Is It Ever Okay to Ask My Co-Workers About Their Salaries?

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Dear E. Jean: I’m an architect and have been working as an independent contractor at a company for about seven months. I love the place, and my boss has assured me that I will receive a full-time offer at the end of next quarter. Meanwhile, I want to be prepared for negotiations. I’m pretty tight with my colleagues, so can I ask what their salaries are? —Snoopy Negotiator

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Miss Snoop, My Snap Bean: The feeling of horror and amazement that gripped me as I read the last line of your letter—please tell me, Miss Snoop, am I too late? Have you made yourself completely disliked at your company? Or is there still time to convince you to simply look at your own contractor paycheck? That is the best predictor of what you’ll be receiving as a full-time employee.

You can also check Sokanu.com, PayScale .com, and Glassdoor.com or ask former employees of the company. But your coworkers? No! Never! It is the very thing that will earn you so much distrust from the brass that the job offer could be withdrawn.

This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at E.Jean@AskEJean.com.

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