I Make $145,000 As An Integrated Marketing Senior Manager & I Had To Take Unpaid Maternity Leave

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.
Age: 35
Current Location: New York, NY
Current Industry & Title: Publishing, Integrated Strategy Senior Manager
Starting Salary: $38,000
Current Salary: $145,000
Number Of Years Employed: 12
Biggest Salary Jump: $30,000 in 2017 (from $100,000 to $130,000)
Biggest Salary Drop: $5,000 in 2009 ($38,000 to $33,000)
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "When making the transition to my current job, I should have asked for the specific terms and conditions of the benefits. My husband and I were planning to start a family in the near future, and once I was pregnant I learned that the company offered zero full paid-time-off maternity leave. I had been with the company for over a year and was not eligible for any compensation. (Only employees with two-plus years were offered four weeks off.) In the end I did ask to be compensated for two weeks, which I was granted."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Be confident when expressing your salary requirements; always look at the person you are negotiating with. Go in with a game plan as to what you want and what you are willing to 'bend.'"

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