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Salary Story: I Learned The Hard Way Not To Take The First Offer

Illustrated by Other Maria.
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: 29
Location: Chicago, IL
Current industry and job title: Librarian at a public library
Current salary: $55,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 7
Starting salary: $8.75/hour in 2012
Biggest salary jump: ~$43,000 (combined income of two part-time jobs) to $55,000
Biggest salary drop: ~$48,000 to ~$43,000
Biggest negotiation regret: My biggest negotiation regret is not negotiating my salary before I accepted my current role. I was so relieved to finally be offered a full-time job that I just accepted the offer without thinking it through. This job was the first job in which I had the interview in one day and then was offered the position a few days right after. I was caught off guard. I was overwhelmed but also ecstatic, knowing that the first application for a full-time job I had put in had been a success. Now, looking back, I should have asked for more with the experience I have in the field.
Best salary advice: Don't hesitate to ask questions about information you are not sure of. If I could have a redo, I would have sought advice from colleagues who are in full-time positions and asked how they negotiated their salary before accepting.

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