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Salary Story: I Make $100k & My Career Is No Longer My Priority

Illustrated by Jessie Wong.
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 people more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
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Age: 27
Location: Northern California
Current industry and job title: Education Technology, Senior Brand Marketing Manager
Current salary: $100,000/year
Number of years employed since school or university: 6
Starting salary: $55,000/year
Biggest salary jump: Last year, my salary increased over 13%! I went from $75,000 to $85,000 when I got promoted within my company. I had been pushing for this promotion for about a year beforehand so was really happy to see it come to fruition.
Biggest salary drop: In 2020, I was laid off (along with most everyone else!) so my salary went from $65,000 to $0, but at the time, there was so much extra unemployment available that I actually ended up taking home more money while I was unemployed than I was making previously.
Biggest negotiation regret: I’ve always been keen on negotiating my salary, but my biggest regret is that I often accepted less because I thought I didn’t have enough experience or because I was at smaller companies who could only afford a certain amount. I never regret negotiating, but there were times I probably should have passed on an offer in pursuit of something better.
Best salary advice: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? This is from a book we had to read for work recently, Who Moved My Cheese? If you want to make a career move, quit a job you don’t like, or ask for a raise, just think what you would do if you weren’t afraid and go for it.

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