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 worked for my organization for about 15 years, and have moved up from a part-time nights-and-weekends role into a fairly senior staff position. A few months ago, my boss retired and his position became available. I thought I probably had a decent chance at the job, but I wanted to submit dynamite application materials and ace the interview to make it an easy choice for them to hire me. I revamped my resume to focus on my most impressive achievements in my current job. I thought hard about why I wanted the job and why I’d be good at it, and wrote a great cover letter. They invited me to interview, and also asked me to meet with the C-suite as part of the process. I used your guide to prepare and practiced extensively ahead of time. Honestly, I barely remember anything I said during the interview but none of the questions stumped me – everything I did to prepare made it much less stressful. Afterwards, I sent thank you/follow-up emails to the hiring committee (I’m in higher ed; there’s always a committee) and the C-suite, referencing specific parts of our discussions and reiterating my skills and interest in the position.

Today, HR called to offer me the job, along with a 25% raise! Because we are a state-funded institution and salary information is public, I knew what they were offering was fair but probably not the most I could get, so I took a deep breath and said that I’d been hoping for a higher salary, and referenced several other recent hires. The HR rep said she’d see what she could do, and within a few hours, called me back to offer an additional $5,000, for a total increase of more than 30%! Shortly after I accepted, one of the members of the hiring committee reached out to tell me that my application materials and interview were among the best he’s ever seen. Thank you for helping me get an awesome job offer!

2. Your site has always been a wealth of knowledge, but I especially need to thank you today! I recently set out on a job hunt for the first time in a few years and revamped my resume and cover letter so that they were both tailored specifically to each role I applied to. I know this is a wild time to change jobs, but after watching my organization handle recent events (*gestures at the world*) poorly in addition to the ongoing problems with underpaid and overworked employees in my department, I knew it was time.

The other big mindset change in this job hunt was keeping in mind your advice that an interview is a two-way street, and that I shouldn’t focus on blindly “selling” myself. And Alison, it went so well! After a series of very thoughtful interviews with a great team and manager, I just accepted a new role. It offers more flexibility, better benefits, an improved title, more interesting work and about a 50% salary increase. My old organization asked me to stay but wasn’t able to offer either a salary or title change – and the new organization was happy to go up to my full counter offer in our very polite negotiation.

I can’t thank you enough for the advice you provide here. You (and the commentariat) gave me the confidence I needed to go after what I want, and all the right phrases to use in asking for it!

3. I’m really excited because we just learned about our bonus payout for the year. For each worker it’s X percent of our salary. Every year we get a bit of our bonus (some years it’s 60% of whatever our full bonus amount is, or 30%, or whatever) but we were just told that not only are we getting our full bonus, we’re getting a little bit on top. Part of it is that we did so well on our numbers (we’re in an industry that wasn’t really impacted by COVID) and also just as a thank you for doing so well during the pandemic.

It’s easy to get stuck in the daily grind of our job where I work, but they actually do try to retain staff and make things easier on us. I have some health problems that make me especially susceptible to COVID and they didn’t even bat an eye at telling me to stay home even though everyone else is back from WFH. It wasn’t even a question for them and no one has pushed it.

I’m so excited! I’m paying off my car! I’ve looked forward to Friday good news every week and I’m excited to share my own!

4. When COVID-19 happened, everyone at the company was nervous about what it would mean for our job prospects. We’re relatively small (less than 100 people) and still figuring things out. Turns out, we weren’t negatively impacted by COVID 19 – in fact, we’re thriving and our product is in more demand than ever before. The company has always prided itself on being a good place to work, and they wanted to pass on the benefits, so everyone got a big raise that was a significant fraction of our current salaries. Think of a new job raise. It’s the biggest raise I’ve ever received, including switching industries, getting promoted, and getting new jobs.It has turned a tense time into something that feels more secure, for which I will be ever grateful. Especially in a time like this.

{ 7 comments… read them below }

  1. Office Grunt*

    Re: #2, the audacity to ask someone to turn down a 50% raise and all the other positives, and offer nothing?

  2. WellRed*

    For no. 3 I don’t understand what is
    Meant by part or full bonus. Why wouldn’t you get the full bonus?

    1. JBF*

      I am not the OP, but my spouse’s company does something like this. The maximum bonus amount might be up to 25% of salary, if they hit all their metrics. If they meet 75% of their goals, for example, they get 75% of the 25% of their salary. Maybe the OP’s company does something similar?

      1. TechWorker*

        Yeah, this is how I read it. We have similar (a ‘target bonus’ that’s a percentage of salary, but then what you actually get is weighted both by a) whether you met your goals and b) how well the company is doing). It seems a bit random but I think is how they make sure bonuses are roughly ‘fair’ across the whole large company.

  3. Checkert*

    Wow, these are all great to hear! My last job I just left last month was not negatively impacted by COVID but buckled down finances….too much. They have insanely high expectations for workers and are at the bottom of the compensation pay band, so when bonus season came around and not only did few to none get any kind of bonus (or increase in compensation EVEN WITH PROMOTIONS), well let’s just say it’s been a mass exodus ever since. They are now trying to give random ‘thank you’ and fully taxed bonuses, but it’s not enough to recover. It wouldn’t have been such a bad decision had the business actually taken the hit they claimed was the reason for it, but the numbers have told a different story. These letters were a real blessing to hear and act as a valuable reminder that an organization’s people ARE THE BOTTOM LINE and investing in them is an investment in the success of the company.

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