it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “Six months ago I was laid off from my best job ever. I work in publishing, and the company I worked for published trade journals for the concert industry (think light and sound techs). Well, the pandemic brought the live entertainment industry, especially concerts, to a screeching halt. And with it, our company’s advertising revenue. We limped along, relying on savings, PPP loans and a trickle of ad revenue. But it wasn’t sustainable, and eventually half of the staff was let go.
I wasn’t entirely surprised, but it hit like a ton of bricks. I got the call from my boss at the exact moment a huge crane was hoisting an expensive new air conditioning unit onto my roof. I live in Las Vegas, so the AC is essential, but I can’t imagine worse timing. Que panic attack. Not only was I now unemployed, I just lost the best job I’d ever had with an awesome boss, good pay and work I enjoyed and was immensely proud of.

In the end, it turned out to be a blessing of sorts. My old company retained its two flagship magazines and sold off the remaining four magazines to one of the editors. Luckily, he has a solid background in publishing, having previously owned his own publishing company. Myself, two ad sales guys, and another editor were part of a package deal of sorts, as we all retained our previous roles, just with a different signature on the paycheck. And since we all live in different states, remote work is a given.

So not only did I get to essentially keep my old job, I also got a bump in title. I’m now the art director of four magazines, whereas I previously was senior graphic designer. My workload is minimal since it only takes me a week or so to crank out the magazines every month. And since I’m fully remote, I’m free to indulge my love of travel. I’m writing this post from Chiapas, Mexico. Tomorrow I’m going to explore ancient Mayan ruins in the jungle.

As much as the pandemic sucks, it’s brought about a long-overdue revolution in work. I know that I’m lucky to be able to work from anywhere, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of becoming a digital nomad. All of this is to say that sometimes your blessing comes in the least expected place. You might have to shovel of a ton of shit to find the treasure buried below. Breathe in, breathe out, move on.”

2.  “Three years ago, I took a job at a university despite the substantial 30% pay cut, because I wanted to move to another state to be with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. It was worth it for the move, but I was never really happy here. Though I kept looking for new jobs, the search was casual until semi-recently. We had gone fully remote in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and remained mostly-fully-remote for a year and a half. However, the University decided to bring everyone back for the Fall 2021 semester, which meant all of us were required back in the office at the end of June 2021. Despite over a year of successful remote work during which—by the school’s own standards!— we all went above and beyond and did better than we had previously, the university refused to allow any remote work. Not hybrid, not occasional, nothing. No exceptions. Even people who had previously been allowed to work a day remote to accommodate appointments were now denied that.

I think that was what finally pushed me into going full-tilt into the job search. After being so comparatively content and happy working from home, it was jarring to have to go back to the office full-time, especially for a university that seemed unwilling to offer any flexibility on top of having salaries that are definitely on the low end of the acceptable range for higher ed administrative work. I fixed up my resume using your advice and guides, wrote up some cover letters using your tips, and applied to as many hybrid or remote jobs as I could.

I’m happy to say that finally, after 6 months of intense searching and repeated anxious re-reads of your interview guide, I’ve accepted a fully-remote, salaried position at another university! The hours are better, the job is more well-rounded and in line with what I like to do, and the salary and benefits are back up in the range I was previously in. I start mid-January! I could not be happier, and I definitely attribute some of my success to your site.”

3.  “I’ve been reading AAM and absorbing all the info for about 4 years now, and I definitely consider it a HUGE help to my career. I’ve had friends ask for help with freshness and finding jobs because of the knowledge I’ve gained from AAM! I’ve started ignoring the Friday good news, as it’s just been tough to read recently, but I have one I couldn’t pass up… (feel free to shorten if needed!)

A few years ago, my family and I moved to a pretty rural area. I was able to negotiate with my previous job and worked remotely for a couple of months while they hired and I trained my replacement. Meanwhile, I started job-searching and came up with a whole lot of nothing. I worked part-time at a bank and it kinda sorta paid the bills. The management was… crappy, and they claimed all kinds of not-really-legal policies, too – don’t talk about pay with coworkers, oh and they tried to tell me that because I hadn’t worked there a year I would not be able to use their (really crappy) short-term-disability because I wasn’t eligible for FMLA and so when I left for maternity leave it would be a “voluntary resignation eligible for rehire”. Uh… yeah that’s not how that works ‘cause ADA and pregnancy discrimination.

I had started to resign myself to finding a job in LargerCity – which would mean 45min-1hr commute each way… when a friend told me about a job in the next town over (10 minute commute!). I interviewed 4 months pregnant (and wore a big coat) and a week later was offered the job. In the interview I was able to ask about benefits discretely thanks to Alison’s scripts. My boss and HR were incredibly supportive during the last few months of pregnancy, and I was able to take the longest maternity leave I’ve ever done.

Then, in September of this year, my personal life exploded. My husband and I (and the kids) were dealing with things we never dreamed we’d have to deal with, and after much discussion and thought, we decided it may be time for a change. I brushed off my resume and cover letter, and decided to reach out to my network. In OldJob, I had worked with some pretty high-up and big-wig folks, even though I really wasn’t much more than entry-level. I bit the bullet and reached out to one I worked with more frequently. Again – I used Alison’s tips. I applied for a job first, and reached out to my contact with the job posting, and my resume and cover letter attached. I told her what I was wanting from her, and put it out of my mind. I mean, she’s a SVP of a major international organization. I did not expect a response! She emailed me THE NEXT MORNING and basically said she’d jump hoops to help me. Major confidence booster!

I kept applying, being really particular about what I was going for, and landed an interview wi the a different company within a couple of weeks. A day later, they contacted me for a second interview, and offered me a job the day before thanksgiving. Readers, it’s fully-remote, with a 45% pay raise. FORTY FIVE PERCENT! Benefits overall are slightly better, as well. They said that I was the only one who really asked insightful questions (like the magic one!), and they were impressed that I tried to make the interviews more of a conversation than a flat question-and-answer session. Tomorrow wraps up week 1 and while I’m exhausted (all 3 kids came down with a stomach bug. On my first day. Working from home.), it seems like I’m really going to like it. My boss is laid-back and helpful, the work is enjoyable, I’m making more than I’ve ever made, and I can eat lunch with the littles every day.

Don’t give up, y’all, and for the love of Hanukkah balls and cheap-ass rolls, read EVERYTHING from AAM!”

{ 14 comments… read them below }

  1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    Don’t give up, y’all, and for the love of Hanukkah balls and cheap-ass rolls, read EVERYTHING from AAM!”

    Well, that’s my New Years resolution sorted :)

    Always great to read these good news, thank you all of you who do send these lovely updates. It’s been a little ray of hope in a very dark time.

    1. Good luck in your new job!*

      I am excited about your story. I am in the midst of a job search and hoping to find something in January, because I found out that the Big TeaPot Boss hired my replacement without telling me or my Big Boss. So, thank you for the encouragement.

  2. Bookworm*

    Thanks again to all the LWs for writing in. Always nice to end another week with some lovely updates.

  3. Chili pepper Attitude*

    Thanks from me too, love reading the Friday good news. I finally got to post my own recently. I know how hard it is to read if you don’t have your own good news but keep going for it!

  4. The Lexus Lawyer*

    Am I the only one bothered that OP1 misspelled “cue” with a Q?

    Oh well. I did also see King’s Hawaiian rolls at my local Costco and that made me giggle.

    Merry Holidays everyone, and to all, good night!

    1. Lizy*

      I just brought Hawaiian rolls for tomorrow. I mean, we’re having prime rib. We can’t have cheap ass rolls with prime rib.

    2. NeonFireworks*

      It’s pretty normal for spelling to slip around between homophones, e.g. ‘cue’ and ‘queue’, especially since English spelling is already all over the place.

    3. Candi*

      Joining in congrats for all the OPs! May you all continue to do awesome!

      I feel 2’s pain in a small way. My university has a few campuses, and the big head campuses in Big City has been pushing to have everyone back butt-in-seat. They’ve shut up due to Omicron, for now, and the first week of Winter quarter will be fully remote

      I had a very hard time not busting out laughing at the store earlier this week. They had the very reasonably priced store brand rolls in white, wheat… and Hawaiian. (With real pineapple juice.)

    4. Koala dreams*

      I took that as faux French! Only when I come to the Mexico part I started to doubt that reading. Although there seems to be a Spanish word “que” too.

    5. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I’m a former proofreader who has been using speech to text for tendonitis reasons. That + autocorrect has done worse changes to me than cue vs. queue– and this phone’s autocorrect sometimes changes things at the start of a sentence when I am finishing the sentence. So, acknowledging that this website doesn’t allow edits, I have chosen to let all that slide.

    6. Very Social*

      I see “queue” for “cue” all the time and… well… it’s somewhere in the middle of my list of pet peeves!

  5. I miss Sami*

    “Don’t give up, y’all, and for the love of Hanukkah balls and cheap-ass rolls, read EVERYTHING from AAM!”

    I need this on a pillow stat!

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