it’s your Friday good news

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

1. I wanted to share some Friday good news! I’m just finishing the end of my second week in a new job!

I’ve worked as a department administrator at a large public university for the past three years (I’ve been at the university in various roles for six years). Recently the same job at a much larger School in the university came available and I decided to apply even though it would be a stretch job – the school is three times the size of my former department. I reminded myself of advice that you’ve offered about if you meet 80% of the qualifications and you can point to evidence showing you’d excel at the job, go ahead and apply. Since I knew the job well on a smaller scale, I felt confident to throw my hat in the ring.

I updated my resume, wrote a great cover letter (using your advice) and after three interviews I was offered the job! I’ve moved from a Grade 7 to a Grade 9 position with a 30% pay increase! I will be managing a staff and utilizing many of the skills I’ve learned by reading your blog. While the sheer volume of work has been overwhelming at times the past two weeks (fall quarter starts next week) I’m excited by this new challenge.

Thanks for all of your practical and awesome advice over the years! That, along with a little dose of my favorite quarterback’s “why not you” attitude, gave me the confidence to pursue and take on this new role.

2. I had been floundering and stuck in poor-fit jobs more-or-less ever since I graduated from college half-a-decade ago. I have certain disabilities that disqualify me from many jobs, although I am not disabled enough to qualify for SSDI. This led me to feel desperate to get any job that I could possibly do at all. At past jobs, I frequently veered between shame (for being too weird / physically incapable to be a good employee) and resentment (that doing something that’s exhausting for me is economically mandatory).

Back in March, I was laid off from my job at the time. The company lost significant revenue when their warehouse had to be shut down due to Covid-19, and it made sense to lay me off because I was struggling anyway.

Initially, it was devastating. But, eventually, I managed to get through; I was one of the people for whom the expanded unemployment benefits actually paid me more than my previous job did.

The extra income allowed me to save, coast, and heal from stress-induced illness. During the subsequent months, I read your blog and many of Carol Tice’s ebooks about starting or leveling-up a writing career. I had a lot of professional writing experience at the companies I previously worked at, and I became determined to make a full-time career out of writing. In particular, I sought writing work that I could do entirely from home. At home, I can accommodate my disability easily; I’m also less likely to be judged based on my appearance.

I entirely re-wrote my resume, and I followed your advice to write cover letters that didn’t just repeat my resume information. I also tried applying to jobs that I previously wouldn’t have, because I was missing a few qualifications, but I felt encouraged by your explanation that not all qualifications are mandatory.

I also completely changed my approach to interviews based on your guide; in particular, I researched the company far more extensively than I would have previously.

And…I got a technical writing job! It’s been excellent so far. It plays to my strengths, I get along with my coworkers, my weaknesses don’t come up, and the pay is double what I was making before! Plus, it’s full-time.

I never could have done it without your site. (Also, I never could have done it without a months-long break from working where I didn’t have to worry about bills, but that’s a different letter altogether.)

Thank you for all of your insights. Your site has significantly improved my quality of life.

3. Your Friday Good News pieces have been a weekly beacon of hope for me, and now I’m delighted to quite unexpectedly have one of my own. My job has been OK at best. I’ve been there almost three years. The company is very disorganized, and people in my position especially are isolated and tend to feel powerless. It’s been demoralizing, but I’ve just kept my head down, focused on my clients and my team, and tried to convince myself that I’ve just been lucky to have a job, considering, you know, everything.

But then, out of the blue, I got an email from a company recruiter via Linked In. I don’t tend to put much stock in those (our profession’s job market is very word of mouth, and I needed to stay local), but a friend convinced me to look into it, and the more I did, the more excited I got. Every contact I’ve had with this company has been professional, respectful, and kind. The recruiter was simply delightful, and the upper management enthusiastic and forward thinking. After several discussions, they said they wanted to make me an offer, and my heavens, did they. The benefits are generous, and the pay is outstanding. I’ll be making somewhere around 50% more, which will make a huge difference for my family. The position is in the next town over, not more than half an hour’s drive. But best of all, I’m excited about my work again. I didn’t realize how beaten down I’d gotten, and how much I was dreading the next business cycle. Now I can’t wait to get in there (we’re considered essential) and get my hands dirty.

{ 29 comments… read them below }

  1. The Rural Juror*

    It’s exciting to see two happy outcomes for people who took the chance at applying, even when the didn’t tick every box. Congrats!!!

    I’m especially happy to read the update for LW#2. My heart is bursting for you! Good luck in your new role.

  2. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

    LW #3 – Congratulations! A wonderful recruiter is worth their weight in gold. I’m glad you were able to run into one of the good ones.

  3. NotAnotherManager!*

    The AAM Friday Good News is one of the highlights of the day, and today’s does not disappoint – congratulations to all three LWs on their new positions!

  4. Thankful for AAM*

    As always, these are a beacon of hope and much appreciated! Thank you to those who take the time to write in and to Alison for hosting a Friday Good News thread!

    1. Jean (just Jean)*

      Yes, indeed! Three cheers (at least) for Alison and each of the three LWs! It’s always good to read about good news for formerly-in-a-bad-job-fit people. Plus, reading these updates reduces my personal stress level.

  5. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

    LW3: That is exactly how I ended up in my current job! I was working in a position that I liked, but didn’t exactly love, for a few years. One day a recruiter on LinkedIn messaged me to see if I knew someone who would be a good fit for a very highly specialized (as in there are 3 people with the right experience in my state) role. I was a bit skeptical, because LinkedIn recruiter cold message, but asked to hear about the job. Ended up that it was perfect for me, as in, “Hey Gumption, design your dream job” level perfect. I said I was interested, got hired, make 40% more than before, and the position ended up being managed some of my absolutely favorite people. I didn’t think things like this EVER happened

    1. 2 Cents*

      I also had the same great experience with a recruiter. Though I was miserable at my job, the stuff from recruiters just wasn’t hitting the mark … until one recruiter who had just what I was looking for. I made the switch, got a 30% raise (and the another 6% raise after 1 year) over what I had been making, and finally feel appreciated again. It’s wonderful what a good recruiter can do!

  6. Zephy*

    If we’re fortunate enough to see a time “after all this,” I would love for the Friday good news posts to continue being a thing.

    1. Zombeyonce*

      I’d love to see the huge sum of dollars Alison has personally helped people get in raises and new job salary increases over the years. I’m willing to bet it’s over a several million by now.

  7. MissDisplaced*

    I’m so happy for LW#2 because it sounds like they have an especially difficult time with finding jobs that are a good fit for them or fitting into the working world in general. I’m really glad they found technical writing to be their strong point and that they’ve finally found their niche in a job they’re happy doing. Yay!

  8. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

    My own Friday good news: I took my RHIA certification exam yesterday (which is arguably the Big Kahuna of certifications in my career field) and passed it! The prep was kind of an agonizing experience, and the testing experience was not super great, and the first-time pass rate isn’t very high, so I didn’t have a whole lot of optimism coming out of the testing center, but when the proctor handed me my report and congratulated me, I straight up did a Snoopy dance of exultation in her front lobby.

  9. Alex*

    Congratulations to all of you! But especially to writer #2! Chronic illness/illness that isn’t quite enough to qualify for assistance in the workplace is such a hard needle to thread, I’m so glad you were able to take some time to heal, and that you were courageous about changing fields. I had to take a bunch of time after a toxic job burned me hard and I had a flare-up, and I don’t know how I could have made it without that break. So much empathy for that position.

  10. Fact & Fiction*

    Congratulations to all three of you on your most excellent news! I also credit a lot of Alison’s advice for the fact I’ve been able to more than double my income over the past three years. I’m starting a new job Monday that’s a big pay increase, title bump, and excellent “growth” position — and it was definitely thanks in large part to this website that I even applied for it since I wasn’t actively looking for a new job.

    I love these good news posts and am celebrating with you all. *throws virtual confetti*

  11. pandq*

    I think the headline should be: “News we need to hear right now”. I needed to know there is good stuff happening for folks!

  12. Anony3u493u9*

    Great to hear from all of the OPs!

    #1 – Nice happy ending! Glad that you didn’t let fear of moving up to a larger role stop you from applying and in the end, getting a pay boost!

  13. Claire*

    LW #2: First, congratulations! If by chance you are reading the comments, would you be willing to share a bit more about technical writing, and how you managed to parlay your previous experience into that role? I am in a very similar boat (living with chronic illness that saps my energy and has caused me to really struggle in a traditional 9-5) so would love to hear more about how you did it. It’s something I’ve had my eye on for a while but don’t know much about.

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