I Went From Making $50,000 To $18.50 An Hour & I'm Happier Now

Illustrated by Abbey Lossing.
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.
Additionally, we are joining forces with SoFi for the next few months to bring you career tips and coaching. We got the low-down from SoFi's career coaches who recommend:
Looking for a career switch? Update your experience on your résumé using keywords and phrases that apply to the new role.
Been in the workforce for at least eight years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here.
Previously, we talked to a head of support who wishes she negotiated earlier, a senior communications associate who negotiated a $12,000 raise, and a marketing director who went from making $27,000 to $90,000 in two years.
Age: 33
Current Location: Boulder, CO
Current Industry & Title: Manufacturing, Records & Compliance Coordinator
Starting Salary: $34,000 in 2008
Current Salary: $18.50 an hour ($38,480)
Number Of Years Employed: 14
Biggest Salary Jump: $43,000 to $50,000 in 2015
Biggest Salary Drop: $50,000 to unemployed in 2017
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "I regret not negotiating my pay for my first job, which was as a student assistant at the university where I earned my bachelor's degree. I took what was offered to me straight off the bat, and I regret not pushing back more. Especially since I did not get a raise for two years, and only when I was promoted to a different position."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Know your worth and what your industry standards are. Even at my highest salary, I learned after the fact that I was being paid about 75% of what I should have been. I now know to use a lot of online resources, such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, and to get more insight, which has helped me know what I should expect to be offered."

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