How A Business Manager Negotiated A $13K Raise

Illustration by Evelyn Zhang.
In our series Salary Stories, women with years of 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. Interested in contributing your salary story? Email us here.
Previously, we talked to a 30-year-old unionized attorney in Brooklyn, NY who has been working since she was a teenager. Today, we connect with a senior manager in tech who weathered Wall Street layoffs.
Age: 33
Current Location: New York City
Current Industry: Technology (Business Development & Marketing)
Title: Senior Manager
Current Annual Salary: $110,000
Number of years employed: 11
Starting Annual Salary: $40,000
Biggest Salary Jump: $13,610 (base) increase moving from a manager to senior manager
Biggest Salary Drop: 5%. "This was during the recession in 2009. My employer chose to reduce salaries across the board based on income, rather than pursue major layoffs. This was for a one-year period and then salaries were brought back to the original wage."
Biggest Negotiation Regret: "There was very limited room to negotiate my first salary out of college during the recession. However, years later when I was promoted to manager, I still had not mastered my negotiation skills and did not negotiate pay. I was intimidated by the process and like many, feared that if I negotiated, the offer would be rescinded. I estimate that I left $5,000-$10,000 on the table by not negotiating. So, although I think I am underpaid by $10,000-$15,000, some of it is self-inflicted."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Know your worth by researching the industry average for your role and evaluating the percentile where your current salary fits. Also, position yourself to be promotable. Go beyond the basics of your role, document your achievements, and pursue advance certifications and training in order to learn new skills. Lastly, be flexible: Compensation is not limited to just your base salary. You can also negotiate your bonus structure, personal time off, benefits, and more."

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