Salary Story: I Took A Job I Hated For £70,000 — Then Used It To Earn More Elsewhere

Illustrated by Eutalia De la Paz
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: 35
Location: Essex
Current industry and job title: Financial services, senior associate
Current salary: £80,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 13
Starting salary: £15,000 in 2010
Biggest salary jump: £42,000 to £56,000 in 2020
Biggest salary drop: £180 per day to £0 in 2016
Biggest negotiation regret: My first contract job, I was extended every three months. Not once did I think to negotiate an increase in day rate to reflect my increased experience and I was there over 18 months.
Best salary advice: Be your own boss and give yourself the job title and raise you want by keeping an eye on the market and moving when you spot a good role that has the pay and/or title you want. Most employers will recruit external talent rather than promote you. Be just as ruthless.
Also, negotiate not just salary but bonuses, holiday allowance, working hours, flexible working etc.