it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news, with more accounts of success even in this weird time.

1. I’ve read AAM for many years now, and I always saw the letters from people who got amazing new jobs and doubled their salaries and thought, “Well, sure, but that could never be me.”

Well… after four years working in customer service, I just accepted a fantastic job offer at an organization I admire, made a total career switch, and more than tripled my salary in a single move. (Yes, tripled!) I feel very privileged to be starting a new job right now when so many people are out of work, but I plan to donate a portion of my new salary to help people who are struggling.

I also wanted to give a specific shout-out to Alison’s advice that you can get a job by applying to open postings if your cover letter is unique and strongly communicates your fit for the role. In my case, the position I originally applied for had already been filled AND the company had just started a COVID-19 related hiring freeze, but they liked my cover letter enough to give me a brief phone interview anyway. From that I got a technical test and a full-day slate of virtual interviews, and they ended up moving one of their employees into a senior role on a different team just so they could offer me a position!

It might sound like luck but it’s not — it’s the culmination of about four years of slow but gradual self-study, using what I learned to build new functionality at my existing job, and following Alison’s cover letter and resume advice to highlight what I had been able to accomplish with my work.

A lot of times it felt like I wasn’t making progress toward my goals, but I never gave up and now the effort I put in over those four years is paying off. My friend calls this process “baby steps to the bus.” The baby steps might not feel like a lot on their own, but you never know when your bus is about to arrive!

2. I just wanted to let your readers know of some good news. I work in the financial field, and for the past few years, I have been working my butt off. A number of areas I cover have grown underneath me so much that in the past two years, I’ve been stretched very thin. In the fall, after our company finished a huge project that I headlined, I asked for some of my boss’s time, and in a logical way, explained why I needed more help, more money, and a bigger title, and tied it all back into the best interests of the firm.

Due to the communications strategies and techniques I learned here at AAM, I got the help I was requesting, and as of today, I’ve been promoted to Vice President and received a nearly 15% raise. My industry is getting a lot better, but it isn’t exactly known for being especially receptive to women and people of color, and I happen to be both. I hadn’t realized how much this sort of recognition would feel like a way to thank my family and community for supporting me over the years, and that I am carrying the banner forward for everyone.

Thank you and your wonderful readers so much for helping make this happen.

3. I haven’t written into you but posted a few times on open threads about my unfortunate situation last year. To give a quick recap of my story, I left a full-time position where I was severely burnt out for a contract position that ended very abruptly and had elements of racial discrimination. They systematically were letting go of the POC contractors as not being “good fits.” This was a huge blow to my self-esteem. I prided myself on my strategic and analytical skills, and I had up until I was let go, though I was making great progress at the new role. Anyway, I spent 6 months searching for a remote job, often competing with hundreds of applicants-one rejection email for a well-paid role said they had 2000+ applicants! I also spent this time focusing on my true skills. I bought your book, read your blog archives daily, took online classes leveraged with LinkedIn Learning, and saw each interview as practice.

After making no progress in my long-distance searching, I re-evaluated and decided to focus on staying put where I was and looking for a job in my current city. Within 3 weeks, I landed a great job that came with a significant pay raise and a great new team. My manager now is the exact type of person I wrote about excelling under last year when I was trying to visualize the best fit for me. She constantly recognizes and appreciates my skill sets, the very ones that I used in previous roles and was told weren’t “enough.” Not every role is a fit, and just because a job claims to want certain skillsets doesn’t mean all versions of that skill will be successful there. But with diligence and true introspection, I found a role where I can shine, and I showed up at the interview as my real self and that was exactly what they wanted! Your commitment to being an advocate of workplace equality helped me come out of a dark place after that racial incident. Knowing that most commentators are on the side of justice also helped me find a community of like-minded people here.

It’s ironic that with the pandemic, I got my remote job wish, and am finding that I miss working in an office at least part-time. Luckily my job is flexible that I will have this option when things open up, but knowing I have my manager’s support and investment in my success is the biggest validation for my hard work to find the right fit. It was a tough road with a lot of soul searching, but it paid off in the end. I couldn’t be happier at this company and am excited to see what great things I can accomplish here within this supportive environment.

Thank you for all your advice and this wonderful platform, you helped me get to where I am and I’m very grateful.

{ 26 comments… read them below }

  1. Ray Gillette*

    This was a great read on a Friday morning. Thanks, Alison and thanks, letter writers.

  2. Kimmy Schmidt*

    Congrats to all these letter writers! I love Friday Good News and Special Update Season. They both are helping me stay grounded through these weird times.

  3. All Hail Queen Sally*

    What great results to hard work! Wonderful! I am so happy for all of you.

    1. OP1*

      If I know anything about busses… they’re often late, sometimes don’t stop where you expect them to, and occasionally break down and cause you to swear at them… but one always comes eventually, so hang in there! :)

  4. StellaBella*

    These are so uplifting! Thanks Alison, letter writers and AAM overall. Have a great Friday all!

  5. MedLibrarian*

    Congratulations to all of the poster! And I love reading these positive stories from other blog readers.

  6. Jean (just Jean)*

    Wow! What do I say?
    – Congratulations to all who posted!
    – What a great example y’all set. Now the hard question: What parts of their lives would be a good pattern for me to follow? Hmm…let’s see…Honest self-scrutiny + steady hard work + self-belief + belief in the goodness of others + willingness to act on that belief…
    – Why is it so dusty in here?

    Thanks for restoring my faith in the cumulative benefit of many, many small decisions and actions. They only seem small until they all total up to positive personal & social change.

  7. The Ace Tomato Company*

    I think the “baby steps to the bus” saying is from the movie “What About Bob?” with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a laugh during the pandemic!

    1. OP1*

      I just watched a clip, it’s hilarious. I had no idea that’s where the saying came from, thanks! :)

  8. Banner enthusiast*

    Gender and race and culture shouldn’t matter, yet we know from many studies that they do. I would have been happy for OPs 2 and 3 no matter what, yet as a gender minority in a field that needs more diversity I’m particularly happy to hear that they are able to share their success. Thank you for holding that banner high. Congrats!

  9. NeonDreams*

    #1 gives me hope. I’m on year 5 of customer service. It’s getting tedious to say the least. Good for you finding a way out OP!

    Congratulations to 2 and 3 as well!

    1. OP1*

      Thank you! The tedium is real… But I also learned a lot about interpersonal communication. Don’t give up, you can get out too! It just takes the right amount of leverage and the proper application of strength. ;)

  10. Lauren Conrad*

    That was such a lovely read, person number 1, that you got the therapy and help you needed (something that not everyone does) and that you’ve managed to carve what sounds like a really great career under difficult circumstances (again, really hard to do). Can I just say bravo to being a human? It’s a thing that is sometimes harder than it looks, so bravo!

    1. wockerjabi*

      To LW #1, I am happy for you and wish you the best in your new job. I was a bit surprised, though, to see you assert that getting a well-paying new position in the middle of the pandemic was not luck. Of course it was! Job-searching in general seems to require both competence and luck under even the best of circumstances.

  11. So Not The Boss Of Me*

    LW3 As a woman, I know what discrimination feels like. It hurts everyone that racial crap is still so common, and I’m sure it was painful to have it so glaringly rear its ugly head. I’m delighted you found a place that champions you. I wish you well.

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