25-year-old went from $40K to $115K in 3 years—her negotiation trick

Welcome to Payroll to payroll, where U.S. workers share what they earn, how they got to their paychecks, and their best bargaining tips. Ready to join the conversation on pay transparency? Apply here to be a part of the series.

In this installment, a 25-year-old girl shares how she earns $ 115,000 working as a senior data analyst in Alexandria, Virginia.

Hannah Williams has no problem sharing what she earns. He also doesn’t mind asking other people about his salary.

During the day, Williams, 25, works as a senior data analyst and earns $ 115,000 a year.

In his spare time, he offers personal and career finance advice on social media and recently released Salary Transparent Street, a series of videos in which he asks strangers on the street how much they earn in an effort to promote “equal pay through conversations. transparent “.

It all started from his own work trip through five papers in three years and needing more data to figure out how much he should pay you.

It went from $ 40,000 to $ 90,000, but it was still poorly paid

Williams studied business management at Georgetown University, graduated in 2019 with no major tracks, and took on a telemarketing job that paid $ 40,000 a year. Two months later and by “dumb luck,” a small public procurement company found her resume on a college job market. Williams was hired as a junior data analyst for $ 55,000 a year.

After eight months, Williams went to a trade show and got a new job with a large consulting firm that paid $ 72,000 a year.

He didn’t like it, but stayed a year, then got another job through Indeed. It seemed like a great opportunity – a leap to senior data analyst and a $ 90,000 salary – and, like all previous job changes, he didn’t think about bargaining.

“I thought I got to the boat,” Williams says. “I was like, oh my god, I’m rich. I was only 24. I thought I had the world ahead of me and I thought I was making crazy money.”

But the celebration was short-lived. Shortly afterwards, Williams’ colleague was fired, and she worked all day to do the work of two people. His mental health plunged. She prepared to apply for an increase, researched online, and became aware of others with her work and experience in the DC market. they earned $ 110,000 a year.

She brought her data to HR, but was denied a request for an increase. Instead, he could advocate a 2% increase after a year.

He instantly changed the way he viewed his business. Williams almost left without a backup plan, but instead, armed with data, began a new job search in earnest.

He got $ 5,000 more by asking a question

Williams loved Indeed and began doing interviews. This time, she knew exactly what to do.

But all the information was the same: HR asked her salary expectations, she replied that based on market data she wanted $ 110,000 and said that the budget was exceeded.

“I got tired of having that conversation,” Williams says. Then, during a briefing, she turned the script around and used a negotiation tactic she had heard about but never tried. When the recruiter asked about his salary expectations, Williams asked, “What is your budget for the role?”

The recruiter responded without hesitation: $ 115,000.

“At the time, I would have been more than happy with anything between $ 105,000 or $ 110,000. So I felt like she saved mine a – because I wouldn’t have even bothered to ask for more than that,” says Williams.

She picked it up and was short and concise in her response: “This works for me.” Williams went through interviews, accepted the job, and started in November 2021.

Get people talking about pay

At this point, Williams knows the power of discussing salary. She has tried to talk to friends about it in the past, but they would hesitate to share her own numbers. “It really struck me that these conversations should take place outside of our groups of friends,” says Williams, “and they have to be part of our society, something that is no longer taboo.”

Therefore, Williams calculates that he can also post his own data in his two TikTok accounts discussing career tips and salary transparency. To their surprise, strangers on the street quickly opened up and shared their own numbers for their video series.

She would have liked to have had a similar resource before. “You go to college and learn everything you need to get into your professional field,” she says. “But I never took a single course that taught me how to do market research, how to negotiate my salary, how to understand a 401 (k) or an IRA, all these basic components of being a professional.”

His best advice for other people to find out their salary is to do market research, either online or through personal conversations: “Having those numbers completely changes your perspective.” For her, it took away the fear of the unknown or the feeling that she could be taken advantage of.

Williams feels good about her power to win now, and most importantly for defending herself. “I’m only 25 years old, and I’m proud to be able to share what I’ve learned with others. The fact that I’ve made an unconventional career path has worked in my favor, and I encourage others to get out of the world. The way they think they should go, because you never know where it will take you. “


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