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October 25, 2021

Nina’s Negotiation

How did you feel in your role and what prompted you to consider switching jobs?

I knew that I could do more than what my current role allowed for. I wasn’t actively looking, but I had a conversation with the founders about the opportunity, and we really connected. For me to consider jumping from a stable company to a startup – if I was going to take a leap, I knew that these were the people to do it with.

Were you considering alterantives to the startup offer?

My current company offered me a new position. It was allowing me to build my own job, but it was a lateral move that wasn’t accompanied by a promotion. I made the decision to turn it down because of what I felt I deserved and earned.

How did you begin to think about compensation for the startup role?

There was a learning curve in what I needed to consider. With a startup, the comp is tricky. It was about pushing the founding shares, bonus, and severence since I knew that my salary would not be comparable to what I was offered at my current company.

How did you figure out what you wanted to negotiate at the startup?

I had to tap into the people I knew could help be smart about the startup compensation. I called my ‘personal board of directors.’ Some of the things that the startup was offering were really good, but I didn’t appreciate it because I didn’t know better.

How did Worthmore help you prepare?

Kathryn focused me on the positive so that I could keep perspective, which was a critical for me. She held onto that when I couldn’t. Leaving my current company was incredibly hard – I was very attached and I felt like there was work left to accomplish. I didn’t feel like I was leaving having done everything I could have done there.

Also the research that Kathryn has done with females and how she would help me to prepare and tee up conversations, emails, everything. That help from her was invaluable.

What was the outcome of the negotiation?

I was able to get more founding shares, a year of severance, and a significant bonus increase, which was a big deal.

Kathryn suggested that I get a prize at the end of the negotiation. And I got two, because I went through two negotiations. When I turned down the new position at my current company, I got a prize because of the courage it took to turn down such an opportunity. That prize was so important – I didn’t realize the critical value of that.

What lessons did you takeaway?

Kathryn pushed me to think about what else mattered to me [outside of compensation]. I didn’t give that as much attention and thought, but I will going forward. She changed my mindset on a lot of things.

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