it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “Back in March of 2020 I lost my job due to the pandemic and it was rough. It took me over a year to feel comfortable to even apply for positions because of anxiety and fear that my parents would get sick due to them being in a high risk age group. Yet through all of that, I would still pop over to AAM for a dose of advice and storytelling.

After getting vaccinated, I felt ready to try entering the workforce and began to apply, apply, apply with varying degrees of success. I’d get one or two interviews and then nothing. For a while I was feeling pretty disheartened as my funds were running out and my debt was creeping up. But I then reconnected with a recruiter that I had used in the past and they started going to work for me. I had multiple interviews for interesting positions that I did end up turning down because I knew they wouldn’t be right for me long term.

Finally, in late March 2021, I took a position as a Personal Assistant/Executive Assistant. And while it was a good job that kept me engaged, it was also causing anxiety attacks. My boss had never had anyone in the position before and I was creating everything from scratch. Literally! I had to build a file cabinet! I ended up resigning from that position and was able to train my replacement so that my boss wouldn’t have a delay in coverage.

There were a few more months where I was without a position but I worked again with the recruiter and got a position at the end of September 2021. The hiring managers from the first interview couldn’t wait for me to start.They were upfront about my boss-to-be’s style and quirks and told me that my resume didn’t do me justice. Once I arrived in-house, it was a good fit. Just a really great team atmosphere where people are encouraged to grow and find the right role for themselves. Everyone was welcoming while also able to joke around. Very quickly they wanted to bring me on as a full employee, but had to wait due to the contract with the staffing agency.

Well, today I signed my offer letter! I did ask for a little more in salary and benefits, but ultimately couldn’t get them because of how the benefits were structured. The HR manager was very apologetic that they couldn’t waive wait times for me. That said, it was still a generous offer that I took with no heartache. It was my first time trying to negotiate, and I felt very empowered by the process.

Thank you to Alison and the whole AAM community for keeping me smiling and pushing through for these past two years.”

2.  “I spent a long time unemployed with physical and mental health issues, lost several jobs because of them, and was afraid I was outright unemployable with how bad my work history was. But a retail manager gave me an interview and hired me, and now after six months at the store I’ve just finished the interview process—at my boss’s explicit invitation barely five months into my tenure—and been promoted to a management position! I asked your magic question in my interview. Thank you for giving me such a window into how the work world works to help me get on my feet!”

3.  “I’ve been reading Ask a Manager practically since I started uni, and it feels almost full circle that I’ve been able to send you this bit of good news just as I’ve wrapped up my degree (and is degree related).

Basically, I’ve spent the past six years studying part time and working at the same position in a school, in one of those roles that there’s really only the budget for one of them and there’s minimal cross training in. These are the kind of roles that don’t come up very often (can’t get much better than part time hours and paid school holidays) – the woman I replaced had started when I was a student at the same school and was a little shy of a decade in the role and the same could be said community wide in other schools. Admittedly it wasn’t a smooth start there, because as government jobs go I was offered a handful of contracts before I moved to permanency, but it was well worth that initial uncertainty, and I really was only ever looking to move on because part time government job = part time government pay. I did a couple of things in my resignation process that aren’t normally advisable and that I’d never do anywhere else – I notified my supervisor I would be resigning a year in advance and still confirmed that resignation 3 months in advance, at which stage I didn’t have another job lined up – but I was in a unique position where they genuinely needed as much lead time as possible so that they could train my replacement and even on the day I left, were promising me casual work in the new year should I need it.

But – and here comes the good news! – as of today, I officially don’t need it! I was sending applications out in dribs and drabs as the end of the school year loomed and had a couple of interviews that I never heard from again, but in the last week of school, while browsing Seek, I saw an opening for doing just one part of the job I’d been doing for six years at very nearly double the pay in the town over. I jumped on it, wrote the most personal cover letter of my life, leaned a lot harder into the skills that directly transferred to this new job (which I could only indirectly do before now because my degree was definitely not in Education Administration) and four hours after I’d sent my resume off, I got a call asking if I could interview the next day. In the comedy of errors that I’m sure was being documented that day, I was very nearly late because I came out of an appointment to a ridiculously flat tire, but on a hope and a prayer I got there only looking a little frazzled and with a couple of grease stains on my hands, rode the adrenalin through the interview and thought I did alright. They told me at the time they were hoping to have a decision at the end of the week, and as I was expecting, they hadn’t called either way at the end of the week. I put it out of my mind for the time being, still hopeful but also realistic and kept applying for jobs, but today, I got a call offering me the job and start mid-next month! Admittedly, although there are some parts of my degree that intersect with the job, it’s still not directly related, but I don’t mind at all. It’s largely work I’ve already been doing for a few years and know I’ve enjoyed and looked to be equivalent pay to mid-level jobs in the field I was looking at going into, and now I officially get to enjoy the next couple of weeks as actual holidays before jumping into 2022 with a bang!” (Note from Alison: yes, this one was from December and has been sitting for a while.)

{ 18 comments… read them below }

    1. No Longer Looking*

      I’ve had 3-6 months before I could use PTO, and over a year before being eligible for an ESOP. Health and 401k usually start right away though.

      1. HQB*

        My health and dental insurance didn’t kick in until the first day of the month following my start date. So someone who started May 31 would have insurance beginning June 1. Someone who started June 1 wouldn’t have insurance until July.

    2. Cat Lover*

      I think it’s pretty standard for PTO to have a wait period. Health insurance and other stuff kicks in sooner if not immediately.

  1. Bookworm*

    Thanks to all the LWs for writing in. It’s been another long week and today in particular. I appreciate all these good news bits.

  2. Pikachu*

    Public Service Announcement

    For anyone reeling in the wake of Friday’s bad news, you can safely obtain abortion medications from You do not need to be pregnant yet. The website is currently down, but this is a safe and reliable service. Spread the word.

    1. Artemesia*

      Good. The only way to avoid the punitive financial fine and bounty hunter laws is to stockpile this stuff in advance of need — and as middle aged and older women, stockpile it for the young women in your family and circle. A young woman trying to get the meds WHEN pregnant is at great risk of bounty hunter laws.

      1. Pikachu*

        I went through the process couple months ago. Cost is about $100 (but they will decrease if you request financial assistance), meds showed up in about 5 weeks. I’m not pregnant and planning on a bisalp when it’s financially feasible but I feel so much better knowing I have options locked in my safe. My state’s trigger ban went into effect already.

        1. Felis alwayshungryis*

          From someone outside the US, I’m sad and horrified at what’s happened. Uterus owners need to stand together.

  3. LW3*

    So this was perfect timing as I actually was considering writing in an update this week, given I have now officially passed my probation period at the new job! It’s been a whirlwind in the best of ways and even though I definitely was across the core of the job, I’ve been stretched in ways that I couldn’t anticipate and have loved. There’s been event planning and I was given the freedom to run with implementing a process that will streamline a major part of my job, officially opening me up to do more tasks related to my degree, that tie in well with my current position.

    My probation review was honestly one of the loveliest things that I’ve ever had the honour of listening to, and just really capitalised the fact that I feel truly appreciated in this job in a way I wasn’t necessarily feeling at my old one. And now, I continue to look to the future with excitement and optimism!

  4. LW 2*

    I actually have since gotten a second promotion and am now full time!

    The one downside is that the manager who hired me has since gotten fired for an altercation with a customer, and her best friend who is still a manager here bears me a grudge over it because I was a witness to the incident and I guess because I told HR the truth? She treats me like crap and it sucks. I’m going to talk to our store manager about it because it’s just getting worse and it’s genuinely difficult to work with her at all when she’s alternating between pretending I don’t exist and snapping curt orders at me. (Also I am reasonably sure she’s shit talking me to the other employees, because apparently she tried to do so to one who’s a good friend of mine who had to shut her down because she was not interested in hearing me shit talked. Said friend is the one who told me that the other manager straight up told her she bears me a grudge.)

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