Salary Story: By Relocating Often, I Earn 175k At 33 Years Old

Illustrated by Victoria Manzanilla.
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: 33
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Chief people officer in luxury fashion
Current salary: £175,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 17
Starting salary: £8,500 in 2004
Biggest salary jump: £125,000 to £175,000 in 2020
Biggest salary drop: £47,500 to £20,000 in 2014
Biggest negotiation regret: When I moved back to London from Exeter in 2016 I got offered a job at £36,500, which at the time was £11,500 more than my salary in Devon. I didn't think to check the living costs and they asked me to start immediately but only offered £300 per week for accommodation. I didn't ask for more or negotiate the salary and I was out of pocket for living costs and struggled on the low salary. I left after eight months.
Best salary advice: Never tell people what you're on, tell them what your expectations are and always consider the full package.