It Took Me 10 Years To Find A Job I Loved — Then I Got Laid Off

ILLUSTRATED BY AISHA DEV
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.
Editor's Note: All currency has been converted to USD.
Age: 32
Current Location: Dallas, TX
Current Industry & Title: Founder and director of a luxury concierge company
Starting Salary: $34,931
Current Salary: ~$100K
Number Of Years Employed: 10 years
Biggest Salary Jump: $25,000 (from $100,000 to $125,000) in 2019
Biggest Salary Drop: $25,000 (from $125,000 to $100,000) in 2019
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: “None. I've always been a badass negotiator. Unfortunately, I always had some sort of visa restriction in Australia, which meant I could only do certain kinds of jobs for certain kinds of companies. Negotiation was always about more money for a role that I didn’t particularly like doing to stay in a country I loved. Kind of like making the best of a bad situation. Now my values have shifted slightly. I really value flexibility and vacation time.”
Best Salary-Related Advice: “My biggest piece of salary advice to my younger self would be that it actually looks better to ask for more money than it does to accept the first offer. Particularly for me, who had sales-related roles. I felt negotiating my salary demonstrated my sales acumen. I would always say in an interview, ‘Well, if I can't even negotiate a higher salary then I don't deserve the job!’
Asking for more money is only doing what men are anyway. Make sure you don’t come off as desperate. In my last role, they wanted to give me a raise of $15k. In the meeting with the CEO and COO (both men), I flat-out said I was disappointed with the offer and needed to think about it. They were both visibly shocked. Over that weekend I wrote them a letter outlining all the value I had brought to the company in my short tenure. I then gave them two options: either a higher base, or a lower base with a high spending budget for personal development. In the end they went with the higher base.”

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