Salary Stories: I Negotiated A Great Salary But Forgot The Overall Package

Illustrated by Seung Won Chun.
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.
Been in the workforce for at least five years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here. R29 pays £100 for each published story.
Age: 33
Location: Cheshire
Current industry and job title: Financial Services, Senior Content Strategist
Current salary: £45,000
Number of years employed since school or university: 10
Starting salary: £18,525 in 2011
Biggest salary jump: £37,000 to £49,000 in 2017
Biggest salary drop: £49,000 to £45,000 in 2019
Biggest negotiation regret? My biggest negotiation regret is only negotiating on salary and not overall package. When I accepted my current role I was so excited that the pay drop I was taking to relocate cross-country was much less than I expected that I didn't think about where else I was losing out. And, it turns out, my salary might be generous but the overall package is pretty basic. No bonus scheme, no benefits, bare minimum holiday allowances and pension contributions. I think I would have actually taken a smaller salary to have more generosity elsewhere in my package.
Best salary advice: You can't rely on your employer to benchmark your salary and make sure they're paying you a fair market rate. You have to do it yourself, so keep your finger on the pulse of the job market – even if you're not actively looking for a new job – and if you find you could earn more elsewhere (and not just one job offering a crazy high salary, I'm talking across the board other companies are offering more for your role than you're paid), flag it with your manager, or jump.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series