Salary Story: I’m 26 & Make £104,000 By Contracting

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: 26
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Project management, project support officer
Current salary: £104,000 (£400 day rate)
Number of years employed since school or university: Seven
Starting salary: £10 p/h in 2015
Biggest salary jump: £47,000 to £104,000
Biggest salary drop: £36,000 to £22,000
Biggest negotiation regret: When speaking to recruiters, I’d sometimes let them reduce my desired day rate when I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. I guess you’d call it imposter syndrome — I was scared to say my worth in case it put them off. That led to me almost accepting a role at the same rate as the job I was leaving. Never again! Know your worth and add tax.
Best salary advice: Don’t be afraid to take contract roles. Everyone seems to be scared about the "lack of security" but what is job security nowadays? Your permanent job could let you go at any time. At least you’ll be prepared and be well compensated if you contract.