Growing up, I had a wise old man (John) that I golfed with, that would frequently give me small bits of wisdom in random conversations throughout our 18 holes. One day he sat down with my friend and I, after a long round, and said, “Charlie and Nick…two things you never discuss with people. #1 Religion and #2 Politics. Nothing will get people more riled up then those two topics.”
In keeping with John's words of wisdom, I think a close #3 would be your salary. Ohhhhh….I can hear the internet churning with opinions as I write this article for people to chime in! Everyone out there has their own opinion one way or the other. Here are a couple ideas to consider (that you can feel free to comment on):
Who You Should Discuss Your Salary With
- Spouse – I love the advice that Dave Ramsey gives on your spouse. He frequently refers to the husband and wife as a team, and how finances should be done together and with openness. I couldn't agree more! Sharing your salary with my spouse is a given. Does anyone object? I'd love to hear your reasoning, if you do disagree.
- Tax Accountant – the only family member I share my salary with is my mother-in-law. She also happens to be my tax accountant as well, and can't help but know my salary from my W2. If your accountant doesn't see your salary, then you run the risk of getting audited! :)
- Jesus – he already owns it all, so why not consult the man who has already provided all your needs. “But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:18-19
- Debt Consultant/Retirement Planner – for folks who's job it is to help you get out of debt or into retirement, it's critical that these folks have all your information, so they draw an accurate picture of your financial picture.
Should I Discuss My Salary With Co-workers?
This topic is definitely a sensitive subject, and I know there can be a lot of varying opinions. In my experience when co-workers share their salary or raise, then it creates a lot of inter-office jealousy, anger, comparison (saying I'm better than Joe), and turnover in employees. I previously had a co-worker that argued with me (passionately) that not discussing salary/raise with co-workers is one way corporate America is suppressing its employees competitiveness in fighting for raises and making justification for one's job. He or I never agreed on each other's view point, but was food for thought. In looking back at the conversation I'm reminded of how we are at work to serve the master. Both our manager or owner, and the Lord.
Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
In writing this article I really think the applicable scripture here is Matthew 20:1-16 (if you don't know it, then I encourage ya to click on the link). Basically, three sets of workers started working at the vineyard. One started early in the morning, one started at nine, and one started at noon. When it came to get paid at the end of the day each set of workers were paid the same amount of denarius. UNFAIR!!! Well, life isn't fair! If life was fair, then I'd play golf as good at Phil Mickelson! The whole parable is a reminder of the Lord's provision regardless of whether you are first or last. I know the story applies to getting into heaven, but I can see the similarities in arguing your salary too.
So what is your opinion? Do you think your should discuss your salary with coworkers, friends, or family? Do you have nosy family members that ask you to divulge this information?