I've Been In Finance For 8 Years — & I Finally Feel Fulfilled In My Career

illustrated by Hannah Minn.
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.
Been in the workforce for at least eight years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here.
Age: 29
Current Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Current Industry & Title: Construction, Financial Controller
Starting Salary: $38,000 in 2011
Current Salary: $80,000
Number Of Years Employed: 8
Biggest Salary Jump: $63,000 to $80,000 in 2018
Biggest Salary Drop: $65,000 to $63,000 in 2016
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: “I wish I had asked for more the first time I changed public accounting firms. I was interviewing at several different accounting firms and felt confident that I was going to get offers from all of them, especially given that my role was in-demand and I had a lot of experience.
“I let my number one choice know they were my first choice, and I think that I should have played it a little better so that I could have more options. Had I not set up that neutrality from the beginning, I could have probably negotiated better. Before they gave me an offer, I told the companies that weren’t my first choice that I had received another offer, and I probably should have leveraged them against one another. Instead, I just accepted the first offer without negotiating. I could have gotten more money had I done things differently.”
Best Salary-Related Advice: “Give the dollar amount you are looking for instead of a salary range. On my most recent offer, I gave a range of what I was asking for, and afterward a mentor told me not to do this. He said that companies are more likely to give you an offer at the lowest end of the range you provide. Instead, he encouraged me to just give the top amount of the range instead.”

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series