it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I’ve been casually looking for a new job for a while. I do like my current job–my team is great, I love my boss–but I’m badly underpaid and it came down to finances. I ramped up my search last fall, and had a couple nibbles, but nothing panned out, including a phone screen where they told me they wanted to interview me and then ghosted me. (What’s up with that?) Anyway, a few weeks ago I applied for a job that looked really good, and they called me the next day to schedule a phone screen. Fast-forward to today and I GOT THE JOB!! It’s a 50% raise (I did say I was underpaid) and fully remote, which is ideal for me. I’ll start in about a month, and I’m so excited. My New Year’s resolution this year was to get a new job that would allow me to afford a new-to-me car by the winter, so I don’t get snowed in forever, and…I think I just did it! ”

2.  “In 2015 I graduated with a degree and no career path after leaving the military. So I fell back on Army skills for 7 years with a company while continuing my search.

I picked up a post-grad certificate in 2019 in a narrower discipline of my grad degree and conducted 30+ information interviews out trying to break into the field over 3 years. Terrible advice across the board- start a blog! get an internship! go back to school! take a lower position than you’re currently looking at! I can’t. I live in Washington, DC with 3 cats and a high COL. (I was already looking at a 30k USD pay cut by trying to get a new job.)

Position comes up. I do a solid application and cover letter (frequently revisiting your archives, tyvm). Position is removed due to lack of funding. But it comes up again 6 months later! I update my resume for the work I’d been doing, change the date on my cover letter and resubmit.

Interviews, offers, negotiations for salary. They’re paying me 15k USD above my current salary with 5 days WFH and work trips out of country to a continent I’ve never visited before. I start my dream job on my 35th birthday. My present to myself.”

3.  “I can’t remember how I found you, but it has been at least 5 years since I began reading your blog. It has been at turns hilarious, inspiring, and genuinely helpful – thank you! It was especially nice during the pandemic to read the “Friday Good News” posts and, finally, I get to contribute one of my own!

A little over 3 years ago, I started a job in my field right out of grad school. It was a good job, if rather low-paying, and it was pretty much exactly what I wanted to be doing, so I was happy to take it. Cut to the middle of last year, and after not getting one single penny of a raise for that whole time (not even COL!!), I was done. In addition to the low pay, I was basically being treated as a glorified admin assistant, even though that’s not what I was hired to do, and any request to increase my responsibility was met with excuses. So after a few months and several interviews later, I landed a job with an organization I had previously done an internship with, and loved. It came better pay, was fully remote, and seemed like it was the kind of place where I could grow my career. Yay!

Except that’s not what happened. After 5 harrowing weeks in the worse position I have ever held in my career (no support, too many tasks, late nights and weekends right from the beginning, with a soupçon of gaslighting to boot), and several sobbing sessions later, I quit with nothing lined up. Yikes.

Well, thanks to the support of my very understanding spouse, as well as this blog, I just lined up an even better job with even more pay (over 80% higher than the first job – clearly I was underpaid)! I was able to negotiate that salary along with a hiring bonus, a WOH stipend to set up my office, and the ability to do what I love.

Thanks again for all of the advice, and best of luck to those of you still on the hunt!”

4.  “For 13 years, I worked in non-profits and government. I always enjoyed my work and colleagues, but was perpetually trying to pivot to the private sector. This led to long, unsuccessful job application periods (sometimes up to 2-3 years) that frustrated the heck out of me, at times making me think of quitting with nothing lined up. These past two years I’ve had a massive turnaround, and I credit a lot of it to being a long-time reader of yours.

In early 2020 after almost two years of trying to leave my job, I finally got hired into a new role. I went from a manager to an SVP and got a 53% raise. I later learned I beat out my boss for the role, as well as others with 20 more years of experience than I had. The job ended up being a perfect pandemic job. I was able to work remotely, with a lot of autonomy, and move into a much nicer apartment (with sunlight!) with my salary upgrade. I’ve really enjoyed my work, but it’s still a government role where I encountered an automatic ceiling in terms of promotional opportunities.

Two years later, I recently started looking into private sector roles again now that I’d gained confidence with my higher title and uptick in responsibility. I saw one at a major tech company where my friend worked that looked like it was up my alley. He referred me, and after a one-month application process that was by far the smoothest I’ve ever had (they gave me specific timelines and actually adhered to them, providing clear communication every step of the way), I was offered the role. When they presented me with the compensation package, I felt like I was on a different planet. All in, the total is more than $100k what I’m making now, and is 3 times what I was making two years ago. It’s obvious they were trying to clinch the deal in the era of the Great Resignation because they came in $30k over what I asked for.

Since it’s a bigger company, there’s more opportunity to move between departments, gain promotions, and most importantly for me, potentially work abroad. I’m beyond thrilled and want to thank you for all the work you do! You are a beacon of practicality and reasonableness in a world full of buffoonery and chaos.”

{ 18 comments… read them below }

  1. All Het Up About It*

    These are some great Friday good news!
    The salary increases here are insane. I’m so happy for the LWs.

    1. OP #1*

      When I had my exit interview with my old company I was as blunt as possible: You need to pay people more or you’re going to keep losing them. I really liked my job and my team, but a 50% raise is not something I can afford to turn down. My old company is known for not paying super competitively and in my last two years there I saw a lot of long-time talent leave for financial reasons.

      1. Sara without an H*

        Yes, when you systematically underpay people, they will leave, even if you have a good organizational culture and decent management. Congratulations on your new position!

      2. OP#3*

        Yeah, same thing here. I really liked my team and enjoyed the work for the most part, but eventually I had to move on because there was *literally* no growth in that position. I mean, not one cent in raise over three years?? Give me a break.

        Anyway, I love what I do now and I’m really happy to have made the decision to move on, no matter how much I liked my coworkers. I’m not getting paid for my loyalty, I’m getting paid to work!

    2. Momma Bear*

      That’s partially how you know you were woefully underpaid.

      Happy Birthday to you, OP #2! Glad you were able to reapply.

  2. Chauncy Gardener*

    OP4 this quote ” in a world full of buffoonery and chaos” made my day!
    That and your and the other three OPs’ wonderful news. Congrats!!

  3. L in DC then TX*

    LW2: Congratulations! I retire from the military in a little over a year and you are giving me hope :)

    And yes, Transition’s advice is usually pretty terrible. I wish AAM ran it!

    1. Gary Patterson's Cat*

      Glad you finally found something! I don’t think you should totally discount internships though #2. They can help you transition to a new career and get a little bit of experience in new fields. But of course it depends on the field and also age. As an adult, I found there aren’t many internship opportunities, even if you’re in grad school, and it’s certainly not some be-all, end-all solution.

      It’s like when people advise that to find a job it’s ALL about your NETWORKING! Well, I’ve never found my jobs by networking, but I found plenty using the job board sites you’re not supposed to rely on. Go figure.

  4. Bookworm*

    Thanks again to all the LWs for sharing their good news! Always great to end the week with some happy updates. :)

  5. Karia*

    LW1: yes, companies; if you aren’t sure, or definitely won’t, please just stop promising things like this? It is fine to be vague and say, e.g. that we are under consideration. Jobseekers can comprehend a maybe and / or a soft no. Stop saying that we have an interview or even the job, when that isn’t the case. I switched off my ‘open to opportunities’ button on LinkedIn after 5-6 incidents like this.

  6. Squirrel Nutkin*

    Congratulations, everyone — these are heartwarmingly wonderful! Happy Birthday, OP #2, and OP #3, I’m thrilled that you were able to ditch a toxic environment quickly. Kudos!

  7. Brain the Brian*

    Yowza, those are some serious salary increases! Companies, take note: pay people, or they will leave!

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