it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I wrote to you about a month and a half ago (in a letter that wasn’t published) about the difficulties I had with a new job’s high workload and duties, both of which were very different from what had been described in the interview. At the time, my supervisor, Phil, was aware of my struggles and kept promising changes without any clear timeline, and I wasn’t sure how long to hang in there when I felt like I was drowning. I also didn’t want to burn bridges by leaving too soon from my first post-grad school job, especially since the organization is a huge employer in my field.

The organization itself has been undergoing a re-organization, which meant that Phil became my grand-boss and someone else on our team, Veronica, became the person I was most immediately reporting to. Veronica is blunt, takes great pride in all of the hours she works, and says yes to insane turnaround times from higher ups. For example, leadership wanted monthly updates to a website reporting our results. Each month, updating the website required our four-person team to combine 30 different datasets (all formatted differently and also updated each month) into one master dataset with millions of data points, clean it up, go back and forth with data contributors if we found questionable data (which happened every month), incorporate the fixed data, analyze the data, and push updates to the website… in two weeks. Everyone on my team agreed this was insane and not sustainable except for Veronica, who comes from a different background than the rest of us and has no experience doing any of the work we do. Team morale plunged each month.

But there is good news! On a whim, I inquired about a job I’d been sent by a mentor shortly after I started my current position. It turned out that the job had been difficult to fill because they were looking for a specialized skill set I had (the same skill set that the current position said they were most interested in but then didn’t use). I compiled every post on your blog about assessing if a job is right for you and, during the interview, probed really deeply about the work culture and job responsibilities. I got the job and accepted!

Although I was really torn about leaving my current position because I really believed in the organization’s mission and had wanted to work there long-term, I knew I was close to burnout needing long-term recovery. When I handed in my notice (with a generous four weeks), Phil and Veronica counteroffered with a promotion to a senior position (think Veronica’s deputy) and an accompanying 12% salary bump, which I declined given the lack of any changes needed to help manage burnout. It’s been interesting to see how they’re handling my transition; I’m making ample documentation and girding my loins for one final crunch period, but there’s no clear plan for who will take over my duties (and some questions about whether anyone is qualified to take over my duties). Veronica also alluded to my recent marriage as a reason I might re-evaluate how much time I wanted to dedicate to my work, which is… bananas. This after I stated multiple times that my primary reason for leaving was burnout with nothing but an increasing workload each month!

Maybe this will be of interest to your readers (and maybe help someone else struggling with a similar issue). I’m looking forward to the future and counting down the days until my last day!”

2.  “I just wanted to share that I received and accepted an offer for a legal internship at a law firm! It was an insanely quick turnaround time – just about 72 hours between getting emailed to set up an interview to the employment offer. Additionally, it’s paid! $15 an hour, which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, but when the vast majority of internships in the summer after 1L (first year of law school) are unpaid, getting $15 is a really good sign. PLUS they gave me the option of remaining part-time through my fall semester! So after a bit of job search anxiety I’m definitely, as my bubbe would say, kvelling a bit right now – and certainly relieved that I don’t have to keep searching through the rest of the semester and can fully focus on my schoolwork.”

3.  “I have great news to share! I graduated college five years ago. For the past four-ish years, I have been working in a field where short-term, cyclical contracts are quite common – usually 6-9 months. It’s been rewarding and fun in many ways, and also highly stressful and draining in other ways – especially when I’ve wrapped up a contract and had to look for the next job, which as you know can take a while. This past November I finished a job and started job hunting (for the third or fourth time in the last three years, no joke!). This time, I was determined to transition into an adjacent area of work so I could find a more long-term, stable position with real opportunity to grow. I pored over much of your advice on job searching and I applied to seven or eight jobs over the course of 2-ish months, using a ton of your advice on cover letters and resumes. A few weeks ago, I realized I had gotten an interview (or two) for all but one of the jobs! This was a huge difference from my past rounds of applications.

I also began preparing MUCH more intensively for interviews, which actually raised my stress level a bit (I used to be extremely nonchalant about interviews), but ultimately I think it all paid off because this week I got two job offers at almost the exact same time – both very competitive offers, down to a 35% pay increase for both roles! Both jobs were jobs I was really excited about and both hiring managers made it really clear I was their top pick. I negotiated for a couple of perks that were super important to me, and I’ll be starting one of the roles in a few weeks.

There was so much great advice and guidance on your site that steered me well and helped me get better at this process (even when I often had to adapt some of it to fit my field – so other readers in non-traditional/non-corporate settings, trust your guts and read between the lines when you have to!). But I have to say that the biggest thing that helped me was actually reading about how to prepare for receiving that phone call with a long-awaited offer! Thanks to you, when I got the call I was prepped to ask for the things I wanted and was also confident enough to ask for the time I needed to decide – without feeling panicked or like I was being unreasonable. Accepting a job is a huge decision, but I think oftentimes (especially when you’re searching while unemployed) it feels scary to do anything other than yell ‘I ACCEPT!’ in the moment – however, if I had done that, I would have lost out on some things that were important to me! (BTW, both employers responded super well to this and didn’t seem surprised or offended when I said I needed some time to think about it and consider my answer – and if they had, that would have been a red flag for me!)

Trust me when I say that when I started seriously reading your blog about three months ago, I NEVER imagined I would be writing in with good news of my own to tell. In fact, I started avoiding your good news posts because I just felt so down that it wasn’t coming together for me! So other folks who are feeling that way – take heart, and be kind to yourselves. Things happen in unexpected ways! And Alison, thank you for creating this tremendous resource.”

{ 31 comments… read them below }

  1. Falling Diphthong*

    OPs, just want to say how these brighten my Fridays.

    Including the ones where what you thought was a good job move isn’t working out that way and you wound up looking for a different job.

    1. Chilipepper Attitude*

      Came here to say that! I so appreciate people writing in with their happy stories!

    2. AlyInSebby*


      Happy accidents are awesome!

      Friday good news is an important part of my week.

  2. Just Your Everyday Crone*

    I’m fascinated in a car-crash sort of way about what Veronica said about LW1’s hours. Was it like, well, now that you’ve locked that down, you can stop spending all that getting-the-guy-to-marry-you energy and attention on him and use it for work? Glad you got out!

    1. HQB*

      I suspect it was more like “Oh, now that you’ve gotten married you don’t want to focus on work anymore, you just want to focus on domestic life.” It’s easier to blame that than to recognize that you’re running people ragged.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        That’s how I read it–any reluctance to embrace the burnout and take on even more burnout is a sign that this person is a wimp and not dedicated to the job.

      2. MK*

        Yes, and this is why resigning employees giving feedback and/or calling employers put is rarely effective. The employer will almost always blame their leaving on something else.

      3. Artemesia*

        This. This is a ‘well girls aren’t serious about work once they get their man’ comment. And the boss will be flogging that forever because it couldn’t be her bad management.

      4. Elle*

        This is how I read it too. Kinda saw red when I read that. What year does she think this is? Does she think this newly married employee is time traveling back to 1950 and will now be spending too much time ironing shirts and cooking pot roast?? I feel bad for everyone else still under her, especially women.

        Yay for you, though, OP! Glad you’re outta there.

      5. J.B.*

        Two of the worst three supervisors at my previous dysfunctional workplace stood outside my door talking on and on how someone who had worked for each of them moved on because “good people get lots of opportunities”. Nah folks that wasn’t it. I mean he’s good people but sometimes it’s really you.

    2. Spero*

      It’s really common for unrealistic expectations boss to get a very clear and detailed explanation of why someone is unhappy and then decide, nope that’s not possibly true it must be because of XX!! And often times XX is something wildly sexist/racist/inappropriate. That’s the energy I’m getting from Veronica’s comment

  3. Zan Shin*

    LW number 2: you are justifiably very happy; however, as your beloved bubbe would be quick to tell you, you cannot kvell over your own good luck or success. Kvelling is specifically bursting with pride over *another* person!!!! So, dollink, please let US kvell over you!

    1. supertoasty (LW2)*

      Ah! Then I’ll say I’m kvelling over my friends getting their summer jobs :) thank you!

  4. Renee Remains the Same*

    I’m sure you’re Bubbe is also kvelling (wherever she may be) and to quote my Bubbe, feels such naches.

  5. Goldenrod*

    “I think oftentimes (especially when you’re searching while unemployed) it feels scary to do anything other than yell ‘I ACCEPT!’ in the moment – however, if I had done that, I would have lost out on some things that were important to me!”

    This is SO true. In many ways, this is the most challenging moment of the entire process (in my opinion). But so many good things can come from being patient in this very moment where it’s the most difficult to be patient! I agree that Alison’s advice on navigating this is SO valuable.

    Congrats to you all!!! :)

  6. Momma Bear*

    OP1, I’m sitting here thinking “Wow, I thought we weren’t in the 50s anymore” re: Veronica’s comment about your marriage impacting your work. Although life changes have a way of changing priorities, you’ve been clear about your reasons. It’s like she’s grasping at straws to prove it’s not about her…when it actually is. Glad you are getting out of there. Soon they will not be your problem and you’ve given them plenty of notice to find a replacement….or not.

  7. Arts Admin Pro*

    LW#1) Thank you for sharing because that is EXACTLY where I am (minus the Veronica character, thankfully). I really appreciated your original letter. It helped me to stop feeling like I was failing at being a “team player” because I felt so burnt out by my work. And, similarly to you, things have actually only gotten worse. I am thankfully in a similar position to do work in a much more aligned organization, but I wouldn’t have been able to get out of my original failure mindset enough to pursue it if it hadn’t been for your letter. Glad things are going so well for you! Congrats!!

    1. Gary Patterson's Cat*

      I doubt that atmosphere will ever change. Plus it sounded like OP wanted to use those other skills and that the job wasn’t exactly as had been described.

      Long hours might be ok for a certain time, or if you know in advance you have busy periods. But when it’s constant like this it will likely stay like that. Because someone there (the CEO or executives) think that’s how everyone should be. But most of us don’t have a stake in the business that way.

  8. Gary Patterson's Cat*

    “Veronica also alluded to my recent marriage as a reason I might re-evaluate how much time I wanted to dedicate to my work, which is… bananas.”

    WTF is with these managers and employers making personal comments like this when people give their resignation? Reminds me of when I was 23 and I worked long night shifts and then was was told I “needed to evaluate my priorities between work and school” when I did not want to work overtime because of an exam. Guess which one won? LOL! It’s just so clueless and dismissive, like work should be a person’s be-all-end-all in life.

    When I managed people and they gave notice, I used to always say something like I was sorry the company couldn’t offer them more advancement/salary (sometimes you really can’t offer more even if it’s justified), but that I wished them well with their new position and long term career goals. Simply no need to get all personal about it.

  9. Mr. Bob Dobalina*

    OP#1: Good for you! You made the right decision in leaving, and everything that happened when you gave notice just confirms that you made the right decision. Good riddance.

    1. allathian*

      Yeah, absolutely.

      I got married when I was 8 months pregnant and already on maternity leave. Moving in together with my SO didn’t affect my work, although I suspect that when I first met him and started dating him, I wasn’t as focused on work as I normally am, but that passed fairly quickly for me at least…

  10. Bookworm*

    Thank you VERY much to all the LWs for sharing. Always appreciate these letters but this has been another tough week so happy for the happy news! :)

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