This Registered Nurse Says A Pay Cut Was The Best Career Move She's Made

In our series My Salary Story, 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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Previously, we talked to a 33-year old Executive Assistant who doubled her salary in less than four years, a 37-year old Marketing Insights Manager in the Beauty industry who made $85,000 at an internship, and a 37-year old IT professional who got A $8,000 raise with a counter-offer.
Age: 29
Current Location: East Bay San Francisco, CA
Current Industry & Title: Health Care, Registered Nurse
Starting Salary: $65,000 base in 2012 (plus 12% in lieu of benefits)
Current Salary: $157,000 plus call, overtime and shift differential (approximately $1,500-2,000 per month) + $33,000 a year from my side hustle
Number Of Years Employed: Six years as a registered nurse, in health care since 2009
Biggest Salary Jump: $70,500 jump in 2017
Biggest Salary Drop: $11,000 in 2016 (I moved from night shift to day shift I lost my night differential pay)
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "Not pushing harder for a relocation bonus when I first moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. I had received one when I moved from Canada to Arizona. I was told I could not have relocation assistance due to the nurses union in California, but the following year the hospital that hired me was offering $30,000 sign on bonuses for new hires to the operating room. It was very expensive to move to the San Francisco Bay and relocation assistance would have been very helpful."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Don’t be afraid to negotiate, counteroffer, and shop around. Also even though one company may pay a little less, their overall benefit package may be better than their competitors. For example, one hospital may offer low deductibles, more time off or paid time off, pensions and better 403(b)/401(k) match but pay slightly less hourly. You have to look at the bigger picture and see if long term it works better for you. When I moved to the Bay Area I had my pick of four hospitals that gave me offers that were all within one dollar hourly of each other. So to make my decision, I saw if that hospital offered a pension, their time off packages, if they were unionized, and how quickly my medical benefits kicked in."

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