Your salary information is personal. If you want to keep your salary information private, that is your choice. Sometimes sharing salary information can be beneficial, let’s find out why.

Do you want to share your salary information?
Sharing your salary information is a personal choice.

When you share your salary with someone else or online, sometimes the first response is “why am I getting paid so low?” Or perhaps, you feel embarrassed or pleasantly pleased that you are being paid above other people. Either way, there is much more when looking at salary information to know if you are being paid well.

How do you really stand in the marketplace? I will arm you with some information about how to evaluate your salary today and in the future.

When comparing your salary to other similar positions, it provides information on how well your organization pays for a position. One caveat – be sure to match position responsibilities up closely.

For example, if you are doing the same work within a 1-million-dollar business vs. a 100-million-dollar business, those jobs are different because of depth and breadth. That’s right – the same job title can have wide swings in salary information.

Salary Information Criteria

Depth refers to how much knowledge and skills you need to perform the work. Generally, the larger the business, depth requirements increase because of complexity. As an example, the same job may be performed without many systems in a small organization, whereas larger organizations may use an SAP system. This difference in knowledge and skill requirements will affect salary compensation even though the job titles are the same.

Also, breadth is an important factor. The larger the organization, the more responsibility a position has in the structure. Examples of increasing increasing breadth may include more people to manage and larger account or budget responsibilities.

So, hopefully you can see looking at other people’s salary information is sometimes subjective without more concrete information.

How do you find out more information about the positions? Look carefully at the companies where people are reporting their salary information.

Going back to the earlier example, size of company is important. For example, retail positions at Walmart vs. Starbucks vs. Nordstrom may vary widely in their pay.

Also, the industries affect pay levels. There will be differences in salaries between manufacturing, information services and retail.   

Finally. don’t forget benefits. For some companies, benefits are a major component of salary. Some examples of benefits include: vacation pay, 401K matching, bonus programs, sick pay, medical, dental and vision insurance supplements.

It is easy to focus on the take home pay. Factoring in benefits can significantly change the value of your total salary information when making a decision.

What is your Salary Information Experience?

What has been experience sharing your salary information? Would you do it again? What did you learn?