I Left The Company I Worked At For 8 Years & Got A $70K Raise

illustrated by Abbey Lossing.
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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Been in the workforce for at least eight years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here.
Age: 29
Current Location: Chicago, IL
Current Industry & Title: Ad Tech, Director
Starting Salary: $38,000 in 2011
Current Salary: $160,000
Number Of Years Employed: 8
Biggest Salary Jump: $70,000 in 2018
Biggest Salary Drop: None
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "In one of my jobs, I received another job offer and went to my manager. I didn’t negotiate at all, and had actually turned down the other job offer before I even got the counter-offer. I was so nervous, as I’d never negotiated a counter-offer before.
"I loved where I was at and didn’t want to offend them, so once they gave me a number, I just accepted it and didn’t actually negotiate. The counter-offer was $10,000 more than I was already making, but still around $50,000 less than the offer from the other company.
"This was one of the first times that I realized the true value of my role and expertise from the outside. Looking back, I think I should have negotiated and asked for more. I let my nerves take over; I was so grateful they were giving me more money that I just took it and didn’t realize I had leverage."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Always ask; the worst they say is no. A lot of people just wait until someone lets them know that they should be promoted, or lets them know they should be getting more money. I think as women we have this fear of rejection; we don't want to offend anyone or push boundaries, and so we just wait. But if we never ask, we will never know what we can actually achieve.
"This is something I always did early on in my career, but now I’m always asking to see how I can get to the next level and what I can be working for, whether it’s a bump in salary, more responsibility, or more vacation days.
"We often take on a lot of responsibility in hopes that someone sees that we should be getting a raise or a bump, but at the end of the day, unless you’re voicing it, I don’t know that the recognition always comes."

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