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

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

1. The person who got a new job and a raise (#3 at the link)

Two years into my new position with the same university, it remains as good as it seemed. My institution doesn’t do merit raises, but all staff received a percentage raise this year, so my initial salary negotiation keeps paying off. As sort of a cherry on top, the new position as well as the run up to the real estate market meant that I sold my post-divorce “whatever I could afford” house, that the children and I had totally redone, for enough to move to the town I wanted to live in, and I bought a house in a crazily high cost of living area, all by myself. It’s the town I thought I had lost forever when my marriage ended, and now I can ride my bicycle to work on the rare days we are in-office.

Getting up to speed during the pandemic took a little longer than I had imagined, but it’s agreed department-wide that I am at least meeting the basic level needed for the position. Because it’s policy-and people-based work, while the basic shape of my duties doesn’t change, there is more to learn, and it really never feels dull to me. I like all of my coworkers, and _very much_ like some of my coworkers, as well as respecting them for being good at what they do. Working for the Big University System has always felt like a social good; this position even more so.

I’m doing good work for an enterprise I respect for great benefits and enough money to support me in a costly area AND I have a gold-plated pension – I’m not sure it gets better than this. I don’t imagine moving out of this position before I retire, and because it’s such a fantastic fit, I won’t need to retire before I’m truly ready.

2. The person escaping a toxic job (#2 at the link)

Last week I hit the one-year anniversary in my new job. In my first six months there, I ended up having to take about one month in total off sick, including an eight day stint in hospital and later surgery (thank heavens for the Australian health system that covered all but $400 of my healthcare!).

There was never any question about my job, just well wishes from upline and a genuinely warm welcome back. I’ve now referred two former colleagues from different workplaces who have become part of the same team, and have extended my three days a week to four.

One of my new colleagues tested positive for Covid in her first week – no problems. Her job was still there when she returned, and again a few months later when she copped another dose!

It really does pay to get out of toxic workplaces and find somewhere where you are appreciated and valued. I am certainly a better employee for it and truly look forward to going into work each day.

3. The person laid off right before medical leave (#3 at the link)

I was the letter-writer from a previous Friday Good News who’d been suspiciously laid off right before a medical leave. And I just got a great new job! Your site helped me prepare for a STAR interview–I hope I don’t have to interview again anytime soon, but if I do I’ll definitely do that kind of prepwork again, even if I’m not told in advance that they’re using STAR Technique! I love the company that just hired me–the work they do is fantastic, and they seem like a great employer. Having the cushion from my settlement let me apply for jobs really selectively, and I’m so so happy I was able to find a place that (fingers crossed) is right for me. Thanks for all the advice over the years! Without this blog I wouldn’t have been able to negotiate my exit from Old Job as well as I did, and I might not have impressed New Job as much as I did. Huzzah!

4. The person who left a bad job (#1 at the link)

About two years ago I had written in with some Friday Good News, having finally been able to escape a pretty difficult situation working in a professionally stunting situation. I’d been concerned that I might be jumping from one bad situation to another, but decided it was worth the gamble.

I’m glad to say that my new position is pretty good! I have a supportive boss, good benefits, and a peaceful working environment. My new organization had gone through some major challenges, and I’m glad to say that I’ve been able to help bring my area back to relative normality.

I supervise a small staff who seemed at first like nervous puppies, snapping and recoiling for no obvious reason. Over time I’ve learned that previous supervisors had been inconsistent, supercilious, and volatile. I’ve felt good to see my staff loosen up and begin to trust me, to work independently, and to recognize their own abilities. I’ve gotta’ say, it’s amazing how much you can accomplish as a supervisor by simply… not being the boss who yells at your staff. Yeah, that’s my supervisory secret. Not yelling.

That said, it’s taken me awhile to heal from the ways I’d warped myself, working in my previous, dysfunctional organization. Especially early in my time here I’d find myself overexplaining my decisions, and waiting for recriminations that never came. It took time and conscious effort, but I think my confidence has grown back.

One day I was texting with a friend who still works at that last organization, and he told me a ridiculous story about something ridiculous my ridiculous former boss had done. I laughed, pulled up a bouncy song on my phone, stood up, and danced in my office, knowing I will never have to deal with that bozo again!

This isn’t where I want to be forever, maybe not even for very long. But with a good boss, even my worst days in this job are just fine.

{ 12 comments… read them below }

  1. Beth*

    LW1: based on what you’ve shared in your letters and on my own experiences working for a large university with amazing benefits in a very bikeable (and expensive!) city, I almost wonder if we work for the same university… Nevertheless, I’m glad your job has worked out so well!

  2. Bookworm*

    Thanks to all the LWs for sending in their updates and letters. Had a recent conversation that confirmed to me that this position I have now is not a good fit and while I had been looking somewhat for a couple of months, these letters helped remind me that there IS an escape. Thank you all for writing in!

  3. ferrina*

    LW 4, love that supervisory secret! It’s so unfortunate how many people forget just….don’t be a bad manager? That’s awesome that you recognized that your staff were reacting to previous bad bosses and you were patient and gentle with them. Points for being a great human being!

    1. Momma Bear*

      There was a reorg and I got a new boss a year or so back and the change in morale has been huge. The difference a good leader makes cannot be understated. I’m glad your team recognizes you’re not a jerk.

    2. bratschegirl*

      Ironic that this update appears on the same day as a NY Times article about how many Silicon Valley bosses are so thrilled with Musk and are embracing “bossism,” which apparently boils down to “I’m going to treat my workers as badly as I can without losing enough to get below critical mass, and these lazy entitled woke snowflakes working for me can like it or lump it.”

      1. OrigCassandra*

        It’s historically been quite hard to unionize IT workers.

        I suspect it’s gonna get leaps and bounds easier real soon.

      2. Curmudgeon in California*

        Ugh. Yeah, IT work is still at a premium, so companies that do the “bossism” thing will soon end up with the kind of people that can’t easily find a new job. The cream of the crop will find other gigs.

        Twitter is still hemorrhaging people, on top on the mass layoffs. I know I wouldn’t stay if I had to RTO and be expected to work more than 40 hours a week. BTDT, got the burnout.

  4. Endorable*

    Just love these updates! Everyone is so happy! Just proves that it’s not worth sticking it out in bad situations, and it’s such a shame that so many in the US have to do it just for healthcare.

    1. Momma Bear*

      Sometimes you just need to take a leap of faith. I’m so happy for all the LWs, especially the first one. It took time but you got your feet under you and it sounds like things are solid.

  5. Squirrel Nutkin (the teach, not the admin)*

    Congratulations, all! I’m glad your leaps of faith into something new paid off, and I find your stories very inspirational! : )

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