How Much Money Do You Make?

Negotiation is not a dirty word. Usually. 
Negotiation is not a dirty word. Usually.

It’s a pretty straightforward question. And yet, the thought of talking to other people about it makes me want to do this:

We’re weird about money. If we think we make too little, we’re embarrassed. If we make too much, we’re also embarrassed. Spending money embarrasses us, too. Unless it doesn’t, and then unabashedly talking about how much you spend makes everyone around you uncomfortable (is that a midwestern thing? Excuse me… is that a NORTHERN thing?).

But I want to talk about money, and for a lot of reasons.

I got royally screwed at my first job out of college. I didn’t know that until the week I quit, when I realized that someone working under me was getting paid more.


was floored. One, because I was technically above her on the totem pole. Two, because I had a college degree in the specific field we were both working in (my coworker hadn’t attended college). Three, because like a damn fool, I trusted my boss was compensating us based on things like education and skill. I took whatever was offered.

That third one is kind of true– I was getting compensated based on skill, or lack thereof. Not only did I not know how to negotiate, I didn’t even know I was supposed to negotiate. I can write a badass thesis and chug a pitcher of Spotted Cow like a champ, but college sure as hell didn’t teach me a thing about negotiation, salaries or benefits.

It makes me sooooo angry!

But better to learn late than never. A decade after I graduated college, Sheryl Sandberg rolled around. God bless that woman! Have you read Lean In yet? Do it, even if you’re a guy. Especially if you’re a guy. It’s a game-changer. It’s changed the way I operate in any business setting. I lean in now. I’m even physically leaning in right this second! But at the moment, it’s just to pick up a glass of wine.

Most of us could use some help in the negotiation category. Aside from just knowing I should negotiate, simply understanding what other people make would help immensely. For example. I keep hearing teachers “make nothing”… but what does that mean? $20K a year? $40K? $60K? $100K, plus summers off? I just don’t even know!

And PS, when it comes to compensation, everyone who’s anyone says ask for what you’re worth. How do I just come up with that number ex nihilo? I’d happily to ask for what I’m worth if I could just understand what I’m worth! Oh fer cryin’ out loud!

The person hiring you knows what they’re willing to pay AND what they’re paying everyone else; you, on the other hand, probably have no idea what your peers earn… unless someone gets loose lipped after a few happy hour chardonnays.

Since we’re all so weird about sharing salary info, here’s what I’m proposing:

Please anonymously share your salary in the comments below.

  • Age/Sex/Location
  • Job Title & Industry
  • Education
  • Years experience
  • Annual Salary (or hourly wage)
  • Additional benefits or perks
  • Did you negotiate for your pay?
  • Any other pertinent info you’d like to share

I know you can just Google salaries, but that’s not specific enough. My dream is to get hundreds, thousands, a kajillion people commenting with what they’re actually getting paid. That way, you could buzz through the comments and either A) realize you’re getting underpaid; B) realize you’ve got it made in the shade; or C) maybe switch careers based on what some anonymous person claims they made on the internet. Who knows.

The point is, knowledge is power.

Please share liberally through Facebook, Twitter, emails or wherever you’re talking to people. The more contributions, the better off (and richer… or maybe we’ll all have more vacation time! Weeee!) we’ll all be.


* * *

Want more job talk? How about the 10 things I’ve learned since quitting my awesome job? And since we’re talking about life lessons, here’s a few more things I wish I could tell my younger self.

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Comments (82)

  • anonymoose 5 years ago Reply

    Operations Associate aka. Junior Systems Administrator/ Professional Services or IT Software & Development
    Bachelors of Arts in English Lit
    6 yrs experience
    401k w/ profit sharing, health insurance premium covered 100% by company, 15 days PTO per year
    Did not negotiate
    Started in this company 4 yrs ago in different position, earning $33k/yr

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Program Manager; Nonprofit
    BA in Sociology
    4 yrs experience
    No additional benefits
    Did not negotiate
    Started at this nonprofit 2 years ago in same position, earning $36k/yr

  • I'mnothere 5 years ago Reply

    Assistant Manager; Big box retail
    Some college
    15 years experience
    401k/ yearly bonus/company stock/ health, dental, vision, partially paid by company, 5 weeks paid vacation
    Been with company 8.5 years, started at 45k and have moved laterally.
    Did not negotiate

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 34/F/Madison, WI
    Job Title & Industry: Director of Claims and General Counsel / Insurance
    Education: BA (History), JD, and MBA in 2017
    Years experience: 10
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $120k with potential for 6% bonus.
    Additional benefits or perks: Health care mostly subsidized by employer; company car; travel to interesting parts of the world (Germany, Switzerland, Bermuda); and annual 401k match
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Definitely.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: Sometimes it is not going to be possible to negotiate and you need to weigh the options and decide if you want to work in a particular place. When I started this position (four years ago), they were unwilling to negotiate with me because they hadn’t had in-house counsel in a while and didn’t know what salary was "fair". Consequently, I attempted to negotiate and they didn’t budge. I needed to decide whether I wanted to work here or not even though I knew I could make more money elsewhere. It was ultimately a great decision for me (I’ve been promoted three times since I started, and my salary has increased $35k), but there is no guarantee that it’s always going to be a great decision. Salary is NOT the most important thing. Atmosphere is the most important thing.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Agree that atmosphere is incredibly important, though I don’t know if it’s $20 or $30K important. Honestly, it might be to me! Who wants to work in a crappy environment?!

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    28/Male/Minnesota (Company headquartered in Colorado)
    Software Engineer
    Bachelor of Science – IT
    Years of experience: 6
    4 weeks vacation, 10 days sick leave, full health/dental coverage for me and family.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Yes (and later I found out that it really mattered. I ended up with a higher starting wage than most others.)
    The company offers great opportunities for travel, fun projects and once a year a retreat that is fully paid and awesome. I’ve been with the company 6 years and have moved to 3 different states (the moving is the downside that many people aren’t willing to sign on for.)

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I think I want your job. Do I have to be good with computers though?

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 26/F/Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry: Events & Marketing Specialist, Nonprofit
    Education: 4 year degree
    Years experience: 3+ years
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $42,000/year
    Additional benefits or perks: full medical, dental, optical insurance, 401k, wellness programs
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: No

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Chemical Engineer, Environmental Consulting
    BS Chemical Engineering
    10 years experience
    $80k base plus comp time and bonus
    Additional Benefits: Comp Time, 3wks Vacation, 401k, ESOP
    Negotiate annually

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    -Administrative Assistant, Nonprofit
    -Master’s Degree
    -1.5 years in this position, 3 years overall with the organization
    -Health, Dental, Life Insurance, 401(k), 23 Days of PTO
    -No negotiation (however see below)
    -When I started at this organization, I started at a higher pay grade. I took a pay cut to work as an administrative assistant rather than providing direct client support. Best decision I ever made. The pay cut is an organization-wide policy when switching to a position that is a pay grade lower, however, my boss negotiated for me on her own accord to get me the best possible salary working within the confines of the policy. In the end, my salary only dropped around 3%. A few months later we had performance reviews where my salary increased 3.5% so I’m basically back to where I started.

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    33, Female, SE Minnesota
    Quality Control Manager/Industrial
    Bachelor of Social Work
    None when I received the job
    medical, 401k
    Yes upon hiring as well as 3 weeks vacation

    Prior job:
    Director of Social Work, For-profit rehab facility
    4 years experience
    medical, dental, 401k
    yes, they wanted me to take the position (was a social worker there) and I refused to take it for the wage they kept offering. They wouldn’t budge and hired two other people for less both didn’t last very long, they finally realized I was worth the money and the extra vacation I was requesting as well as they were flexible with my hours. I got everything I wanted but held out for it because stepping into director took alot more time and my time is valuable.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Sometimes you gotta show them what they’re missing!

  • Minnie 5 years ago Reply

    Job Title & Industry
    Years experience: 8
    HR – benefits focused
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): 66K
    Additional benefits or perks: Standard corp benefits
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Not really. I was dying to get the job. Not a good position to be in!!
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share

  • SG 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location – 32/F/Twin Cities
    Job Title & Industry – Life Insurance Case Manager
    Education – Bachelors in Management
    Years experience – 4
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage) – $43,000
    Additional benefits or perks – 401k/Health/Dental/PTO/quarterly bonus
    Did you negotiate for your pay? – Yes, starting pay was $32k, I was not going to take a pay cut to work here. They agreed to my terms.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share – I have not received a pay increase in the 2 years I have been here, just a small not even cost of living 2%. they will not negotiate for additional so I am looking for a new position & company.

  • anon 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 29/F/New York City
    Job Title & Industry: Graphic Designer/ Commercial Real Estate
    Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
    Years experience: 7 Years
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $60k/year + bonus (My 2014 bonus was $56,000.)
    Additional benefits or perks: Medical/Dental/Vision insurance, Flex Spending Accounts, 401k (matched by company), pre-tax transit reimbursement. We also get a yearly bonus based on the success of the office. My 2014 bonus was $56,000.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No, but I was taking a huge increase (about $20k) from my previous job so I felt very satisfied at the time. Now I wish I would have pushed for a little more…because who doesn’t like more money! 🙂
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: We don’t get yearly "cost of living" type raises, but our bonus more than makes up for the deficit. For reference, in 2013, my bonus was $27k.

  • Grant 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 29 / Male / Chicago, IL
    Job Title & Industry: Corporate Tax Manager / Accounting
    Education: BS in Business Management and Economics
    Years experience: 7 years
    Annual Salary: $102,000 (plus 7% yearly raise and 12-15% annual bonus)
    Additional benefits or perks: 24 days paid vacation, plus all holidays and sick days which do not use vacation days. 401 K matching. All medical/dental/vision etc. for self and spouse (and future children). Can work from home whenever I don’t have meetings scheduled in office and am ultimately in control of my own time so long as I get my work done.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Yes. Always negotiate. If they want you they will work with you to bring you onto their team at a price you’re all willing to agree on.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: Sometimes switching companies can help you climb the ladder (both financially and in job title) more quickly. I have switched companies three times so far to seek new challenges and each time have been able to negotiate my salary up significantly. I work crazy hours, but after making manager I have been able to reduce my hours significantly (the seniors and associates get weeded our pretty quickly if they can’t handle the 80-100 hour work weeks during busy season). Overall it’s a fantastic career and while I am at a Big 4 now, there are many fun industry jobs out there I can choose to take eventually which pay very well and have normal 9-5 hours.

  • Sarah 5 years ago Reply

    Someone in my discipline started an annual survey a little under a decade ago to help gain a better sense of where our industry — and particular discipline are at, and where they are headed. The survey reports salary and benefits information, which you can cross-reference by level of experience, job title and city/state.
    For a niche industry (I’m a strategist in marketing/advertising), I’ve found it to be an incredibly valuable tool for negotiating my salary.. and just simply knowing where I stand. I do recall when I shared said survey among my colleagues at an old job I got a bit of a wrist slap from an anxious boss. Super lame.
    – Sarah

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I want to slap that boss on the wrist. They’re taking advantage of us. 😉

  • Lizzie 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 32 / female / Seattle
    Job Title & Industry: Prospect researcher, fundraising (this career field is a hidden gem, y’all)
    Education: BA, MS
    Years experience: 6
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $60k plus annual cost of living increases
    Additional benefits or perks: 2+ weeks paid vacation (more with seniority), full health and dental insurance, and I never work nights or weekends. After 10 years you get a 3-month sabbatical at 50% pay.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No, though I did for my prior job
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: This job is perfect for introverts or nerd-lite types who drool over data and/or love a treasure hunt, minus the dirt.

    Also, I want to print and frame "I’m even physically leaning in right this second! But at the moment, it’s just to pick up a glass of wine." Molly wins again.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    It was delicious wine.

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 23 / M / Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry: Marketing / Financial Services
    Education: Bachelor of Arts
    Years experience: 1 year
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $42,500
    Additional benefits or perks: Medical/dental, 401K, 20 days PTO
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: No

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 43/F/Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry: US Army Officer
    Education: Masters
    Years experience: 21
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $85K
    Additional benefits or perks: 30 days vacation a year, full medical and dental, tuition assitance.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: Perks…not having to pick out what to wear to work each day, physical fitness is a job requirement, you get to move about every two years at your employer’s expense, you are doing something only .5% of the US population can/chooses to do.

  • Anon E. Moose 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 31/F/Washington, D.C.
    Job Title & Industry: Instructional Systems Designer/E-learning
    Education: Master’s
    Years experience: 8
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $94k
    Additional benefits or perks: 4 weeks PTO, full medical/dental/eye insurance, don’t work nights/weekends/holidays (I worked in the food industry while going to school so this perk is HUGE to me!)
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Like a boss (they wanted to pay me $75k).
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: Yeah, now I’m pissed that we don’t get bonuses! (Comparison really IS the thief of joy.)

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 57/F/Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry: Marketing Consultant/Freelance Graphic Designer
    Education: BFA
    Years experience: 20
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $50 – $75/hour
    Additional benefits or perks: I’m the boss.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Yes, my rate is different for each client.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: I pay my own insurance and retirement. No paid vacation. My salary is based on my client’s budget, which means it can vary wildly from year to year. Home office, work when I want, in my pjs. Have more creative freedom than in a corporate setting.

  • a 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 29 yo F, Kalamazoo Michigan
    Job Title & Industry: Secretary in a garage door company
    Education: High school, and Cosmetology school
    Years experience: One
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $13/ hr
    Additional benefits or perks: One week paid vacation after one year of working, benefits available, but I don’t use them because I’m on my husband’s plan, expected overtime almost every week, Christmas bonus of $450 or so, plus they just replaced the muffler system on my car just because they wanted to & out of the goodness of their hearts.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No

  • A.H. 5 years ago Reply

    Emergency Response Coordinator- U.S. Public Health Service (FDA)
    BS- Environmental Health, MS- Biosecurity & Disaster Preparedness
    6 years
    Total including base pay for O-3 and BAH/BAS (which is not taxed): $91,800 annual
    Additional benefits or perks: Eligible for VA loan, GI bill, health care 100% covered, 30 days paid leave every year, retirement
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: No, military pay is non-negotiable.

  • s 5 years ago Reply

    Early 30s/F/Minneapolis
    Sr. Marketing Communications Planner / Marketing
    Bachelor Of Arts
    5% bonus, 401k matching up to 5.5% HSA, Health/Dental etc
    The biggest raise I’ve gotten to date was a promotion and it was only a 5% increase. There doesn’t seems to be much room for negotiation in terms of asking for a raise, rather, you earn your raises by getting promotions every 2 years or so. Other people with less experience but MBA’s make over 25% more than I do and it makes me want to throw shit.

  • OG 5 years ago Reply

    Help Desk Specialist – IT
    AS – Computer Information Systems
    0 official years going in; did it on the side at many other jobs
    2 weeks paid vacation, 4 days paid personal time/year
    No negotiation

  • Incognito Me 5 years ago Reply

    35/F/Christchurch, New Zeland
    Scientist, Primary Industries (government-funded research)
    PhD (Biochemistry)
    8 years
    NZ$70K (there are about US75c to NZ$1)
    20 days annual leave (+ 5 extra each year if you get to your anniversary date with less than 20 on the books); 10 days sick leave; subsidised Health Insurance; Life Insurance; Income protection; the company matches what I contribute to my retirement fund
    There was some negotiation when I started with the company. We are reviewed every year on performance – I usually get 2% base salary increase (all staff get this) + 2% for performance each year
    I work 38hrs per week. We operate on flexi-time so if I have to come in on a weekend or stay late one night then I just take some hours off during the week.

  • Colleen 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 28/F/Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry: Communications Specialist at a Nonprofit
    Education: BA in History, AAS in graphic design
    Years experience: 3.5
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $39k
    Additional benefits or perks: 15 vacation days, 403b matched up to 2%, 12 sick days, health insurance premium paid + $1,00 contributed to my HSA,
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No. I asked for a raise and job title change for over a year with no success and finally out of the blue they decided to give these to me.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share:
    I started as the Communications Assistant with a salary of $32,500 and got mostly cost-of-living increases in the 2.5 years I had that title.

  • anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    29 – Female – Cincinnati, Ohio
    Science Teacher, High School
    BS, Masters
    7 years experience
    15 sick and personal days, plus all the regular school breaks
    Did not negotiate – just moves to a set pay scale based on education and years of experience
    I work at a private school, which was previously one of the worst paid in the area. The salary above reflects a 6.7% raise for next year – we are trying to implement a new, higher pay scale.

  • Shawna D'Amour 5 years ago Reply

    5th grade language arts teacher
    14 years experience
    Fantastic medical/dental and pays 75% of grad work
    Pay based on percentage increase and steps (negotiated by union)

  • Anon 5 years ago Reply

    27 – Female – NYC
    Online Marketing
    BS. in science
    5.5 yrs experience (mostly related to Marketing, not all)
    10 PTO days (though we work a lot of evenings/weekends), health insurance, casual work environment with WFH flexibility
    Yes, negotiated

  • Anon 5 years ago Reply

    35 female Charleston, WV
    deputy general counsel – state government agency
    liberal arts B.A. and juris doctor
    vacation/sick leave (1.5 days each per month) great retirement, decent insurance
    I tried. The HR people wouldn’t budge.
    Pay working for government is generally lower than private sector, but the trade-off are the great benefits. I just started this job a few months ago, coming from another government agency. When I was hired here, I did try to negotiate higher pay, but the H.R. rep wouldn’t budge. There are a lot of rules regarding pay for public employees. But I felt like they did have some latitude to offer more. I was told that the salary was the average of all the employees in my classification. I wanted to say "But I’m not average." I felt like I have some unique experience. However, it was awkward considering that the H.R. rep makes substantially less than I was offered. I got no sympathy from her.

  • Nobody 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location- 40/F/Kansas
    Job Title & Industry- Cataloger- work in the library of a large state University.
    Education-Bachelor’s in linguistics
    Years experience-15
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage)- $38,882
    Additional benefits or perks- 25 vacation days/year plus 10 sick days & paid holidays; retirement account (mandatory 5.5% contribution by me, 8.5% by employer; pretty good health insurance, flexible schedule, casual work environment.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? When I started working here there were set pay grades and steps. (I started at $9.10/hour). There was one point when I was ‘promoted’ from the pay grades to a different job classification; I might have been able to negotiate then but frankly I doubt it.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share- When I applied to a different job last year I was fully prepared to negotiate either salary or vacation time. Didn’t get the offer so didn’t do it. As for this job- I work for the state. Google up something about the financial situation of Kansas. It went south in 2008 along with everyone else, but then we got Brownback as governor and it’s horrible. I’m lucky to have gotten a couple of tiny (and I mean tiny) raises in the past couple years.

  • None 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 36/M/Milwaukee
    Job Title & Industry: Lawyer/Compliance in Life Sciences
    Education: BS, Masters, Law Degree
    Years experience: 10
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $95,000
    Additional benefits or perks: Health coverage, 501k contribution, payment for professional memberships.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Yes.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share:

  • None 5 years ago Reply

    Project Manager
    Bachelors of Science – Electrical Engineering
    Standard corporate style health ins. and 401(k) matching, travel, yearly bonus and profit sharing ~30%.
    I negotiated pay slightly.
    But I had to move to Georgia from Minnesota thanks to Dayton 🙁

  • None 5 years ago Reply

    Strategy Consultant / Marketing
    10 years experience
    $115K + annual bonus estimated to be 10-20% of salary, depending on company and personal performance.
    Additional benefits or perks: 401K and HSA with company match, standard health benefits. We also don’t track PTO so that is pretty flexible and generous. Casual work environment.
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: Sort of. I did my research and told them what salary it would take for me to join them. They went above. I plan to negotiate a raise within the next year.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: I think you could be onto a very interesting platform idea for creating transparency across the pay scale. If I could code, I’d get on this.

  • Georgia Peach 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 26/F/Atlanta
    Job Title & Industry: Clinical Dietitian
    Education: B.S. in Dietetics, 1 year required clinical internship
    Years experience: 3 years
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): ~$47,000, a little higher with on call weekends (No bonuses. ever.)
    Additional benefits or perks: I do have good health insurance/dental. The PDO sounds really good when they tell you 20 days vacation, but really that includes all major holidays, sick days, and vacation. REALLY flexible schedule. I can come and go as I please and no overbearing managers.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No. I don’t think it would have worked, either. It’s a non-profit without a lot of room for negotiation. I’d be much happier if I saw potential for upward mobility.

    Molly- This is very encouraging. I assumed everyone my age made oodles more than me. Thank you for doing this. This post and your "What to do when you love food, but hate the restaurant business," we’re exactly what I needed to read today.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I am so happy to hear that– and agreed, it did help me put my "salary" (which I don’t exactly have at the moment… or at least not in a traditional sense) into perspective. PS glad I could be of service!

  • Secret 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 27/F/Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry: VP of Administration, small company in BMS/HVACR
    Education: GED
    Years experience: 3
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $70,000
    Additional benefits or perks: 4 weeks PTO, health/dental/vision/life insurance policies
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: no

  • Wet Hot American Summer 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 37/F/Twin Cities
    Job Title & Industry: VP at a big nonprofit
    Education: Masters
    Years experience: 16
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $146K
    Additional benefits or perks: 4 weeks PTO on top of national holidays, matching 403b $, exceptional health plan that I pay about $8 a month for
    Did you negotiate for your pay? N; organizational policy is no negotiations

  • PRochesterD 5 years ago Reply

    •Senior Recruiter/Corporate Sales Group, Fortune 500 company
    •8 years
    •Hourly consultant (no vacation, benefits but did not take)
    •yes – started at 84K, negotiated higher because of lack of paid vacation time

    PRochesterD 5 years ago Reply

    Should have said I was 38! God I wish I was 28 and making 90K! 🙂

  • Private 5 years ago Reply

    •Age/Sex/Location: 41/F/Mpls
    •Job Title & Industry: Program Manager/Healthcare
    •Education: Bachelor of Science, MBA
    •Years experience: 19
    •Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $120/yr
    •Additional benefits or perks: FSA, Telecommuting, annual bonuses ranging from 10%-20% of my salary, medical/dental which I do not take, super flexible, 7 weeks PTO (personal time off), 401K matching and stock purchase plan, tuition reimbursement (which is how I go my MBA for FREE!)
    •Did you negotiate for your pay? I tried but they were firm. There is a lot of room for expansion and growth in my current company however.
    •Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: I’m floored at all the super young people making 6 figures. Seems like I may be in the wrong field…..

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I know, shocking right?!

  • Admin 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 46 / F / Wisconsin
    Job Title & Industry: Admin Assistant / Construction
    Education: BA – Communication
    Years experience: Total admin experience from high school until present day = 30 years
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $41,000
    Additional benefits or perks: the usual holidays off; some vacation
    Did you negotiate for your pay? I did not. It’s something I regret.

  • Anonymous 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 26/Female/Boston area
    Job Title & Industry: Foundation Officer for Nonprofit (basically grantwriter)
    Education: BA- History, minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies
    Years experience: 4
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $45k annually
    Additional benefits or perks: 4 weeks vacation annually, sick days, 11 paid holidays and 2 "floating" holidays, medical benefits, 401k matching (kind of)
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: Yes, but it didn’t exactly work. I called my now-boss out when I got my offer for offering me the lowest end of the salary range in the job description and wound up with 4 weeks of vacation instead of the customary 2, but no salary bump.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: This is AWESOME, Molly. Thank you!

  • Bay Area 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 29 / Female / San Francisco, CA
    Job Title & Industry: Producer / High Tech
    Education: BA in Art
    Years experience: 7 years
    Annual Salary: $93,000 (plus 7% yearly raise and 15% annual bonus)
    Additional benefits or perks: 4 weeks paid vacation (2 at Christmas), plus sometimes the week of Thanksgiving off. 401 K matching. Company specific and industry-wide pro deals.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Yes, after a year. I moved from the Midwest and my increase was +40K so I didn’t know what I was worth to this industry in this area. *Caveat: income is inflated based off of standard of living. My take-home is 2/3 what my pay is.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: Sometimes bonuses and extra benefits come after you’ve earned them or learned how to confidently negotiate for them. These have most often come when I’m utilized more than 100% capacity, so always keep track of how your day-to-day maps out and use that to first negotiate a bonus or extra benefits and then later use it to get extra help. Use to understand the geographic area, company and position you’re moving into.

  • Claire 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 27/F/NYC
    Job Title & Industry: Product Analytics Lead / Publishing&Entertainment
    Education: BA
    Years experience: 2 years in the analytics track; 3 previously in marketing
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $97K + 10% annual bonus
    Additional benefits or perks: Pretty standard corporate benefits, though we do get summer fridays and free magazines.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No, but I’ve done so at previous companies. My (loose) plan is to leverage other offers for a big raise after I hit the year mark.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: Like other commenters have mentioned, I love this idea — at my company, as at most, salaries are so cloaked even among small departments. Also, though I didn’t negotiate salary for this particular position, I am a big proponent of doing so when the time feels right.

  • JD 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 29/F/Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry: Attorney at small firm
    Education: BA, JD
    Years experience: 3 in field, 2 unpaid in practice area, none paid in practice area
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $52,000 + two annual variable bonuses
    Additional benefits or perks: 3 weeks PTO, health/malpractice insurance policies, professional association dues paid
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: tried, but they held firm
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: my law school has a database of local pay at different types of law firms. It was very helpful in evaluating the offer.

  • erinsuzanne 5 years ago Reply

    34 – Female – Madison, WI
    Science Teacher, High School
    BS, Masters
    7 years experience
    I get 1 personal day per year and accrue about 1 paid sick day per month worked, time off at Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring- unpaid summers off; good heath care benefits (but we pay more and more for them each year, and I now take home less in my 7th year than I did in my first year)
    – No negotiation, set pay scale based on education/experience

    I’m leaving at the end of the semester (mid-June) to take a new position:
    Education Manager for a national environmental nonprofit
    BS, Masters
    12 years experience (I’ve been working and volunteering part time at nature centers the entire time I was teaching)
    10 paid holidays, 2 personal days, 10 paid vacation days 1st year; increasing afterward
    Great health care, casual environment, lots of room for growth

    • Did not negotiate, it is a grant-funded position for 2 years; will negotiate if I stay on for years 3-5
      – Yes, taking a pay cut but will have more take home pay and more job satisfaction (and hopefully fewer job-stress related health problems)
  • Betty Blue 5 years ago Reply

    31/Female/Twin Cities MN
    Admin Specialist/Craft Brewing
    Associated Degree
    4 years
    Additional benefits or perks
    Yes, negotiated rate. Hard, but important skill.

    Betty Blue 5 years ago Reply

    Health insurance, 401k, stock options, beer discounts, workday sampling 🙂

  • gwennifer 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 38, Female, Twin Cities, MN
    Job Title & Industry: User Experience Designer (Lead), Interactive/Digital Design/Web Development
    Education: Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology
    Years experience: In my current industry: 2.5; total years of professional experience: 13
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $75K/year
    Additional benefits or perks: Health insurance (my entire monthly premium is paid by my employer, which is huge), 10 days of PTO plus the standard American holidays off per year
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Sort of. They asked me what I was worth, I told them a number and the said "okay." The number I named was $15K more than I was making in my previous job, so it felt like a HUGE jump, but in hindsight, I probably could have asked for $5K more than what I asked and they still would have agreed to it. Live and learn.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: I love my job, and most people I know think I have one of the coolest gigs they’ve ever heard of, and I do but…I hate my boss, who is a tyrant. I’ve worked in other jobs where I didn’t like the work but loved my manager. And I’ve been lucky enough to work a few where I loved the work AND worked for amazing managers. I also don’t have as much flexibility in this job, in terms of being able to work from home, come and go from the office as I pleased, etc, as I’ve had in previous positions. So, bottom line is: I don’t know how to put a price on working for a good manager and having lots of flexibility but it is worth a whole hell of a lot. Definitely something I will evaluate carefully — and I will negotiate hard for flexibility (hard to negotiate for a better boss!) — in my next gig.

  • KeepingSecrets 5 years ago Reply

    32/Female/Austin, TX
    Marketing Specialist / Internet company
    7 years
    4 weeks PTO, 2 weeks sick, 2 floating holidays, Health/Dental
    Matched 401(K) up to 1%. Stock options. Office snacks
    Tried to negotiate at the time, but they held fast. Came in as a contractor at $50K – after 3 months, got a 20% raise, but they started taking taxes out.
    I love this idea and wish that women especially would talk more about salaries so we can know what we should be asking for.

  • E Boogie 5 years ago Reply

    Senior Financial Analyst in Retail
    1 year
    gross $106K
    10 days paid vacation; 8 holidays, 3 floating holidays, 5 incidental absences
    health, dental, life insurance
    401K match of 33.3% up to first 6% of individual contribution
    Yes. I asked for 3k more than the original offer.
    Finance is not for the faint of heart. It is demanding (hence the nice pay). Attention to detail is crucial. They will definitely get their monies’ worth out of you.

  • Worker 5 years ago Reply

    Legal secretary/executive asst.
    14 yrs exp. in this industry plus management and sales exp.
    $65k plus bonus
    Other benefits include 3 weeks vacation, sick time, paid holidays, 401k with company contribution, pension, plus usual insurance options.
    I negotiated higher salary and extra week of vacation. Also went to manager well In advance of last review to advocate for higher increase last year. I had listing of all accomishments and sold myself. I had the nerve to ask for 25% increase which I didn’t get but I did get larger increase than my peers. Advocate for yourself. Don’t leave money on the table when you start or you never catch up. It never mAde sense to me that I had to leave current employer in order to get substantial boost in pay. So before I start looking for new job I respectfully approach my manager to ask for more money pointing out that I am a known commodity and it’s expensive to bring someone new up to speed.

  • Office Coordinator 5 years ago Reply

    26/F/AB, Canada
    Office Coordinator
    Associates Degree/College Degree with 5 years experience
    $32,000 a year
    Benefits, paid holidays and eventually two weeks paid vacation (after a year)
    No, I didn’t negotiate. It came down to me and one other person and I was desperate for the job. There was a promise of a raise and bonuses after six months so I felt like I could negotiate once I proved myself.
    I was lacking confidence in myself because I was trying to get out of a high stress job. I’m hoping to stay in this role for a year, gain confidence, and look for a job with a higher wage.

  • Anon 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 32/f/Twin Cities
    Job Title & Industry: Claims Processor/Insurance
    Education: BA Communication
    Years experience: 7 (in specific industry)
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $38,980.50
    Additional benefits or perks: 10 paid days of vacation, 6 days of sick time, 3 days of personal time. Generous health/dental/vision benefits. Good STD (short term disability) program, 401K, partial tuition reimbursement.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Yes/No. I did not negotiate my salary when I initially took the job because I was desperate to land the job. After being with the company my raise was 75 cents an hour. I was floored. I tried to negotiate and was told that their "hands are tied".
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: I’m looking to jump ship but my concern is that I’ll never find the same great work environment. I have great coworkers and a great company to work for. I’m happy going into the office every day but I’m under paid for what I do. I’m already going well above and beyond my job description and the 75 cent an hour raise really hurt.

  • A Librarian 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 30/F/SE Pennsylvania burbs
    Job Title & Industry: Library Manager/ Public Library
    Education: BA in Media Studies, Master of Library and Information Science
    Years experience: total in libraries: 3, management in other fields before my career change: 3, years as a library manager: 1.5
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $51K
    Additional benefits or perks: 503(b) with matching only after a year of work and ridiculous fees :/, health insurance (which I opted out of for my husband’s), dental, life insurance, 15 days vacation, 8 sick days, 3 personal days
    Did you negotiate for your pay? No. This was for a few reasons: 1. I didn’t have a ton of experience at this level, 2. the salary ranges advertised in other communities in the area were lower than what I was offered, so it was clear that I was being offered competitive compensation.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: As the library I work for is open beyond M-F business hours, I do have to work a few late nights a week, as well as every other Saturday (I get a weekday off in exchange).

  • anon 5 years ago Reply

    Financial Aid Advisor at a private university
    age: 38, female, Austin, TX
    BS in communication, M.Ed. in Counseling, Higher Education
    Years experience: total of 10 in college financial aid office
    Annual Salary: $45,000
    Benefits: about two weeks paid time off, plus earn 8 hours of sick time each month (rolls over annually). University matches 403(b) retirement plus 2% (I contribute 5%, employer contributes 7% of monthly gross salary). Medical, dental, and vision insurance offered. I take the medical but is very expensive for whole family so I just cover child and myself. Dental is outrageous so decline that. Vision not needed (yet?)

    Receive 2-3% raise each year across the board (faculty and staff) if university reaches enrollment goals.
    Been at current job for 5 years. When hired, a monthly salary range was posted. I negotiated for the max of the range and accepted less than $500 of the max amount offered.

    I have a kick-ass supervisor who is very flexible for dr. visits and such, not making us count every hour as PTO or sick. Flexible hours for our office between 8am-6pm (some work 7-4, I work 10-6 and do not take official lunch break).

  • Hellen 5 years ago Reply

    38, Female, Montreal (Quebec, Canada)
    3D coordinator, Visual Effects/Film industry
    Bachelor of Fine Arts
    18 years experience in various fields of the film industry. 3 years experience in my current job.
    3 weeks vacation paid, 6 days of sick time/personal time, national holidays are paid. Excellent health/dental and life insurance plan.
    Yes I negotiated my salary. I asked around before negotiating. I have friends who work in the same industry as me but in different positions. I asked them to ask people who work in my kind of field what they are getting paid. Then I knew what to ask for and what was fair.

  • LRod 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 25/Female/Fort Worth TX
    Job Title & Industry: Career Consultant/Higher Education
    Education: BA in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Higher Education/Student Affairs
    Years experience: 2
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $39k/year
    Additional benefits or perks: 11.5% retirement matching after 2 years of employment, a lot of great vacation/sick time
    Did you negotiate for your pay? I tried, but they were very upfront with me that it wasn’t negotiable. Usually colleges and universities are pretty set with their budgets.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: no PTO and not a lot of flexibility

  • Casey 5 years ago Reply

    •Environmental Manager 2 for the State of Indiana
    •B.S. in Chemistry
    •2-3 years
    •12 vacation days, 9 sick days, 3 personal days, health/dental/vision insurance, Alternate Work Schedule (work extra each day to receive every other Friday off), Retirement Fund, Deferred Compensation
    •No, salaries are set by the state
    •Once you work for the state, it’s easy to move up the "ladder." I was first hired as an Environmental Scientist making 34k/yr, but 9 months later was applying for the position I have now in the same section. Raises are determined by the budget and not guaranteed. If they are given, they are based on performance appraisals, which are basically designed so everyone gets "meets expectations." For example, this past year, 2% raise for those who met expecations, 4% for those who exceeded expectations, and 6% for those who greatly succeeded, so basically everyone got a 2% raise. I know I make less than other people with the same degree who work in private industry, but my job is low stress and has a lot of benefits, so I’m happy.

  • Paige 5 years ago Reply

    I’m so glad you started this post! I’m in the process of negotiating a job offer right now. It feels awful but I’m glad I can see how important the process is. Not to mention, I’m learning from my experience of pushing way beyond my comfort zone and "faking it til I make it" that there are benefits to be had from asking for things and accepting that you are worthy of getting the value you place on yourself. I love how Hey Eleanor highlights this all the time!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I really hope you get exactly what you want, Paige! They’re asking a lot of you, including moving to a place you are only so-so about. Make it rain!!!

  • anon 5 years ago Reply

    I’m usually a Montessori preschool teacher at a farm school in Northern Virginia, but right now I’m dabbling in entrepreneurship since I just had to quit the job I love and worked towards for years as a result of my husband accepting a job four-to-six hours away, depending on traffic. (Apparently we are supposed to follow them around…I’m resentful right now but attempting to make the most of it.)
    -So I am 26 years old, female, and from the D.C. area but now live in Virginia Beach.
    -I am a Montessori Guide in the "Education Industry."
    -I hold a B.A. in Media Arts in Design, Minor in Music Industry, Second Minor in British Media and Communications, and now finishing my Master’s degree in Education.
    -I have four years’ experience in education. (Two before that managing an EDM record label…hehehehe.)
    -Starting at $12/hour as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in NoVA, I immediately wanted to do the Montessori training, which left me making about $38,000/year, and $20,000 in debt! 🙂
    -No benefits. Though I did get to learn how to raise chickens…
    -Heck yes, I negotiated to the point of tears to get a raise from $32k to $38k/year. I realize that’s a big step to ask for, but $32k was pretty weak for our area (where public school teachers with an M.Ed START at $52,000) and I had leverage from another school offering me $40k plus health benefits.
    -Now, I slightly miss making money; furthermore, I miss the farm school that I left this ^^^ for (even though the pay was less, the quality of life was so, so much more). I miss working with children. Now in VA Beach, I am eagerly seeking work with children in any capacity and am determined to make this a happy experience. The education industry neeeeeeeeds people who can turn things around for children’s futures (because children ARE the future!). They are capable of unimaginable success and independence with the proper environment and love, and it is up to us to help them reach their full potential. I would love some feedback from any Montessorians in the VA or even VA Beach area, if you’re on here! 🙂

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    I think the conversation around money vs quality of life is HUGE. Kudos to you for identifying AND honoring that.

    Also, I can’t believe they pay you $12/hr to take care of kids with your level of education. WTF is that? What you do is so important. Thank you!!!

    Marie Adele 5 years ago

    Thank YOU! I just found your blog last night and it is fantastic! So entertaining yet comforting. Wish more bloggers encouraged their readers to speak up about these issues! We’d all feel so much less alone.

    <3 Marie

  • J 5 years ago Reply

    33/Male/Baltimore MD
    Medical Device Industry
    Senior Territory Manager (sales)
    Bachelors Degree
    10 years experience (total post grad)
    $110k (should be about 10-15k more this year)-Base plus commissions.

    I negotiated a bit for my base but I have no cap on my earnings so it’s mostly up to me.

    I work remotely. I’m in the field most of the time with occasional home office admin days. I travel to a few conferences nationally a year (3-4 times). Company pays 100% of mine and my wife’s health benefits.

    Hope this helps!

  • Ohio Gal 5 years ago Reply

    33/F/Dayton, OH

    Marketing Director (small) Tech Company
    4 years in particular field
    55/year + bonuses
    Benefits offered that I declined b/c my husband’s are a lot better

    I negotiated some. My pay rate is quite low, even for the area i live which has a really low cost of living and therefore slightly lower pay rates than other cities in Ohio.
    Pay is low but flexibility is quite high. I have flex time and can adjust the days of the week I work and can work remotely 20% of the time. This was the biggest factor in my choice as my husband is an airline pilot and I wanted to be able to see him more and use our flight benefits/travel more.
    My company is also just past the startup phase. I missed that bit, but it still has that atmosphere. It’s very hands on and project driven so I was interested in that type of experience vs. a more structured environment.

    It’s so interesting to see what other people make. I’ve always known I could make more in a more corporate environment, just don’t think I realized how much. It’s a trade off for quality of life now though. I don’t think I could ever go back to the more driven atmosphere and strict corporate schedules at this point.

  • Andrew 5 years ago Reply

    Associates in Entertainment Business
    10 years restaurant experience
    Minimal benefits.

    The hours can be good and bad. The restaurant I work at is open from 11am – 10pm so no early mornings or 3am nights. I do try to work multiple double shifts every week which ends up being a 10-12 hour day with no official break. My income has increased to it’s current level over the last few years partly due to luck. I just happened to choose a restaurant that has very consistent business and am able to work as much as possible.

    The problem is I am trying get out of the restaurant industry. I am starting to realize that there isn’t much room for growth unless you want to become a restaurant manager which I do not. My income is capped because of this. Also, working more nights and weekends puts me at an opposite schedule than most people. I’ve had multiple interviews earlier in the year that I thought went very well but did not get hired. The problem I’m running into is my lack of education. Employers want to see a bachelors degree, not an associates. I’ve considered going back to school but I still have 25k in student loan debt and don’t want to add to that. Hopefully I will find a different industry that is compatible with the skills and education I have.

  • H 5 years ago Reply

    Judicial Law Clerk (attorney)
    ~3 yrs part time (during law school) in my current field
    $48.5K (I actually had to go look this up, because I couldn’t remember exactly)
    Normal state government benefits, good healthcare, I can take unpaid time off if necessary.
    Did not negotiate, can’t for most gov’t jobs plus this is a job that hundreds of beginning lawyers throughout MN have. There is two pay grades for the position, year one, and year two+, after that its best to move on.
    I have almost $100K in student debt and very little savings.

  • Anon 5 years ago Reply

    29/F/Twin Cities
    District Manager – Boutique Retail
    Bachelors of Science degree w/ focus in Public Relations and Marketing
    6 years retail, 6 years transportation
    5 days PTO, accrued sick time, no health insurance
    Interesting fact- when offered the position, I was "promised" $45K after 3 months (a year and a half ago) – manager who hired didn’t share this info with current management, so I had to re-negotiate to my current pay
    Retail is difficult because they pay based on what they can in a given "business" circumstance – I consistently hire sale associates at fluctuating pay regardless of experience, so I’m sure my own pay reflects this as well. However, when I hired a manager (below my "rank") at a higher pay than me, it turned into a discussion with my higher management staff. While I still feel I should be getting paid higher than my current salary, based on my management experience, I’ve always thought to myself "do the work that you’re paid for"

  • MM 5 years ago Reply

    Account Manager – Energy Management
    Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and in 6 months I will have an MBA as well
    4.5 years of experience in energy management, 9 years of experience in the corporate world
    $53,352 + annual bonus (most recently $9,300)
    22 days of PTO, 100% tuition reimbursement, medical and dental partially paid for by employer, company cell phone
    Did not negotiate pay

  • Me 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location – 31/M/Twin Cities
    Job Title & Industry – mortgage auditor/home mortgage
    Education – high school drop out/GED
    Years experience – 13
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage) – $24/hr
    Additional benefits or perks
    Did you negotiate for your pay? Accepted the first offer
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share

  • Me 5 years ago Reply

    *15 days PTO and paid holidays also

  • Nova Scotia 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 48/female/Nova Scotia, Canada
    Job Title & Industry: Public School Teacher
    Education: B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Ed.(Curriculum and Instruction), M.Ed. (Leadership and Admin)
    Years experience: 10
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $71,000
    Additional benefits or perks: Great benefits (medical, dental, etc.), and a good work/life balance due to weekends, holidays and summers off.
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: No, it is set by the government
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: In NS, teachers are only paid for the days we work (195/year). Also, of the $71,000, my take home pay is less than $40,000 because there are a LOT of deductions from salaries of public servants. I was previously self-employed and was shocked at how much is deducted!

  • Anon 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 33/M/Milwaukee
    Job Title & Industry: Project Engineer/Manager
    Education: Bachelors in engineering
    Years experience: 9 years
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $72k/year
    Additional benefits or perks: 18 days for vacation or sick days per year. 10 paid holidays per year. 401k with 4% match.
    Did you negotiate for your pay? About 5 years ago I searched and got a job offer for significantly more than I had been making. I used that as leverage to negotiate and stayed with the employer I was at, but got a "correction" to my salary because I had been getting screwed.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share: I am required to travel occasionally. Probably a total of 4 weeks per year on average, sometimes a day here or there, sometimes 3 weeks straight living in a hotel.

  • Anon 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location – 30/Female/Minneapolis
    Job Title & Industry – Vice President (Sales and Marketing)
    Education – Bachelors and Masters
    Years experience – 7
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage) – $120,000 base plus commission
    Additional benefits or perks – Annual performance-based bonus, unlimited PTO (which I almost never use), 401K with 3% match, flexible schedule, insurance (medical and dental), cell phone, maternity leave (6 weeks full pay + 6 weeks at 60% pay)

    Did you negotiate for your pay? Absolutely. My negotiation took the better part of two weeks. Fortunately, I had negotiated in the past and have completed multiple negotiation training courses. I now mentor young women on how and when (always in my opinion) to negotiate.

  • Seferiana Day 5 years ago Reply

    Age/Sex/Location: 30/Female/Seattle
    Job Title & Industry: Legislative Assistant, Seattle City Council
    Education: Bachelors, Masters in Social Work
    Years experience: 7
    Annual Salary (or hourly wage): $72k
    Additional benefits or perks: pension, great insurance, generous vacation and executive leave, 4 weeks paid family leave
    Did you negotiate for your pay?: no.
    Any other pertinent info you’d like to share

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