Shaque’l Wilson started 6 Figure Chick Consulting, through the power of TikTok.
“Black girl luxury TikTok was taking off in late 2020 and someone did a video asking, ‘How do y’all afford everything you have?’” Wilson told ESSENCE via teleconferencing. The founder replied to the TikTok prompt, detailing her career in tech. That video got 3,000 views. “I was like, oh, I’m famous! I’ve got 3,000 views, that’s all I need!”, says Wilson.
Later, she put out another video (this time unsolicited), offering career advice. It hit 300,000 views, and Wilson continued producing videos of similar nature. “So I started doing things for free, to be honest, just giving little tips and tricks,” says the founder in reference to her early TikTok content. And these “tips and tricks” were valuable career insights, which she has since monetized and turned into a business.
Now, 6 Figure Chick Consulting is a company that helps early career and transitioning career clients get hired and secure the salaries that they deserve. Essentially, Shaque’l Wilson is a six-figure earning woman who helps to create other six-figure earning women. She is also a career strategist who runs a brand with nearly 400K followers on TikTok—her company provides interview tips, resume tips, master classes, a career accelerator etc. To date, the company has helped approximately 2,000 clients, and according to Wilson approximately 170 of those people got new jobs, and are making more money. Despite her burgeoning enterprise, Wilson only became an entrepreneur after a career in tech.
“I’ve been working in tech for the last seven years and started this business in October of 2021. So we’ve been in business—we’re pushing two years at this point.” Wilson previously worked as a learning and enablement specialist at TikTok, until two years ago when she decided to focus on her company, full-time. She was a part of the great resignation. Now the 30-year-old heads a six person team that helps clients get competitive salaries in an array of industries. Let Shaque’l Wilson school you on how to become a six-figure chick, too.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
What is your goal with 6 Figure Chick Consulting?
The idea is to set people up for essentially the next decade of their life of knowing how to transition careers, how to move into the next role, how to make the changes and adjustments they need to, and then how to build a brand that allows for them to own their career. I tell people the best thing that can happen to you is to never apply to a job again. I haven’t applied for a job in three or four years. TikTok found me on LinkedIn, Google found me on LinkedIn, I did not have to apply to those jobs. They DM’d me. And even to this day I’ve switched everything around. It says I’m a CEO now, but I still probably get one or two recruiters a week asking me if I want to be a sales trainer for at least $115,000. And I just want other people to build a brand around themselves that allows for folks to reach out to them and do that same thing.
What do you find is the biggest barrier in your clients to securing the bag?
Biggest barrier for most people is knowing what jobs to go after. So people will just see a job, it pays a lot of money and they’ll apply to it. Some people have the exact opposite thing where they’re like, “Oh, it’s too much. I’ll never qualify for that.” But for most people they just see a job and they randomly apply to it and they don’t know what the job is; they don’t know what their skill set matches. And so it’s one of the biggest thing I ask people all the time, “Tell me what you do and explain it to me like I’ve never heard it before.” So it’s just identifying a skillset and then what job that actually connects to, is the hardest part for most people. They’re just misaligned with what they’re applying to.
What do you think is the cause of that misalignment?
Companies honestly profit off of keeping you small. They only want to praise you so much. They only want to praise you enough that you don’t quite leave. But not so much that you expect a raise or a promotion or anything else. And so a thing I’ve experienced myself working at some of these organizations is, “Oh no, that’s not a new job responsibility. It’s a project you’re helping out on and because it’s not a new job responsibility, it shouldn’t add to your pay.” And when you start really thinking of the grand scheme of things, you start writing it [your job responsibilities] all out. You’re like, I’m doing all this for $14 an hour. Happens all the time.
How do we break out of that very small and limited mindset?
I call it a “Bad b-tch list.” You can call it whatever you want, but it’s something I’m trying to put together right now for my clients: What projects are you working on? When did you get an accolade, or somebody commended, or said something nice? What professional development have you done? How many training sessions in the organization have you gone to that weren’t requirements? When you start listing all of these things out, you now have a list of every extra or amazing or commendable thing you’ve done. That’s a great list to use when it’s time for your review. It’s a great list to use to say, “Hey, I need a pay adjustment, not a raise.” Those are two different things, but it’s also really helpful for when you’re going to a new role.
I just need people to take ownership of what their experiences are. The companies, as a whole, won’t do more for you than what you’ll do for yourself. They won’t even do half of what you would do for yourself. A lot of times when somebody were to be like, “Tell me about your last three accomplishments,” people can’t answer the question. So that “Bad b-tch list” is my solution to most of these things. It also makes you feel really good.
What is the difference between a pay raise and a pay adjustment?
A raise is something that happens pretty consistently based off of again like longevity or you’ve changed positions. A pay adjustment is “I am now doing things outside of the scope of my work and my pay needs to be adjusted to match that scope.” Even if the title didn’t change, because companies love to do that. No, it’s not a title change. You still might be the call center lead, but you’re doing the work of the accounting person, you’re doing the hiring, you’re doing the onboarding, you’re doing the training. So those are four different jobs. If we’re going to be doing four different jobs, how can we adjust my pay to match what work it is that I’m actually doing?
Job descriptions will come down once the position is closed. So always make a copy of the job description that you applied to, or that you got, and save that somewhere. And then if there are responsibilities that you notice from the roll up from you, copy those job description responsibilities and every time you start doing something else, start adding it to yours. This is when we start having the conversation about an adjustment. Not one-off projects. “I am consistently doing these extra things. These are now added into my job. I need to have an adjustment based off of that.” There’s no special formula for an adjustment. I generally look at what’s the next role, whose job are you doing, how much are they paying that person and how much are they paying you? What is the difference and how can we adjust to get you closer to whatever that is?
How often should people be evaluating themselves?
One of my favorite things to say is that you should always be interviewing. If you’re always interviewing, I promise you, you’re always looking at how much you’re being paid. You’re always paying attention to how often you’re doing more stuff than no one’s paying you for. So when I mention that statement, I want people doing at least an interview a quarter. So this is a part of having your LinkedIn and everything optimized. People will find you and then you just say yes to the interview process. You didn’t have to go to apply to 50 jobs, but when you start a job around month eight, even if you like the job, start applying to new jobs. This is how you figure out what’s happening in the industry. Are we being paid more money, are being paid less money?
Are there new benefits that are coming out that your company isn’t offering you? This is your chance to go through your list and see like, okay, what actually am I doing? If you end up getting a job offer, it’s right around the time for your one year review and you can leverage that job offer as a negotiation tactic for getting more money from your current organization, if it’s a place that you actually want to stay.
How long do you suggest staying at a company?
You should be leaving roles every one to two years. I don’t want anybody staying anywhere for longer than that. It’s just not helpful. If you’re not learning (new skills), earning (more money) or growing (moving into leadership roles), then it’s time to go. If you’re hitting all three of those things, I’ll let you stay for a little bit longer, but you’ll wind up missing out on money in the long run. Most places are only going to give you 3% to 5% raises every time the year comes up. You can job hop and get $20,000 more like that. So I suggest quitting.
How important is negotiating your salary when you’re first committing to a position?
Always ask for more money. There’s a formula that shows that if somebody negotiated and even just got 10% more over the course of five years, how much more money they wind up with over the course of their lifetime. No one’s going to give you a $20,000- $30,000 raise once you’re already at the company. Why would they do that? I quit somewhere over $5,000. I worked there for two and a half years. I asked them for five grand. They told me no. Just flat out no. And I was a great performer. Had gotten four promotions in two and a half years.
So all your negotiation power is when you first start. You should always negotiate even if the number’s great. They offer you $95,000. Wonderful. Ask for $10,000 more dollars, just ask. And the phrasing that I always use is gratitude. “Thank you so much for this offer. I had such a great time talking to Jim and Bob and Sarah. I’ve really enjoyed them. I’m really looking forward to what this organization is going to do and the impact and the change that I can have. I am actively interviewing for positions that pay [insert amount of money]. Is that something that your company can accommodate?” That’s it. They’ll say yes or they’ll say no.
Do you have any insights or tips that you could provide for people looking to secure six figure jobs (and better)?
The biggest thing that I’ll mention is people not knowing what they wanted to do, or where to transition to. We have a series that we do on Instagram that quite literally identifies a list of professions and the specific role that they can switch to. Find the jobs at Built In, LinkedIn, Wellfound and Otta. Those are great resources. I don’t want anybody using Indeed. Indeed is full of spam and scam jobs. It’s just not good.
Money is really, really important, but I want people to know that it doesn’t necessarily buy happiness. So making sure that when they’re looking for jobs, finding places that feed them and feed their soul. Does this place offer benefits that you need? Do they care about your mental health? Is their parental leave six weeks or is it four months, fully paid? There’s things like this that I want people to pay attention to outside of the dollar amount.