Work

3 tips for sharing salary information with your co-workers — and then negotiating for a raise

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Roughly 50% of professionals today say they're willing to discuss salary information with their co-workers if their co-workers are willing to do the same, according to a survey from Blind, an anonymous professional networking platform.

The survey, which included more than 6,000 responses, also found that 35% of professionals have already told at least one co-worker how much money they make. Meanwhile, 27% of professionals say they believe compensation should not be discussed publicly.

Though conversations about income can be uncomfortable for many people, Monster.com career expert Vicki Salemi tells CNBC Make It that discussing salary with your peers can be one of the easiest ways to find out if you're being compensated fairly for your work.

Below, she breaks down three simple tips to successfully talk about your pay at work.

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1. Be transparent with your co-worker

When initiating a conversation about salary, Salemi says it's important to let the other person know you're willing to be transparent about how much you make as well. "Know that if you're asking them to reveal their salary, then you need to also reveal yours," she says. "It's a give and take [conversation]."

To get started, Salemi suggests finding a confidential location at work, such as a conference room, where both you and your colleague can discuss your pay in private. To ease your way into the conversation, she says you should first talk about the benefits of sharing each other's salary. Then, you should build up that person's trust by assuring them that details from your conversation will not be shared with anyone else.

From there, Salemi says, you can say something like, "In the spirit of being transparent, I'm asking if you feel comfortable revealing what you earn — if not the exact number, then maybe a range. Also, know that I can reveal what I earn, and this can be power for us to do something about our salary."

2. Take notes, and keep them secure

Salemi suggests jotting down notes from the meeting during the conversation or immediately after, so you don't lose track of what was discussed. "Put it in the Notes section on your phone or somewhere confidential," she says. "Because if you go back to your desk and your phone is ringing or you're pulled into several meetings for the afternoon, then you might forget what they said."

These confidential notes, Salemi says, can be used in your request for more money if you believe you're being underpaid.

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3. Schedule a meeting with your boss

After having a private meeting with your colleague, Salemi recommends referring to your notes to assess how your pay and experience match up with your peer's. If you feel like you're deserving of more money, she says you should schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss a potential raise.

During this meeting, however, she says you should never disclose who you talked to about pay.

Instead, "bring in at least three highlights of accomplishments that you've achieved in the past year," she says. "Maybe it's saving money or maybe it's an email from a client saying you did a great job. But go in and say, 'You know, I feel like I'm an asset to this team, and I've been doing internal research, and the average pay is X amount. I'm below that by X thousand."

From there, Salemi says to listen closely to your boss's response to see if they offer some level of hope for a raise in the near future. "Chances are, when you go into this meeting, they're not going to say, 'You know what, you are underpaid,'" she says. "It's a process, and you should go in knowing that you may not get immediate gratification."

If the conversation goes over well, your boss may say they have to check with their boss or the finance department before granting your request, Salemi says. If that's the case, ask your boss about an appropriate time frame for when you can follow up, and make sure to document everything in writing.

"Email your boss a summary from the meeting," Salemi says, "because if your boss leaves in the next month, then you don't want to all of a sudden be back to square one."

If you're in a situation where you boss isn't open to a conversation about your pay, Salemi says that's a clear sign that now may be the best time to look for a new opportunity.

"While these conversations may feel uncomfortable at first," Salemi says, "they should get more comfortable when you realize this is not only your current self but also your future self that you're putting in alignment for a much better job that pays you what you're worth."

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