Are you feeling restless or don’t see an opportunity for growth within your current company? One women had the courage to create a VP position and ask for a 20% raise in the process. She lays out how to create a new postion in a company in 6 steps.
This is how you create your dream position within a company:
- Prove yourself in your current role
- Identify an opportunity to justify a new position (e.g., re-structuring, manager leaving, change in company strategy, downsizing etc.)
- Identify the business problem that the new position will solve (e.g., saving money, not hiring another person)
- Request a 2 month test period and don’t ask for a raise
- Build a relationship and trust during the test period (schedule bi-weekly meetings)
- Seal the deal with a justification proposal and a decision
This real-life, anonymous interview provides a sample of how to create a new position within a company. She did all this and a 20% raise at only eight months after starting with the company. Read how she did and then follow her example.
Title: VP of Marketing, Luxury Goods Industry
Location: New York, NY
Original salary: $125K
Salary asked for: $150K
How did you create a new job role?
I was six months into my role as a marketing manager for a small, luxury brand. There was only one other marketing manager and she had just put in her notice, leaving a role open.
One of my concerns about working for such a small company was that there weren’t many opportunities for growth. I reported to the VP Strategy and Sales who reported to the CMO.
When the other manager left I agreed to take on some of her work until a replacement could be found. After a couple weeks with the additional workload I realized that this could be my chance to create an opportunity for myself to grow.
Justifying a new role at my current company
I started mapping out a new organization structure for marketing.
The objective of my re-structuring was to create a new job role for me. By re-structuring the workflow, I could justify a marketing director role for myself and promote one of our marketing assistants to a marketing manager.
It would be a win-win: I’d get a promotion and the company would save money by not having to hire an additional employee.
Though I was still new to the company, I knew this was my chance to move up by creating a new job at my current company.
1st try at negotiating a new position within the company
I started first with my direct boss, the VP, to convince him of the new role.
I brought forward my plan with the new organizational structure and how I envisioned the group working. I was hoping that if I could sell her on this, she would be able to easily get it approved by the CMO.
Instead, I was a little shocked when she brushed me off.
She told me that organizational changes and the new positions needed to be approved by the CMO so if I wanted to talk about this I’d need to speak directly with him.
I was a little disheartened by the fact she wouldn’t help support my growth and my plan to create a new position of marketing director, but I decided that I couldn’t let it stop there. A few days later I booked a meeting with the CMO.
Before I went into my meeting with him, I decided to be bolder.
As there was no VP of Marketing, I thought it would make sense to create this role so I would report directly to the CMO.
It was a big ask, but I felt like my performance in my short time there had been incredibly strong and the plan would still benefit the company by not requiring another employee to be hired. This is how I would justify the new position.
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2nd try at negotiating a new position
He was interested but also hesitant. We hadn’t worked together much and this was a big change for our little marketing organization. As I advocated for this new role and organization structure I emphasized the cost benefit for the company.
At the end of the conversation he told me that he would put the search for another marketing manager on hold and we could test run this organization for the next month or so to see if it made sense.
We didn’t talk about a raise in this conversation – I wanted to prove that this new position was going to work before I asked for what I wanted.
How did you write your position justification proposal?
During the next two months I had bi-weekly meetings with him to talk about the new structure, new marketing initiatives, and the vision that I had for the group. I think he saw how passionate I was about making this work and he began to get more comfortable working with me.
After two months I knew that I needed to push him to make a decision and to make this official. In our next meeting I laid out my updated justification proposal in writing, based on some revisions we had talked about.
Then, I laid out my ask.
I wanted the following in the negotiation for creating a new position
As we had worked closely over the 2 month test period, the point of this discussion was to confirm my new role.
The justification proposal needed little discussion because he was well versed on how well the new organization was working. Our bi-weekly meetings ensured we were testing and proving ideas that were best for the company.
The justification proposal for a new position included the following deal for myself.
- To have a VP title
- To report directly to him
- To get a 20% raise to $150K
I asked him to agree to the plan and I could work with HR to make it official.
He took a minute looking it over and then said the new position, organization, and salary made sense for the company.
The CMO said that I had proven myself, and he would sign off on everything I proposed.
How long did it take to create a position?
In total it took a little over 3 months to create a position within my company. All 6 steps to create a new position are required and they take time to implement correctly.
The 3 months includes the couple of weeks working as the interim marketing manager as this was a key step in creating the new position for me.
A couple weeks in the interim position was enough to prove myself and also better understand the workings and gaps in the organization. Drawing up the initial re-structuring and job position justification proposal took a couple of days.
The longest period was the 2 months testing period that I had agreed with the CMO. 1 month wouldn’t have been enough time to build a relationship with the CMO and prove the organization was working. If I had waited more than 2 months to get the final decision then I would have risked becoming the status quo.
People will take something for as long as they can if it is free. You have to cut off the test period to get the position approved.
Seize the opportunity to create a new position within your company
There are a few moments in your career where you can be incredibly bold and take full advantage of an opportunity in front of you. My opportunity was to create a new position in the company.
When you get this moment, you have to seize it.
Had I stopped when my boss didn’t want to support this change for a new role, I would still be in the same role wishing I had done something more.
It took a lot of courage to present my idea for a new organization with me as the VP of Marketing to the CMO and advocate for myself for the next two months, but it paid off.
Need to a little help with your negotiating prowess?
Did you know that negotiating your salary one time can add over a million dollars to your earnings over the course of your career?
That’s kind of a big deal. And so is the confidence you get from knowing that you can ask for and get what you want and need in your career.
My negotiation guide gives you the negotation framework you need to persuasively make that ask. We’re not talking negotiation theory that works in a classroom but not in an office. This is a simple framework that gives you the confidence to use your own voice and get what you need: research. prep. ask.
Fill out the form below and I will send you the kind of email that makes your day. It will have the link to download my negotiation guide so you can start earning more money. Get the salary you deserve, fill out the form below.
This article was originally published on November 4th, 2016 and updated on October 16th, 2019.
research. prep. ask.
Did you know that negotiating your salary one time can add over a million dollars to your earnings over your career?
- I'll show you how with my 3 part system: Research. Prep. Ask.
- 3 videos included with practice scrips
- Free access to Not Your Father's Negotiation Course, a $97 value
Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project: personal finance and family travel. website. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom, and Lifehacker. When she's not writing about personal finance you can find Erica exploring Europe from her temporary home base in London.
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