This 21-year-old makes $65,000 in her first project manager job


Welcome to Paycheck to Paycheck, the place employees with the identical job throughout the U.S. share how a lot they earn, how they received to their wage and their finest negotiating ideas. Prepared to hitch the wage transparency dialog? Apply to be a part of the series here.

On this installment, a 21-year-old shares how she makes $65,000 working as an affiliate venture supervisor in Jacksonville, Florida.

Madison Das simply began a brand new job in January, however she’s fairly certain she’s going to get promoted in just a few months.

She’s not being presumptuous — her new employer advised her as a lot. Das, 21, lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and began working as an affiliate venture supervisor with a start-up this 12 months. Whereas interviewing, she was struck by how the hiring managers requested about her profession plans.

“They advised me, ‘We do not need you to remain on this function for greater than six months,'” Das tells CNBC Make It. “My division director and my direct supervisor are each girls, they usually each advised me, ‘The intention is to convey folks in to have them develop.'”

Das checked the corporate’s LinkedIn profile and noticed lots of its entry-level staff have been promoted inside their first six to eight months. For Das, it was an indication the corporate was invested in retaining their staff round.

Das accepted the corporate’s provide of affiliate venture supervisor and now earns $65,000 in base wage. By the top of the 12 months, Das expects to be promoted to the extent of venture supervisor with the incomes potential of $100,000 a 12 months.

TikTok launched her profession change

Das studied biomedical sciences, chemistry and sociology in school and utilized to medical faculty however was rejected on her first attempt. She took a while to assume by way of her subsequent transfer and picked up advertising jobs at just a few native small companies.

The Covid-19 pandemic made her wish to leap into well being care, so in June 2020, she took a job with a health-care community to develop a text-based app the place sufferers may connect with their physician. She loved working throughout groups to create trainings and operations supplies.

Das earned $20 per hour and, after a 12 months, received bumped as much as $20.90 per hour. However she wished extra pay and profession progress and felt it was time to vary jobs. As she thought by way of one other profession shift, she landed on venture administration TikTok.

“It was actually TikTok as a platform that helped me put a reputation to what I used to be doing, discover worth in it after which be capable to pursue it to what it’s in the present day as my profession,” she says.

By means of TikTok clips, Das realized the kind of work she loved doing — documenting workflows, creating coaching supplies, managing tasks — and realized about getting licensed in venture administration by way of Google. She accomplished the six-month course inside six weeks and commenced making use of to jobs instantly. She earned her PM certification in mid-December and landed her new job by January.

As an affiliate venture supervisor, Das works on her personal tasks and performs a assist function to different folks on her workforce.

“I did it so rapidly,” Das says of her profession change. “It seems like actually anyone can.”

How she’d negotiate in another way

Das says she initially discovered discussing pay in hiring interviews to be “so uncomfortable.”

She did some on-line analysis and named her wage expectations between $65,000 and $80,000. However coming from a earlier fee of below $21 per hour, “as a result of I used to be rising a lot, I felt like I used to be appreciative for something,” Das says.

She additionally felt stress as the only earner of her family for a stretch: Her husband, who’s initially from Brazil, encountered Covid-related delays along with his visa and was unable to work for roughly a 12 months. He obtained a brief employment authorization in September 2021, however his visa standing continues to be pending.

So when Das received the job provide of a $65,000 beginning wage earlier this 12 months, she “simply ran with it.” She accepted the package deal as-is, which additionally features a telephone and web stipend, and a ten% bonus paid out quarterly. Das estimates her complete compensation to be roughly $73,000. She’s eligible to buy firm inventory choices every quarter, which she’ll do for the primary time on the finish of March.

Das feels she’s being paid pretty, as the corporate labored together with her vary, and she or he feels supported on her path to promotion. However, “if I may return figuring out what I do know now, I might negotiate, 100%,” she says.

Wage transparency in tech

In February, Das posted her personal TikTok going over the distinction between her base wage and her complete compensation — one thing she needs see noticed extra of when she was researching what sort of pay to barter for.

She usually noticed folks, largely males, posting their pay within the mid-six figures. It included their advantages and inventory choices however usually did not title the bottom wage, which is what she wanted to work off of.

Das heard from different tech newcomers that they felt discouraged and did not know the place to start out negotiating. “The web is likely one of the best methods to get data, but it surely’s additionally one of many best methods to get confused,” she says.

Das, who lives with the persistent sickness cardiac-valvular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hopes posting her personal wage breakdown encourages others from underrepresented backgrounds to see house for them in tech. “I’m a biracial Indian, disabled lady in my early 20s. Breaking into tech wasn’t the best factor for me.”

Das has additionally grown extra snug discussing pay with co-workers. Her first week on the job, she requested somebody about how inventory choices work. Her colleague ended up going by way of her beginning wage, her development on the firm and the way she negotiated her pay — which Das plans to take together with her into her subsequent wage dialog with managers. She feels the start-up encourages a tradition of transparency, which makes it simpler to speak about cash.

Das admits that working towards a promotion and lift inside the 12 months “seems like loopy quick growth,” however given the suggestions she’s gotten from supervisors, she feels “very assured that I am going to be capable to accomplish that, whether or not it is inside my present group or transferring to a different.”

Ultimately, she desires to work her manner as much as turning into a tech govt and lead organizations towards “extra success, extra progress, and extra inclusive behaviors long-term.”

Try:

This 26-year-old tripled her salary to $100K by tweaking her resume—here’s how

This 34-year-old earns $125,000 as a project manager—why he prefers to work on short-term contracts

How much do others make for the same job? Here’s where employers are required by law to share salary ranges when hiring

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This 21-year-old makes $65,000 in her first project manager job

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