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 — w ith the hope it will give women insight into how to better navigate their own career and salary trajectories.
Job: Content Strategist in Tech
Location: San Francisco, CA
Degree: Bachelor’s in Journalism
First Salary: $45,000
Current Salary: $132,000
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"I grew up swimming and playing soccer competitively, and I idolized Mia Hamm and Summer Sanders, so I always wanted to be some type of professional athlete. I also had a moment of wanting to be a vet or a marine biologist."
What did you study in college?
"I started off as a business major but after a year of business math I switched to a journalism major with a marketing minor. My dad was appalled and worried about what I might do with a journalism degree. I now do content strategy and write and edit for a living, so it feels like it all worked out."
Did you have to take out student loans?
"I didn’t. My parents covered my college tuition in full."
Have you been working at this company since you graduated from college?
"I haven’t. I’ve had several jobs over the last decade. I started my career in sales and sales management working for two of the biggest tech companies on the planet. As I immersed myself in social media, digital marketing, and grew my Instagram influencer account, I slowly transitioned into parallel roles in my professional life, managing social media for large retail and consumer-packaged-goods brands while writing content and being the voice and tone of the brand on social media. In my current role, I get to do a mix of all of that — content strategy, thought leadership, social strategy for the enterprise, and writing and editing."
How would you explain your day-to-day role at your job?
"As a content strategist, I develop and execute strategic editorial content supporting our key business initiatives and objectives, as well as the planning, creation and executing of enterprise thought leadership content."
Did you negotiate your salary?
"I never, ever used to. I was scared shitless to negotiate because I thought that if I ruffled feathers in any way, they’d pull the job offer. As I gained experience and professional maturity (and got coached by my husband behind-the-scenes), I have gotten more comfortable asking for what I want and am worth. I routinely tell friends to do the same and to get educated on comparable roles in their market. I also think it’s important to be wary of the ‘so much equity’ at a start-up when really it’s worthless until the company goes public — if it does at all."
Is your current job your “passion?” If not, what is?
"I can genuinely say I love what I do, which I’ve never been able to say before. I think a job will always be a job, but I am very happy, constantly challenged, and continuously learning. I love the company I work for and the people I work with."
If you could, would you change anything in your career trajectory?
"I wouldn’t. I often took a step forward and two steps back, but in doing so I got to where I am now. There were some mistakes made, some great successes had, but ultimately I’m where I’m supposed to be."
What professional advice would you give your younger self?
"Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Don’t ever be afraid to fail. Keep learning and never, ever think you know it all."
Are you a woman under 35 with a six-figure salary ($100,000+) and want to tell your story? Submit it here.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Source: Refinery29 – Ludmila Leiva