it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I just wanted to share that Friday is going to be my last day at the toxic company I’ve spent the last 7 years at and I couldn’t be happier! I was one of the go-to employees for just about everything and the workload, requests, and more just became too much to handle when added to my regular day-to-day responsibilities (which involve guiding a total overhaul of our custom technology). I was just plain burnt out. I went through a phase last year where I was tempted to leave. I applied to several positions and was offered a new gig, but ended up accepting the counteroffer my company provided because it also came with a lot of great ideas to fix the problems I was bringing up. I am here to admit my mistake and loudly proclaim that ALISON WAS RIGHT in advising that accepting a counteroffer from your current company is typically not the right move in the end.

I promised myself I’d stick it out until the end of March and see if things started to get better, but of course, they didn’t. So I started up the job search again and am so happy to have found another amazing opportunity that is more closely related to my background and has some phenomenal opportunities for career growth. I’m taking a week off in between the two jobs to get a bit of a breather, but I am so excited to get to wipe the slate clean and start over somewhere new that shows a lot of promise. Thank you Alison and all the readers for all of the advice you’ve shared over the years that helped me reach this decision and has renewed my motivation and passion for my work!”

2.  “Late in 2021 my company went through a major management change and followed up with a change in direction. I decided that there wasn’t a long-term place for me and started my search. I’ll admit to being worried because I’m close to retirement and on the expensive side. I re-read your book and polished my resume, as well as having several people read through one of my cover letters to get feedback there. My search had the usual bumps, companies ghosting and approaches from recruiters for jobs that were a complete mismatch, which would have been obvious had they spent a minute or two reading my LinkedIn profile. Then there was the guy who set up an interview simply because he thought I was an interesting person but wasn’t going to hire. And the recruiter who said ‘there’s no salary range’ and then choked when I told him what I made!

In the end, it came down to three possibilities. Company A was via an outside recruiter who had contacted me via LinkedIn. Unlike many, he was very good and really paid attention to what I was looking for. All of the companies he submitted my resume to were viable. Company A turned me down after a full round of interviews, but it was my third choice so not a big disappointment. Company B came via my network: An old friend passed my name to their recruiters who reached out to me. Their process went very well and I ended up with a solid offer from them. For Company C I submitted an application through their web site using a resume tailored to the job and a cover letter to match. They were initially very enthusiastic and fast moving but the process then slowed down. In the end, I had to push some because the Company B offer had a time limit. Company C turned me down with a weak reason. In the end, I accepted the Company B offer and will be starting soon.

TL;DR for searchers: Don’t ignore any path to a job. Find a good outside recruiter, use your network, send in those applications. You never know which is going to come through for you.”

3.  “I am an Australian government contractor who has been applying to permanent roles at my current level.

Some stats: I sent out 23 applications, was invited to 10 interviews, and withdrew from two roles that weren’t quite the right fit at the offer stage.

I was offered a permanent government role and negotiated on salary by email. The first email was to ask if there was room to move, to which the employer replied asking me to put together a case for a higher salary level. I looked at past letters on salary negotiation, kept things factual and reflected the employer’s own interests back to them.

On Friday I asked for around $116,500, which was $3k higher than the base starting salary for someone at my government pay grade. The next Tuesday, I was offered the maximum pay in my salary band, $124,900 – almost $12k higher than the initial offer and $8k higher than what I asked for.

This will let me buy a home, something which was previously impossible! Huge thanks to you and the Ask A Manager community for all the insights. I wouldn’t have handled a salary negotiation so matter-of-factly if it wasn’t for your advice. I was with my family when I found out and they are delighted, and now that I have waxed lyrical about Ask A Manager, they are very intrigued to read letters of lunch-thieving and more.”

4.  “I cannot believe it is FINALLY my turn to send in my Friday good news! My last permanent job ended in FEBRUARY 2019. Since then, it’s been a combination of long-term contracts, unemployment, and dozens of interviews. Of course, COVID did not help.

I had so many interview-related disappointments. Showing up to an interview and it bearing no similarity to the job description. Getting a callback for a final-round interview and then an ‘oh, that was a mistake, sorry, you didn’t get the job.’ A rejection on Christmas Eve. Being told my contract role was going to become permanent, then having it end completely two weeks later, with no explanation. It has been REALLY hard to stay positive. I couldn’t help thinking, over and over, that there must be something uniquely wrong with me and I’m just never going to get a job I like.

Luckily, I continued to get enough interviews to keep me at least a tiny bit hopeful (but of course, the repeated cycles of hope/disappointment weren’t fun), and FINALLY the right job came along. The whole process took only 3 weeks from HR screen to offer. The people I’ll be working with seem fantastic. It’s a huge salary bump from my last job. And, unlike jobs I’ve taken in the past, it really is exactly what I want to be doing — not a job I’m taking out of desperation. And, maybe most importantly, this is a team that is very excited to work with me, and thinks I’ll be a great addition to the company.

I want to tell readers not to give up! Even if one job rejects you and makes you feel worthless, it’s just one place. If you keep going, you can find a place that thinks you’re great. Just like those stories my mom loves to tell about Stephen King/Dr. Seuss/whoever else getting a million rejections before achieving wild success — a long period of rejection really doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. You just have to find the right job.”

{ 24 comments… read them below }

  1. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

    Wonderful news, all of you! The message for readers is to keep persisting and listen to Alison! :)

    1. Sariel*

      I agree — reading the Friday Good News is a highlight of my day (and a way to end my work week on an up note). Congrats to all of you!

  2. ArtK*

    I’m LW#2 and have a couple of nice little ironies to add. First, LinkedIn just sent me an email that said “Would you like to work for OldJob? See how many people you know!” Uh, no. The place is steadily deteriorating, thank-you-very-much.

    The other bit is that Company A is a customer of my current employer and I’m hoping we can get Company C on board as well!

      1. Love to WFH*

        A friend was let go after 10 years at a horrible company, at the age of 62. They called it a layoff, but were really just shuffling off That Annoying Woman, so they could promote the Nice Young Man. She was the only woman manager there. It’s a male-dominated industry. They despised women, but needed her technical skills.

        She was able to negotiate a _really_ good severance package because they knew they were in the wrong and didn’t want to get sued.

        She was sure she’d never find another job, because old. Plus the decade of gaslighting didn’t help.

        She found a much better job, quite quickly, that paid WAY better, so the severance package was a nice bonus instead of a lifeline!

  3. Crikey*

    I really needed these Good Newses today! Congrats to all of you – some Fridays I read these and just feel jealous and discouraged. Today’s stories have me feeling excited for all of the writers and energized about my own search. So thanks.

  4. Chaordic One*

    These are all very heartwarming and encouraging stories.

    OP#4, I’m especially encouraged and impressed by your letter. Your determination and persistence in the face of numerous setbacks was amazing! I’m so happy for you.

    OP#2, The guy who wasted your time because he thought you’d be interesting to interview, even though he didn’t have a job for you. WTF? OTOH, I’m impressed that you found a recruiter who listened to you and who actually worked FOR you even if you didn’t get the job.

      1. Funfetti*

        I actually just wrote down your last paragraph about rejection doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. Needed that reminder! Thank you for the pep talk and perspective!

  5. Ali + Nino*

    @LW #2, thanks for sharing your story – I’m just wondering what that interviewer meant by, “There is no salary range.” Like, the sky is the limit (but not really)? I’ve never heard this before and it just sounds bizarre!

    1. Felis alwayshungryis*

      “We actually have absolutely no idea and we’re hoping that you’ll name a figure that’s low enough for us.”

    2. fhqwhgads*

      They meant “we’re not telling you a number, even though any logical hirer must have a range in mind”.

    3. ArtK*

      In California, an employer must give a salary range when requested. The “there is no range” was his response when I asked. Clearly there *was* a range, but he was trying to get around the law. Wasted quite a bit of my time, too.

  6. Tabby Baltimore*

    For the Australian Letter Writer: All I can say is, as a U.S. federal government employee, I *so* wish your HR was our HR. That is an awesome outcome, and I am delighted for you!

  7. Mrs. Pommeroy*

    Congratulations to all of the LWs!! You all presisted, kept your hope, and kept your cool. I hope the new jobs work out as well for you as you’d hoped *fingers crossed*

  8. Bookworm*

    Thanks to all for sharing their good news! I love ending the week with something more upbeat.

  9. want_out*

    Something like #1 happened to me last Friday, the 19th.

    I work in a big place and don’t know most of my co-workers, so I didn’t know this guy either. But as I was walking down the hall, he came towards me skipping and jumping and clapping his hands. I said, “wow, I guess it really is a happy Friday.” He said, “it sure is! Today is my last day!” What could I say but, “oh excellent! Congratulations!”

  10. gmg22*

    I really needed to read #1 today. I am on a bit of a roller coaster at my current job, where I’ve been pretty unhappy for about a year, a situation worsened by the isolation of the pandemic. I approached what felt like a breaking point in a manner that would probably give Alison even worse hives than the ill-advised route of accepting a counteroffer: 1) I gave notice several months ago without a new job lined up and 2) I offered to stay until they hired my replacement. But 3) my own job search, as it proceeded in fits and starts with a short list of applications, resulted in not a single bite or whisper of interest in anything I applied for. So when 4) a laborious round of resume solicitations and interviews by my org resulted in NO candidate being identified to replace me, I then offered to stay on indefinitely. I’d describe this whole deal as basically a failure to launch. (Maybe on everyone’s part, not just mine!)

    Positives are that we have a new-ish program director who gives the kind of support and feedback that I value, and that she and her more newly arrived deputy see and are willing to name the problems with our organizational culture. But my frustrations with that culture, as well as with my direct supervisor and team, remain — I made the offer to stay on just last week and already this morning I find myself reading yet another email exchange that triggers an emotional spin because of a situation I can’t change. (Short explainer: My org has some serious “founder effect” problems; there are only two acceptable modes of discourse, lawyer mode or engineer mode; and suffice to say nobody here ever heard of a compliment sandwich.)

    I intend to keep looking for a job even if it takes a year or longer to find the right one. And one thing I’ve learned at this point is that I am absolutely not going to guilt myself into some crazy long notice period like that again — a major goal at this point is to work on the “what if I get hit by a bus” plan, ie, how would my job duties proceed without me, which TBH needs some work and prep. My resume, search process and frankly probably just my own assessment of what I want to do next all likewise need revamping — a friend who has a coaching certification is going to help me find someone to work with through her network.

    Any advice from others who have been in this weird limbo is welcome. My current org is a mission-driven nonprofit (which will shock nobody to hear, lol) but I am very, very open to moving outside that.

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