Sharing your salary with your colleagues is no longer taboo, according to a new report.
In fact, 33% of older millennials, ages 27-36, say they share their salary with their colleagues, according to a survey released by personal finance website, TheCashlorette.com. That is far more than any other age group and four times more than baby boomers, ages 54-71, at 8%.
“When it comes to money, millennials differ from older generations in many different ways. Generally, they’re more transparent and don’t really consider money talk as taboo. They’re more comfortable bringing it up in conversation, and traditional money rules no longer apply. I think that this is great: The more you talk about money, the more you learn,” Sarah Berger, founder of TheCashlorette.com, told FOX Business.
High earners, in particular, are more likely to tell their spouse/significant other, family or friends what they make, while workers earning less than $30,000 are most likely to discuss—or vent—their salaries with coworkers.
In general, Americans are sharing more, just not at the same level as millennials. Overall, 64% of Americans tell their spouse or significant other, 51% share with their immediate family, 36% tell friends and 20% swap with their coworkers.
Priscilla Claman, president of Career Strategies, Inc., said in the past, new hires and people who were promoted were explicitly told not to share salary information.
“It was considered confidential,” Claman said.
But websites like Glassdoor changed the narrative, revealing all kinds of details surrounding salaries.
“So, what used to seem confidential doesn’t seem confidential any more. Why bother when you can look it up or ask about salaries on the internet? My guess is that after they have been in the workforce for ten or fifteen years and their salaries have started to differentiate due to promotions or changes in employers, even the millennial will be a little more circumspect about what they earn,” Claman added.
Tracey Jones, career expert and author of “A Message to Millennials,” said that she thinks the shift towards divulging your salary to coworkers is a good thing as long as the person’s intentions are good.
“Whether it is a good or bad idea to share your salary depends on your motive; is it to gain clarity or just out of curiosity? There's a tremendous difference between transparency and too much information,” Jones told FOX Business.
She said if a person has a reason to question whether their salary is in line with others in the position—share it. But someone should not share their salary if the intent is to compete.
“Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ If someone doesn't have a need to know your salary, I would not freely share it. Anything that has the potential to promote animosity or jealousy in the workplace should not be floated out there,” she said.
Jeff Black, executive coach and president of Black Sheep, Inc., said while he understands that millennials like to live in a world built around transparency, he still thinks there is a mystique to keeping your salary confidential.
“I challenge millennials to ask themselves, what value does it bring to disclose your salary to a co-worker? If there's real value, OK. If not, are you creating unnecessary drama? Should you choose to reveal your salary amount, I suggest you give a mid-range. Don't say: I make $36,000 annually. Instead say: I make in the mid to high $30s,” Black said.
Berger added that for young adults, sharing their salary with a parent is a good way to get actionable advice on a lot of “nitty-gritty financial tasks,” like how much they should be saving for retirement, tips on creating a budget, filing for taxes and investing. Sharing with friends also has its benefits.
“You can get honest feedback, opinions or even vent about how pinched you feel between paychecks. Confiding in co-workers can also be beneficial if you suspect you’re getting underpaid, or if you think your workplace might be compensating men differently than women,” she said.