How Do Your Career Choices Affect What You Earn Today, And In 15 Years’ Time?

How do your career choices affect what you earn today, and in 15 years’ time?

Remember when you first started your career? Oh, those were the days. I’m sure your main goal was to find a job that you were passionate about with a mission you shared. But, I’m also quite certain that you carefully considered your offers, choosing the highest paid position, right?

Typically, very few of us enter a profession fully understanding our growth-potential past our starting salary. While we hope to earn a certain amount and have an idea of what success could bring in terms of numbers one day, we very rarely are able to project what we’ll earn in 5, 10 or 15 years on the job. The main reason for this being that people are so secretive about their salaries. This makes it difficult to know your worth at different stages in your career, as well as making it harder to compare the differences in rates between your peers within the same career trajectory or different industries.

Company is working to change that, acting as a free salary-benchmarking site since 2012, and reporting updated stats on salaries across multiple career landscapes that we just had to share with you.

Thomas Drewry. CEO of the company, who initially worked as a financial services headhunter, realized there was an absence of reliable market data on bonuses and salaries. This created an issue for both clients and candidates who were only able to judge remuneration figures on small samples and anecdotal evidence.

After approaching Olivier Beau de Lomenie about building an online platform that would allow professionals to contribute their data anonymously, the site, as we know it, was born.

With aggregated market results broken down by title, location and sector, the data provides greater transparency about what professionals really earn and to help them make more informed career decisions.

“Of course money isn’t everything, but the lack of transparency in pay makes it very difficult for individuals to make informed decisions at every stage of their career,” Drewry said.

“Whereas local government roles might often be seen to offer good benefits like pensions and holidays, bonuses play a much bigger part in professions that are judged on performance, and these bonuses only increase as people move higher up in an organisation.”

According to’s recent study, finance and legal professions (no surprise here) offer the highest salaries at all levels of experience. What is more notable is how average salaries in local government, accounting, marketing, HR and media vary by just £5k (less than 16%) for executives with less than 5 years’ experience, but 15+ years into a career the difference between media and local government is as much as £63k, with media executives earning 87% more.

Here’s a snapshot from the study of salary figures over the years for marketing and media:


£32,000 (Less than 5 years)

£56,000 (5 to 10 years)

£93,000 (10 to 15 years)

£121,000 (15 +)


£36,000 (Less than 5 years)

£66,000 (5 to 10 years)

£97,000 (10 to 15 years)

£135,000 (15 +)

As the full research illustrates, marketing and media professionals get their biggest percentage increases after 5 years’ experience (75%, 83% and 67% respectively), while HR professionals, for example, see an 85% increase when they reach 10 to 15 years’ experience.

In the charity sector average salaries are typically the lowest of the professions compared, which might be expected given the nature of the businesses. However, the stats reveal a huge step up for executives with over 15 years’ experience, usually taking up the top charity management roles.

To see how your earnings compare to your peers for free, visit

Photo Courtesy by: BlogHer


Megan Broussard

Megan Broussard is a storyteller from New York City. She credits her talent for balancing big hand gestures and a glass of red on her Cajun roots. When she isn’t covering women in career/business, fashion, lifestyle and culture, she’s playing with her pup – the inspiration for her doggy daycare business.