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Why to never reveal your CTC, compensation (and still get employed)

aniketsmk profile image Aniket Kadam Originally published at Medium on ・2 min read

Anyone in the IT sector will come across their first “What is your CTC” fairly quickly. This is when a potential employer demands to know, basically, what is the minimum you have agreed to work for in the past.

At its core, it’s an absurd and lazy question, saving employers the trouble of really evaluating the candidate’s worth for themselves. When buying groceries, do we ask vegetable sellers what they paid to buy their stock? Yet a lot of people don’t blink when asked basically the same. Note: All people deserve equal respect.

So what do you do if asked? Simply refuse to reveal it. Many will accept that. If a recruiter tells you that revealing your CTC is required, they are most likely lying. There’s also a small chance that the organization isn’t organized well enough to determine a candidate’s worth for themselves.

If the company is good enough and actually a place that will be enjoyable to work at, they will not hold it against you. If you don’t get a callback, consider yourself saved from a disrespectful workplace.

Why you should do this and what you can gain

The purpose of asking it is obvious, it’s intended to anchor you close to your previous compensation. Many people even believe they can’t ask more than 30%, 10%, 5% of their previous compensation, depending on who you ask.

I and others have doubled salaries and negotiated substantial increases to their offers. If you put effort into yourself to be twice as good as before, why shouldn’t your compensation reflect that?

If you put effort into yourself to be twice as good as before, why shouldn’t your compensation reflect that?

There is no limit on what you can ask for, as long as you can back that up with evidence of your value. The vast majority of my many friends and acquaintances in Engineering are criminally undervalued for what their work contributes to their businesses. There’s a good chance you are too.

We, as an industry of professionals, need to take personal responsibilty to clean up the malpractises that are committted because they are tolerated. Do your part to not only improve the state of IT but to be paid fairly for your growth.

For more tips on negotiations and what to do once you’re in the interview, here’s the best resource I’ve ever seen for it.

Comment about your experiences below and feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @AniketSMK

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Aniket Kadam

@aniketsmk

An android dev with ~8 years of experience. I consult and may join fulltime for the right company.

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