it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I have been dying to either ask a question or share some good news, and the time has come! Thanks to a professor’s suggestion, I decided to take medical leave from my graduate program just after Labor Day, which meant I needed to find a full-time job ASAP. Well, I applied for three jobs in rapid succession, using your excellent cover letter and interview advice, and for the job I was invited to interview for, I was honest about my grad school situation and my plans to return part-time next fall. I took the advantage of telling them that it might’ve been more in my interest to not say that, but I wanted to be honest. They loved that! (Interviewing is a two-way street!)

With that job, I applied on a Friday, had two interviews that Sunday, another on Thursday, and the next Monday I both had an in-person site visit PLUS (about an hour later once my second reference came in) a job offer! I’m psyched to be starting basically two weeks after I applied—dream come true, thanks to you!”

2.  “In January 2021 the company I worked for was bought out by NewCompany. I was the sole senior llama groomer for our 120-people company and when I checked out NewCompany I saw their ratio was far different to my company’s (30 to 1000) and realized they would likely not keep me, so I tentatively put out feelers for a new position. In March I had to travel to back South Africa for family, and whilst there I received the Zoom call (two nights before I was due to fly back to the USA) that I was terminated, effective immediately, and that my laptop would be as operational as a brick by the end of the call!

I flew back to the USA and started my hunt in earnest (using your tips for killer resumes and cover letters). Soon enough I accepted a contract llama grooming position with BigCompany. Within a fortnight I remembered why I hated working for any BigCompany and decided when the contract was done to not renew. Sigh – now the job hunt was on again…

I interviewed for several positions but either I was not thrilled with them or they with me, until about a month ago when SmallishNewJob contacted me. They were looking for a Senior Llama Groomer/Soothsayer. After four interviews, the final one in person, and some serious negotiations regarding salary, PTO, bonuses and the like, they sent me an offer that was $6K above what I was (mentally) prepared to settle for, and an annual bonus of an additional $6K! All in all, I will be making around 20-30% more in SmallishNewJob than I was back in March when I was retrenched. I start SmallishNewJob in the middle of October.

I really learnt to advocate for myself during this period and to let SmallishNewJob know my worth. And it was all thanks to your site and reading so many success stories. As a woman in a very male-dominated industry I realized I needed to stand strong and give my bottom line in clear, firm terms.

Thanks Alison, without AAM I would not have advocated as strongly for myself and would have likely left money on the table.”

3.  “I’ve been in and out of jobs over the years, suffered quite a bit of setbacks from layoffs, location changes and eliminated positions. My background is HR. I was finally settling into a job for my 5th year part time and then got a full time promotion just before covid hit and then the facility closed. Reading your blog helped me keep up my confidence through the job search. I’ve referred a couple friends who are new managers to read it for advice handling workplace conflict. Thanks to you and your followers, I finally landed an HR Rep job, close to home, with great pay and an amazing healthy atmosphere. The people here have long tenure which makes it easy to pitch to applicants that people are happy. Everyone is welcoming and helpful. I’ve been here a month and my mgr is becoming a great mentor to me for my professional development. I couldn’t have done this without the daily advice I read in your columns. Readers, stay your course, there are jobs out there. No matter how many times you get turned down, eventually something will come your way!”

4.  “I’ve been reading Ask a Manager for a few years. It helped me realize that my job was toxic, which convinced me to find a new job that would be flexible while I went back to school to pursue what I was actually passionate about, back in 2019, and I started picking up part time and one-off gigs in what I was interested in, to gain experience and find people to learn from.

I’m still a year away from that degree but I just had an interview for my dream job! This is in a notoriously competitive industry. Think hundreds of applicants for jobs that would have 10-20 applicants in other fields. Just getting an interview is a huge win, and I feel great about this even if I don’t get the job. This field was hit incredibly hard by the pandemic so I thought I’d be moving all of my expectations and goals a year or two into the future but here I am!

I used all of your advice to carefully craft my resume and draft an amazing cover letter. I spun my experience in my old field (logistics) into strengths that I could use in this role, instead of just leaving my resume super disjointed. I put hard numbers for results of initiatives I ran on my resume. I used my cover letter to show my passion and elaborate on things that aren’t in my resume. The interviewer told me that my resume “stood out from the rest”. I had great answers for scenarios they gave me as possibilities in the role. They loved the questions I asked at the end, all inspired by things you’ve written.

So, thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ll find out either way soon, but I just wanted to drop a line and say thank you right now.”

{ 14 comments… read them below }

  1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

    I’m glad that things worked out so well for LW2 (as they deserve!), but I’ve got to say I really do not love NewCompany. I’ve lived through more mergers/acquisitions than I can count (both with my employer being bought out, and doing the buying), and I cannot recall a single time when employees at the smaller company were as much as laid off with advance notice and severance. Much less terminated with no notice, via a zoom call while they were on vacation, two months after closing the deal! This is too callous even for today’s corporate world. I sincerely hope their llamas all leave them for competitor groomers!

    1. Dragon*

      I would add employees of the acquired company not being told whether they even still have jobs. So they report for work as usual — maybe even to New Company’s office — and THEN NewCompany has no trouble telling them, “Oh, we don’t have a job for you.”

    2. Cori Smelker*

      Thank you for that! It was callous. The worst part was they laid off almost the entire department. I reported directly to the CTO and while we were in the middle in the lay-off call, I tried to ping him. No response. Because they had just finished their call to him. And they had given him NO idea that they were letting go of almost everyone.

      Thankfully SmallishNewJob is amazing. I have been with them for about two months and my team is amazing. I could not have asked for a better outcome.

  2. Purple Cat*

    Sounds like Update #2 has been in their new job for a few months now, hope they come back and let us know how it’s going!

    1. Cori Smelker*

      Hi there – it’s me! I am loving my new job at SmallishNewJob. My team are all wonderfully warm humans, who really have formed a tight work bond. We all work very well together. It is apparent our manager hired carefully and wisely, ensuring our skills complement one another’s. I love our weekly all-hands meeting where all employees see exactly how much money is coming in from our contracts and how we bill our clients. That kind of transparency really helps to see how our C-Suite is taking care of business.

  3. Dragon*

    I’m glad everything worked out for LW3.

    I also caution that long tenure at a firm doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good place to work. Some employees might be slackers, and the firm lets them slack while expecting the good ones to compensate for the bad ones.

    So the bad employees are perfectly happy there, while the good employees are not.

    1. T*

      LW 3 here: 5 months in, I’m still amazed at tenure at this place despite teapot assembly not paying much at all. Teapot designers on the other hand make ALOT. Turnover thus far has only been retirees and a couple people who landed a better commute. 4 more retirements we’re announced for January. It’s a wonderful and kind group of people. My boss is allocating budget for my PHR for next year which fit my goals (5 yr plan in my interview questions). I’ve been reading merit reviews as I process them, not too much dead weight in the tenure. I see flaws but all manageable compared to other places I’ve worked. It’s a genuinely surprising gift to work there.

  4. HeraTech*

    I know all these “teapot designer” job titles are to preserve the writer’s anonymity. But I find myself to be unnaturally curious about the job description for the Senior Llama Groomer/Soothsayer position. What to they DO all day?

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