Things have changed significantly over the last few years, and many things that were frowned upon are now being openly celebrated. One of these things includes sharing your salary information with the public.
#Salarytransparency is a trend on Tiktok, with thousands of videos of people disclosing their salaries. It is aimed to help young people understand how salaries differ in their respective industries. One Tiktoker, however, learned the hard way that being open on social media could cost you everything you’ve worked so hard for…
Tiktok user @itslexilarson is a 27-year-old residing in Denver, Colorado. She lives in her dream apartment with her boyfriend and two cats.
Lexi started her Tiktok account with the intention of becoming a fashion influencer and frequently posted about her latest finds and favorite outfit combinations. However, she soon learned that there was a fundamental issue that she needed to address.
Lexi pursued a degree in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Missouri, which she completed in 2018. She worked as a news producer for a few years before realizing her true calling.
In a Youtube video she posted only two years ago, she explained how mentally taxing her job as a producer was. “There is so much that goes into it that people gloss over. There’s a reason why people leave the journalism industry after ten years.” Lexi said. She took a long hard look at her life and knew she needed a change.
After some contemplation, Lexi realized that her true passion was digital marketing. She knew she needed to explore this further, so she took a leap of faith and began applying for jobs in the industry.
Lexi sent out countless applications, but none were successful. “A lot of people got back to me and told me that I seem like a nice person, but I just don’t have the necessary experience,” Lexi shared on her Youtube channel. However, she was not about to throw in the towel just yet, and it paid off.
Lexi found an internship with a social media company and knew she finally had her foot in the door. It was a difficult time, as she had to juggle her full-time job and internship. On top of all this, she still sent out her applications but to no avail.
She was determined to get the job of her dreams, so she enrolled in a marketing course. “I wanted to prove to future employers that I was willing to learn and that I could do the job,” she said. Before even finishing the course, she received a job offer. However, this set off a chain of events that changed her life forever.
When Lexi learned that she had gotten the job, she was ecstatic. She and her boyfriend packed their bags and moved to Denver. The dream that felt unreachable for the longest time was finally realized, and she could not believe it.
Even though her career was so tumultuous, one thing remained constant; her love for fashion. Her new job was a work-from-home position, but she always looked her best. She enjoyed dressing up so much that she decided to dedicate her social media to it!
For as long as Lexi can remember, she’s had a passion for fashion. She always ensured that she looked her absolute best, whether she was just lounging around or painting the town red.
She decided to take her passion to social media, where she could introduce herself to like-minded people who would appreciate all the hard work that went into her appearance. Even though her videos were gaining traction, there was one truth that Lexi needed to accept.
The more Lexi shared her outfits and purchases with her followers, the more she realized that she had a problem. It got to the point where it was staring her right in the face. It was challenging to accept at first, but she finally admitted to it in January 2022.
Lexi proclaimed that she had a shopping addiction. It was a big problem for her mentally and financially. Since the first Tiktok she made regarding the addiction, Lexi transformed her account to speak out about financial transparency on top of fashion. However, if only she knew what would come of it, she would have chosen differently.
Lexi frequently embarks on a “no spend” challenge, where she only allows herself to spend money on necessities. These challenges have inspired many of her followers to do the same. When it comes to sharing her finances, Lexi is not shy at all.
Since the beginning of her social media journey, Lexi has emphasized the importance of transparency. “Revealing your salary or being transparent about how much money you make empowers people to fight for what they deserve,” according to Lexi. But unfortunately, it was this mindset that cost Lexi her dream job.
One of Lexi’s most popular series on Tiktok is her paycheck breakdown, where she shares her salary as well as where she spends her money. Since her first position in the digital marketing industry, Lexi received another job offer as well as a promotion in the tech industry.
To keep up with the theme of transparency, Lexi openly shared with her followers the details regarding her promotion, and the video went viral. It was a significant career milestone for her, but her openness caused her employers to regret hiring her in the first place…
“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.”
Despite her efforts, she could not save her job by removing all the videos. 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.