Salary Story: I’m 25 & On 43k Because I Embraced Job Hopping

Illustrated by Evelyn Kandin Geler.
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: 25
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Senior account manager, creative/design agency
Current salary: £43,000
Number of years employed since school or university: Four
Starting salary: £16,000 in 2018
Biggest salary jump: £23,000 to £43,000 in 2021
Biggest salary drop: US$40,000 (approx. £30,000) to £23,000 in 2020. It was lockdown and I was moving back from NYC to London. Jobs were few and far between and I just had to take whatever I could. NYC is expensive so the $40,000 there probably went as far as £23,000 in London – skint!
Biggest negotiation regret: Not doing my research on sites like Glassdoor to see what other companies were offering and paying for similar roles. I also regret not being more open with my friends about our salaries. I assumed I was on low pay because that's how everyone my age was – I was wrong!
Best salary advice: Research what other companies are paying those in a similar role or at a similar level. I wish I'd realised this sooner – I went in low on a few occasions just because it was more than what I was used to surviving on, not because it was the right salary for the hard work I was doing.
Also, don't be afraid to leave a job if you've only been there a short amount of time. I spent too much time worrying about whether it would look bad on my CV if I've only been at a company for nine months. If you're willing to talk in an interview about why you'd like to move and why the previous role wasn't right for you, no one cares!