I Make $146,000 — But Would I Have A Higher Salary If I'd Negotiated Earlier?

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.
Additionally, we are joining forces with SoFi for the next few months to bring you career tips and coaching. We got the low-down from SoFi's career coaches who recommend:
Did you have a big win at work? Now's the time update your résumé with the relevant details while they are still fresh in your mind.
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Previously, we talked to a 29-year old senior associate in internal communications who negotiated a $12,000 raise, a 33-year-old senior marketing specialist who regrets not having negotiated early in her career, and a 29-year old regional manager in the wine and spirits industry who tripled her salary without changing companies.
Age: 31
Current Location: San Francisco, CA
Current Industry & Title: Technology, Head of Support
Starting Salary: $45,000 in 2009
Current Salary: $146,000
Number Of Years Employed: 10
Biggest Salary Jump: $96,000 to $120,000 in 2014
Biggest Salary Drop: $120,000 to $115,000 in 2017
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "Not negotiating my salary when I transitioned to my first job in tech. At the time, I’d only been working for about a year. My first industry was in government where there were very transparent salaries, goals, and levels — there was no negotiation or room for change. Because of this, I started my career thinking you didn’t question anything and just accepted what you were given.
“When I transitioned to tech, I didn’t want to hurt my chances of getting that first job, but now I realize I could have started out higher and, potentially, be even higher than where I am now. I feel like I sold myself short by not negotiating more at the beginning. In hindsight, I had a lot to bring to the table and should have leveraged that.”
Best Salary-Related Advice: “I’ve learned over the years to document all of the receipts so that you’re in a position to advocate for yourself. I repeatedly share my wins with my boss in my one-on-ones, or in other ways. I even Slack my CEO when I’ve had a big win. I used to let other people share my accomplishments, but I’ve learned to start sharing my own.”

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