it’s more Friday good news … this time with updates

It’s more Friday good news — this time with updates. Here are three updates from people who shared good news here in the past.

1. The working actor (#3 at the link)

Do I love my job? Sometimes. Do I want to throw my laptop into a lake? Perhaps. I am just shy of a year into my position, and while I love most of my coworkers and still deeply care about the mission of the organization, some of the leadership makes me want to absolutely tear my hair out (think constantly shifting priorities, constant panic, complete lack of personal boundaries, the whole nine). Combine non-profit financial uncertainty post-COVID (i.e. still working short-staffed) and some VERY strong personalities, BOY HOWDY it feels like I am stage managing a circus a lot of the time. I have certainly been given WAY more responsibility than I bargained for, but my contributions are acknowledged enthusiastically (and half of it is my fault anyway because I see a process that needs a-fixin’ and I just can’t leave it alone to save myself, job description be damned). It’s also been made clear to me that I can move vertically in pretty much any department I like.

The upshot? I know it’s bananacrackers, and I know I could walk if I wanted to. I’ve given myself a personal deadline of when and if to reevaluate my situation (there are factors at play that I can genuinely see changing within another 12 months or so, and I’m holding out to see where the wind blows). I would not see it for what it is, or have the language to navigate it, without this site.

P.S. The acting? Still possible. I’m being much choosier about auditions, but it helps to work somewhere that thinks it’s cool that you’re on TV. Big ups to remote work and self-tapes.

2. The person who escaped a bad manager (#1 at the link)

I remain happy I made the move that I did – I’m loving my new position and very much enjoying the extra money. In this time of the Great Reshuffle, though, everything feels like it remains in flux. Since I started my new position, my new team has had even more turnover – longer tenured veterans moving on right after I got to know them, etc. We’re now running low on institutional memory with only a few people remaining who have been around longer than a year and only two who have been on the team longer than 5 years.

Most significantly, the person who started less than a month after me as my new supervisor ended up being fantastic. I felt so lucky, because I had been very nervous, but they ended up being a great leader, mentor, and we clicked professionally and personally. VERY unfortunately, they are now moving on again to a higher paying position elsewhere, so we’re going back to square one, and I am now worried I’ll end up with another micromanager. At least this time I can participate in the interview process.

As a slight update on my previous position, there have been no raises or anything there to improve the very low pay, and I have heard from colleagues I left behind that my former supervisor is, if anything, even worse now. So I definitely still made the right decision! Just wish this reshuffle would settle down, because I’m getting whiplash from all the changes all the time!

3. The person trying to escape a bad manager (#3 at the link)

There was bad news that followed on from that early good news, which is that I ended up with the manager I didn’t want anyway. She wasn’t as stressful and micromanaging as I had feared, but my suspicions that we were not well-matched were entirely accurate. My opportunities for professional development and growth gradually diminished as I was assigned operational grunt work she didn’t want to do and I was discouraged from supporting my international colleagues and asked to track how much time I spent with them, even though they were the ones bringing me the most interesting challenges to solve. Her limited understanding and interest in the systems I primarily worked in meant my skills weren’t leveraged and my ideas not taken on. We struggled on for a year, but things hit a breaking point over the summer and I began looking at avenues of escape.

I am immensely pleased to say I found an excellent one. There’s a team I’ve been unofficially a part of for over two and a half years and I am moving departments to join them properly. This is a group of colleagues I admire and respect, who work hard and laugh a lot, and get things done. I will be using the foundations of my skill set to step up into a global role, taking on complex challenges and making the system better for our internal users worldwide. It’s going to be hard work, and I’m going to learn a lot, and I am so incredibly excited. The whole culture of the department is one of support and helping each other to thrive and succeed. Appreciation comes in words, appraisal scores, and compensation. My new manager has advocated more for me before I even complete the transfer than the current one has in over a year and I’m going across to a 10% raise, both in my regular salary and my bonus, with a further increase in the spring.

I am so glad I didn’t let myself stagnate and kept my relationships outside my department strong as they’ve really come through for me, and I’m looking forward to being part of a team that understands what I do, and therefore appreciates it. And thank you, Alison, for your advice, confidence building, and encouragement, I didn’t let myself settle for less than I was worth, and in the end got more!

{ 5 comments… read them below }

  1. JS*

    #2- this is the experience at my current HE organization. A lot of people who had been there for decades are retiring or leaving. Lots of turnover, and unfortunately I don’t see administration really moving to resolve it meaningfully any time soon. I’m glad you escaped into a less toxic situation even if it’s turbulent.

  2. Warm Gooey Cheap Ass Rolls*

    Hey working actor #1! I was just thinking of you last week, when I read a great article by the actor John Sharian about the artistic value of having a day job. Moving away from an art form to focus on something else is… well, it’s what HUMANS DO. We’re not automatons meant for only one thing. I go long stretches without painting. My best friend has gone months in between choreography shows when her day job ramps up or she just feels bored. I’m so glad that your sense of freedom is satisfying, and that you’re being picky with auditions.

  3. INeedANap*

    For #3: I am so glad you found something better. Your description of your previous manager, who didn’t understand or care about your work, is exactly my situation now. My current manager literally swung by my desk two months ago and told me “I forget you exist” which was not good for morale. I started looking for work then.

    I just got a tentative offer for a role that would appreciate my work more and am so excited. For you and me both, I hope we can say good riddance to bad rubbish. Cheers!

  4. English Rose*

    #1 – thanks for the update – your description of the downsides of your job make me wonder if we’re working at the same place!!! :) I can relate.

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