This L.A. Graphic Designer Took A $12K Salary Drop After Freelancing

Photographed by Rachel cabitt.
In our series My Salary Story, 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.
We're joining forces with The Salary Project at Career Contessa for the next few months to reflect an even wider range of experiences. Interested in contributing your salary story? Email us here.
Previously, we talked to a 32-year-old senior manager at a nonprofit who wished her manager would stop "playing games" with her salary. Today, we connect with a 31-year-old graphic designer in L.A. who went from corporate to freelance and back again.
Age: 31
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
Current Industry & Title: Finance & Graphic Designer
Starting Salary: $34,000
Current Salary: $72,000
Number of Years Employed: 9
Biggest Salary Jump: $20,000
Biggest Salary Drop: $12,000
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "Not negotiating for a higher starting salary at a new company."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "If you can't negotiate your salary, negotiate for perksextra vacation time, benefits, flexible scheduling."

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series