario many of us face: After that successful interview session, you are bright-eyed and eager to receive the salary offer from the organization. To your disappointment, the salary offer is below your expectation.

While most candidates expect a 10% to 20% increase during a job-switch, not every organization is able to meet that expectation. Besides considering the candidate’s qualification; work experiences; current and expected salary, an organization has to review their salary structure and internal equity to determine a salary offer.  These are usually not openly discussed; hence most candidates are not aware of such considerations at the back-end.


Salary Structure

Every established organization has its own internal salary structure. Salary structure is created based on market data to ensure salary competitiveness within the same industry. This is also known as analyzing external equity.

Some companies may be more transparent than others on sharing their structures to candidates. Basically, each position in an organization has its own grade or level and a salary range. The salary range will consist of a minimum pay rate and maximum pay rate. For a fully competent candidate, the most ideal and competitive rate will be at the median of the range.

A candidate who is new to a role usually receives a salary which is lower in the range while a very experienced candidate may receive an offer which is above the median.

Companies avoid offering salaries near the maximum pay rate since that would limit the salary growth of a candidate in subsequent years. Once an employee reaches the maximum within the salary range, they will enter the red circle and are no longer eligible for pay increase.

READ ALSO: How to Handle Salary Questions During Your Interview

Internal Equity

An organization also has to consider internal equity when determining the salary for a candidate.  Internal equity refers to reviewing the current salaries of existing employees holding the same position and job responsibilities within the organization. It ensures that employees are rewarded fairly across the organization.

To illustrate the point of internal equity: there are two accountants –Tan and Lim working in the organization. Tan earns $3000 and has a bachelor degree with 3 year of relevant experience; Lim earns $5000 has a bachelor degree with 5 years of relevant experience.  The hiring manager selected a candidate who has a Bachelor degree and 4 years of relevant experience in her previous organization. Based on internal equity, it is most likely that the salary offer will be around $4000.

If you receive an offer whereby the salary is lower than your expectation, you should try to understand their pay philosophy.  Companies may not be able to share all the information with you but you will be able to obtain a better understanding of their pay structure.

You should also consider the entire compensation package. Base salary is only one component so it is important to understand the benefits offered; additional allowances and bonus payout.

Most importantly, you should understand the growth opportunity within the organization. If an organization strongly believes in developing their employees, it will still be a worthy consideration over others that only offer a marginally higher salary.

Learn more about how industry specific salary range here.