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 been unhappy in my job for about 6-7 months now for a variety of reasons, both related to my own position, the lack of growth and learning opportunities, and the office culture (I am far from the only unhappy worker and it definitely started to impact morale all around). I had been actively job searching since February, and then COVID hit. I was sure that my job hunt was a bust and tried to stay positive about my job while working from home, but it was tough. At one point, my partner commented on how hard it was seeing me sad all the time because of work.

Anyway, very likely thanks to your tips on resume/cover letter writing and interview prep, I ended up landing a couple of interviews, and accepted a new position last week! I’ve already given my notice at my current job and I feel so much relief. I’m looking forward to a new position in an area that’s really important to me, and I can’t thank you enough for getting me there!

I also want to thank you because without your blog, it would have taken me way longer to see the red flags at my job for what they were. This is my first job out of grad school, and so whenever I ran into something that seemed odd in the office, I just assumed it was my own ignorance and that it was actually normal. Then I started reading Ask A Manager, and many times there would be descriptions of how good managers do and don’t behave. It helped me realize that my manager, while nice, doesn’t actually manage anyone, and see how that made everyone’s job so much more difficult. So thank you not only for giving me to resources to get a new job, but realizing I needed to leave my current job in the first place!

2. Thanks to reading the blog regularly, I was able to recognize that my once functional workplace was becoming increasingly toxic, and was doing so in a way that I did not have the power to change, despite several efforts, largely using scripts from this site. I’d been considering making a job change for awhile, but a new baby and then the pandemic were making me put off my search. But one day, I hit a breaking point with yet another terrible decision announced without any chance for input, and I started job searching.

I found some jobs that seemed like they could be good fits, and used your advice for tailoring my resume (they did not want a cover letter). I shortly got a call for a phone screening for my top choice job, which came 5 minutes before an important meeting I needed to call into, so I used your advice to ask if we could talk later, and the hiring official was happy to oblige. The phone screening went well, as I had already looked through their website and had questions to ask. I was then selected for an interview, which also went great, in a large part due to the prep you advise doing.

The last step was a writing assignment, which they sent out on a Friday morning and wanted back on Saturday. As an observant Jew, that would have only given me 3 hours after my workday to do it. I thought about what you would likely advise, and I wrote them back saying I was excited to do the writing exercise, but due to religious constraints, I would only have 3 hours to do it, and was that the amount of time they expected the exercise to take? If not, could I have some additional time. They immediately wrote back, thanked me for reaching out, and extended the deadline.

This all would be worthy of good news even if I didn’t get the job, but I just got a tentative offer today. I am very excited, and very grateful for everything I’ve learned from you and this blog.

3. I’m attending school on evenings and weekends to get my bachelor degree in business administration, and I wanted to let you know that reading your blog has helped me so much in my program — knowing how a manager thinks and seeing situations play out in real life as opposed to just in theory has been so useful.

I just finished up my first class on management, and the final exam included a case study about a hypothetical company’s virtual candidate screening process. Because I read Ask a Manager, I was able to discuss things that we hadn’t covered much in class, like candidate perspective, the equity of having online-only screenings, and how best to structure the screening so that the company is checking for things they actually need. This professor is a pretty tough grader but he gave me full points on the case study and said that it was “superior analysis.” So THANK YOU for all the thought and hard work that you put into writing and moderating Ask a Manager. It has been so helpful on so many levels!

{ 16 comments… read them below }

  1. New Jack Karyn*

    OP 2: Good for you for requesting an extension! Hopefully, your calling this to their attention will remind them about such things, and they’ll rethink asking this of people (over the weekend, I mean). And congrats on the offer!

    1. merp*

      I thought the same. Not to underplay the importance of religious constraints at all, but even without them, a 24 hour turnaround with a weekend due date is pretty unreasonable!

  2. Jedi Squirrel*

    It is so wonderful to hear that people are finding jobs in this time. Congratulations OPs, and thank you Alison for all that you do.

    1. Twinkle toes*

      I have a small happy story. I used Alison’s advice with my HOA board when we were unhappy with the property manager we got assigned and they were really happy with my suggestions. We still have some meetings to get to a final resolution but my AAM input has helped.

    2. Maxie*

      Maybe we’ll have a thread one day focused on jobs readers acquired during COVID-19.

  3. MassMatt*

    Great success stories!

    Alison, many thanks for providing so much great content and sensible, useful advice.

    The commentariat here is overall very insightful also. We don’t always agree, and sometimes we stray off-topic, but it’s VASTLY better than the usual comment sections full of spam and hateful nonsense. That must take significant effort.

  4. 30 Years in the Biz*

    Congratulations to all with good news! In regard to #3, I’d like to further support the superior value of Alison’s advice. These true-to-life and “work life is stranger than fiction” stories and Alison’s savvy, thoughtful, and effective responses are an enormous gift to all of us who read Ask a Manager. I’ve found that in multiple circumstances I’ve remembered Alison’s response or a reader’s comment for a specific situation and used it to help myself or offer an option to someone else. Just this morning I was in a company supported training program for working remotely and heard myself mentioning some of Alison’s advice! Thank you so much Alison for everything you do – and this includes the book recommendations!

  5. SebbyGrrl*

    This is more funny than happy…

    We had a roommate who because she was older than me (me=53 at the time!) tried to tell me how do everything – I had been traveling in the UK, Scandinavia and EU for 9 months by myself – so…Capable, right?

    The best redirection language and scripts were here on AAM.

    I kept memorizing them trying to be prepared for he boundary bulldozing.

    I had some plants for indoor decor that didn’t need a lot of sun and I was managing it.

    She had previously moved another plant (it had aphids and I was treating the aphids before I put the plant in the garden so as not to spread the aphids!) and we had gone around 3 times – she kept wailing “They need sun, you are killing them!”

    This went on about various plants for 3+ weeks.

    The day I finally lost my mind I was so mad I couldn’t translate from AAM/work vocabulary to roommate/housing speak…

    “This is a fireable offense!” I hollered it 3 times, all the neighbors heard… and that’s the new tease amongst us – forgot to bring in your garbage cans “That’s a fireable offense!”

  6. Maxie*

    #3, I love that AMA helped you earn a higher grade on your exam and in your course.
    Wouldn’t it be col if we could include learning from AMA on our resumes and cover letters? Alison, you have given us all a free high quality education.

  7. Maxie*

    So funny. Thanks for making me laugh. The past two days have been a clusterF and I really needed to be amused.

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