I Make $90K — & I Used My Vacation Days To Interview For A New Job

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:
Do your homework before you start salary negotiations with potential employers. Good research goes beyond internet searches and includes talking to people about their salaries. The more you know, the better.
Been in the workforce for at least eight years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here.
Age: 30
Current Location: Portland, OR
Current Industry & Title: Advertising, Brand Manager
Starting Salary: $28,000 in 2011
Current Salary: $90,000
Number Of Years Employed: 8
Biggest Salary Jump: $15,000 bump (from $35,000 to $50,000) in 2014
Biggest Salary Drop: No drops, only a lateral move.
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "Not taking as much as I felt I deserved for my last move. I asked for $110,000, but they lowballed me at $80,000 and we sort of met in the middle, at $90,000.
"It felt good that I was at least able to negotiate up by $10,000, but what was frustrating was that I felt that, by getting a title bump to what was called a “supervisor” (though they later changed it to a title I’d had before), I deserved at least $100,000.
“I was afraid that if I pushed more, I wouldn’t be hired, so I felt like it was just something I had to do. Though, as I’ve learned, the company has stature and tends to lowball people. I’m not regretful that I made the move, but I do feel like I deserved more and wish I’d had the confidence to push back more, especially now that I see the amount of work that I do.”
Best Salary-Related Advice: “Always aim high and ask for more if someone lowballs you. I feel that when companies offer an amount, they typically have $5,000 to $10,000 more actually to give you. This has been quite accurate, in my experience.
“I always ask for more in some capacity, and it’s usually worked out, at least in that $5,000-$10,000 range. I have quite a few friends in HR, and they have given me this advice as well.”

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