Salary Story: My Biggest Salary Increase Came From The Biggest Leap I Took

Illustrated by Other Maria.
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. All published stories receive £100.
Age: 27
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Satellite communications, global channel account manager
Current salary: £61,000 (includes 30% bonus).
Number of years employed since school or university: 6
Starting salary and year: £16,000 in 2015
Biggest salary jump: £14,000 in 2018 – from £21,000 to £35,000
Biggest salary drop: It hasn't dropped since I started working.
Biggest negotiation regret? The salaries of my first two jobs. Early on in my career I was so grateful to have a job and a monthly paycheque that I didn't feel worthy enough to negotiate a salary. I should have negotiated on salaries for my first two roles but instead took whatever I could get, which turned out to be barely minimum wage of £16,000, living in London. If I had sat down and actually worked out the amount that those salaries would leave me to live on at the end of the month, I might have made more sensible decisions in terms of the jobs I accepted instead of accepting the first job offers that I received.
Best salary advice: My biggest salary increase came from taking my biggest career leap and sometimes you have to take risks if you want to succeed. That being said, there are benefits to staying at a company that offers clear progression, recognises your hard work and supports your career development through upskilling. My biggest piece of advice to anyone is don't be afraid to move into an industry that you have little experience in – there are a lot of skills and qualities that you can focus and draw upon from previous jobs that often count for more than industry experience early on in your career. There is no point in staying in a job where you are unhappy and feel underpaid. Looking for a new job is short-term pain, long-term gain!

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