it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “Through the years of reading your site, you’ve constantly said that no one needs to have 100% of the qualifications listed in the job posting in order to apply. In the fall, I finally listened to you, applied for a fantastic position, and was so excited to have an interview! After the interview, it was clear that the 20% I didn’t have was way more than 20% of the job, so I didn’t get it. I was disappointed, but definitely understood it wouldn’t have been the right position for me.

However, fast forward a few months later … the hiring manager contacted me asking if I was still potentially interested in a job. They had just created a new position and she had thought of me and my skill set. A few more interviews and I accepted exactly the kind of position I had wished for and it came with some great benefits, a big title bump, 25% raise, free health insurance, and fully remote. Really, the best of all is that I was leaving an environment that quickly turned toxic, and so far have been nothing but impressed by my new position. They have fantastic onboarding, a great mentorship program, my manager has been supportive, the whole nine yards. There are still some skills I have to learn, but I’m excited for room to grow. Thank you for drilling it into my head that a job posting is a bit of a wishlist not 100% requirements!”

2.  “I just received a job offer yesterday after 4 months of unemployment. The salary negotiation was successful too and I was proud of myself for standing up for my own worth!

The reason I was unemployed was that my previous company, let’s call them “Company A,” didn’t treat me well. Within 4 months of joining Company A, I was made responsible for waaaay more than what I was hired to do, both in terms of the kind of tasks as in terms of workload. I protested to my manager but was told it would be very, very temporary as “more people will be hired soon.”

Yet despite a massive 40% growth in sales in the year that I worked there, Company A claimed that they didn’t “have the budget” to hire more people, effectively leaving me to do 3 full-time jobs’ worth of work. They kept promising to hire people “soon” but it never happened.

I couldn’t just drop things from my workload, because lots of people – internally and externally – depended on these tasks being completed. Worst of all, no one but my manager and his manager knew the extent of my workload. Lots of departments thought I was only handling projects for their individual department when in reality I was working for several departments. If I had dropped any work they would have thought I wasn’t doing my job properly and I would have incurred a terrible reputation within the company and with partners and customers alike. I worked so hard that I didn’t have the energy left to search for another job.

So essentially I felt like I was left with the choices to A) get increasingly overworked, B) limit my tasks and incur reputation damage for being a bad colleague/employee, C) quit. I chose the last option and saw my savings dwindle to zero for 4 months because I couldn’t apply for any benefits (as I had chosen to leave my job as opposed to being laid off, I didn’t have any rights to benefits.)

But it was worth the risk, as I got lots of time to recharge, network, do work courses to improve my knowledge and skills, and job search!! Throughout all of this, Ask A Manager was a great inspiration to read.

During my job hunt I spoke to many recruiters and I got great insight into the necessary skills and expertise and what a realistic salary range was for the role I wanted. I turned down a job offer and several offers for interviews because I wanted THE job, not just a job.

Then I found a role that was right up my street! After several rounds of interviews, I received an offer. I made a counter offer which was based on my experience and skills; the salary range I had consistently heard from recruiters; the cost of living in my area; my travel expenses; and then I added some more because I expected that the company would want to negotiate down.. They indeed made a counter-counter offer and it was the salary I was hoping for. I’m so glad!

Now I have found a great new role in a field I’m madly enthusiastic about. I feel vindicated and tremendously relieved.”

3.  “I had sent in a question a few weeks ago on behalf of my partner, who was trying to move out of the administrative assistant niche but didn’t know what kinds of jobs to look for. Well, we won’t need advice on that for a little while (hopefully), as they’ve just accepted a new job that they’re very excited about!

With all of the “great resignation” stuff, and employers struggling to retain and hire, I encouraged my partner, who was absolutely miserable at work, to get up the energy to apply to new jobs. They ended up with a slew of interviews immediately, including one employer that contacted them that day after they’d sent in a very personalized cover letter.

It’s been barely three weeks since this job hunt started, and my partner accepted an offer today and submitted their resignation at their current job. They even opted to negotiate for a different start date, so now they get a couple weeks off between jobs to recover a little from burn-out. The benefits are mostly comparable to what they already had, but include stock options, a hybrid schedule, and (delightfully) a 70% pay raise.

It’s still a job in the same vein as before (executive assistant), but with the increase in pay, guarantee of some WFH (with expectations to move to fully remote at some point), and a completely different organization, we’re hopeful that this will be a much better experience.”

4.  “I manage a fellow who is the quiet type who keeps his nose down and does a good job. He doesn’t need a lot of management, is great at understanding priorities, and takes feedback well. Plus, he’s a good guy.

I inherited him when his salary was set. We did a market study and were able to give him a substantial raise (nearly 30%). He was hired fresh out of school and in a lower cost of living area, which was part of the reason for the lower wages. Obviously location matters much less in today’s market.

The best thing about this is that we were proactive, so he received this raise without asking for it. He was thrilled (in his understated way). Plus I can say I work for a company that actually realized his salary was out of whack with his value. “

{ 29 comments… read them below }

  1. Alex Beamish*

    LW #1: Good for you that you applied anyway, even though you didn’t have 100% of the skills listed. Certainly, in my field (software development), the Skills Required list is often a grab-bag of everything that *might* be required. Even current team members won’t have everything on that list.
    A decent HR department will keep good candidates in mind (just as you described), and follow up with people that they turned down. Hiring someone who was a good candidate but didn’t have quite the right skill set is obviously a much better strategy than junking every candidate that wasn’t interviewed.

    1. PhyllisB*

      Absolutely apply even if you think you don’t fill all requirements. I’ve shared my daughter’s story on here before; she got hired for a job that requires a college degree even though she doesn’t have one. She started not to even try even though in all other ways she was perfect for the position.
      She was later recruited for a similar position but required a masters. (Still doesn’t have a degree, but some CEU’s.) She called me in a quandary. I told her to go for it. For one thing, they reached out to HER, and second, she had nothing to lose by discussing it with them. She got it!! Just goes to show you never know.

    2. Momma Bear*

      Applying anyway got me into a job that turned into a career path I hadn’t considered for myself before. I’m so glad that LW1 applied – and apparently made a great impression! Sounds like a big win on all sides.

      1. LW1*

        Momma Bear – I didn’t even think of the fact that “applying anyway” is really what got me started on this career path 10 years ago… it’s too true that we sometimes don’t take the leap we should. Thanks so much!

    3. tamarack and fireweed*

      Yes, stuff along the lines of #1 happens all the time. I was laid off from my first tech industry job in London, but by that time I came out of it with a reasonably healthy confidence level in my skills. I found another US company that was growing their London office, and they had two or three tech positions on their website. Used the form to express my interest in one of them, knowing I wasn’t a full fit… and immediately got a call from that hiring manager, saying that they were ALSO trying to build up a different team with a slightly different skill angle, but weren’t completely sure yet of their needs. Same seniority level as the one already advertised. Would I be interested to apply. I said yes, had two rounds of interviews and was hired.

  2. Murfle*

    LW 4: That is amazing! Congrats to you for recognizing someone so talented.

    I would *LOVE* to see more updates of this nature. Happy job-hunters are great (I should know, I *was* one!), but I think it’s important to expand the definition of “good news” to encompass managers and companies that treat their employees well. We need more positive examples like this!

    1. Momma Bear*

      I also love this because often the “heads down, just does their work” people are not going to rock the boat, even if they should. I hated being at a company where you didn’t get a raise unless you fought for it. Not only will this employee be happy to be acknowledged and rewarded, this is a great way to retain good talent.

  3. Important Moi*

    LW4: On behalf of “the quiet type who keeps [their] nose down.”

    Thank You.

    You are a good manager.

    1. Gingerbread Gnome*

      It is wonderful to see a manager and company who work proactively to appreciate and keep good, no-drama employees! There are many, many people who stress about being a squeaky wheel, or looking for new jobs on a regular basis, or putting together a proposal for a raise – we just want to rock our job and be compensated fairly! A whole company full of those employees…that is pretty close to heaven.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian*

        Me too. I loved hearing that and so happy for this unknown-to-me quiet, hard worker for having their work rewarded.

  4. LPUK*

    Letter 3 was great and reminded me of my own experience of this. I joined a new company after a somewhat protracted interview process and by the time the offer was made my original contact had disappeared so I didn’t have anyone t negotiate pay offer with… so I accepted. 6 months later, in discussion with my boss, he made a comment about how the company paid well and I gave a sort of muffled snort which he asked me to explain. I told him that the offer I got did not take my bonus scheme into account as it was ‘discretionary’, but I was on the same scheme as senior leadership, notably the CEO and CFO ,and scheme was based on profit, so obviously it paid out every year. He said something along the lines of ‘that shouldn’t have happened’ but nothing more, and I didn’t bring it up again. 6 months later I moved to a new team, new boss, 6 months after that my new boss called me in and said that I was receiving an immediate pay rise… which was also being backdated to my joining date. I was flabbergasted that two different managers, neither of whom knew me that well at that point, had fought for me to get the salary I should have had, and it really made me feel good about that company. never had it happen before or since

  5. Momma Bear*

    LW#3 – I had to read that twice – a 70% raise! Wow! Sounds like your partner was both seriously undervalued and underpaid prior. Congrats all around.

    1. Mrs. Pommeroy*

      Right?! I also thought I had misread.
      And, working in a job you don’t like all that much but with good pay, often means you can enjoy your free time much better – instead of fretting about both having a job you dislike and having too little money – leaving you generally more relaxed and satisfied.

  6. Bookworm*

    YAY for the Friday Good News! It’s been yet another long week, so always great to read these shares. Thanks again to the LWs and to Alison!!

  7. DivineMissL*

    LW #1 – Congratulations to you! That’s fantastic. I will share that I recently applied for a job for which I didn’t really fit the requirements – it asked for rather specific experience in addition to the related experience I do have. But I sent in my resume to the CEO, along with a killer cover letter. The next day, I received a very kind response from the CEO saying that although they were looking for those specific skills, he was very impressed with my resume and my cover letter, saying I was an excellent writer (thanks Alison for the tips!). I thanked him for his response and kind remarks; I told him I hoped he would find the perfect person for the position (even if it wasn’t me) and asked him to keep me in mind if anything else should come up. Today, I received an email from him again, telling me that they had filled the other position but asking me to come in and meet with the Chair and him to discuss other opportunities. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but it felt really great to get such a positive response.

    1. ShinyPenny*

      Well done! You really conveyed what a great employee you would be for them and I’m so glad they got the message!
      The Friday good news stories really brighten up the week. Thanks to everyone who shared!

    2. LW1*

      What an amazing impression you must have made! I have my fingers crossed and I’m sending you all the positive vibes!

  8. cheeselightning*

    Shout out to LW #4, and I hope to see more employers catch up. That’s how you keep great people.

  9. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    Re #1 = often, a job posting will have a slew of requisities/what they’re looking for. This gives employers a justification to reject anyone, because no one will have all of those qualities. This is used (quite often) to reject qualified internal candidates. “We were looking for aomeone with A, B, C, D, E, and F – but you didn’t have C” — even if it’s a skill that can be quickly acquired, they go to the street.

    In the IS/IT world, where things change/flop over every three years or so, an employer might say “gee whiz we can’t find anyone, we may have to go off$hore”…. and is seeking five years’ experience, on a platform or software system that has only been around for two or three years. But a computer consulting firm will claim that they have someone who has that experience, and will make him/her available for less than your American employee costs you.

    Then after management goes through this scheme, “SURPRISE!”

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      I might add, experience has shown this to be the most common cause for recalling fired/laid-off employees.

  10. Squirrel Nutkin*

    I love all of these and am so happy for everyone, but LW#4, you really warmed my heart.

    As someone who was WAY underpaid for years (still underpaid compared to new hires) to the point where I wasn’t able to afford to have kids, and who is still an angry, bitter person because of it, I feel like sending you a big internet hug. Bless you and your company for being proactive and doing the right thing.

    And a curse on all those who pat themselves on the back for “economizing” by not paying their employees enough.

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