Salary Story: Despite My Debts, Quitting My Job Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

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: 33
Location: London 
Current industry and job title: Contracts specialist, oil and energy
Current salary: £55,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 7
Starting salary: £28,000 in 2014
Biggest salary jump: £28,000 to £45,890 in 2016
Biggest salary drop: £45,890 to £32,095 in 2016
Biggest negotiation regret: I was naive and jumped on the first salary I was offered. I would tell my younger self to be bold and negotiate the hell out of that salary. This comes with the caveat that it is essential to have a secure financial cushion to fall back on should your potential employer reject your counteroffer.
Best salary advice: When asked about salary expectations, always offer a range, not a specific figure, and make sure the range is reasonably well above your previous salary.