In our series My Salary Story, women with at least 10 years of career experience open up about the most intimate detail of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions, and job loss, with the hope that it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
Today, a 36-year-old teacher shares how she took a $50K pay cut to move abroad — and why she doesn't regret it.
Starting salary: $55,800
Current salary: $30,400 (+ housing and utilities paid for by my employer)
Number of years employed: 12
Biggest salary jump: $8,500
Biggest salary drop: $50,487
Biggest salary regret: Not even trying to negotiate a higher salary when I started my current job! I was so eager for the adventure, so I just took what they offered without question. Later on, I found out that some of my colleagues had negotiated additional benefits or higher salaries, which I probably could have done, too.
Best salary-related advice: Money isn’t everything! When I left my previous job, I was earning twice the salary I make now, but I was completely burnt out. Now I’m happier, more fulfilled, and due to my simpler lifestyle, I am actually saving more than I did when I was earning a higher salary.