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 literally been waiting for the day I get to share good news for good news Friday!

I was very very unexpectedly laid off at the beginning of August. I was devastated as I loved my job and coworkers. Plus, it was a new job title for me, as well as a role I had only been in for 11 months. Between that and the pandemic, not a lot was on my side. Well, I’m happy to say I was offered a 3-month contract role, with the same job title as I had before!

I have done a lot of soul searching the last few months and have had the opportunity to start new hobbies, develop hobbies that have been on the back burner and really look after my mental and physical health- something I haven’t done in ages. I am in a privileged position that my partner has a well-paying job that he loves, so we didn’t need my whole salary back. A contract position making a bit less is fine by us. Plus, I get to set my hours and days I work, so I can keep nurturing the things I love to do for fun. It’s for a well-known company that’ll look great on my resume in the future and I’m excited to recoup our savings and get back to work. Hopefully three months from now my contract will be renewed, but if not, at least I’ll have some savings while I find a new position.

2. I’ve been an avid reader for years, which helped me to realize how awful and toxic the small nonprofit I worked at’s Executive Director was. The last straw for me was when a colleague’s position was eliminated (2 years from retirement! in a pandemic!) for the flimsiest of reasons (budget was truly not an issue). I brushed off my resume and cover letter, made copious use of your tips for interviewing, and negotiated a remote position with an organization across the country that pays more and has much better benefits. During the interview process I was sure to ask about culture and why the position was open–I wanted to make sure it was a good fit before I committed. I’m so much happier than at my old job; it’s fabulous to be in a place that has thoughtful, supportive management and is transparent as possible in its decision making. 3 months in they’re clearly happy with my remote work, as they’ve just advertised two positions that can be fully remote (and are apparently very excited about the strong applicant pool they’re getting.).

3. Around this time last year, I applied for a job in my ideal field after two years’ freelancing. I was nervous as it was my first time interviewing in that two years, but the advice on your site was really valuable when preparing. I landed the job and negotiated working from home, which was a dealbreaker for me due to my location. After a year working at the company, I’ve just been promoted along with the biggest raise and the highest salary I’ve ever had! It’s been a horrible year for so many reasons but work has often been a welcome distraction, which I’ve never been able to say about a job before. Thank you very much for all the resources you provide – they’ve been so helpful when applying, and also for sense-checking and perspective when my workplace is confusing!

4. (Note about timeline: received in a few days before Christmas)

I’ve been an avid reader of Ask a Manager for several years – but have been taking a break for the past several months because reading about work and jobs grew too painful. You see, I loved my job working as in house counsel for a hospitality company and while this year has been a tough one, it has been particularly brutal for those of us working in hospitality. I thought I’d be marking my 5th year at this job this fall instead of getting a call from HR telling me my position had been eliminated (I’d been furloughed since the spring). I knew I enjoyed working for a company and practicing corporate law, and that I’m good at it, and I stuck to my guns in applying to new roles that fit this bill (instead of freaking out and applying to every law job I saw posted, including entry level ones that didn’t fit my experience, interest, or salary requirements). I had a few video interviews with places that weren’t good fits, and it was so hard to keep the faith at times. I want other readers to know it’s important to keep pressing onwards – last week, I received a job offer from a new (and even larger) company, doing the type of work I enjoy, and with colleagues who seem to be supportive and kind. Plus, I negotiated my salary and am now making 10% more than I was at my prior job.

This has been a surprise Christmas miracle after what’s been a long, trying year. Thanks for providing people like me with a forum to encourage other job seekers out there. I’ve been hoping I’d be able to contribute to your Friday Good News all year, and am thrilled now is finally my time!

{ 18 comments… read them below }

  1. michelenyc*

    #4 Congratulations. I also lost my job in hospitality 45 minutes after Governor Cuomo announced the NY Pause. I agree it has been sp brutal for the industry; I still have many friends that are struggling. Unfortunately, I was not able to go back into fashion; there were NO jobs and the positions that were open had the salaries cut to what I considered to be laughable. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that I would have to move out of NYC after almost 20 years. I applied for a job on one of the fashion sites (before reading the job description) and quickly realized that I was not qualified at all. The recruiter reached out to me the next day and we chatted. She actually said you are not qualified for that one but I have this other position that you would be perfect for. The only reason I didn’t apply for the position originally is that the job description was lacking any information. We talked about the job, the salary, and where it was located. I was told her lets do this and I am so glad I did. After 2.5 months of interviews (pandemic & fires in Oregon) I was offered the position. Not only did I get my full NYC salary, relocation assistance, medical & dental insurance fully paid by the company, 401(k), awesome bonus opportunity at the end of the year, and working remote. Pablo Dog and I moved back to Oregon at the end of December. I was nervous to move back but I am so happy I did it.

    With all that said for people that are still struggling to find work don’t give up you will find some thing and don’t be afraid to make a huge change in your life. It could be the best thing you do for yourself.

    1. Galloping Gargoyles*

      Congrats to all of our “official” good news-ers and to you commenter. Wishing you the best in your new positions.

  2. Teekanne aus Schokolade*

    #4, thanks for the encouragement to keep holding out. It’s been such a rough ride for so many of us (esp. when we feel forced to apply for ANYTHING), your story is truly helping me keep the faith this week!

  3. Lifelong student*

    No 1- I am glad you are happy with your contract position- but I as I have posted on other threads- how do employers get away with hiring someone in the same position as an employee and changing it to a contract position? If you are in all senses acting like an employee you can’t be an independent contractor. The law says you must be treated as an employee- with employee benefits. Perhaps you are now an employee of an outside agency so the actual employer doesn’t have to give you benefits like retirement, health, PTO- but if not, it would be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Also- if you are a direct contractor, not through an agency- be aware that your personal tax bill just went through the roof. In either case, if it makes you happy that is great- but people faced with this option should know the downside.

      1. Lifelong student*

        If an “employer” sets hours, controls the manner of doing the work, provides the tools and supplies to do the work, and a few other things- the person doing the work cannot be an independent contractor under federal law. So unless the contract is to provide a specified item or service with no control by the “employer”- except to accept the project- it is unlikely the person providing the service is a bona fide independent contractor. This is a highly abused area- and people have been taken advantage of by loss of benefits. There have been major lawsuits in this field in the past. Microsoft was one company where the costs of misclassification were huge.

        1. PT*

          Yes, but they might have been hired by a staffing firm, that is now contracted to supply staff to the company.

          Let’s say Chocolate Teapots Inc lays off all of their janitors because they are subcontracting out janitorial services to Speedy Sweepers Inc. Speedy Sweepers Inc hires all of Chocolate Teapots’ laid off janitors and assigns them to work at the Chocolate Teapots jobsite- basically their old job, but now they are employees of Speedy Sweepers, not Chocolate Teapots Inc. Their paycheck, health benefits, w2, etc, will all say Speedy Sweepers on it.

          1. Lifelong student*

            True- but skeevy- because Speedy Sweepers probably doesn’t provide decent health insurance or retirement benefits- plus since Chocolate Teapots wants to save money- even if they pay the same amount in “wages” to Speedy Sweepers, the janitors will get less after Speedy takes their cut.

            1. Environmental Compliance*

              This isn’t necessarily skeevy, though. You’re making a lot of assumptions.

              We contract another company for a specific materials management where I am at. They are contractors to us, employees to their company. We contract that company because 1) we have no idea what the hell we’re doing with that specific material, 2) it is indeed cheaper for us to use them, because they already have a lab, trained staff, the knowledge, the chemical inventory & contacts, etc, etc. and 3) we don’t want to worry about hiring the right people to manage when it’s not our knowledge base. Contracting works out because we are paying the company to provide us a service, which happens to include people. We would never have our own staff onsite to do this work, because we’d need to sink a crap ton of money into infrastructure that doesn’t make any sense for us to do – project-wise, this is relatively small – it makes more sense to hand it off to experts that already have the infrastructure. It’s not to save money on paying benefits.

          2. Environmental Compliance*

            +1000

            Contractor doesn’t immediately mean independent contractor. I’ve been at many a place where we contracted another company to do cleaning, admin, etc. To us they would be contractors, but to their actual paying-their-wages company, they were employees.

    1. OP1*

      I know you’re trying to be helpful, and I was looking forward to having this be published because I’ve needed this encouragement, but it just kinda seems like you made a lot of assumptions that aren’t even true and you’ve kinda dampened my joy. Yeah, I KNOW a 3-month contract job isn’t as stable or good as a full-time job. I KNOW contract work can be skeevy. I’d LOVE to have a full-time job. Unfortunately we’re in a pandemic and after applying to over 70 jobs I got nowhere and was legitimately excited to have a job again. This is good news Friday, can’t you save it for another day?

      To answer your questions, I said in the letter itself I set my own hours, control the way I do my own work and provide my own tools to do my work. It is for a different company, one of the largest digital media companies in the US, and I was contracted through a staffing agency for them. The agency handles the taxes, I’m offered health insurance if I want it.

      In summary it’s not skeevy, I’m happy.

      1. Lifelong student*

        I’m happy for you- sorry I missed the set your own hours in the original letter. I have seen this abused too many times- that’s why I commented.

        In actual fact- I know of a tax prep organization that- provides the software, sets the hours, provides the training- and pays its people as independent contractors- not through a service. That is such a violation that it sets me off!

      2. mlem*

        It sounds like you were able to get your foot in the door with a really promising company while making contracting work for you — well done!

  4. Bookworm*

    Yay! Nice to go into a holiday weekend here in the US with some good Friday news. Thanks as always to the LWs for sharing their happy news with us.

  5. TimeTravlR*

    Such great news for everyone!
    I have a friend who is making a career shift. She hasn’t interviewed for a job in 14 years and had to start a resume from scratch. I have turned her on to AAM and helped her with her baseline resume. Given her a ton of tips on job searching and interviewing. I know AAM is going to be the reason she can finally write a Good News Friday letter someday!

  6. B Wayne*

    I really like “Friday Good News” even though I usually read it Saturday morning. I hope this stays a fairly regular feature once things are back to a more normal level. And thanks to Alison for putting up with my (usually) grouchy comments, for which I am now sorry. I’ve lost the social graces since being let go in April. Happy Three Day Holiday Weekend everyone!

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