How a Career Coach Helped Me
Eden Pudberry is a product manager in healthcare tech and a SoFi member. While interviewing for a new role, she worked with Rachel, a career coach in SoFi’s career advisory group. Here’s her take on how working with a career coach can be a useful tool while crafting the negotiation conversation.
“I first met Rachel at a career networking event SoFi hosted, which had a panel where they talked about your value in the workplace. I reached out to her sometime after that.
We started talking, and during that time, someone reached out to me on LinkedIn about a great opportunity. After I interviewed at this company and got a job offer, Rachel and I talked about the negotiation. I told her I wanted to make a counter offer and structure it in an appropriate way.
Part of what was really helpful about talking to Rachel was how she grounded the conversation in specific information about salaries. One of the biggest challenges around negotiating is compensation, and it’s especially true for startups in the Bay Area where I work.
I got additional insights from a couple of salary sites she gave me. That was really useful in framing the conversation. After that, it was just a matter of talking about what my hard number would be, my soft number, and what would make me feel good once I accepted the offer.
Having the conversation with someone who was not only experienced, but also a neutral third party—and not somebody who was part of my family or a dear friend who might be biased—felt reassuring. We talked about what I was thinking, and I asked how I should frame the conversation so that I could get my market value and also not turn off the potential employer.
After I talked to Rachel, I had the conversation with the potential employer where I countered, and explained why I was asking for what I was asking for. It all made a lot of sense to him.
And because of how rational I was, and how much thought I had put into the conversation, he felt comfortable with the number I gave him. He chose to give it to me, then revised the offer and sent it back within the hour.
Negotiating is as much of an art as it is a science. I think for a lot of us negotiating is emotionally charged, and very challenging, and Rachel made me feel like it wasn’t this monumental, emotional challenge.
Part of what a career coach offers is helping people feel good about who they are and what they want. Rachel helped me feel entitled to have what I was asking for.”