I Make $50,000 As A Chief Of Staff — & I’ve Switched Careers Twice

Illustrated by Twisha Patni
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: 33
Current Location: New Orleans, LA
Current Industry & Title: Equipment Manufacturing, Chief of Staff
Starting Salary: $25,000 in 2009
Current Salary: $50,000
Number Of Years Employed: 15
Biggest Salary Jump: $21,900 (from $45,600 to $67,500 in 2015)
Biggest Salary Drop: $29,100 (from about $67,500 to about $38,400 in 2016)
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "I worked in the accounting departments of various television productions for about seven years, on some major network TV shows. I was paid well, but my total lack of work/life balance sent me downhill into a depression. I wish I'd negotiated stricter parameters around my work hours — after a certain point in the day, I was no longer able to be productive."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Start negotiating early and don't back down. I have backed down from negotiations when faced with a negative reaction, and instead of owning my worth, I let my insecurities get the best of me."

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