#JustABoss is a blog series about women who’ve negotiated their pay to level up in their careers and their financial journeys!
For this weeks #JustABoss spotlight, Meet Emily, a product manager who negotiated equity, PTO, & student loan repayment
Years of Experience:
What’s your Negotiation Story? :
I work as a Product Manager at a FinTech startup. I was in talks with my company before COVID began while I was finishing up my Masters degree. When the pandemic hit, my company had to postpone any raises and new W2 hires. Thankfully my boss was able to keep me on as an independent contractor.
As the pandemic progressed and I was not able to get benefits, I started researching how much people in my field currently make. I found out I was really underpaid! I had imposter syndrome though and didn’t think I deserved the market rate salary – so the number I asked for was lower. When I approached my boss he said yes to the exact number I asked!
Months later I realized I had not asked for my full worth so I went back to my boss with a new number. He said yes again and I successfully doubled my original salary! I am now in talks to get full benefits and another raise. Moral of the story is never doubt how much you are worth in a negotiation.
How did you first prepare to negotiate?:
I used websites like Glassdoor to research what other individuals in my industry and position are currently making. I also made a list of all the wins I have had at my company and wrote out reasons I deserve this raise.
What are your best tips to get in the right mindset?:
Confidence is key! I learned the hard way that if you don’t ask for it, it won’t happen. It may sound cheesy but stand in front of the mirror and read that list of reasons you deserve your raise!
Have you ever dealt with imposter syndrome in your negotiating?:
All the time! Especially being a new graduate. I used to feel like I didn’t have enough to offer. After doing my research and listing out all the things I have already done at my company though, I am getting better at shrugging it off.
Have you ever tried to negotiate outside of your compensation?:
Absolutely. Since I work at a startup the base salary is not always as high as other companies. Therefore, the extra benefits make up for that. I have negotiated things like remote work from anywhere, unlimited PTO, equity, funding for professional certifications, and one time student loan payments.
What financial goals are you currently working on and how has negotiating impacted your financial journey?:
I am currently paying off my $100k+ student loans and trying to reach financial independence by age 35. Each raise I received has helped SO MUCH. I have a set amount I spend on my lifestyle so everything else I get in a negotiation goes straight towards my loans and investments. This will help me reach my goals years earlier.
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone who is nervous to negotiate, what would it be? :
Be sure to do your research and be confident! It’s scary the first time but it gets easier.
Do you have anything else you would like to share?:
If your company says no to a base salary raise, get creative with how you view your benefits! Remember they want to keep you. There are more things to negotiate than just money.
Where can my followers find you?
You can hear more about her debt payoff & personal finance journey at her instagram @sometimessensible