Recently, I disclosed my salary to someone and I couldn’t help myself asking if it was the right decision. Most people, including me, are usually unwilling to disclose their salary. Who does benefit from this secrecy? employer. It’s scary how the fear of being judged gets us to act against our self-interest. We fall into this trap because we translate our salary to our value and omit to separate our identifiy from our profession.

I can think of 4 reasons for which people don’t want to talk about their salary:

  1. You disclose your salary and you find out that your mate, equally or less qualified, making more. You feel you have failed in selling yourself and your employee has exploited this opportunity and pay you less than you deserve. You feel you are a fool.
  2. You disclose your salary and people judge your ability and skills based on your salary, not the other way around.
  3. You are humble and are afraid that you may hurt your mate’s feelings when they find out you’re making more money.
  4. You think you are making more money than you deserve and are afraid that you wouldn’t be able to defend it if someone questions you.

Of course, none of these reasons justifies this decision. But it’s what it is.

I still have a few open questions though:

  • How can we rephrase this topic in game theory terminology
  • How does it align with one my principle that says “if you HAVE TO hide something, there is something WRONG.”
  • What is the share of the lack of a fair evaluation system in getting us to this paper on the crack solution (not to talk about salary to avoid conflict)?