Read our conversation with Amelia, who negotiated a 50%+ increase in base salary, an increase in her bonus, equity, and additional hires on her team.
How did you feel in your role and what prompted you to consider switching jobs?
I was happy in my role and enjoyed the work, so I wasn’t actively searching. I had been recruited by a few companies but turned them down – when you’re happy in your job, you don’t necessarily want to make a move.
Through the process I reconnected with a former boss who had recently been promoted to an executive position at his company. He wanted to bring in a partner to be his right-hand, so we started chatting. It moved quickly, and from the beginning felt right. After a few conversations, he said, “if you’re interested in the job, it’s yours to take.”
How did you approach negotiating compensation?
By the time I got to comp, I knew it was the job I wanted to be doing. I already knew I would take it if the offer was reasonable, and the question was how much I could push the number.
During the conversation I communicated the things that were important to me: base compensation, equity, and a generous signing bonus. Outside of comp, I wanted to make sure I had the support that I needed to be successful, which meant hiring a few people early on.
How did your work with Worthmore help you prepare for the negotiation?
Before we got to the tactical conversation on comp, I added in data points around the value I could bring to the organization. This made the negotiation a lot easier.
Before working with Worthmore, I had the viewpoint that negotiating was just about the dollars. Kathryn said to me, “Even before you start talking numbers, think about what you want. Think about your ideal outcomes. Think about what matters to you.” She sent the list of things you could negotiate, and that made me realize this wasn’t just about money.
How did this negotiation differ from previous negotiations you’ve gone through?
I was a lot more vocal than I have been in past negotiations about the things that matter to me. In previous negotiations it’s always been, “get the job, and then maybe increase the base salary a little bit.” I’ve always assumed that the hiring company must know my worth, so their initial offer would be fair.
In this negotiation I tried to think holistically about the things I need to be successful, and the things that would allow me to be fully committed to the company from day one. I had that mindset even before the negotiation, that my proposal would be a win-win for me and for the company.
When the company listened to the things that I cared about and actually met me there – that’s a sign that it’s a company that values its people.
How did you feel going into the negotiation conversation?
I had this feeling of excitement. I knew my value, and I knew what I needed to do to be successful. I was prepared.
I typically felt anxious and insecure before negotiations, but here I was, confident that I should be asking for this. I had data points with me that made it a no-brainer for the company; that gave me a sense of empowerment.
What advice do you have for other women approaching a negotiation?
Prepare and over-prepare before the negotiation. Know your worth – look at comparable salaries in your industry, talk to people at similar companies. Know the things that will make you happy and successful – that could be compensation, but it could also be administrative support or a strong female mentor.