The last few years have made it clear how the times have changed. Certain things are now fully celebrated when they used to be frowned upon. Openly sharing your salary information has become one of those things.
Tiktok is filled with the latest and most significant trends, one of them being #salarytransparency, where thousands of people reveal their salaries. The reason behind the trend is to help the younger generation understand how salaries vary from industry to industry. But social media can come at a price, and one Tiktoker would learn that the hard way.
Starting Her Account
27-year-old Tiktok user @itslexilarson lived in Denver, Colorado, with her boyfriend and her two cats in the apartment of her dreams.
Lexi wanted to become a fashion influencer and decided to start a Tiktok account. She posted about it as soon as she found something she liked or came up with a great combination. Lexi realized very quickly that she had a problem.
Searching For More
In 2018, Lexi finished her degree in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Missouri. She spent the next few years working as a news producer, but she felt it wasn’t quite the fit for her.
She had posted a video on Youtube 2 years ago explaining how her job as a producer mentally drained her. “People don’t realize how much goes into being a producer, and there’s a reason why journalists leave the industry within ten years.” Lexi shared. She spent a long while thinking about it before deciding there was more waiting for her.
Lack Of Experience
Lexi thought long and hard and discovered her true passion. Digital marketing was something she felt pulled toward, so she began sending out applications wherever she could and then waited.
She hadn’t found success despite the number of applications she sent out. She was told that although she seemed like someone nice, she lacked the experience they were looking for. Lexi shared this with her viewers on her Youtube channel and said to them that she was not done yet.
Lexi finally found her footing when she came across a social media company offering an internship. The internship and her full-time job made things tricky for her, but she continued sending her applications through. None of them showed promise.
Not willing to give up on her dream, she decided to join a marketing course. She explained that she wanted to prove her willingness to learn and that she wanted her future employers to know that she could do the job. She was thrilled when she got a job offer before completing the course, but she had no idea how her life would be impacted.
The Opportunity Of Her Dreams
Her new job prospect overjoyed Lexi. Her boyfriend didn’t hesitate to pack the bags when she told him they needed to move to Denver, happy that her dream was coming true. She was shocked that she had gotten the opportunity.
Her career path felt disorderly, but her love for fashion had always been there. Lexi always ensured she looked her best, even though her new job allowed her to work from the comfort of her home. She loved dressing up so much that she opened a social media account to share that love.
People Like Her
Lexi had been in love with fashion since she was a little girl, always wanting to look her best. That never changed, even if she spent her time lounging about indoors.
She took to social media in search of people who shared her passion, who would recognize the work that went into her appearance and appreciate it. Her videos started going viral, and as happy as that made her, Lexi faced a hard truth.
She Had To Accept It
Lexi had realized something after sharing her outfits and purchases with her followers, and she was shocked that she hadn’t noticed it sooner. She initially denied it, but by January 2022, she had accepted it.
Lexi shared with her viewers that she had a mental and financial problem – she was addicted to shopping. Lexi had gone from talking about fashion to being financially transparent after posting her video speaking out about her addiction. But she never would have posted it if she knew where it would lead her.
Lexi started regularly doing a “no spend” challenge, whereby her money could only be used on necessities. She aimed to inspire her followers to do the same, refusing to be shy about her finances.
Lexi has been an advocate for transparency since she started her social media account. She shared how empowering it was to be transparent about how much money you make because it motivated people to fight for what they deserve. But not everyone believed in what Lexi had to say.
A Career Milestone
The Tiktok series on Lexi’s page that had been viewed most was her paycheck breakdown. She posted about how she spends her money according to her salary. Lexi had started in the digital marketing industry and was honored to be offered another job and was ecstatic when she received a promotion in the tech industry.
Lexi wasn’t one to hide and was upfront with her followers when she received her promotion. She had no idea the video would go viral, but she was proud of how far she had made in her career. Little did she know, her employers had found the video, which led to their feelings of regret.
“My employer found my TikTok. They said my social media post about my promotion made them question my judgment as an employee,” Lexi shared. Some people have historically objected to when others disclose their income. Nevertheless, many people today contend that pay transparency is something we should all embrace.
Lexi’s videos helped many understand how she got her job in the industry and how to be more financially savvy. Her videos received millions of views, but her employers weren’t happy about her sharing salary information publicly. The situation only worsened from there.
Once her employers stumbled upon her Tiktok account, they contacted Lexi to come in for a meeting, in which they fired her. Even though sharing one’s income is protected by the National Labor Relations Act, her employers disapproved of her openness.
“So, TikTok got me fired,” Lexi shared on the platform. “A couple of weeks ago, I started sharing about how I got a job in the tech industry … I don’t work at that job anymore because they fired me.”
She could not save her job by removing all the videos despite her efforts. She further explained that even though she had not violated any rules, her company didn’t want to take any risks.
Lexi’s followers supported her through the entire ordeal. “Literally follow you in part because of the salary transparency. “Any company that prevents that isn’t worth it, in my opinion,” one user commented. “I love when people talk about money! It’s not taboo. It’s important!” another wrote. However, not everyone felt the same way.
“Was it worth the likes?” one user commented, implying that the only motivation for her financial transparency was for followers and likes. Even though some people believed that her openness regarding her money was not worth it, it seems that the majority supported her decision.
“Sorry that happened to you, but just know that you’re helping a lot of people learn about finances and money management!” one of her followers wrote. It was difficult for Lexi to say goodbye to a job she worked so hard for, but her story is far from over.
Lexi was rehired by her former employer, who had no problems with her TikTok videos. She is still open about her finances and continues to inspire many young people to be more aware of what they’re being paid.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.