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How to advance your career as a woman - how One Woman's Negotiation skill Scored Her a Career Boost

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Watercolor of a minority professional woman raising her hand
The joy of a career boost

How to advance your career as a woman

Mira Romania is employed at a marketing agency in San Francisco. Although she's recognized for her work ethic and diligence, she often finds herself orchestrating major projects from behind the scenes without gaining the spotlight she deserves. For over six years, she watched as newer, less experienced colleagues received the promotions and projects she had long desired. Although she had expressed interest in the Director of Marketing role, she was always told that her skills were indispensable in her current position.

One day, a moment of resolve struck her. She decided enough was enough.

After consulting with a couple of coaches, she took matters into her own hands. She started researching colleagues and superiors who had climbed the corporate ladder quickly - she wanted to understand their strategies. She noticed their confidence, their ability to communicate their value, and most importantly, their knack for building relationships.

Identifying a route to her dream position, Mira started brainstorming on a project centered around customer acquisition strategies. She made concerted efforts to engage with her colleagues, sharing insights on recent customer trends, and even organizing intimate team lunches. In doing so, she wasn't just getting to know them better; she was building a network of relationships and fostering camaraderie.

Gradually, Mira began sharing her ideas in meetings, drawing attention with her strategic insights and vision for the future.

Six months into this journey, she scheduled a meeting with the CEO. There, she highlighted her years of dedication, her deep understanding of the company's values, and her vision for its future. Most importantly, she showcased the initiatives she had already launched in line with this vision. The CEO who had been hearing about the waves Mira was creating was now impressed. He recognized the overlooked potential in Mira. He decided to take a chance and fund the project that Mira was pitching. He needed a succession plan for the Director of Marketing role. Why not give Mira a chance, he thought.

Mira was on her way!

Mira's story shows that strategic negotiation isn't just for striking business deals. It is a tool for personal growth and career development. For women, the age-old tired advice has been to diligently work and wait for someone to notice and elevate you. But what happens when that strategy doesn't translate into promotions. What if, after years of keeping your head down and making others look good, you find yourself in the exact same position?

What Mira did was negotiation strategy applied to a non-monetary deal. Here is how:


Mira first defined what she wanted. That Director of Marketing role she had been denied before.

Then she began understanding what drove the CEO's growth agenda. When she understood that it was about customer acquisition, she started charting who at the next level down was responsible for allocating customer related projects. Then she tried to understand their goals and aspirations. Are they eyeing a promotion? Looking to stand out? Or perhaps they seek recognition for their contributions?

Rapport Building

She engaged in conversations, participated in team lunches and built trust and likeability. This 'shadow negotiation' phase is the also the time to subtly showcase that you possess the skills required for the project you are eventually going to ask for.

Gain allies

As part of her team building, she built connections with people inside and outside her function. She was building strategic allies during this time. These allies vouched for Mira's expertise in meetings she was not a part of.

Tailor the pitch

She tailored her pitch to emphasize how the company will benefit in the future from her work. She aligned her expertise to what the CEO was looking for - more customers, more revenue, and long term growth. This enabled her to speak to the CEO in, "his language." This resulted in her success story.

In the end, negotiation is a problem-solving exercise. When the problem is, "How do I advance in my career?", the answer might just be a well-planned negotiation strategy. If you feel your career is stalled and you find yourself google searching, "How to advance your career as a woman," it is time to start brushing up on your negotiation strategy. By meticulously planning each step, you’re not only positioning yourself for that premium project but also paving the way for the professional growth you’ve earnestly worked towards.

If you are ready, get the free training here.

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