We had a very lively and thought provoking Q&A regarding safety until a student in the 6th row raised his hand and asked “Where’s the money?” At first I thought this was about the money to pay for safety equipment and explained that the money for safety is the responsibility of every company and it would be irresponsible not to ensure safety because of money. Then proceeded to list examples where by providing a safe working environment for construction workers productivity actually increased. The student then said “No, in the career paths, where’s the money at?”
I couldn’t believe he asked this question, especially since the people in the room who heard him ask that question are the decision makers in the company (the ones who decide who to hire and who to fire) – not exactly the kind of impression you want to make when you’re going to be looking for a job soon.
But since he asked the question, I responded in the most honest way I could with all paths are similar with regards to compensation, some have certain perks over the other but for the most part if all balances out. The money is in the path that makes you the most happy so you can be the most successful. If you hate what you do, chances are you’re going to struggle to go above and beyond which is the source for monetary rewards.
But just wait – that’s not what blew me away and made me wonder if salary information is no longer taboo. A different student then chimed in with “So what is the going rate for an entry level job at your company?” In my head I’m going HUH…you want me to name a figure?
Out loud I respond with “umm…our company pays very competitive salaries.”
Another student piped up with “How competitive, give us a dollar amount…”
It could be my conservative nature, but never have I asked others about their salary or shared (other than indirectly on this blog) my salary. When asked a to name a number I’m thinking inside my head – are you freakin’ serious?
Well one of the VP’s of our company, jumps in and says “
In my head, I’m thinking, how do you want me to answer this?
I mumble “yes around that, some a little more some a little less it all depended on previous experience and location due to cost of living”.