it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I’m currently writing this with a massively stupid grin on my face. I wrote in to you last December asking about how to avoid discussing politics with family when I work in politics. Well a few weeks after that, I was hired by a political PR firm as a full time intern. After working as an intern for a few months, they offered me a fellowship position which I’ve been in since May. Well, I got a full time offer letter from them last week to join the firm as a full fledged, salaried Communications Assistant.

While the salary they offered was within the average, I decided to negotiate since I knew from my evaluations that I was an exceptionally strong fellow and that my work had by and large surpassed expectations. I countered their offer, waited the whole weekend and all of Monday, and then finally today heard back that they will increase my starting salary by $5,000! I never in a million years thought they’d raise it by that much and I’m so so happy I listened to the little voice in my head telling me to negotiate and not leave any money on the table. So, to all those other young women (or POC or nonbinary folks) debating whether or not to negoitate – DO IT!! There’s no way I would have felt comfortable doing it if I wasn’t a religious reader of AAM so thank you so much for giving me the confidence to ask for what I’m worth!”

2. “A few months ago, I sent in a question about how to ask my current boss and grandboss to be job references for me. I didn’t get a reply, but I applied everything I’ve learned from reading your blog for years, bit the bullet, and asked them. I asked my current boss first, and he said yes of course, and then I asked my grandboss when she got back from leave a few weeks later. She also said yes, she’d happily give me a glowing reference, and then also went into Retention Strategy mode and started working with HR on how to professionalize my position (I’m currently a paraprofessional). Well, just today it all came through, and starting November 1st I’ll be promoted into a new professional title, report directly to my current grandboss, and get a $6k salary bump! The job hunt was pretty disappointing, but now it looks like I won’t have to keep trying! Thanks for all your advice over the years!”

3.  “In 2019, I led 2 separate-but-related projects that were severely under-resourced (basically just me) on top of my regular responsibilities, plus my only team member left, meaning I had to pick up their system implementation project as well. I wasn’t sleeping, I lost 15 pounds in the span of a couple of months, I had panic attacks, and developed an eye twitch. (On the upside, I got a great review and bonus.) Once the dust settled, and I had a little distance from the projects, I thought I would rebound as usual. But the more I reflected on the projects and the overall lack of support that I/my program got from senior leadership, the more it became clear to me that I was more than ready to leave. I had accomplished what I wanted to (the projects were real career highlights), leadership didn’t value my program, and I didn’t see any further path to promotion.

Fortunately, my industry was not affected by the pandemic, and personally the WFH aspect gave me more time to think about what I wanted in my next position. When a higher-level job that looked interesting came up in my industry and city, I was ready with a shiny new resume and cover letter. I submitted my resume on a Sunday night, and by Monday afternoon had scheduled an interview with the internal HR recruiter. Over the next 3 weeks, I had six more virtual interviews with various people from the organization, and used all the advice from Ask a Manager to prepare. I went in confident, and with the mindset that I was interviewing them as well. The interviews went great, easily the best I ever had. The HR recruiter was very skeptical that they would meet my salary requirements, or my request for a delayed start date (which would let me collect my bonus from the company I was leaving), but I just reiterated that I was very interested, and that I was open to negotiations. The hiring manager called me later the same day to say that the late start date was no problem, that he was working on the salary, and stressed how much he wanted me to join the team.

The next day I had an offer for exactly the salary I requested (a 28% raise), a large number of restricted stock units, and a start date two months later. I’ve now been here for almost a year, and couldn’t be happier. The work is engaging, my manager, department, and company leadership (I’ve presented to them twice!) are incredibly supportive, and everyone is so appreciative that I feel like I’m living in Ted Lasso.

I’m grateful to you, Alison, for your wisdom and the best workplace advice on the web. Thanks to this site, I recognized that I was burned out and knew how to determine whether to stay or move on. It also gave me the blueprint to write a great resume and cover letter, and to ace the interview process. Finally a shout-out to the commentariat for their collective wisdom, humor, and support, which got me through many a rough day at my previous job.”

{ 18 comments… read them below }

  1. laowai_gaijin*

    I’m on my very first interview committee. We’re hiring a new director for the center I work at, so we’re interviewing candidates today and Monday. It’s a really interesting experience, being on the other side of the interviewing table. It’ll change the way I interview in the future, certainly.

    1. Sara without an H*

      True. My own job searching strategy improved a lot after I served on my first search committee.

  2. Purple Cat*

    Good news Friday is always the BEST post.
    I like this week’s overarching theme of “know your worth” and fight for it!

  3. Ms. Hagrid Frizzle*

    These are fantastic bits of news! So happy for the burned-out LW especially who has found a much more supportive work environment.

  4. MoinMoin*

    “Living in Ted Lasso” is a professional goal I’d never considered but now so desperately want.

  5. KittenLittle*

    Thanks for all the updates! Would you consider including ages/age ranges with these? I wonder if most of the good news is from folks in the 20-40 age range or if we not so newbie folks also have success moving on to new jobs/getting raises. Thank you!

    1. Allornone*

      For what it’s worth, my story was posted a few weeks ago (Oct 22), I am 39. Well, 40 in February. Eck.

  6. TIRED*

    Good news! I want to repeat this part: “So, to all those other young women (or POC or nonbinary folks) debating whether or not to negoitate – DO IT!!” and add on a bit…. Negotiate as much as you can, but realize some places will just never pay you what you’re worth. And that’s especially true for women and POC and nonbinary folks and for people who hold multiples of these identities. The onus should not be on the applicant to negotiate but on the employer to pay people equitably. This includes not just the negotiation part but posting accurate salary ranges in postings, transparent pay equity analysis (internally transparent at a minimum), and retaining the people you already have. There’s a chance with the power balance shifted to applicants- that more employers will start doing this.

Comments are closed.