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Salary Story: I Lost Myself Trying To Please Toxic Managers

Illustrated by Lily LK.
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: Birmingham
Current industry and job title: Senior marketing executive, professional services
Current salary: £38,000
Number of years employed since school or university: Eight
Starting salary: £15,000 in 2016
Biggest salary jump: From £26,000 to £33,000 in 2021.
Biggest salary drop: N/A
Biggest negotiation regret: I was so desperate to get the job at my current company that I was too scared to negotiate pay, so I ended up just accepting the same salary as my last job which wasn’t much at all, considering the responsibility. I know now that I should’ve done some research on salaries for similar roles and that’s probably held me back financially, which is very frustrating!
Best salary advice: Ask for the salary you want, even if you’re scared you’ll lose the job. If they want you, they’ll give it to you.