Salary Story: I Left My £75k Salary To Start A Business For Myself

Illustration by: Eutalia De la Paz
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: London
Current industry and job title: Influencer Marketing, Founder & Director
Current salary: £0
Number of years employed since school or university: Eight
Starting salary: £18,000 in 2015
Biggest salary jump: from £30,000 to £60,000 in 2021
Biggest salary drop: £75,000 to £0 in 2022
Biggest negotiation regret: I was promoted with a pay rise from £24,000 to £30,000, only to realise that others in my team were actually on £35,000 for the same role. It was around the start of COVID so I felt lucky to still have a job and settled a bit too quickly.
Best salary advice: Treat yourself like a business. Approach any salary or progression conversation armed with data about your performance. If you have regular one-to-ones with your manager try and keep a structure around the conversation and where you can document outcomes. Keeps accountability between you both and it should be clear where and what the next promotion is. Look at the same role in the industry and do some benchmarking against that.