it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “Three months ago I was summarily fired by my main employer (75% of my job, health insurance, 401(k) match, etc.). A Zoom meeting I thought was going to fine tune my role was instead him reading from a legal statement about laying me off as of that day. I was completely blindsided and stunned. I reached out to 3 other people I worked with for the remaining 8 hours each week, and they increased my hours but I was still only around half time. I’m only 5 years from retirement and this was really going to hurt. I needed to keep my social security earnings boosted, for example.

Even in my complete shock I realized that if this employer offered me my job back, I wouldn’t take it (over the past 10 years, I probably wrote and discarded 4 resignation letters and googled narcissistic disorders several times. I was pretty sure that in a few months I’d look back on this day and be grateful for it.

I reached out here and there to others in my company who could perhaps use my help. As a result of the AAM community and reading each and every column, my approaches were full of self-confidence as was my resume.

As of yesterday I am fully employed again and each of my employers says they feel like they’ve won the lottery. Our home and regional office encouraged one of the guys to hire me; it was affirming to know I had a good reputation. I’ll be more of an appreciated practice partner than the somewhat contentious relationship I was in before. Financially, I’m relieved I don’t need to turn off charitable donations, and I’ll be able to afford to travel to see my new grandson a few times a year.

Thank you to this awesomely supportive community. Believe in yourself and proceed accordingly!”

2.  “First, the bad news: my father’s health is rapidly declining, and as none of my siblings or I live in our home state anymore, we’ve been taking turns flying or making the long drive to be with him in the hospital and then nursing home, help our mother make decisions, keep track of all the medical news, etc.

The good news is that everyone I work with has been incredibly supportive. Before I even interviewed with this employer, everyone I knew who had worked there raved about the work-family balance and about how the employers treated you like a human being, not just a cog. I’m so pleased to find this reputation borne out! My bosses have all been completely supportive and understanding of my need to take last-minute time off, to only be intermittently available on certain days, etc. And another boss took the time to research for me how I can get leave without pay approved, should I need it before I become officially eligible for FMLA. Everyone has emphasized that family comes first, and that they’re very happy with the work I’ve done so far, and that they understand they won’t be seeing me at my best for the next few weeks.
It’s so wonderful to have an employer that respects people’s personal obligations and to be supportive, even of employees who’ve been there less than a year!”

3.  “I’ve worked at my job for a few years and enjoy it for the most part. We have a good culture, I really like the majority of my coworkers, my work/life balance is decent, etc. The only true pain point was the small amount of PTO the company offered. Sick and vacation time were all pooled into one pot for us to use at any time, but even with that, I had less than three weeks of PTO a year.

During my annual review this year, instead of asking for a higher raise (we got a small COL automatically), I decided to ask for two additional days of PTO for the year, with the stipulation that it didn’t count towards the extra days I would receive at an upcoming milestone year with the company.

My grand-grand-boss said that instead of just giving me more PTO, they were going to have HR look into what was standard in our industry and would adjust PTO for everyone.

Though it took over a month and a half for our HR company to get back to us, I’m thrilled to say I got more than I asked for! There is an entirely new PTO structure for the entire company, and I now have two additional weeks(!!!!) to take off this year.

Other than having ample time off, the thing I’m most excited about is that my job didn’t just grease the squeaky wheel, but saw they were not up to par on this issue and made changes for everyone.”

4.  “I left outside work 26 years ago to work from home for myself and raise a stack of kids. That’s gone pretty well, but life threw some interesting changes last year, and recently I determined I needed outside employment to do what I want and need to do. I’ve been reading Ask A Manager for years, and turning nearly 34 years of work experiences into a concise resume was made far easier by all I’ve read here.

On a recent Friday, a friend made me aware of an opening that was in my skill set, but I knew my resume would be highly atypical compared to what the hiring manager was likely to see for the role. I completed the application packet on Sunday afternoon, and addressed the atypicality first thing in my cover letter, then went on to explain why I thought my unusual background was an asset to them, as it shows I have the problem-solving, triage, and flexibility to contribute on top of the solid skills. And … it worked! Monday I got an email to do a phone screen with HR on Wednesday, which led to an interview with the hiring manager on Friday (sent a cheerful thank you email directly after), and this morning I got a call with the offer — I start in two weeks. It’s a baseline compensation package that more than meets my needs now, has good annual bonus potential, and regular reviews for compensation rises, plus there’s potential for growth in the organization. I’m feeling pretty awesome about it, considering three weeks ago, I was not feeling confident about the path forward! Thanks for your great advice over the years!”

{ 32 comments… read them below }

    1. Bexy Bexerson*

      Right on. I am super impressed with how the employer handled this. People often hate to admit they’ve been doing something poorly, and companies are even worse about it. Props to LW3’s employer for taking real action to retain good employees…at so many places, retention efforts are lipservice at best.

    2. Anonym*

      #3 you’re a hero!!!! Well done! You should be so proud! And it’s a great reminder to all of us that advocating for yourself can help others, too!

    3. Ruby + Rowdy*

      OP #3 here! So not everyone got 2 more weeks, but almost everyone received between 2 days and 10 days, based on your current level of seniority. I got the max amount since I’ve worked here for a while, but a ton of employees are also coming up to this milestone as well within the next year or two!

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        But regardless – your comment helped lead to getting everybody more vacation time. Even if some people only got two more days, it’s still an improvement for everyone.

      2. Mrs. Pommeroy*

        Your asking for more PTO is what got everyone more, OP! Even the most junior employee got the amount of PTO more that you as a senior employee felt comfortable reasonably askinf for! That is huge for everyone! I am glad you asked your employer for mor PTO and very glad your employer reacted how they did!

    4. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

      Really great all around. Good for you for speaking up for what you needed!

  1. PivotPivot*

    I love the Friday good news, but number one really hit home for me. I am an older worker, looking to retire in maybe 7-8 years. Hearing your success at finding another position and a good one at that, is very encouraging!

    1. Chilipepper Attitude*

      Same. I am older and just found a great job that I plan to keep for a while.
      I never thought I would find this job!

      Congrats to all the good news posters!

    2. Trawna*

      I’m was in the same boat. My new job is so good I barely know what to do with the part of my being that usually deals with stress.

    3. Hmmmmm*

      My mother is in the same boat, and she just turned in her notice to her horrible, stressful job this week. She’s moving on to a new job that’s a little lower in pay, but significantly better in benefits (esp. ones better for retirement like 401k matching). And she no longer has to be on call, work after 5, or work Saturdays.

      I’m really proud of her, because she’s been talking about doing this for years but had thought her age/salary now would keep her from being able to get a new job, and she thought she ought to “tough it out” since she’s a few years to retirement. Sometimes she has trouble doing good things for herself–so we’re lucky i got pregnant with her first grandchild, giving her the motivation she needed to finally get a work/life balance that works for her. Anything’s possible if you value yourself and your work!

    4. Lady_Lessa*

      I, too, got a good job when I was in my early 60’s, and am having a ball. Except for too much computer work today. I’m a lab chemist.

  2. Somewhere in Texas*

    LW#3- I love this update! I enjoy all of the new job good news posts, but I really love seeing a small action for you have such a positive impact on your company as a whole. Go you (and enjoy your time off!)!

  3. Happily Retired*

    #2, best wishes to you and your family during this time, and I’m thankful that your company actually walks the walk!

    1. bleh*

      Sending you all the positive energy; I just went through this situation, and family is so so important. I’m glad your employer is flexing to meet your needs.

  4. Actuary Mom*

    #4- congratulations & thank you for the encouragement! My husband has been out of the workforce for 5 years, has been doing some side projects in that time, but has decided to return to the workforce but not in the industry he was previously in. He has addressed this in his cover letter, but no bites so far. But I’m happy to read your success story & we’ll keep trying!

    1. HistoryLiz*

      I’m glad it’s an encouragement! I hope you hear some great things for your household soon!

  5. Daisy*

    I just wanted to add some good news of my own to this thread! I’ve been in an abusive and discriminatory employer relationship for months with a known racist who’s also ableist (and used a request for a very minor accommodation to assume I couldn’t do key aspects of my job that I’ve been praised on repeatedly!)

    Well, yesterday I sent in my resignation because I’m moving to a new company! I work well with their leadership, who have the same ideals as me when it comes to what supervision looks like. I’ll be supervising a team of 4-6 and working on projects I love! And best of all, my new boss is someone who has already demonstrated that they can treat those who report to them with respect. I’m just overjoyed!

    1. OxfordBlue*

      Daisy, I’m half crazy, all for the love of you! Jolly well done, enjoy your new job.

  6. Grieving Sister*

    #2 – I posted on the 4th of July free-for-all about my brother’s death on June 27 and mentioned how my company has been the most supportive of all the people in my sphere.

    When I interviewed with them, I was making a mid-life career switch and, after decades of toxic work places, knew that I wanted to work for a “kind” company. I told that to every company I interviewed with (in more professional language), and their reactions were telling.

    Some interviewers’ faces shut down, some looked nervous but gave me a PR-level spiel about how they value work-life balance, but the company I work for now… every single person’s face softened and they all gave personal examples of how the company had gone out of its way to treat them like human beings and help them through difficult circumstances.

    And, with the death of my brother, I now have my own personal example of what it looks like for management and peers to be kind and compassionate.

    OP2, I’m sorry about your father’s health but I am grateful to hear of another company that actually cares about its employees. There was a time in my life when I honestly didn’t think any existed.

    1. Forrest Gumption*

      This is so heartwarming and a great tactic for others who are wondering how to tell if a workplace is truly kind!

    2. Frickityfrack*

      It’s amazing how much of a difference a genuinely supportive employer can make. My dad was diagnosed with cancer last year, a couple of days after I accepted an offer to return to my old job. It obviously wasn’t a great time to make a move, and I was really stressed about whether I’d end up having to quit in order to care for him. My boss (who was my boss when I worked here before) immediately donated enough leave that I was able to take time off for his appointments, then she and my coworkers stepped up to cover me one day a week so I could switch to 4 10s as his disease progressed.

      When we hit the point that he needed full time care, I’d been back long enough to qualify for the caregiver leave my job offers (12 weeks, 10 of which are 100% paid), and they all stepped up *again* to cover the 3+ days a week I was home. He died on Tuesday and I’m back in the office because I want to be and welcome the distraction, not because anyone made me feel like I need to be. Actually, my boss told me this morning that if I need to leave at any time, she’ll cover me.

      I very literally don’t know how I would’ve made it through this without my coworkers. I know it’s not usually healthy to feel like you owe your employer anything, but my work group has always had my loyalty and this confirmed that it was well-placed.

    3. Move Slow and Fix Things*

      This is great. Do you remember what professional language you used to say you wanted to work for a kind company? I would really like to copy your tactic and I wonder what exactly to say.

  7. Bookworm*

    Thanks to all the LWs for sharing their good news! I always enjoy being able to read something lighter at the end of the week.

  8. Gary Patterson's Cat*

    #1 Sometimes being laid off is a blessing. I’ve actually asked to be laid off at one particularly toxic place.
    Just be sure to get things in writing so they won’t dispute your unemployment claim, and also as to what will be said if they get a reference check call. And you can absolutely negotiate some of this before you leave!

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