One of our Class of 09 journalism grads went straight into a combo PR/marketing/admin role at $60k a year. I remember her telling us that, and I’m pretty sure my jaw literally dropped when she named the figure.
$60k is, and has always been, an interesting number to me. I feel like it’s quite a polarising one.
To a huge section of the population, it’s a number they’ll never hit. To others, it’s an entry-level income.
A colleague recently asked for my thoughts on a piece of work that he was involved in. It will reach thousands and thousands of people – from all industries, regions, life stages, etc – and it had to reference a certain number as an example. Specifically, it had to be an example of an average salary over a lifetime.
Was $60k too high to cite as an average salary over a career, he wondered?
Old me would have said yes. New me, no.
But I’m not sure if I’m in the majority on that – I suspect possibly not, given that NZ is such a low wage economy.
I used to think $60k was so much money. But realistically, in Auckland, it is not. It’s possible to survive on a $40k journalism income, but if you aspire to more than just survival…
I wanted to hit $60k when I left journalism, but it felt like so much to ask for. I could not imagine my work being worth $60k. They offered me a salary even higher than that, and at that point my jaw literally dropped, once more.
Failing to value yourself is a key trait of underearning – a concept I’ve really only stumbled across in the past year or so. And that, my friends, is the topic of my very next post. Stay tuned.