Salary Story: I Learned Friends Aren’t A Good Enough Reason To Stay At A 60k Job

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. Published stories receive £100.
Age: 29
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Workplace manager, tech
Current salary: £70,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 11
Starting salary: £18,000
Biggest salary jump: £45,000 to £70,000 in 2022.
Biggest salary drop: £60,000 to £28,000 in 2018. I moved from investment banking to the charity sector.
Biggest negotiation regret: I regret just taking the salary I was offered at my previous role and not negotiating it up. 
The role was a £13,000 salary increase and I had told the recruiter what I was on currently so I didn't want to come across as greedy. 
I was moving from the charity sector to tech and I later found out that team members were on much higher salaries than me. 
When I moved jobs a year later I was offered a £20,000 salary increase to join another tech firm. Even though I was so happy with this I still made sure to negotiate, and got it up to £25,000.
Best salary advice: If you are unhappy and not thriving in a role then make a change! 
There are so many roles out there that will appreciate you, challenge you, compensate you properly.
I spent too long in jobs where I wasn't being challenged and became deflated and even a bit lazy. I wasn't pushing myself. I didn't have much joy in my work but I stayed as I was surrounded by people I liked spending time with. 
When you move and find that spark and joy for work again, you always think: Wow! Why didn't I do this sooner? 
Having friends isn't a good enough reason to stay at a company. You can meet up with those friends outside of work. Plus you will make new friends at your new role.