it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I felt I was being underpaid by my organization, so started asking around about what my peers were being compensated. After about a year of research, I discovered that I was being underpaid by quite a bit compared to peers with equal experience, and was even being paid less than several male peers with significantly less experience.

At review time, and seeing that my raise was only about 3%, I broached the subject of a significant raise. I outlined all of the things that I had been doing that benefited not only our location but others (mentoring, training, group “captain,” etc.) and that I had discovered that male peers with no experience were making more per hour than I was with 20+ years experience.

My boss, to her credit, went to bat with the person responsible for making those raises happen, but in the end we were told “we can’t do that, but we could promote you.” I had been vocal about wanting a promotion for two years, but I guess no one took that seriously until I put my cards on the table. They asked how soon I would need the raise in order to not look for another job, and when I said 3 months, they made it happen.

I also used your negotiation tactics to negotiate the pay increase. They started out about 10k above my current pay, which was not significant enough for me to make the jump. The commute was very reasonable as was my work/life balance in the previous role, and to disrupt that would be worth more than 10k to me. Every time they discussed salary (4 times) I came back with the number I wanted — Glassdoor’s average for the role across the country. The written offer they made had that number on it, PLUS a bonus, and it was significantly higher than the “highest percent we can give an internal promotion” that the negotiations began with. I ended up with a 44% raise on day 88 from that initial conversation, which has moved our family solidly into middle class on one income.”

2.  “I am a health care professional who moved from front line patient care to a management position for a small specialized team in a hospital only 3 years out of school. I have done that for the last 6 years. I had received advice that if I wanted to continue to advance in leadership I would need a masters degree, so I started working on it part time in the evenings. I decided to get a Master’s in my profession (nursing) rather than an MA in leadership, despite a few loud voices telling me it was a mistake and that an MA would take me farther.

While there are many aspects of management that I have enjoyed, I have been on a slow burnout downslide for the last couple of years (accelerated by the pandemic, no doubt). I found in the last year or two that I was really missing direct patient care, and feeling bogged down by the more HR aspects of leadership. I was finishing my MN in December of 2021 after 6 long years, and came across a posting for a specialized nursing position that required an advanced degree, and reported to a respected colleague who I have a strong professional relationship with. I brushed off my resume and wrote a strong cover letter using tips from your site. I had two interviews within a week and was presented with an offer on Christmas Eve! Once I had accepted the position I informed the hiring team that I was pregnant and would be heading on maternity leave in 4 months. They were thrilled for me and we were able to sort out a start date for my return from leave (a year, as I am in Canada). They have hired another candidate to cover my leave and I was able to finish my pregnancy in my manager position to tie up loose ends and train my replacement (one of my previous direct reports who I think will do great!).

This new position will allow me to use the leadership and coaching skills I have honed over the years, without worrying about approving vacation and scheduling (both tasks I grew to hate). I will also get back to working directly with patients and their families. Thank you for all the advice I have gotten from you over the years (especially to young managers), and I will continue to be a huge fan!”

3.  “A few weeks ago, I came across a job ad for something really close to my dream job. My sister had recommended your website, specifically your advice about writing cover letters. I took your cover letter writing advice and emailed in my application materials at 2:30 pm on a Sunday. One hour later, I had a message from one of the firm’s principals letting me know my cover letter was the best he’d seen in years, and he was very interested in having me in for an interview. The interview went well, they presented me with a solid offer, I negotiated a higher base salary (after reading your excellent advice about how to do so), gave notice to my boss (also using your excellent advice!), and I’ll be starting the new job this week!

Thanks very much for all the work you do! This was one of the smoothest job application experiences I’ve ever had, in no small part due to the advice you share.”

4.  “I left my job of five years due to a lack of upward mobility — it was a very small office, less than a dozen people. Starting what was really my first professional job hunt was scary at first, but your interview guide and resume advice were lifesavers. I took the first good offer I was made (I know, I know, I can hear the groans from the audience). The person who was supposed to be my boss quit without notice an hour before I arrived for my first day, and I was basically asked to run his department without any training or authority. This went as well as you’d expect, and 30 days later I was resuming my job hunt. This time, I stuck to my guns and didn’t accept any offers until I’d heard back from all my interviewers. Now I have a great team, a reliable director, and a much better office culture … as well as benefits, a guaranteed two-week vacation this winter, and about twice the wages I was making when I started this whole process. My grandboss is a touch micromanaging, but that’s mostly the director’s problem lol.”

{ 23 comments… read them below }

  1. All I Got Was This Lousy Tee Shirt*

    That is really great news! Good job to every one of you! I love reading about people standing up for themselves!

  2. Voldemort’s cousin*

    Congrats and kudos to you, OP #1. Your company should have been paying equitably without being prompted, but at least they stepped up to the plate after you so effectively advocated for yourself. Great news.

  3. English Rose*

    Oh this has really made my Friday reading all four of these updates! Fantastically uplifting and well done to all of you!

  4. Sometimes you have to choose it.*

    Reading this blog, and particularly the GOOD NEWS has shown me that I tend to stay in jobs longer than is healthy or rational. I stay until I’m at a breaking point and can’t possibly go on. I’ve been like this for my entire career, and I’m starting to see that when a workplace is dysfunctional, it is not my job to try and make it functional again. I put my needs last, and tend not to advance in positions because I’m ‘too good to lose’. Then I become resentful and angry and ultimately feel traumatized when I finally move on.
    It is so good for me to read success stories of people who have it together – so thank you for that!

      1. Sometimes you have to choose it.*

        Thanks – I’m moving in a great direction now and just wanted you all to know how helpful this blog is!

    1. acmx*

      I find that amazing… I can’t imagine needing to hire someone only to find out they wouldn’t start for 1.5 years and that I’d need to interview and hire again. By the time the OP started, I might want the temporary hire instead.

      Just musings as I’m not interested in being a hiring manager.

      1. CA Transplant*

        I used to think the same (grew up in the US, now live in Canada)—found it really weird when I first arrived. But here, it’s completely normal/business as usual; employers aren’t “put out” by it / it’s not a weird or unusual thing in the slightest and the system is built for everything to work.

        There are even some people who specifically take mat leave placements repeatedly. I know one person who did this for a few years to live in different cities / decide where to settle down, as well as another (in health care) who looks for ultra-rural postings—earning a pay premium—and then travels for a few months in between jobs.

        I hope my native US gets to this someday (long parental leave = business as usual).

        1. OP2*

          Yep. And I think in healthcare in particular this is true. Such a woman led industry, maternity leave is super normal.

        2. acmx*

          It’s mostly that she didn’t even start that it’s seems so odd to me. Who know how I’d feel 18 months later and having had a baby? (again musing, I am childfree).

          1. LJ*

            Maybe OP can clarify… it sounds like the new job might’ve been part of the same hospital system? You can’t really be taking maternity leave *between* jobs, so the way it read to me was that it’s the same employer but different roles.

            1. Anon Y Mouse*

              I wondered about that too. I think it must be something like you suggest.
              I’m in the UK and in order to qualify for full maternity benefits, you have to have been with your employer for a year – and I have certainly felt I couldn’t interview while pregnant, and a certain amount of pressure to have my family within a short timescale to minimise the coming and going. It is very common to hire maternity cover people, though.

            2. OP2*

              Yes, same organization. But in Canada you qualify for the 12 or 18 month paid mat leave if you have paid into the Employment Insurance system via taxes regardless of where you work. It’s the federal government that pays you on leave, not your employer. The employer’s responsibility is to keep your job for you when you get back.

      2. Cedrus Libani*

        I’m also American, but in my imagination…turnover happens, right? Someone disappears for a year or two, you replace them. Someone’s about to come back, no need to replace the person who just left. You don’t have to hire more people in the long run.

        1. acmx*

          I was thinking about that but couldn’t articulate (I’m currently still in transit…)
          And I have learned on this site about the temp roles that are available. Those sound fun (variety).

  5. Tobias Funke*

    OP2, I love that you followed YOUR instincts and YOUR judgment and it worked out so well! Take note all, your judgment is trustworthy!

    1. OP2*

      Thank you! Part of it was logistical (the MN was more lifestyle friendly and a little less expensive) and part was just going with my gut. I agree, learn to trust your instincts, you have them for a reason!

  6. HeraTech*

    Op#1 – I’m SO VERY PROUD OF YOU! Negotiating that kind of a raise at your current employer! Kudos for sticking to your guns during the four (!!!!) salary discussions.

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