I Used To Make $250,000 As A Head Of Talent & Now Make $0 As A Founder/CEO

Photo: Courtesy Of Britta Larsen
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: 43
Current Location: New York, NY
Current Industry & Title: Human Resources, Founder/CEO
Starting Salary: $28,000
Current Salary: $0
Number Of Years Employed: 22 (I’ve held a job since I was 13, so technically 30 years.)
Biggest Salary Jump: $60,000 (from $150,000 to $210,000) in 2016
Biggest Salary Drop: $144,800 (from $150,000 to $100/week) in 2009
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "I’m proud that I’ve always advocated for myself and was prepared for salary reviews. If I have any regrets, it was leaving companies when I was about to get equity. I wish I’d pushed for the paperwork to happen sooner.”
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Be confident talking about money. Inevitably, compensation will come up in job interviews, and you should be ready to talk about what you are looking for. You are not determining your salary in the first conversation, you are making sure that there is alignment on budgets. Speaking in ranges shows that you understand that salaries fluctuate between companies. There is always flexibility on budgets when a company loves a candidate. Focus on making them want you and nailing the courtship process.”
Britta Larsen is an HR expert whose mission is to make ‘work’ work better by improving the employee journey — candidate through alumni. As a thought leader in the areas of people, operations and wellness, she’s frequently turning assumptions about HR on their head — while believing deeply in HR as a tool for positive change. Her independent practice, It’s Britta HR, helps founder-led organizations strengthen their employer brand experience through HR strategies and counsel. 

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