it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I left my old job several months ago and can’t thank you enough for your job searching advice which was a HUGE help to me in securing my new position. I left an industry that is notorious for overworking and underpaying, and since it was the only professional experience I have out of college, I had a hard time gauging what my skills were really worth and how to market my experience.

I especially want to highlight the salary negotiation advice (in some form of) ‘Would you be willing to consider $X? (then STOP TALKING).’ I totally worked! And even if it didn’t, it gave me the confidence to at least ask. I requested a fairly modest increase to what they initially offered (about 5%), because based on my market research I felt that I was starting to approach the upper end of the range for my level/geography. Even though it wasn’t huge quantitatively, I felt so empowered compared to the sneaking feeling at my old job that I was being taken advantage of. I now have a new job, doing exactly the work I was looking for, a culture that recognizes (and reinforces) great work/life balance, and a salary about 35% higher than what I was making before!”

2.  “Earlier this year I realized that, while my job was a good one and the company was amazing, I was deeply unhappy working there. The scope of the job was narrower than it was originally supposed to be (think signing up for a hair styling job and only getting to do regular trims). Not only did I really dislike focusing almost all my energy into this one facet of my career, I was very worried about pigeonholing myself. Your interview tips helped me navigate conversations around this in interviews well enough that I was commended on it regularly, but in a highly competitive field sometimes it’s just not enough (boy, does coming second place get old!)

I had already reached out to the professional contacts that I had fairly close relationships with to no avail so I decided to take a look at approaching my more extended network using your How To Tell Your Network You’re Looking For a Job tips. There was one contact I had been pondering on for a while, we had barely crossed paths years ago and they’re a big deal, like if we were in the movie industry they would be a best picture Oscar nominee kind of a big deal – but we were connected on LinkedIn, so using my best judgement and years of AAM guidance I decided it it was worth a message.

They responded almost immediately asking to set up a call.

Turns out they were actually in a bind and needed some immediate support. If I hadn’t reached out with my resume and explained exactly what I was looking for, they would have assumed I only had the skills to do one thing and I would have missed out on this awesome opportunity!”

3.  “I’ve been working as a freelancer for years, with two anchor clients that made up the vast majority of my income, plus several other smaller clients. Earlier this year, one of my anchors started going in a new direction that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Much of the team I’d worked with for years left, and one of them alerted me that I was probably going to be getting a lot less work from the new team because of the new direction. That turned out to be true: my workload decreased significantly, and what I did get were projects I didn’t love having my name attached to, but felt I had no choice because I needed the income.

Fortunately, I was able to approach one of my smaller clients about taking on more work. Turns out, they loved my work and immediately started giving me a lot more to do, even connecting me with their clients in turn. A lot of the work I do with them doesn’t have my name (or any name) attached, since it’s a different, more behind-the-scenes style of work, but I’m totally fine with that, I’m paid well, and they’ve really gone above and beyond to recommend me and sing my praises to others. I’ve been able to replace (and actually exceed!) my income from Old Anchor Client with New Anchor Client, and it’s work I’m prouder of.

As a bonus, my relationship with Old Anchor Client has a happy ending too! I’m not getting nearly as much work from them, but being free of my reliance on them has made me more willing to turn down work that I don’t feel great about. As a freelancer, I’ve always been scared to turn down any work, but reading AAM has given me a healthier perspective and more willingness to stand up for myself. Instead, I’m doing fewer but better assignments when I do work with Old Anchor Client, and I have a perfectly pleasant working relationship with the new team.

I’m so glad I made this change, and I’m so glad that I’ve been reading AAM all along – it’s because of Alison and all the lovely folks on the site that I was able to get over this bump without panicking and negotiate an even better outcome!”

{ 19 comments… read them below }

  1. many bells down*

    My good news for the week: unexpected raise!
    I work in non-profit and we were way over budget this year so I was planning to ask for one in January when the new budget cycle starts. Instead, our DFO decided it was better to ask forgiveness than permission and just changed my pay so she can present it to the board as a fait accompli.

  2. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

    I gave notice at my old job Monday! I was hired in March with promises that the contract job would become full-time; then Bad Things started happening at corporate, concluding with the news this week that my whole department is being dissolved. I started looking after a run-in with a toxic psycho hose beast and it took a few solid months to start getting noticed. (Thanks, Alison, I bought your book and it helped.)

    Really happy about the new gig I’ll be starting! I too negotiated salary successfully. Now that I’ve given notice everyone is privately telling me how much they hate it and how hard they’re looking for something else.

  3. autumnal*

    My oldest brother was a Marine and he had an expression when making a decision to act, “They can’t take away my birthday.” Sort of the Marine Corps answer to “the worst they can say is no.” The not even the Corps had a chance at birthday removal and in general, most of what we reach for has far less threatening consequences. Not that it makes it easy but keeping a realistic perspective on potential outcomes when putting forth a *reasonable* request or proposal is one way to not build your own roadblocks. Good on all of you for putting yourselves out there and taking full advantage of what came your way because of your efforts!

    1. Allornone*

      well, we did have one guy write in who seemed to be actively trying to take away a woman’s birthday (leap-year woman), so…

      j/k. You speak the truth.

  4. Bookworm*

    Thanks for another round of good news. Always nice to end yet another loooooong week with some happy updates. Thanks all!

  5. TG*

    Love the good new Friday – much needed!!
    I have my own story and can say the last 18 months – even with the pandemic – I’ve never been happier with my career. Having something in my life besides my beautiful daughter that I can be proud of and feel good about has been what I needed to get through this pandemic and isolation otherwise.
    The older I get the more I’m realizing how little I need to be happy. Just my family and friends, a meaningful career. I wish I’d been as grateful when I was younger but I’m glad now I treasure everyday!

  6. Chaordic One*

    These are good news. I’m especially impressed by the initiative (gumption?) taken by OP3 and how she both “marketed” herself to her existing smaller clients to get more work from them, and also to “network” with them to get referrals and recommendations to her clients’ clients. Of course, this isn’t going to work all the time, but it is still worth pursuing as OP3 has demonstrated. Well done!

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