Salary Story: I Left Teaching Because Of Stress & Now Earn 52k

Illustrated by Vivienne Shao.
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: 30
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Education management, senior project manager
Current salary: £52,000
Number of years employed since school or university: Seven
Starting salary: £25,000 in 2015
Biggest salary jump: £39,000 to £46,500 in 2020
Biggest salary drop: £46,000 to £41,000 in 2021
Biggest negotiation regret: I didn’t negotiate my first salary when I moved from teaching to an education management job. I was so grateful to have received an offer after being rejected from many other education project management jobs that I didn’t place enough value on my teaching experience — it actually put me above my peers without real-world experience in schools. That meant I had to ask for more (uncomfortably!) over the next couple of years to get what I felt I was worth after discovering a few months in that I was better at the job because of that experience.
Best salary advice: If you don’t ask, you don’t get — but always have a clear, evidence-based case to back your request up. It doesn’t matter if you think you deserve it; where’s the concrete evidence of the value you’ve added and difference you’ve made?