so, what was your last salary?

If you were earning $52,000, your new job offer might come in at $53,500. If you earned two hundred and forty-five thousand dollars a year, expect a job offer around two-sixty. Notwithstanding the exacting pay grades, salary charts and ranges laid out by bureaucrats the world over, the strongest predictor of a new hire’s starting salary is whatever he or she was earning at the last job.

That’s discouraging – and pathetic! If an organization doesn’t know how to value your talents other than by looking at what somebody else paid you in a completely different situation, they don’t know squat about the talent market. How are you ever going to increase your earnings if every time you change jobs, you get a tiny raise over what they paid you at the last place?

Employers treat salaries as confidential information… except, often, when it comes to new hires. The above contains sound advice: provide them information on what you would require of them to take the job, not what you’re getting paid today (though if you’re lucky, the figures might match up in some way).

At the other end of the employment life cycle, we have the exit interview: many employers expect a departing employee to subject themselves to a one-hour meeting with a member of the HR team where questions, mostly revolving around the question, “so, why are you leaving?” are asked.

My advice here matches that from OneFTE: say enough to not burn bridges, but at the same time not so much that bridges are burned. It’s a fine line.

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