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: 28
Location: London
Current industry and job title: Digital / Senior Digital Producer
Current salary: £57,750
Number of years employed since school or university: 6.5

Starting salary: £22,500 in 2014
Biggest salary jump: £25,000 to £33,000 in 2015
Biggest salary drop: N/A
Biggest negotiation regret? Not pushing for a senior role sooner and the money that comes with it.

Six months before the pandemic I moved into a role with the promise I’d move into a senior role soon after. I was naive to think they’d keep their promise: the work I did proved I was more than ready for it but they kept using the pandemic as an excuse (even though they banged on about profits in company meetings). I should have pushed to get what I wanted from the beginning and declined the role if they didn’t meet it. Instead I ended up having to look for another role within 18 months.

Best salary advice: 1) You are NOT obligated to tell people your current salary. 2) Always ask for more than what you want or need.

With these two tips you can always get a good boost in salary. If a company or recruiter pushes for an answer, respond along the lines of: “I know the industry standard for my role is £45k but based on my experience and skill set I’d expect around the £50-55k mark from my next role.”

I was lucky enough to find a role before I graduated uni. I ended up applying to a lot more entry level roles rather than grad schemes as they seemed like there was less competition. It wasn’t really my perfect job but it was my way of getting my foot into the industry.
I moved roles as development wasn’t a career I wanted to do long term, though it did help me gain good understanding that then helped me with project management.
My previous company was very badly organised and didn’t allow me to progress well. My director left within a few months due to the same issue and told me I would be better off elsewhere.
I definitely had to push for this as they originally only offered a £3k raise but I felt I did a lot for my team and company and that wasn’t being fairly recognised. This led to an intervalled pay rise over three months.
Although my role wasn’t as senior anymore, I was at a larger company with more opportunities and larger clients. So it was a drop down in scale but a jump in terms of salary.
Moved to another company again to increase my breadth of expertise and work with very large FTSE companies.
The last company made lots of false promises and bad management decisions during the pandemic so I chose to move to another larger and more creative agency, one I can see myself progressing within and staying on for a while.

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