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.
We are looking for people with disabilities who are interested in sharing their stories with us and our audience for our Salary Stories franchise. Refinery29 is committed to sharing the stories of people with disabilities, whether those disabilities are physical, mental, or developmental, visible or unseen, and we want to shed light on all the ways these disabilities impact daily lives. If you've been in the workforce for at least eight years, have a disability, and are interested in contributing your salary story, submit your information here.
Previously, we talked to a director of product management in Oakland, CA , a graphic designer in Miami, and a film and TV producer in Victoria, British Columbia.
Current Location: San Francisco
Current Industry & Title: Tech/Associate Program Manager
Starting Salary: $42,500 in 2013
Current Salary: $115,000 (plus 10% bonus and RSUs that vest in 3 years)
Number Of Years Employed: 6
Biggest Salary Jump: I jumped $39,000 this year by leaving my old company for a new one, working in the same role and same city.
Biggest Salary Drop: I have only gone up!
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "I wish I'd negotiated my job at my second company from the get-go. They once brought in a direct report (for me) who was making $10k more than I was, in a cheaper city. When I asked them why, they said it was because the cost of living in Seattle was higher than the Bay Area. I was so taken aback by the fact that they were clearly wrong that I didn’t even know what to say. I only knew that the only way to make more money in this role was to become a manager."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Interview constantly to know your worth, and always ask for more than you think they can offer. I try to find specific salary information about the company that I am interviewing at using Glassdoor. Once I know the range, I ask for a minimum 15% more. They’re ready to negotiate, and they expect that from you. All anybody can do is say no, and they’ll usually come back with some sort of counter that’s better than what they first offered. You’ll always be better off, and it’s easier than trying to get promoted internally."