I'm A Tech Associate Program Manager & I Got A $39K Raise By Changing Jobs

Illustration by Vero Romero
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.
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Age: 31
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."

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