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 searching for a job since last October and got to several second-round interviews but was never selected… and then COVID hit and my large state university set a hiring freeze. There are a few exceptions to the freeze, so I’ve continued applying to what few positions are posted and I finally got a job offer this week! It’s a huge step up in terms of responsibility and it’s an insane 50% pay raise over my current salary. I did not think I would get this position, as I did not meet all the requirements and I would consider it a bit of a stretch for me, but my new manager said I was everyone’s top candidate and they were very excited to bring me aboard. I couldn’t have done it without the amazing advice I’ve gotten from your blog over the years, which I’ve been following since college!

2. The recent question about asking for a raise when a job turns out to be different from initially intended reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write in for your Friday good news.

I took my current job when I was rather desperate for different health insurance (I was driving two hours one way for bi-weekly appointments) and barely negotiated. The salary we agreed on was fair (if maybe on the low side) for the person who previously held my position, but I quickly took on a lot more technical work than expected as well as expanded a few programs that were neglected. A few months in, I realized I was 20% underpaid and posted on one of the Ask a Manager open threads asking for advice. Many commenters were worried that I was going to ask for something unreasonable, but I am very happy to report that everything has worked out well!

At 6 months in, my company did a company-wide salary comparison and I (along with several others in my department) was given a 5% raise. At my one year annual review, I was given a second 5% raise based on my work. At 1.8 years, I finished a high-profile project that was well received by the C-suite and was given an unprompted 5% straight from the top management. At my two year annual review, I was given another 5% raise for all my contributions outside of that one project. In addition, everyone at this company has received a yearly cost-of-living increase that, while on the low end, is fair. Instead of feeling taken advantage of, I feel very valued. I appreciate that my boss and upper management noticed my contributions and moved to pay me accordingly. My company has many issues, but they bought a ton of loyalty from me with their handling of my pay.

To everyone who feels taken advantage of and underpaid — don’t assume the worst of your bosses! Not everyone is out to take advantage of their employees.

3. Longtime reader here, writing in with some good news. Despite being a fan of AAM, before about a month ago I had never actually worked in an office. The tourism outfit I worked for furloughed me and most of the operational staff back in March. Due to the seasonal nature of tourism here in Maine, even in the most optimistic scenario possible, things probably won’t be getting back to anything like normal operations until summer of 2021. After a month of job searching and attempting to scale the barricades of my state’s unemployment insurance website, I was offered a temporary position with a local government department that is tangentially connected with the area of tourism in which I previously worked. The job offer came about six days after I finally, finally received my first state unemployment check.

Although my position was technically an operations job, I ended up working quite a bit in the department’s office due to them being desperately short staffed. This was my first time working in an office since I was a teenager, but apparently reading AAM has paid off — two weeks ago, I was offered a promotion to move into the office permanently (which came with both a raise and access to benefits, which are extremely good for our area)!

The office itself definitely has some low-lying dysfunction. The department head is a micromanager, but he is also trying to retire, so there’s a lot of swinging between “you need to create systems that are workable after I leave” to “you must not deviate one iota from the systems I have spend the last ten years perfecting.” I miss my former company and industry desperately, but I feel incredibly grateful that I have a job that will pay the bills for however long it takes for tourism in my area to recover — as well as knowing I don’t have to take a tourism job if I feel like the industry is re-opening too soon. I credit AAM, Alison, and the commentariat for arming me with the tools I needed to thrive in this unexpected turn my work life has taken.

{ 15 comments… read them below }

  1. MyLifeInSocks*

    I have some good news. I have been working in higher ed for 12 years. I started as adjunct faculty, and have progressed up the ladder through full-time staff, full-time faculty, and as of this semester, department chair. I started reading your blog for fun a few years ago, and never thought that I might be using it on my own. I’m nervous, but feel better equipped to be in my position since I have actively absorbing advice throughout my career instead of just being thrown into it.

    Also, I recommend your site to my first year seminar students when we talk about resumes and cover letters.

    1. kt*

      That is really wonderful! Thank you for sharing, and I’m so glad to hear an AAM reader will be a department chair!!

  2. TimeTravl_R*

    I also have good news! My very disengaged, no added value, grandboss has left the organization! YAY! Maybe we can get some real support and traction on moving things forward.

  3. Harvey 6-3.5*

    #2 – Your company is not only showing their wisdom in giving people a reason for loyalty, they may also be minimizing pay disparities based on race/gender/etc. and building institutional knowledge while reducing the high expenses of turnover. Congrats.

  4. Uranus Wars*

    #2 is amazing! A a cotinual 5% is so much better than the one time 20% at your lowest salary, because of the compound. Congratulations – it sounds like you work for some great people!

  5. RabbitRabbit*

    I have good news! Working for a nonprofit hospital in the thick of things has been rough during the pandemic, and earlier this year, the CEO made a very straightforward announcement about cuts, most of which were lack of raises this year, hiring freezes, and also that top management was taking extremely significant percentage cuts (the C-suite cuts were stated openly) to their salaries. Now with things settling down (for now) where we are, we recently found out that our raises are back (for everyone except executives), and even though the hiring freeze is still partial, I’m being interviewed soon for a probable promotion.

  6. Minta*

    There are some good reminders in #1’s good news. Don’t be afraid to apply for positions if it’s a little bit of a stretch or if you meet some but not all requirements. Great news from all OPs!

  7. Grand Mouse*

    I have some good news as well! My job has become very stressful during all this. You might remember that I work in a critical facility, as a low level worker but still responsible for the health and safety of everyone as a janitor.

    The job itself, and everything around it was wearing me out. And I had to go through a high level of risk to get there every day since I take public transit. I desperately wanted a raise but wasn’t sure how to ask for one since I never had before

    Last paycheck, it was nearly double! Thry gave me a raise of 1.75$ without me asking, and even applied it retroactively so I got a significant amount of back pay.

    I’m still dealing with burnout and stress but they’ve given me a new reason to stick through it. And a lot of my friends who were out of work are getting jobs as well!

    1. Marthooh*

      Congratulations! I’m glad things are improving for you and your friends. Thanks for going through so much to take care of our neighbors and loved ones :)

    2. Not So NewReader*

      And you didn’t even have to ask… this is the proper way to say thank you. Congratulations on your recognition/raise!

  8. Tiny Orchid*

    I have some good news today too – a member on my team is coming back from maternity leave, and they want to start at part time for a bit. Our usual policy is we pay 100% of full-time staff’s health insurance premium, but only 50% of part time staff. I’ve convinced our Finance Director that we should pay 100% of their insurance premium for the time that this employee will be working part-time. We still have to get it by the CEO, but I’m hopeful that it will go through with both of us advocating for it!

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