SELF Magazine wanted to interview me as a prospect to have my story shared in their magazine and on their website. They wanted for all of the young women who have successfully made it in the working world to give them a shout out and tell them what they have done to acheive their goals. Below is the interview that unfortunately wasn't published by SELF, but I am glad to share my advice to the world over my personal blog on how to become successful using social media. Girl Power! The interview went as below...
Thanks so much for responding to me on Twitter, and congrats on your big fat raise! I’m hoping you can teach the rest of us poor schmucks a thing or two about nabbing more money in this terrible economy of ours. So, please take a few minutes to answer my questions below. I'd love to hear from you by Monday, 12/11, since my deadline looms. And when you answer, please think of the reader as your best friend. Your tips should be actionable and clever. (“Work hard,” for example, doesn't help much. Lots of people do, and they don't get raises.) I'm looking for more surprising tips, tips that might make your friend go, "Huh! I'm totally going to try that!"
First, some business: Please state your name, date of birth, town and job title/company.
1. Kristen Kaweck, 10/14/1989, Indianapolis, Account Executive at HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS)
2. I started making $10/hour as a social media intern at HCCMIS. After my promotion, I received a $40,000 base pay with 30% commission.
Ok, this is the money shot: Exactly how did you swing it?
a. Did timing play a factor (e.g. day of week, time of day, post-layoffs, after company got good news, after you completed successful project)?
Working as an intern at HCCMIS is hard work. Your duties are not limited to stapling and stacking papers. I controlled over 20 social media sites (which consisted of finding and organizing content for the HCCMIS blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google +), I produced YouTube videos that have over 20,000 views, and was also the only sales support resource our business had. *As a side note, they are looking for three more social media interns.
After about four months of my internship I began to seriously think about where I was heading next. I talked to my boss (VP of marketing at that point) about my talents and expertise as well as my personal goals, and we outlined what positions fit with my talents. We narrowed it down to the open Account Exec. position within the company. After discussing this with my boss and supervisor, they knew exactly where my head was at and where I wanted to go. Having them behind me was a major help, since they wanted what was best for me. And in all realness, any boss wants what’s best for their workers. I pitched myself to the board in the utmost confidence, and a power skirt, and then waited. I went straight back to work for my internship. When I got to work I put my head down and cranked out as much work as possible. When I got home, I applied to about five jobs a day.
Through Twitter, I had been finding job openings left and right. I found jobs by making friends with the social media community in Indy (shout out), and by using the search tool. This is how you can search jobs in the field you are looking for:
1. Go to the ‘Me’ tab
2. Go to the ‘List’ category
3. Click on ‘Create List’
4. Name the list (ex. Job search)
5. Describe the list (ex. Those looking for a job in social media)
6. Make it public (don’t get greedy)
7. Find people to add to your list (ex. Type social media jobs)
8. Add the people that are relevant
9. Go back to your list and watch the news roll in with new job openings
After I did this, I had several interviews lined up. When the sales department heard that I was search outside the company, they scooped me right up. Don’t keep things a secret. Stay open and true. Don’t let them take you for granted.
b. Did you ask for your raise in any particular way?
Since I was only making $10/hour, any raised felt like gold. I did some research and made sure that I had a solid understanding of a low and high end base pay of most account executives. Turns out it’s $30,000 to $50,000 depending on your skills. I came at my possible supervisor with a hefty $37,000, knowing that I was a baby in the industry, but also a smart motivated gal who wanted SOME sort of incentive.
When the first job offer first happened, $35,000 was thrown at me. I was stoked. I stayed comfortable and friendly instead of stiff and business like during our training, and we started to become buddies. I came back a week later and he had mentioned that he had argued for $40,000, because he had so much faith in me. They will be providing me with health and dental insurance, as well as a 401k. Although I don’t get PTO until six months after my start date, I still managed to get even more vacation during the holidays, since I’m originally from Michigan.
4. Were there any clever ways in which you went above and beyond your job description to get noticed?
Google rankings. Google Kristen Kaweck, and you’ll see what I mean J.
Bottom line: What clinched it for you? Over 7 million women will read your advice, so we want it to a) go beyond the obvious and b) be something they could try themselves. What would you tell your best friend? Give me the nitty gritty please!
Lunch. I was setting up lunch dates on Twitter once or twice a week with people I had “chats” with. Although the people I was meeting were usually not in my industry, they were so socially prevalent they KNEW people in my industry. Having a crowd of influential people ‘have my back’ definitely got me the job. I think of it more as a team effort. I’m constantly sending thank you emails for the help and good word.