Salary Story: I Got A 24k Pay Rise By Networking

Illustrated by Michelle Mildenberg.
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: London
Current industry and job title: Senior policy advisor, government
Current salary: £52,000
Number of years employed since school or university: Eight
Starting salary: £19,000
Biggest salary jump: £28,000 to £52,000
Biggest salary drop: £38,000 to £28,000
Biggest negotiation regret: At my first company I was offered a promotion and a pay rise of £1,000. Later I realised that a friend doing the same job for a different audience on a similar team had a more senior title and was being paid £5,000 more. I started to query it but didn't push it as knew I would be leaving within the year. It also felt like a clear example of gender pay disparity in the workplace so I kick myself for not standing up for the obvious difference in our salaries.
Best salary advice: You never know when you'll work with people again – or if they'll be responsible for hiring – so always leave an excellent impression and keep the door open for the future. Several of my jobs have been through connections or my wider network.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series