I'm A Consultant & Freelance Psychologist Making $87K — & Quitting My Full-Time Job Changed My Career

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: 34
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
Current Industry & Title: Healthcare, Psychologist
Starting Salary: $48,895
Current Salary: $86,713
Number Of Years Employed: 11
Biggest Salary Jump: $39,312 in 2012
Biggest Salary Drop: $61,000 in 2017
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "In the past, I was a bit headstrong and wanted to just find something — but I didn’t spend enough time networking or considering different ways to get more. Being a student and going into internships and postdocs you just kind of take what you get. It didn’t really seem appropriate to negotiate. And, though salary wise it’s not always an option to negotiate individually because of unions, I wish I had felt I had room to negotiate other things sooner."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Don’t take a job you don’t want unless it’s absolutely necessary. When I was newly licensed, I jumped at the first position I could get even though it wasn’t a great fit for me. While I learned some good life lessons, I wish I would have held out for something that was more in line with my career goals. From there, demonstrate your professional value and your commitment to the quality of work you do — even if you don’t love your position or your supervisor. Focus on what you’re bringing to the team and make sure you’re showing you’re an asset at any opportunity."

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