I'm A Director Of Product Management & It Took 9 Years To Land My Dream Career

Illustrated by Lily Fulop
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: 36
Current Location: Oakland, CA
Current Industry & Title: Director of Product Management, Fintech
Starting Salary: $28,000
Current Salary: $170,000 base
Number Of Years Employed: 15
Biggest Salary Jump: $30,000 (from $58,000 to $88,000) in 2011
Biggest Salary Drop: None
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "I wish that I had negotiated a better salary when I received a promotion in 2009. I received a modest salary increase but lost the ability to make overtime, which left me at a significant salary deficit moving forward. I've always regretted not lobbying for a bigger salary increase to offset the loss of overtime."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Don't be afraid to demand promotions earlier on in your career, and be prepared to walk. Don't stay in an unfulfilling job just because you have a steady paycheck. If you don't take risks to get what you deserve, you're depriving yourself of a brighter future."

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