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Here’s what my 25-year-old friend Rachel just negotiated:
“I got a 28% raise in base salary which comes out to more than $1000/hr based on how much time I spent. Plus stock options, which at least allow me the luxury of dreaming about being a gazillionaire ”
How? I asked her to write up how she did it…
“I’ve applied to, and been ignored for, many many job openings – more than I care to share. Despite this I decided to jump back into the job market a few months ago after doing marketing for a large hotel in San Francisco. I found a marketing manager position on a site called VentureLoop (Craigslist for start-ups) and through it I sent in a resume which snagged a phone interview, which was followed by an in-person interview, which was followed by an offer letter.
Sounds like a cakewalk, right? Actually, the VP of Marketing told me that I had the least experience of anyone she was interviewing – then she hired me anyway. I can’t pinpoint exactly why I was so successful in getting this job in contrast to all of my past attempts, but I can think of a few things that probably made the difference. My strategies weren’t rocket science but they involved time and effort, two things which definitely make a difference separating you from the pack.
1. I broke down their job posting line by line and wrote down projects I’d worked on or skills I possessed that directly related to their description.
2. I researched their website extensively, read media articles about the company, and looked up the management teams’ backgrounds so that I could speak knowledgeably about the company and why I was a good fit.
3. I prepared a spiel about my somewhat eclectic resume, which can look unfocused if not set in the proper context.
4. I called an expert on start-ups, finance, bargaining and a half-dozen other things to get some outside counsel. Ramit gave me some key advice, including “tell them you want to get your hands dirty,” and “suggest three things you would do to improve/enhance their marketing efforts”. Yes, he does talk just like he writes on his blog.
5. I actually took Ramit’s advice, which is where a lot of my work came in. I dreamed up three proposals for generating greater interest at tradeshows, better responses to direct marketing campaigns, and increased name recognition in the general population.”
Wow! So the interview must have gone really well, right? Not quite…and Rachel’s description of what she did is a classic case in turning a missed opportunity into a chance to win.
“I never actually found a good opportunity to mention my ideas (this despite a four-hour interview). I emailed the proposals to my potential boss instead, using them as a way to continue self-advocating even though I was no longer in her office. I then individually emailed every person I spoke to that day to thank them for their time. Might have been overkill, but then again, my email flurry may have been the tipping point for my hiring.
My references later told me that the VP had been impressed with my energy and intelligence, and had decided she would rather train someone with potential than hire a more experienced, and perhaps less flexible, individual. Three weeks of sustained research and planning paid off with an entirely new career – a pretty stellar return on the investment of my time.”
Just notice how this is the exact embodiment of everything iwillteachyoutoberich stands for. Rachel eliminated barriers and carefully researched her options, took action by applying for a job, reached out to experts for advice, and came in with a presentation that was better than everyone else’s (so much so that she didn’t have to negotiate much). And when she didn’t get a chance to show off all of her presentation, she sent it by email — even though some people would think that was “weird.”
She came to play.
Getting rich isn’t about one silver bullet or secret strategy. It almost never happens by sitting in a room coming up with an idea. It happens through regular, boring, disciplined action. Most people only the results of all this action — a winnable moment, or an article in the press. But it’s this behind-the-scenes work that really makes you rich.
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