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Salary Story: I Left A Job & Was Offered £14,000 To Come Back — They Never Let It Go

Illustrated by Vivienne Shao.
In our series Salary Stories, women with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate details 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 it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
Been in the workforce for at least five years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here. Published stories receive £100.
Age: 29
Location: Manchester
Current industry and job title: PR, senior account manager
Current salary: £50,000
Number of years employed since school or university: Nine
Starting salary: £15,000 in 2015
Biggest salary jump: From £30,000 to £39,000 in 2019
Biggest salary drop: N/A
Biggest negotiation regret: I left an employer because they wouldn’t increase my salary. Six months later they asked me to come back with a promotion and offered me an £14,000 pay rise. I took it, but then when I went back, they held my much-higher salary against me for two years. I never should have gone back considering the situation: They were so opposed to giving me a pay rise in the first instance but they brought me back with such a big jump, and then kept reminding me of that for the rest of my time there.
Best salary advice: It’s easier said than done, but try to put your self-worth and mental health before a pay rise. I was once very unhappy in a role and was offered a position in a well-known, lovely company, but turned it down as the wage wasn’t substantial enough. I regret not taking that role most weeks.