I hadn’t looked for a new job in about 8 years, and after so long at my company, I wasn’t sure where to begin. What I did know with certainty: I’d outgrown my role, and it was time for a new challenge.
I hadn’t always felt this way. In fact, a few years ago, when my daughter was diagnosed with a chronic condition, the consistency my job in research provided was a welcome bit of stability during one of the most difficult times of my life. I also feared if I changed jobs, any disruption to my insurance would affect the healthcare team I’d assembled for my daughter. So I stayed, continuing to outperform and grow my responsibilities and purview, without reward. At one point, after bringing in more than 50 percent growth year over year, I was rewarded with a demotion--my boss hired another layer of management between himself and me. My new boss remarked, “I never thought that someone like you would report to someone like me.”
It was plain then that I needed to move on. Two or three years is an ideal length of time to master a role, but after that, you need to grow to stay marketable and also to stay employed. Our parents generation might say to stay put, especially when the money is good, but you reach a point where you lose more by staying, and that time had come for me. Still, I felt stymied. I needed to make a move but I didn’t know the path forward.
The Convo That Jump-Started My Search For a Kick-Ass Job
Then I heard about Wager, and signed up for a confidential salary conversation. I submitted a few details and was matched up with a woman who worked in research, like me, but had moved on to a management track. She confirmed that I was paid on par for my role--about $215k salary. However, she explained that if I moved into a role with broader sales responsibilities, I could make $280-290k base as well as a bonus. She said, “Eileen, you’re not a wallflower. Use it!”
In just a half hour, she told me specifically which types of roles offered management responsibilities (and an attendant salary bump), how to market my achievements to be considered for these positions, which companies to focus on (and which to avoid). She underscored that if I took on a revenue responsibility in my next role and become a business driver, my bonus would increase considerably. She set the bar higher for me, with specificity and clarity. She had no vested interest other than my own success. It was the most feminist conversation in the world!
Looking For Diamonds in the Sand
Now, I sift through opportunities based on the parameters my Wager match shared with me. I’m targeting roles like leading a big tech account globally. I’m looking for diamonds in the sand. These jobs are fewer, but I know I’m going to make it, and I understand what I need to do to get one. My Wager conversation gave me the most valuable compass. Any boss can tell you you’re great and you’ll succeed. It’s different coming from an industry expert who can explain, this is how the game is played. Here are the pathways. Now, go get it.