Salary Story: I Skipped Uni & I’m Now Making 75k At 27

Illustrated by Justyna Green
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: 27
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Senior software engineer
Current salary: £75,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 10
Starting salary: £11,000 in 2012
Biggest salary jump: £24,500 to £60,000
Biggest salary drop: N/A
Biggest negotiation regret: I don’t think I have any regrets, to be honest. Even if I haven’t got the answer I wanted, something good always came of it, even if it was just the confidence to do it again.
Best salary advice: After you’ve been offered a role, always ask for more than what they’re offering… I know it’s a cliché but honestly, the worst they can say is no. In my second job I tried to do this but as they had fixed pay scales they couldn’t accommodate any more, which was fine.
In my current role, I was interviewing at other places at the same time (and now know this place wanted me). So I said I’d be happy to cancel my other interviews if they would round my salary up to £60k from the £55k they offered me. I got an email back a couple of hours later that they were happy to do this, so accepted it on the spot!

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