Why should I reveal my salary to strangers?

How much do you earn?

Does that really matter? Why do companies ask for this? Does it really matter for them to know the candidate’s current salary so that they can offer enough amount to have a win-win situation for both?

A good employer should not care about the candidate’s current salary, instead should evaluate whether he/she fits into their requirement, and don’t cross their CTC budget. But no company does this, especially Indian MNCs. I wonder why these companies are insisting on writing down the candidate’s current salary, highlighting the variable pay, fixed pay and the latest appraisal figures.

I believe salary is the most personal thing for an individual, almost equal to the privacy of their innerwear measurements. I don’t have any other apt analogy than this, because the data involved holds such a significance to the privacy.

A prospective employer should analyse their budget and open up the vacant positions to fill them up with the right candidates. It might be cost-effective for the company if a candidate is hired for lesser pay other than market wages. However, it might be costlier to hire a new person if the current employee quits after knowing his true worth.

If hired for more or less than the candidate’s value, the business goals of the company or the market will normalise an employee’s salary soon. An organisation can’t cheat their employees for a longer time, by paying less than their worth. It harshly diminishes the reputation by word of mouth, resulting in skilled, qualified candidates not preferring to apply. It’s a disadvantage for an organisation to pay its employees less than their worth unless the company’s balance sheets and budgets force them to do so.

Economically, this kind of attitude by companies might result in the stagnation of wages, which Indian corporate world is witnessing today.

I read somewhere that NY city has banned recruiters from asking the candidate’s current salary. That’s a bold move.

A candidate has to learn to decline to answer this question politely.

Let us look at the same scenario in personal life.

How much do you earn?

It’s none of your business.

I am yet to come across a person in India who can dare to say this to an elderly person. Neighbours and relatives in India show the utmost interest to know the salary of the other person.

I experienced an awkward situation where an elderly person, whom I never met in my goddamn life, asked my salary. I can’t decline to answer him because my father was next to me. I sometimes wonder whether these senior citizens try to understand the mindset of millennials. What kind of purpose do they have in their life by collecting this data, unless it is a frustratingly high dramatic and pathetically disgusting arranged marriage conundrum?

Dear Lord, I know you put ignorant, annoying people in my life for a reason, but did you have to put so many, I'm just asking?

In this context, I have to highlight another set of crooked psychotic individuals in our society. These are the ‘My business is to poke my nose into your business’ kind of people who compare the salary of a person employed in India with those employed in the USA and Europe. I can imagine their education and experience gained through ages threw into dustbin every time they do this.

Taxes, Lifestyle, Cost of Living, Work-life Balance and more importantly, purchasing power will never come into their minds. Initially, I used to argue with them, later laughed at them, and then started ignoring them, because I don’t want my intelligence and wisdom to commit suicide by jumping into their IQ levels.

I believe there are only two persons in this world who deserve to know the salary details of a person.

  • Life partner, because a couple should lead their life together by planning their expenses. (If single, parents can be let know to guide us)
  • Bank employee, who is in a position to check our loan eligibility.

For the rest, it is none of their business.


Image by ijmaki from Pixabay

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