it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I have a niche specialization within an already pretty small and tight-knit field. For the past several years I’ve had what on paper looked like a ‘dream job’ but in actuality kept growing more and more unsustainable and crazy-making. Short version of the drama: major structural changes imposed over which I had no control but which had serious negative impacts on my ability to do my job; a boss who, while a lovely human, never passed up any opportunity to not make a decision; and a growing clarity that I had done all the advocacy I could on my own, and that staying was only going to have increasingly terrible consequences for my mental health and family life.

I had been low-key looking since the end of 2019, and then when things got even worse in the spring of 2021, I ramped up my search while trying to be selective about where I applied so as a) not to wind up in this situation again and b) not to burn any bridges if I could help it. I was a finalist or sem-finalist for most of the jobs I applied for, but never got an actual offer. Until I did! I was able to negotiate for my salary to be at the top of their range (instead of in the middle) and a few other things in a very low-drama, low-stress way, thanks to all the advice here.

I’m about a month in to working in a new organization, in a very different sub-sector of my field, and I am so happy! My team is collaborative and supportive while also very appreciative of my particular skills and background, my boss and my grandboss are both really excited to have me on board and want to make sure I have all I need to succeed. And (this one I still have trouble believing) my boss was adamant that for my first month of work she wasn’t expecting anything of me other than to talk to lots of different people and learn all I could about the work my organization does in the world.

Your Friday good news posts were one of the things that gave me hope over my long slog of feeling stuck in a job that was bad for me – thank you so much for everything you do!”

2.  “I’ve been a long time reader, and wanted to write in to say thank you. I recently decided I wanted to make a big move career wise, and change industries all together. It was scary and felt really daunting, but your archives were so helpful.

Making a big change – a whole new industry and a new job focus all in one – I really relied on your advice about cover letters and interviewing. Since my resume on its own wouldn’t stand out in a sea of resumes with more direct exact experience, I made sure my cover letter had its own voice, and explained why I thought my tangentially related experience would translate and actually make me a strong contender with a unique background. Instead of downplaying my differences, I highlighted them, and It worked! I started getting interviews, and I decided to go to all of them for practice and to see what I could learn, keeping in mind what you say about interviews being a two-way street. I learned to say no to follow-up interviews if the hours, pay, or work structure wasn’t what I wanted, and take it all as a learning experience and good interview practice so I could be more confident when the right one came along…which it did! I start a new position in about 2 weeks, and the hiring team said my unique experience, and clear cover letter kept drawing them back to me. I wasn’t nervous at all in the interview, since I had been practicing and went into it like a conversation, not an interrogation. I am so thankful for your site and all of your advice! ”

3.  “I last changed jobs at the start of the pandemic for something that I thought would not only be a way out of an increasingly bad situation, but also genuinely something that seemed interesting and could be a long-term kind of deal. That proved not to be true — it was a start up that has been plagued by low pay (both for the area and for the role), poor management, lack of processes, you name it.

When my boss approached me in January to add more to my plate when I already felt like I was drowning, I realized something had to change. Coincidentally, a recruiter reached out right around that same time from a company I would be thrilled to work with. I revised my resume to focus on areas listed in the job description and wrote a customized cover letter, then I put in for the job. They called for an initial screening, and then an interview, and then another. The final interview was a lot more involved than I’m used to but instead of feeling intimidated, I felt confident and ready to show what I could bring to the table. When the offer came through last week, it was towards the top of the ‘dream’ range I had given them and didn’t think I would ever get. Alison, it’s a 40% increase. It is literally life-changing. But more than that, I’m going to be doing work I’m interested in, in an industry I’m excited about, with people who are working on incredible things. I couldn’t be happier. I’ve read Ask a Manager for years, but it never ceases to amaze me just how on point your advice (and that of the commentariat) is, from interviewing, to giving notice, to how to handle everyday (or not so everyday!) situations at work. Thank you so much.”

4.  “I had been working in academia for nearly 5 years and was miserable for most of that time but due to doing lot’s of contract roles and short term experience roles I felt I had to stay somewhere long term to bolster my CV but I always felt undervalued, was criminally under paid for my job and was really struggling. Just before the pandemic I had made the decision to start looking for a new job but then Covid-19 hit and it made more sense to have job stability and a solid income over my mental health so I halted my search and toughed it out for 2 more years. Working for academia within a hospital setting was hell for that 2 years and with a huge rise in work load and barely getting a ‘thanks’ for anything at all even when going above and beyond just drained my soul; rude co-workers who didn’t manage their time which then impacted mine, threw me under the bus and making me drop everything to get them out of a bind cause I was the only one who could do the work and some people with ‘strong personalities’ whom I butted heads with I was actually in work mandated therapy.

I was miserable and desperate to leave and after loosing out on a ‘dream role’ after being their second choice I was so disheartened I was so desperate to leave but out of the blue a job that suited me entirely fell in to my lap via my best friend and she encouraged me and gave me the confidence to apply.

I interviewed one Friday afternoon, was offered the role lunch time on Saturday and I put my notice in the first thing on Monday morning. My notice period was chaotic, with my boss pouring as much work on me as she could and basically being in denial until basically the last 5 minutes before I was due to finish but I left as many notes as I could and was done.

I started my new role a month ago and I couldn’t be happier. I am in a job that is so fulfilling as it is combining my hobby with my work experience. I work in a small but incredible team who treat me with respect and gratitude, they’re so welcoming and friendly and have gone out of their way to teach me and bring me up to speed in the role and I leave work everyday smiling and looking forward to the next day.

I have waited so long in my career for this role and after years of doing roles that were never truly what I wanted to do I am over the moon to finally have got what I have wanted for so long. I used to read the Friday Good News posts with envy always thinking ‘Why can’t that be me?’ but now it finally is.”

{ 15 comments… read them below }

  1. Momma Bear*

    Agreed – great roundup this week. Glad to hear people getting out of soul-crushing situations.

  2. Annie Oakley*

    This is one of my favorite features! Congratulations and much success to all the LWs.

  3. Just ask*

    How fantastic for all the letter writers! Such amazing results for all of them is encouraging to the rest of us.

  4. Differently wired*

    These updates make me so happy. I love starting the weekend with good news

  5. Waffles*

    In more Friday good news..

    Amazon workers at Staten Island won their union vote this morning!

    Congratulations to the workers! and looking forward to more Amazon workers (and all American workers in general) standing up for better working conditions.

  6. Squirrel Nutkin*

    Congratulations to everyone, and esp to LW#4 — I’m so thrilled for you that you made it out of academia and are not being exploited anymore!

  7. Agnessa*

    ” And (this one I still have trouble believing) my boss was adamant that for my first month of work she wasn’t expecting anything of me other than to talk to lots of different people and learn all I could about the work my organization does in the world.”

    That’s the way it should be, but I’m typically given 2-3 days to do this.

  8. Lulucatheadsillyluck*

    In academia if you are competent and have a great work ethic, you are only rewarded with more work!

Comments are closed.