Salaries and money seem to be a universal pain point across companies and industries, with glass ceilings, lack of transparency, and the fact that $100K in San Francisco does not buy you the same life as $100K in Madrid. And how often do we find ourselves rolling our eyes at a job posting which only lists the salary as competitive? Considering money is a fundamental part of modern life (and the whole reason you want to interview for the aforementioned ambiguously salaried position) as a society we are terrible at talking about it.
With that in mind, we asked our community to anonymously share their experiences with money in the product world. The goal is to share our experiences in the product world, and to help give some advice to people just launching their product careers. Our first in the series is a Product Marketing Manager, living in a very popular US tech hub with over 20 years experience in the industry. And they make $200K. Let’s see their insights…
“I always make sure that I’ve looked at all available resources before I start negotiations, like GlassDoor, LinkedIn and marketing salary surveys. I consider any non-salary things that can be negotiated, like additional vacation, paying for cell phone, signing bonuses, guaranteed work-at-home days, etc., in case we can’t make salary work. I try to speak to anyone I know at the company. I don’t think people pay enough attention to doing this pre-work prior to going into salary negotiations. One also lays the groundwork during the first discussions with the recruiter who generally asks for a range. Negotiations always go best when you have multiple offers, so that you can leverage one against the other.”
How much did you make in your first real job as an adult and in which year?
I made $40k in 1995.
What was your biggest salary jump, or drop, and why?
I recently made a big jump of 30% by returning to tech from retail, and I now make $200K.
What’s your biggest negotiation regret?
When I went to my first start-up, I would like to have worked out staying on board. I found out while there that another, more highly skilled person on the payroll was making substantially more than me, so I took a stand for a higher salary than was warranted and we parted ways. The company later got bought by HP and everyone got very rich. I would have been in the first 25 employees!
What’s your best salary-related advice?
Getting the job is very important when you are first starting your career because money is tight and new jobs are exciting. Try to have a long term vision for what you would like to be doing and consciously make choices that will create a narrative to get you there.
Are you interested in contributing anonymously to our salary series? We’re looking for anyone at any level who have at least a few years experience in the product world/tech industry. Contact ellen(at)productschool.com
This contribution was sent to us via our Product Manager’s Slack Community.