Success Story: Salary Negotiation Coaching

How to turn $150 into $40,000!

Let’s set the stage…it’s Valentine’s Day and money is in the air. ❤️💸 Not your typical day for salary negotiation coaching, but when is life typical?!

I receive a frantic LinkedIn message from a woman, we’ll call her T, who attended my salary negotiation tactics session at the AFP LEAD conference: “Hi Shannon. Totally last minute, but I just found out that I will be promoted, and I have to have a conversation with our COO tomorrow at noon. Do you happen to have any availability to talk today or tomorrow morning?”

The answer is always “yes.” I will always move what I can in my life to make room for a last-minute salary negotiation coaching sesh!

Meanwhile I’m also texting my gourmet husband about what he’s cooking for us for Valentine’s Day…I suggest something fun we’ve never cooked: chicken saltimbocca. He responds, “frantically looking up ‘chicken saltimbocca.’”

In case you’re also wondering, it’s a chicken breast pounded thin and wrapped in prosciutto and sage and fried to perfection. Spoiler alert: it was amazing.

So, I book T for a call for 7am PST the next day, and take breaks from pouring wine and helping my husband cook to send her my Salary Power Pack and invoice for our hour the next morning. My last message to her is, “Happy Valentine’s Day—let’s get you a salary you love ❤️”

Spoiler alert: we did that AND MORE.

The next morning, I’ve got my coffee poured and ready to dive in. An amazing opportunity had been offered to T…but it’s sparking more anxiety than joy. Her beloved boss is leaving and suggested that she step in as interim VP…sounds good right? Except that last time T held a VP title, it was a disaster of her being bullied. She never wanted to be a VP again.

Even tremendous opportunity can ignite past trauma. We talked through that past shitty job and explored the new opportunity. Her current job and team sound amazing. This will not be the same VP situation again—she gets the opportunity to wear this title she deserves with pride with a team who values her. Within 30 minutes, she put away the old trauma and is ready to embrace this wonderful new job.

Then we get to salary negotiation coaching… “Oh no, I can’t ask for $100k.” As a VP, you should make a minimum of $100k. We work through the fears, role play the conversation, and she’s ready!

I’m now the anxious one waiting all day to hear the results…and I get this incredible message:

“You are NOT going to believe this!!!!! They offered me a $40k raise! OOOOOOHHHHHHMMMMMM goodness!!!!! Thank you so very much for boosting my confidence and for taking time to meet with me this morning to prepare for this salary negotiation!”

I’m jumping up and down SO HAPPY for T!!

For $150 spent on coaching with me, she increased her salary by $40k! Plus, she’s owning that VP title like a boss and contributing to a mission she loves.

I’m not going to downplay this: a $40k increase in your salary in ANY region is a life changing amount of money. You can work towards ambitious savings goals, take that dream vacay, build wealth, and breathe each month.

To play a part in helping her heal her past trauma and open up to this amazing new job is an absolute honor. On Valentine’s Day, I got to do what I love: help a nonprofit professional earn more money. 🥰

…oh, and eat an amazing new home cooked meal with that bottle of Cab we’ve been aging for 10 years. It was a great day!

Memorial Day is coming up, who’s next??

P.S. from T herself…

“I LOVE that you referenced my previous employment as a “shitty” job because it was just that!! And I’ve begun to realize it truly was their loss. Thank you (and my beloved recent manager) for helping me to see that.

I’m ready for this challenge and am excited to see the impact our team will have on our nonprofit community. You are a part of making this a reality and I’m truly grateful. 

I’m honored to share my story. Hopefully it will help others know what’s possible with your guidance.”



Shannon Bowen, Founder + CEO of Monsoon Leadership is a career advancement coach, job search expert, salary whisperer, nonprofit executive, and a lifelong straight-talker. She's dedicated to helping nonprofit professionals land their dream job and dream salary!


Leave a Comment