Salary Story: Two Redundancies In My 20s Helped Me Find What I Truly Wanted

Illustrated by Lucie Corbasson.
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: 29
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Media, Brand Development Manager
Current salary: £45,000
Number of years employed since school or university: Eight
Starting salary: £10,000 in 2013
Biggest salary jump: £34,000 to £45,000
Biggest salary drop: £18,000 to £0. I took a three-month internship in an industry I wanted to break into but it led to me developing mental health issues
Biggest negotiation regret: Not recognising the opportunities that redundancy was offering me and using it to work out what I wanted rather than focusing on what was being forced on me.
Best salary advice: Don't be intimidated if you find yourself in a redundancy situation. I have gone through three redundancy situations and been made redundant once when I was suffering from mental health issues. The most recent situation gave me such clarity on what I want in the short and long term, and I used the understanding I had of my value in the company to make steps in the right direction and earn the biggest raise I've had so far. Someone told me: "What's for you, won't pass you." I laughed at the time but when I was feeling stressed and not in control, repeating it really helped me.