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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Current Location: New York, NY
Current Title: Strategy Director
Starting Salary: $43,000
Current Salary: $180,000
Number Of Years Employed: 10
Biggest Salary Jump: $80,000 to $115,000 in 2015
Biggest Salary Drop: None, only a lateral move
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: “Not demanding an increase or more relocation when I moved for my company internationally. I underestimated the cost of moving and also underestimated what the exchange rate was going to be when I moved from the U.S. to Canada. My salary remained the same, just in Canadian dollars, and I underestimated what this 30% decrease would mean across the board when it came to student loans, car payments, and all my other expenses. In hindsight, I should have been doing all the calculations prior to accepting the offer. I was in a position to negotiate, because they were asking me to move, so I could have asked for what I wanted.”
Best Salary-Related Advice: “Find creative ways to make the offer work for you — extra paid time off (PTO), signing bonus, monthly stipends for gym memberships, or anything along these lines. Find out what the sweetener is for you and use it — what’s the harm in asking? A lot of times there may be a salary cap or you have to find parity with other people in an organization. In these instances, my advice is to look for other things that matter to you. For me, it’s always PTO. If I can get another ten days of paid vacation, that could be enough to take even a lateral move. There are ways of getting around typical salary negotiations that can help you get to a mutually beneficial agreement. Get creative and say: I’ll take the amount you’re giving me if you can throw in X."
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Source: Refinery29 – Ludmila Leiva