it’s your Friday good news … with updates

It’s your Friday good news — but this week it’s a little different. Here are four updates from people who shared good news here in the past.

1. The person with the new teaching job (#5 at the link)

“I LOVE my job and could not be happier. My leadership team is amazing, my peers are amazing, and my work is fulfilling. Everyone is so professional, goes above and beyond, and are genuinely wonderful to work with. I have exceeded expectations in my role and was promoted after just 10 months with the company, which came with a 9.5% salary increase and a 3% bonus increase. I have had managers in other departments joke about poaching me, and my manager has made it very clear that she would support a move if my interests are elsewhere, but I have no intentions of leaving my team in the near future.

My manager frequently asks what my interests are and gives me projects to keep me engaged and challenged. I’ve been told by senior leadership that I have a very bright future with the company and will continue to promote quickly (if that’s what I want). I’ve made it very clear that work-life balance is my priority and have had nothing but positive feedback and agreement.

I was sure these jobs either didn’t exist or I would never be qualified enough to get one. I feel very grateful to have found your website because it made all the difference. I still get comments about “the magic question” that I asked in my hiring manager interview. Thanks Alison!”

2. The person with a new job after a horrible manager (#1 at the link)

“I have an update to this, about two years later! When I started the job I referenced in my post, in my very first meeting my manager told me she was leaving for a new opportunity. I was unsettled by that because I partially accepted the job because I was as confident as I could be that I would have a good manager after having a terrible one.

I helped hire my current manager and again was upfront about my values and how I work. I even said verbatim, ‘This job is not my priority in life and I need a manager that respects my work/life boundaries.’ She ended up being a fantastic manager – so much so that she supported me in leaving our department and accepting a role in the organization that pays about 20k more. The organization itself continues to be a great fit for me and we’re actually in the process of negotiating our first collective bargaining agreement for our union staff. I’m very active in that process.

So not only do I not have to hide what I value to fit in, I’m at an organization that actively welcomes dissent. I’m really glad I read your blog (still a devoted reader!) and worked up the courage to say what I actually want out of a job and the role that I want work to play in my life. It has paid dividends (including a huge salary increase for me) and your blog has been so helpful to me in finding a good workplace fit.”

3. The person who got the job they were sure they’d be rejected for (#1 at the link)

“As I mentioned in the Friday good news, I started my new job in September 2020. It was everything I had hoped it would be when I first wrote to you. By May 2021 I had been promoted from front desk to hiring specialist. There were a few very rocky moments, including a difficult and ultimately unresolved issue with the person who was supposed to be my lead and trainer, at which time I had to get our director involved. I was worried that speaking up to my director would sour things even more and make me look like a tattle-tale, but I was pleasantly surprised that whatever conversation they had seemed to fix our issues as much as they could be fixed, or at least get us to work together in some capacity. We never did have the working relationship I had hoped for, and I struggled greatly without someone to bounce ideas and questions off of.

The person I struggled to work with left earlier this year for a new opportunity, and I applied for her job, but did not get it. My director and I ultimately decided that it was a bad time for me to move into a higher position with more responsibility not because my director thought I was incapable, but because I too am leaving our workplace. In December, I was accepted into a masters program with our local college, my alma mater, and I start class in two months. I am so glad though that things have worked out the way they have, as due to a series of other unrelated events, our tiny department is going through 55% turnover including both joint directors. I am now in the process of training our new receptionist, the person who will be my position’s lead, and my own replacement. It will be a very busy but encouraging two months as I help these people grow into their new roles, and I know I will be leaving these jobs in very capable hands.

Thank you for all your advice, it came in very handy when I was interviewing and preparing resources for my grad school application. I look forward to being able to give another update when I secure an internship and post-grad job!”

4. The person who got a 25% increase in pay (#2 at the link)

“A year and a half later and I still LOVE this job. The work I’m doing is fulfilling and interesting and the culture fit is great. As a Zillenial it has always baffled me how people could stay at the same company for 10+ years and I totally get it now. The company continues to handle the pandemic fairly and ethically and they announced shortly after my last update that anyone who could be remote was encouraged to stay remote. There is desk space and conference rooms available for those that want to be in the office but no pressure to do so. The work that I do supports our main operations, primarily acting as a liaison between ops and finance. I also provide a lot of support to our senior leadership team and reporting to our parent companies. I’ve been given the opportunity to lead several major projects from beginning to end. Operations loves me and I get a lot of highly public praise from them to my manager and above. I was also pulled into an exclusive intensive leadership training that went on for about 6 months that has been truly instrumental in my development. I attribute a lot of my success to actually having started the role remotely–the constant feeling of imposter syndrome/being perpetually green has been a lot easier to push aside while meeting with people virtually over Teams than it ever has been working in the office.

We recently completed our performance review cycle and I received an exceeds expectations rating along with an 8% pay bump plus a 3.25% bonus which I’m very pleased with. Which while may not sound super significant to some, the context here is that our HR is managed by our parent company and they are very corporate in that – a formula typically drives merit increases based on performance rating and where you are at in your pay band. Typically the largest merit increase is 4% and more than that takes good justification, but my manager went to bat for me and got the additional pay bump and bonus. The review overall was really productive. My manager came to me with some great ideas for growth and development opportunities so that I can get the additional training/experience I need to lead bigger projects and become more involved in supporting senior leadership/ownership and also creating a position that would report to me, supporting some of my tedious/technical tasks so that I can gain supervisory experience and work on larger, more complex projects, as we explore what a promotion at my company would look like.

Thank you so much for putting your knowledge out there on AAM. I know I’m not the only one who credits successful career moves to you.”

{ 20 comments… read them below }

  1. Bunny Girl*

    I have my own Friday good news to add! Today is my last day at my job. I’m a little sad because I love the team I work on but my manager is a toxic lunatic that many people have complained about and quit over but there have been no changes at all from upper management. So I took another job and put in my notice.

    I brought in a cake today and wrote “Sorry for your loss” on the lid.

    Happy Friday to everyone!

      1. Churpairs*

        Totally copied mlem. Do you guys ever do this thing where you read a phrase and then your brain tricks you into thinking it’s your actual reaction that you came up with on your own? Nope? okay bye

  2. Shoot for the moon*

    I finally get to post about good news! My company has been going thru a merger and the culture work life balance, value your employees, integrity and honesty vanished in a short space of time (after c-suite was axed). I started looking for jobs about 10 months ago and was getting so many rejections it was disheartening. Then out of the blue a rival company contacted me and asked me to apply. I decided I had nothing to lose by talking to them. I did my research and their glassdoor reviews were awful, so I questioned them openly about it in the interview. They admitted that it had been bad but they were actively changing it and had removed some of the employees who had contributed to the culture. I grilled them on work life balance and requested to speak to other employees ( which they let me do). Then I contacted so employees myself and they confirmed that the company had changed and was improving. Finally I decided to shoot for the moon with my wants and they gave them all to me…20% increase, 100% WFH, profit sharing, 6 weeks PTO and it rolls over with the option of taking extended leave. I turned in my resignation yesterday and although my coworkers are sad, they are all looking for jobs too. My company is now trying to counter offer, but money won’t fix the problems they are having. I am scared about the possibility I have made a poor decision, but figure if I am wrong I can keep looking…but if I was right then it will be great. Thank you AAM, I read it diligently and the comments kept me going when I was losing hope at finding anything else.

    1. SpicySpice*

      That is AWESOME!!! Such a good job advocating for yourself and making it clear that you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you!

  3. Cruciatus*

    #4 That pay increase sounds amazing to me! My employer, a Big 10 school, might give me a 2.5% increase. That’s….the highest one I’ve ever gotten. And it’s still not much since I make so little. Normally, even with a good review, it’s maybe 1.2% raise, something ridiculous like that, except for the first year of COVID when we got nothing. I’d (figuratively) kill for a “low” increase of at least 4%!

    1. Churpairs*

      Another Power 5 school over here. Last year was maybe the first or second year we got raises since 2016- we got 1% in July and another 1% (of our old salary) in October. We also had a small amount of money to hand out as discretionary raises. My boss, who makes $100k/yr more than I do, gave me an extra % and was trying to convince me that “3% is pretty good for the university!” I wasn’t even ungrateful…just…not elated enough for him, I guess.

    2. LizWings*

      Came here to say the same! The last two nonprofits I worked at gave only 1% or 2% raises each year! And some years, they didn’t give any raises at all. (“Sorry, everyone, but it was a tough year. Here’s a $25 gift card to Target, though. Happy holidays.”) So 3% plus 8% sounds amazing!

    3. LW #4*

      As a finance person for a successful for profit company the 4% being the highest at my org kills me –especially since COVID years (2020, 2021) were our best 2 years in the org’s history — margins skyrocketed due to labor shortages where we were providing same service with significantly less people.

  4. I got the job!*

    I’ve been working with nonprofits for essentially my whole career. But I’ve been hitting a wall as far as my professional development goes; I haven’t been challenged in a long while and haven’t had much in the way of career advancement.

    A friend working in a similar-ish role at a for-profit reached out about a role opening up on their team. I figured “why not see how it goes” and went through the application process, and what do you know… I got the job! It comes with a 25% pay increase, better benefits, and huge career advancement potential. I start in a couple of weeks.

    It’s scary to move to a different sector and to go from being the smartest person in the room to… well, definitely not the smartest, but I’m glad I went for it.

    BONUS, my soon-to-be former supervisor has been nothing but supportive, and they gave me these words of wisdom: “I know you feel like you have imposter syndrome but you’re not an imposter. You are flexing into new territory and stepping outside of your comfort zone. You’re going to learn so many new things. You aren’t an imposter – you’re a changemaker.”

  5. Roger*

    Adding my own Friday good news:

    I volunteered for a project a while back, because I saw something that needed to be done and had time to do it. This has turned into my supervisor considering me the point person for not just this project but the related workload. She asked me to lead a training on this workload for my peers (we have a few new trainees on the team, plus some who could use a refresher).

    Since this was more work than I had initially signed on for, I thought about AAM’s advice to set boundaries of “if you want me to do A, I won’t be able to complete B.” I emailed my supervisor asking what kind of time frame she had in mind. The language I used was to the tune of “I think I can have a decent training ready to go by [date]. If you need it sooner, I may need some flexibility on X and Y to get it done so fast.”

    My supervisor’s response: “Let’s aim for having it ready by [two weeks later than date I had given], and I’ll try to get some help for you on X so you can divert time from that to the training.”

    Better than I even asked for! Thanks AAM for helping me get used to professional norms of explaining what I can and can’t due without help.

  6. AGD*

    These are amazing! I love the follow-ups AND the good-news Fridays, so the combination is particularly welcome.

  7. Joy*

    I like the headings in the Friday Good News.
    Prefer to always see headings in Friday’s Good News.

    It would be encouraging to those who are in a similar situation, e.g. older workers who usually find it challenging to obtain employment.

    1. BubbleTea*

      They’re not headings, they’re links to the posts being updated. Most of the Friday good news submissions aren’t updates so there’s nowhere to link to.

  8. Bookworm*

    I had a hard day yesterday so it was great seeing all these updates. Thanks to all for sharing!

  9. tamarack and fireweed*

    Love these updates – despite the lower number of comments I’m surely not the only one who looks forward to them. (Not asking for advice = less opportunity for commenters to offer theirs.)

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