I Make $50K – & It Took Me 7 Years To Make This Much

illustrated by Richard Chance.
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: Austin, TX
Current Industry & Title: Web Asset Administrator & Illustrator
Starting Salary: $24,000 in 2011
Current Salary: $50,000
Number Of Years Employed: 8
Biggest Salary Jump: $32,000 to $50,000 in 2018
Biggest Salary Drop: $28,000 to $24,000 in 2014
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "Taking a job in my field at any salary just because I wanted to get out of retail and have a steady stream of illustration work. I had been out of school for six years before I actually got a job in my degree program, so I just wanted to do anything, and as soon as I got an opportunity that wasn’t retail, I jumped at it.
"I was excited to take the job at any point, but looking back — and after finding out what my coworkers make in similar roles — I was amazed at the difference. I knew I could have negotiated for more, but at the time it didn’t seem like it was important. If I could go back, I would have at least tried to start a conversation about salary."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Be more open about money. There’s a culture around not talking about how much you make, and I think being open about it is key. As soon as my coworkers told me what they made, for instance, I realized I could have negotiated for more. Communication with people within your field and knowing your worth is so important."