Salary Story: I Make £64k & Live On A Houseboat

Illustrated by Jessie Wong
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: 32
Location: Boat dweller. London, Bristol, Suffolk
Current industry and job title: Head of Customer Experience
Current salary: £64,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 16
Starting salary: £18,000 in 2006
Biggest salary jump: £38,000 to £64,000 in 2021
Biggest salary drop: £38,000 to £18,000 in 2010
Biggest negotiation regret: In my current role, I didn't understand my worth. It was only when I tried to leave that I understood my true worth to the business and also what my peers were paid. I lost out for many years through a lack of confidence, and I have only now learned at 32 the way I should have believed in myself at 20.
Best salary advice: Believe in yourself, do your research. Think about the hours you actually work, not what you’re contracted to work. Think about how much it would cost them to replace you at short notice. What would the impact to the business be if you were not there from tomorrow? The recruiter fee may be more than you thought and you can add this to your expected salary.