Salary Story: I’m Finally A Therapist – & I Earn 40k

Illustrated by Holly Farndell.
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: Aberdeen
Current industry and job title: Mental healthcare, psychological therapist
Current salary: £40,000
Number of years employed since school or university: Seven
Starting salary: £16,000 in 2015
Biggest salary jump: £32,306 to £40,057 in 2020
Biggest salary drop: N/A
Biggest negotiation regret: Not understanding my worth as a newly qualified graduate. I really struggled to find full-time employment after I graduated and was so relieved to be offered a job that I didn't attempt to negotiate the salary, even though I was overqualified for the post and quickly took on additional responsibilities. I wish I had more self-confidence at that time in my life. I was too afraid that the job offer would be taken away if I asked for more money.
Best salary advice: Know your worth and don't be afraid to open up these conversations with a manager. They either already know how great you are and are willingly underpaying you, in which case stand up for yourself and let them know! Or they haven't realised how much you do and it's up to you to let them know. Go into these meetings prepared, with plenty of solid examples and evidence of your roles and responsibilities. Maybe even compare these to the job description – it can be a great way to demonstrate when you are clearly doing more.

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