it’s your Friday good news

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

1. I have been hoping for months now that I would be able to contribute to the Friday Good News, and finally I’m able to!

Back in February, I had a temp-to-perm job that was a couple of months past when it was supposed to go permanent, and I was getting the run-around from management on when that would happen. I wasn’t terribly happy there – it was a tiny company (~25 employees) and the atmosphere could be very toxic at times. The final straw was when I came in on a Friday to find that they had let everyone in my chain of command go with no notice, then let me sit at my desk all day without anyone coming to talk to me about how things would be handled moving forward since my entire team was gone. Honestly, I think they forgot all about me! So I called my placement agency, and they agreed that I should not go back, that they could easily place me elsewhere.

I had a couple of great interviews immediately, but then of course Covid hit and everything dried up. I managed to get a very part-time job working 10-12 hours a week for a former boss of mine, but up until now I’ve been severely under-employed for seven months.

The good news is, I had a couple of virtual interviews for a position with a global financial firm, part of which was a 20 minute presentation on their industry, and I just got an official job offer this morning. It’s a contract position for now, but it’s more money than I’ve ever made before – a 20% bump above my last position – and it’s WFH until their campus reopens at some point in the future.

I have been reading all the other success stories each week and they’ve given me so much hope that I would be able to find employment again in such a turbulent market. I hope my story is able to keep that hope going for other readers.

2. I have some good news that I’d like to share. The short version is that I just got a new contract, a week after my old contract ended. I’m in a tech-adjacent field where contract work is common (and much easier to find than full time). When the pandemic started, I was in the middle of a year-long contract. That contract ended a week ago. Three business days after my last day, I got a call from a recruiter I’d worked with before, asking if I was available. (Why, yes!) She had an opening with a company I’d previously worked for. My old supervisor had asked for me by name – she had a new role that I’d be ideal for. (!!) And could I possibly start the following week? (!!!) Talk about good timing. After a lot of emails and phone calls, it’s official. I have a new, remote contract. It’s such a relief to know that I have a job at least through the end of the year.

My good news is the result of both good luck and good networking. A couple months earlier, I started reaching out to key people in my network, including the recruiter and supervisor mentioned above, letting them know when I’d be available. Both politely let me know they’d keep me in mind but there wasn’t anything at the moment. I am delighted that the initial “no” turned into a “yes.”

3. My partner suffers from a chronic health condition that they have never fully treated because it would require significant time and extended time off. Due to their current work environment and the stress of 2020, they are currently experiencing a flare-up that makes work impossible. They were spending hours each day just preparing for work, and then were unable to do much work once they started. Because I’ve read your blog for years, I knew that my partner would be eligible for FMLA and suggested they pursue it. I assumed their FMLA time would be unpaid, but the issue was serious enough that we decided they needed to pursue treatment even if it meant going without their income. It turns out that not only are they eligible for FMLA, they are also going to get short term disability at 60% pay. Their doctor has recommended that they get two months off for treatment and then re-evaluate, possibly returning part-time at first or applying for long-term disability (treatment can take up to 9 months).

My partner is ecstatic. A huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders and they are able to focus on getting better for the first time. They are amazed that all they had to do was ask. Thank you so much for covering these issues! I probably wouldn’t have known or thought to ask about FMLA if I didn’t read your blog!

4. I’m a bit of a niche specialist in my field; let’s say there’s a large llama industry, but I’m a subject matter expert in (what I think is) an under-appreciated aspect of camelid care and use. I also have lots of experience in cattle and sheep care and use, which while it’s pretty transferable, isn’t perceived as such. It’s made job hunting…. Interesting. (Yes, all the livestock are a very extended metaphor.)

I was fairly happy in my previous position, though during interviews they had made it pretty clear that there was no promotion or career path there for my job; if I wanted to move up, it would be into a llama farm manager or something similar, which is not for me! So after 3 years I was already thinking about moving on. Then my supervisor left, and I experienced the full force of the departmental dysfunction that I had previously been shielded from. That sent my search into high gear.

It was a very demoralizing search, with lots of ghosting by both employers and recruiters. However, I know I dodged some bullets because I knew to ask questions about culture and work/life balance, thanks to AAM! And while my most recent application process was mostly successful due to my skills and experience, as well as a rapid rapport with the hiring manager, the recruiter was VERY impressed with my post-interview thank you notes – again, thanks to Alison’s advice about personalization and addressing questions that came up during the interviews!

I’m now in a position with 50% more pay, more responsibility and intellectual stimulation, 100% WFH during COVID with equipment and support provided, and also a supervisor who provides constructive feedback and has high expectations of me. I am so much happier and have some great opportunities to grow professionally in this role, as well as using my camelid use and care subject matter expertise as a value-added aspect!

{ 26 comments… read them below }

  1. LM*

    Congrats all!
    I just got good news of my own that I’m moving into the final stage of interviews (out of a pool of 50 people) so I’m really chuffed. Interview is next week so I’m busy revising on here!

    1. bluemasonjar*

      Ah, I’m so thrilled for you! You are going to do SO AMAZING!
      Like you I made it to the final round of a dream job (which would also mean moving to a wonderful new country) and completed interviews this week. They said they would get back next week. Hoping it’s good for both of us :)

  2. Respectfully, Pumat Sol*

    I am so happy for everyone, and especially #3. FMLA + STD is such a LIFESAVER! We had to use it for a few months a few years ago while my spouse was dealing with a sudden and severe health issue and it was a huge help. Just a heads up – they don’t usually keep taxes aside out of STD, so it will likely affect your 2020 tax return (we got $0 back).

    1. LW#3*

      Thank you for letting me know! This is gonna be a weird year for our taxes for sure, so best to be prepared!

    2. Artemesia*

      I know someone with mental illness who didn’t want to apply because s/he wanted to keep it private, but that became impossible and so they went ahead to apply and were told by their company it was ‘too late now’ to do that. We all yelled ‘no, no, fill out the paperwork and file it now’. S/he did and it was accepted and they are not still employed although hundreds have been let go — and the illness is also under treatment and they are doing great personally. FMLA can really be a lifesafer.

  3. King Friday XIII*

    Congrats! And LW#3, thank you for pointing out how important it is for workers to know their rights! One of my favorite things about AAM is how Alison emphasizes that workers should know and exercise their rights.

  4. Bookworm*

    Definitely a Friday where we could use some good news. Thanks to the LWs for sharing their successes and good news with us! It’s always appreciated!

  5. MtnLaurel*

    One of the very few changes that COVID brought that i like is the Friday Good News. Alison, can we keep it in the post-Covid world?

      1. Free now (and forever)*

        Thirded! Even when the threat of Covid has passed and the economy has recovered (10-12 years from now), there are always people who are struggling who need to know that others have struggled and have now succeeded.

  6. beanie gee*

    These are all great to hear, but #3 was especially encouraging! I hope they get through the medical stuff smoothly!

  7. BadWolf*

    OP2s story is a great win-win-win. Obviously great for OP2 — but it also means the recruiter probably had an easy win/placement. Then the supervisor gets a known quantity of someone how can be trusted and hit the ground running (so much time and energy saved).

    1. LW2*

      Well put. It’s definitely a win for all of us.

      I’m relieved to already know (most of) the people I’ll be working with since it’s 100% remote right now. And it’s good for them too, for the same reasons.

  8. wanda*

    Can we get an interview with an actual llama farmer? I’m sort of interested now in how that business works, especially in the US where there aren’t that many.

  9. MassMatt*

    Congratulations, everyone, and big shout out to Alison, IMO there are probably hundreds if not thousands more stories out there for each one published, as people tend to write with problems, not good news. The job hunting, resume, and cover letter writing material alone is no doubt responsible for hundreds of people getting interviews, new jobs, and raises. And innumerable bullets dodged with bad employers!

  10. Considered Secularist*

    I love the Friday good news — huge congratulations to all of you and thanks for writing in!
    OP1, good on you for not losing hope!
    OP2, great reminder about networking.
    OP3, so happy for your partner!
    OP4, wow 50% increase, that’s amazing.

  11. Pamela Adams*

    My campus- actually, my whole state university system*- has decided that we will remain virtual classes throughout this academic year. Yippeee!!!

    *California State University

  12. Isabel Archer*

    Congratulations to all of these people, and thank you Alison for posting these stories each week. Truly, these are my only source of hope (unemployed 12 months now).

  13. Sam Foster*

    Congrats to all. Quick note to LW1: If this is your first contract gig make sure you understand the tax and health care repercussions that

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