A few years ago, Kelly found herself on unsteady ground in her career. Her company had just gone through a merger, and it was the start of the pandemic, which was rapidly reshaping the corporate landscape.
Kelly worked in an old-school, male-dominated industry. To be rocked by consecutive, major changes left the company in culture shock. Although she had been happy in her role previously, she felt unsettled and uncertain. It was at this time that a competitor approached her with an enticing offer, more than doubling her salary.
There were two problems, though: she liked her current company and she had just moved her family a few months prior. Another career change would require another move.
However, the new offer made her wonder: why couldn’t she make some of the same changes at her current company? Perhaps they could offer a better salary and a faster track for career growth, especially because she had already spent 15 years laying a foundation there.
“Having a life-changing offer from another company helped me see I was holding myself back,” Kelly said. “Because of so many organizational changes and it being such a male-dominated field, my confidence was shaken. I needed to relearn how to gauge and prove my worth.”
Kelly worked with Worthmore to outline a negotiation strategy, which focused on sharing her value and pushing back against her company’s tendency to typecast her as a young female.
“I had gotten caught up in our culture being challenging and not female friendly,” Kelly noted. “Women don’t always realize you have to go out and prove your worth constantly. Men are doing this naturally, so if we can learn to advocate for ourselves in the same way, it really makes a difference.”
The negotiation increased Kelly’s compensation by more than 40% and put her on a clear path for her next two executive roles. But it did more than that: it helped her earn her boss’ respect, as well as show him the value women play in their industry.
“This was a great opportunity for my boss as we continue to learn what it takes to retain executive women,” she said. “It has also helped me feel more confident and secure in my company, which is something I want all of the women who work here to feel.”