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Want to Talk Salaries Among Co-Workers? Just Say No

Have you ever wanted to have an open discussion with colleagues about their earnings and how your own salary compares?

(And if not, just go with us here on a Friday afternoon, ‘k?)

Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career expert and co-author of How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times, told Fortune it’s not such a great idea. In fact, she compared it to dating in the workplace: ”You can always find examples where it’s a good idea. But for the most part, it ends badly. So you have to proceed with caution.”

Here’s why: Conversations may end badly and result in disappointment as well as lower job satisfaction. What happens if you find out your co-worker who has less tenure and/or experience is earning more money? She said you’ll likely feel worse about your job, situation and your manager, too. And consider the fact that you’ll still work with this person, you’ll probably have animosity and resentment.

To research salaries and learn more about your worth instead of dishing with cubicle mates, you can always log onto Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com and Salary.com.

Also, rely on your network to do due diligence and conduct informational interviews with your network. Ask for a salary range and if the situation makes you a bit uneasy, you can start by saying, “I’m not asking what you’re currently getting paid but I’m doing research to ensure I’m being paid the market rate. Would you happen to know the range for a social media manager with four years of experience in New York City?”

Simply insert your occupation in the question. The more information you gather, the more powerful you will be; seeking it from co-workers isn’t your only option. In fact, it’s often the least pallatable one.

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