I Make Six Figures & I'm Quitting My Job To Move Abroad With No Plan

In our series My 6-Figure Paycheck, women making more than $100,000 open up about how they got there and what exactly they do. We take a closer look at what it feels like to be a woman making six-figures — when only 5% of American women make that much, according to the U.S. Census with the hope it will give women insight into how to better navigate their own career and salary trajectories.
Today, we chat with a 26-year-old brand finance manager from New York, NY. Previously, we spoke to a a 30-year old associate director of social media marketing from New York, NY, a 35-year old attorney from Birmingham, AL and a 31-year old Design Strategist in Denver, CO.
Advertisement
DashDividers_1_500x100
Job: Brand Finance Manager, Luxury Beauty & Fragrance
Age: 26
Location: New York, NY
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Economics
First Salary: $65,000
Salary: $125,000
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"I wanted to be four things: a teacher, a corporate lawyer, a pediatric ophthalmologist and 'a successful business lady in a big city.' In other words, young me didn't know what I wanted. In many ways I'm still kind of the same today. I'm just interested in so many different things. Not necessarily a bad thing, however, because at least wherever I find myself landing, I can find happiness."
What did you study in college?
"I have my Bachelors of Science in Economics from an Ivy League school. That's the generic degree everyone graduates with from the undergraduate business school, so you actually have 'concentrations' within the degree rather than entire majors. My concentrations were Marketing/Operations Management and Entrepreneurial Innovation."
Did you have to take out student loans?
"I am quite blessed to have parents who are covering my education. What we did, however, was take out the loans under my name, I make the payments, and they reimburse me once I make them. It is set up this way to serve as a lesson in budgeting on my end, but also to start establishing credit early. With the rate of my payments, I project it will be paid off in 2023."
Have you been working at this job since you graduated college?
"Nope. My first internship was working as a Digital/E-Commerce intern at a Fashion Retail brand before my junior year. The following year, I interned in Finance and Accounting at a big CPG company.
Advertisement
"I knew I wanted to work in beauty, but they didn't have any opportunities on the beauty brands at the time so they put me in grooming because it was close enough in terms of how consumers viewed and assessed the end product. This internship turned into a full time offer for after graduation, so I took the offer and went back to that particular office for a year and a half.
"My boss was a huge mentor and advocate for me. He knew I loved beauty, so when the company announced it was actually selling off all the beauty brands, my heart sunk. But he pulled some strings and was able to give me an opportunity to move within the company to New York before the divestiture — I just had to be able to move immediately. So I did it! Then, when we integrated into the new company, the role had changed a bit and this is where I am today."
How would you explain your day-to-day role at your job?
"Ultimately, my team holds the purse strings for the marketing budget and I control sections within that. Day to day, that means a lot of looking at excel, translating excel into something that makes sense for my teams in both business conversation and reporting (helping them understand how to talk about their numbers) as well as some back end accounting stuff like closing the books each month."
Did you negotiate your salary?
"I did not negotiate my base salary as the company I worked for had stringent reviews and pay level processes. However, I did negotiate additional monetary benefits when relocating such as rental subsidy and adjustments for cost of living."
Advertisement
Is your current job your “passion”? If not, what is?
"I would say the industry is one of my passions. Sometimes, work gets stressful but then, at the end of the day, when you realize you're stressed out over a new fragrance launch and can't decide if it's going to be Bloomingdales versus Saks — life's great!
"The job itself is not my passion, I'll be honest. I joined my current company as part of an acquisition and the 'parallel' role that I took when we came over is so different than what I used to do. I actually started my original job in Finance because that's where I got an offer, but I joined and planned to move over to Marketing someday, internally. I could technically still do that, but I'm deciding to do something else instead.
"I'm actually leaving my job next month, and moving to Austria in December. Do I have a plan? Nope. But as life goes, passions change, circumstances change, and currently my current passion is allowing myself to experience life, to live.
"I personally think stagnation is death and want to challenge myself to immerse myself in a brand new culture and brand new surroundings. Even in vast America, we live in a bubble. All that I've accomplished here and the fact that I've made a name for myself here, half of that doesn't matter in another country. It'll be the ultimate marketing intensive for me: How do I re-brand myself? How can I personally expand, globally and mentally? That's my passion."
Advertisement
If you could, would you change anything in your career trajectory?
"Not at all. Everything happens for a reason and as it should."
What professional advice would you give your younger self?
"Actually, I would prefer my younger self to give me professional advice. Back in college, I feel like there was still this certain 'ignorance is bliss' peace that contributed to my ability to be confident and go for what I want. Networking felt natural, selling my abilities was done in such a jovial way and I didn't have any 'real' skills back then (I thought I did!).
"After working in some really stressful and unpleasant business situations for stints of time (mergers are not easy business periods), you can get really exhausted and start to become jaded. It's sad.
"Now that I'm about to start from scratch in Europe, I really want to tap into that confidence again and it's only now that I've realized how far I've fallen from it. So if I had to give advice to those younger than me today, I would say: 'Do you want it? Then go for it. Who cares what anyone else thinks. You're writing your own story and only you can do that best.'"
DashDividers_1_500x100_3
Are you a woman under 35 with a six-figure salary ($100,000+) and want to tell your story? Submit it here.
Advertisement

More from Work & Money

Watch

R29 Original Series