it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1. I’ve been waiting to share this good news for over 6 months! The very small company I was working for is one I could have submitted a novel about, full of red flags that I didn’t fully see at the time: the owner says we’re all a family, that we’re a lifestyle and not just a company, she prides herself on her lack of work/life balance, frequently works extremely long days to the point of being incapacitated the next day, understaffed and overworked, and so much more. While this was sort of manageable when I was going to the office, once the pandemic hit, my mental health took a nosedive. I went to therapy (ironically supported and encouraged by my boss, who effectively drove me to therapy single-handedly), and realized just how toxic of a workplace I was at. I started to set up boundaries, which was not appreciated by my boss, and started to search for a new job.

On a whim, I checked out the open positions for a software company whose product I had loved using at my previous job in a different industry. That industry had been particularly decimated by the pandemic, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to reach out. I used your resume and cover letter tips, and immediately got a response back. Multiple staff members at the software company, including the CEO, remembered working with me even though it had been a few years, and were excited to hear from me! I had an interview within a week, and we agreed I would be an excellent fit for their company. Everything about the company and the position was as close to a dream job as I could imagine. Unfortunately, it was still the summer of the pandemic 2020, and the industry was still at a complete standstill, with no relief in sight. We agreed to touch base weekly… then monthly… then quarterly. They interviewed me for a different position, and had me create a presentation to demonstrate skills for the secondary position. Still, it had been several months of waiting with no hiring timeline in sight, and my toxic job was still just as difficult and draining as ever. I knew I couldn’t stay at the toxic job, but I couldn’t let go of the idea of the dream job either. I kept putting off searching for other jobs, hoping the dream job would come through.

When dream job still couldn’t provide me a timeline for hiring, I started searching again. I landed a few interviews for jobs I certainly was qualified for, but that didn’t excite me, or didn’t pay as well as dream job would. I just couldn’t get that job out of my head! One of the companies I interviewed with was ready to offer me a position, and I was actually in tears at the thought of accepting. On one hand, I felt like I just HAD to leave toxic job, and this was that out, even if it wasn’t ideal or the dream job. I also felt like I should feel grateful to have gotten interviews and a possible offer in a job market with so many people searching. I felt guilty at the idea of turning down the other offer, but knew that it wasn’t right for me.

With the other offer looming, I reached out to dream job again to see if they had an update, and let them know I was considering other opportunities. That same day, they called to offer me the dream job!! I got the salary I had asked for (thanks for encouraging us to fight for what we’re worth, and then some!), benefits (I had none at toxic job), and now I’ll be working with a product I am really passionate about in an industry I love. Even though it took over 6 months, it was so worth the wait. I just started at the dream job this week, and it’s already great!

Thank you for all the advice you provide. It helped me to see how bad my old job was, and helped me nail the interviews I had. I’m already so much happier at my new job!

2. I wanted to share some Friday good news, partly because I specifically used some of your advice. I had been starting to feel the edges of burnout at my job as a library manager and while I had weathered COVID with my team, it just seemed like there was a relentless pressure from our administration to do more, take care of more, add on more, make no mistakes, deal with the public . . . all with a smile even as most of us were starting to buckle under the pressure. I had not been actively looking for a job, but then saw one posted on a jobline that sounded like it would be ideal, in a place that sounded like The Good Place (or close to it). So, with nothing to lose, I applied. I went through multiple interviews, and then was offered a job. And thanks to your advice on Ask a Manager, was able to negotiate a higher salary (which I had never done, and which is usually not something that seems to happen with library jobs).

I’m now in the first weeks of that new job, and while it might not be the real Good Place, it’s pretty awesome. I’m doing more of what I love and I’m already bouncing back from the burnout that had started to take hold and impact my life. Having the support of my family was wonderful, but having the advice from Ask a Manager truly gave me the courage to reach for this opportunity.

3. I am an administrative professional who left her well-paying job 6 years ago because the company was a mess and it was just not worth it anymore. I applied to several positions including one at a very large client company – I interviewed well but was not selected. I eventually took my current position at about a 20k/year pay cut. Shortly after I started this job I got a call from large client company offering me the job at 3k more than my old job. I turned it down because new job was treating me so well. I’ve thought about that decision a lot since.

I love my current company, my coworkers and our benefits/flexibility are awesome but I feel underpaid (now 10k less than my old job) and there is no room for advancement. I started looking in earnest last year but then covid and a pregnancy put that on hold. I’m a few months back from my (generously paid) maternity leave and that same job for large client company came up. I applied, did multiple interviews and was just offered the job at 15k more than my current position. Honestly, its a dollar amount I never thought I would make as an admin professional. The benefits are comparable and I have room to grow, in or out of my department!

I had quite a few interviews and offers over the last few months but none of them offered the money or growth potential that would make it worth leaving my current position. I really thought I was going to be trapped here forever because the pay wasn’t good but the benefits were too good to leave. I’m going to miss my coworkers dearly but I’m so excited that I held out for a position that will pay me what I feel I’m worth! Your interview tips were so helpful, I was relaxed and all the managers I spoke with were impressed at the questions I asked them, so thank you! This job has always felt like a missed opportunity and I’m so glad I got my second chance!

4. I know most of us start this way, but I have been a reader for years and did not think I would be sending in good news.

I work in nonprofit fundraising and had a pandemic related layoff in January.

Been looking for a full time fundraising position, but I wanted to be within a specific sub sector: like the arts, disease space, etc.

The wait was worth it. Not only did I land a position in the subsector I wanted, I negotiated salary of a job off for the first time in my life (I’m nearly 40). It worked and I got an increase of $2,500 on the salary – exactly what I asked for.

Like so many others, I would read good news wondering when my time would come and if I would have to take just any fundraising job. But, the wait was worth it – and caring about the specific sub sector made my cover letter stand out.

5. I was at the same company for 4 years and doing quite well. There were some red flags around communication, retention, progression, and a couple of other things over the first couple years, but I brushed them off for a long time because the work was interesting and challenging, my coworkers were generally awesome, and my clients were fantastic. Then Covid hit. They laid off several of my coworkers, and the rest of us gamely picked up the slack. But over the next 6-9 months, things just got harder and harder. Cancelled projects came back, and everyone was running ragged, working constant 60+ hour weeks without a break. They hired in other offices but not ours. The CEO talked a great game about work-life balance and supporting parents, but none of that trickled down to the trenches. They kept us working remotely, but told us that when things opened back up, they expected everyone to be coming back to the office full-time (as you can probably guess, this didn’t go over well with a lot of people).

Then in the first part of 2021, things really started to come to a head. My supervisor quit. They restructured the teams, and I got a new supervisor – and then she quit. Both former supervisors had been pushing for management to promote me, but it didn’t happen (management didn’t feel I had the right experience yet). Conversations with said management weren’t fruitful. My stress levels were through the roof – I was working well into the night most nights, and often on the weekends as well, just to get things done. Then another coworker (at my level this time) gave notice. There were a lot of factors for why people were leaving: low-for-the-industry pay, lack of communication from management, doing the job of the next level up without recognition or advancement, disrespectful attitudes from management, unrealistic expectations/workloads, not being able to WFH in the future, and more. Too many anecdotes to list, but boy howdy it was a toxic environment.

Then I heard from my (first) former manager that a former director of mine was building a team at another company. It took me seconds to text her, and literally seconds more for her to reply and ask for my resume. I hadn’t updated it yet, but with the help of a good friend and the years of advice I’d gleaned from AAM, I put together a killer resume and cover letter and sent them off. Then… nothing. I checked in a week or so later and found out that they were going through a re-org and hiring was on hold. So, I did some searching and applied for two other positions I’d found. By the next day, I had interviews scheduled with both.

By the end of the month, I had three job offers in hand (the former-director-job finally got things together and called me in). I ended up taking the job under my former director, and I’m over the moon. I started two weeks ago, and I love it. The work is interesting, I’ve been learning new things since day 1, I work with a fantastic team, and I get to WFH as much as I want (even though there’s a physical office in my city). AND it’s a 47% salary increase.

Read an update to this letter here.

{ 19 comments… read them below }

  1. MuffinHead*

    #3 – Yay for you! There is room for upward mobility in the ranks of the “admin support” world! I would never have thought I would have the kind of position I do and be making the kind of money I am, and doing what I truly enjoy — supporting others and making the boss look good. To all the other admin folks out there, don’t sell yourself short! What we do flies under the radar a lot , but’s very important!

  2. Blossom Fowler*

    I look forward to the Friday good news every week! Thank you all for sharing your good news!

    1. allathian*

      Thanks for sharing your good news! I’m happy in my current job and not looking elsewhere at the moment, but hearing other people’s good news just makes me so happy.

  3. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

    It’s a tough world out there, so Friday Good News is a lovely thing to see each week. Best of luck to all of you!

    Mine is less “hooray!” and more “oh thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster” but I got word this week that I am being transferred off the team with the Psycho Hose Beast Product Owner and into a much more collaborative and pleasant environment.

    Many thanks to Allison and the AAM commentariat for helping me stay sane and realize that it wasn’t me, it was her.

  4. Bookworm*

    Thanks once again to all the LWs for sharing! Always a nice way to end yet another long week. :)

  5. Allornone*

    My Friday has good news! After a year of being Covidly-unemployed, and struggling to stay afloat, I literally just received a dream job offer for my local affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters. It’s an amazing organization, it seems like a great fit for my current skills as well as an opportunity to sharpen some others, and they are paying me more than I’ve ever gotten before. It’s such a relief with these horrifically trying times, and I’m so excited at my fresh start.

    Thanks, Allison. Before I found your site, I was a truly terrible interviewer (I still let my nerves get to me, but I try to pass that off as excitement for the role). I doubt I would have gotten to this point without your tips and advice. You are amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  6. DiplomaJill*

    Wait, the good place as in The Good Place? I’m so confused, didn’t The Good Place turn out to be The Bad Place? I can’t compute if #2 is a happy ending or not!

    1. Sariel*

      OP# 2 here —- It’s the real real Good Place. At least, I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a bad place masquerading . . . but overall, it’s a pretty good place. :)

  7. Tag Goulet*

    Yay! Congratulations everyone! And thank you for sharing your stories to inspire and motivate others. I hope your new jobs continue to be fantastic for you.

  8. Chilipepper Attitude*

    As always, I love the Friday good news, thank you to all who wrote in!!
    This line in particular, from OP #3, has stuck with me:
    I really thought I was going to be trapped here forever because the pay wasn’t good but the benefits were too good to leave.

    It me! But it also feels like a message that it does not have to be me.

  9. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    #1 – I’ve been advising – because “been there, done that” – that if you are a candidate for a “job of a lifetime” but have other offers. sometimes the prime place will stop goofing and stalling and rush an offer out if you are their prime candidate.

    Many managers in “Sloth, Inc.” don’t realize that dragging out a hiring process often results in losing a prime candidate – he/she rightfully thinks “oh, those people at Sloth have moved on, so I will, too” — only to learn that they’re just sitting on the hiring process. And they lose the best in doing so.

    One place I worked – were very efficient in hiring …. we would only screen or interview one candidate at a time. When we found a good one – that was it, extend offer. First of all, we needed to fill the position, and second, there was no purpose behind horsing around over it. Did we get the best gosh-darn candidate in the whole wide world? I don’t know, probably not – but the hires were great and the process was quick.

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