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OPEN-SALARY ETIQUETTE (opens in new window/tab)

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  1. This “social taboo” is rather alien to me — after 20 years in the military, where pay scales are posted on bulletin boards and you literally wear your rank on your sleeve, it’s pretty obvious who earns how much. I think it’s a good thing — no secrets, just open knowledge.

    Comment by david — 04/27/2008 @ 02:57:59 AM

  2. But I’ll point out: You’re in an ultimate closed-system. You all work for the same boss, there’s no ambiguity in “job titles”/rank (who makes more, a Director of Sales or a Sales Manager — no way of telling), and the Army isn’t headhunting in Air Force talent pools.

    Comment by CT — 04/27/2008 @ 10:40:46 AM

  3. I see a little of both, as I guess I’m right in the middle of the line in terms of age where it seems to be no issue, or it’s still a forbidden subject. One set of friends seems to be willing to vaguely talk about it, onlly when it’s completely relevant to something big going on in your life. Politics and religion aren’t a big deal to discuss, but salaries still are. The other set - it’s somehow like any other subject. One thing to note: the open set make far less than the closed set. I think once a few of them start making more money, things will change.

    Comment by David — 04/27/2008 @ 03:56:05 PM

  4. I’m right there with you on that demographic borderline. The funny thing is that, in my line of work, comparing compensations should be more of an open book, as we’re essentially competing in the same (albeit big) pool.

    Actually, what’s more common is the sharing of piecemeal information. Among peers, it’s okay to ask about and disclose charged rates for single projects. From that, I guess you could make a rough calculation of what that person is pulling in monthly/annually. But it’s almost like that’s an optional exercise — if someone wants to figure it out, they’re free to. But no one’s going to confirm it.

    I agree about the increased openness when the person is making less money. I suspect as these younger adults start to separate from each other income-bracket wise, the old rules will rear their ugly heads again.

    Comment by CT — 04/28/2008 @ 11:11:17 AM

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