it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I cannot believe it’s my turn to share Friday Good News! I’ve been a reader for a decade and I can credit a huge shift in my approach to my career to your advice. But I’ve had a lot of bad luck in my work life and earlier this year I was extremely unexpectedly fired. (I was a top performer on my team, was well-liked across teams, and had been discussing future moves with my interim manager while my boss was on maternity leave. She fired me her first week back from leave with no explanation.)

It was a dark time, but I used AAM to guide an aggressive job hunt. I was working my network and kept getting to the final interview but not getting the offer (except for the offer that got rescinded 10 hours later due to a sudden hiring freeze and layoffs). I also got in touch with my old temp agency. They placed me in a one-month assignment — but then one day another temp made a series of enormous mistakes that I stepped in to fix. People above me saw what I’d done, and within weeks I was managing six other temps. I worked very hard to be a good manager using what I’ve read on AAM, and that helped me catch the attention of even more higher-ups. It was wildly different from my old job, but I fell in love with the work and discovered I had a real talent for it.

Managers went to bat for me, and thanks to AAM I had a good idea of how I could make the case that I should be permanent. Despite zero previous experience in this field or this type of role, that one-month assignment lasted six months and I just recently became a full-time employee! I negotiated my offer with scripts from AAM and I’m making almost 50% more than my last job. I’m learning rapidly from the same amazing managers who advocated for me, and for the first time I have no imposter syndrome because the role was created for me. I have flexibility, agency, respect, opportunities for growth, and work I love doing. I’ve never been happier in a job, and I’m so relieved to be somewhere that I can see myself staying for a long time.

A good chunk of this success can be credited to AAM, which is why I recommend it to every temp I manage. I really feel that years of reading paid off for me and I hope it helps them too!”

2.  “I am a daily reader of your blog and I finally have some good news to share! I have spent the last several years working for low pay in the nonprofit sector. I finally realized I was miserable and needed a change. Thanks to your website, I decided I was due my own good news. I called a friend who works as a career coach who updated my resume. We met a couple of times to sort out what exactly I wanted to do. I told her I always secretly wanted to be a flight attendant. She encouraged me to apply. I applied with a mainline and will begin my training at the end of the month! I will be making much more money and the travel benefits will be fantastic.

I am so excited for the new direction!”

3.  “This occurred two years ago, but I still think about it every time someone says that sharing your pay is unprofessional. The non-profit I work for was very lucky to be relatively protected during COVID-19, and we were able to give all staff their yearly raises in summer 2020.

I worked on a team with 3 other people at the same level as me, doing the same job. None of us were supervisors; we were all at the lowest rung in the non-profit, and it was a known secret that people in these roles didn’t stay long because of the bad pay. When our yearly raises were awarded, I decided to stop dancing around the subject and just volunteered my raise percentage and new salary with my colleagues. After that, my 3 other teammates did as well, and one person found out they were being paid SIGNIFICANTLY less than the rest of us, despite similar work history and more education (he had a master’s, the rest of us bachelor’s). He immediately asked for a meeting with our upper management, and successfully negotiated a more equal salary. I attribute part of my willingness to share my info to your encouragement of sharing salaries and being transparent!

I was interviewing for a management position at the time in the same org, and I was questioned in my interview about this salary sharing, even though I wasn’t named by the other coworker. I was told that I had been a frontrunner for the position, but now knowing that I was involved in salary conversations was making them rethink it. I replied that, as a manager, I would encourage my team to exercise all their legally protected rights in the workplace, especially since our org had just added “Equity” to our values statement. I must have defended my position well enough, because they still gave me the promotion! I think the significant pay raise I received was due to me showing I’d be willing to push back and negotiate for fair pay if they tried to low-ball me.

Thanks for all your advice!”

{ 34 comments… read them below }

    1. TimeTravelR*

      I laughed out loud at her response to the interviewing panel! I love it! Because *of course* she would encourage her staff to exercise their LEGAL RIGHTS! Yay!!

      1. Random Dice*

        Honestly that was hard to read. What a forked-up organization.

        Good for OP3 for pointing out that IT’S THE LAW they’re blatantly violating.

  1. Sanity Lost*

    Congratulations to all of you!

    LW1, I have been in your shoes and that is awesome news. You’ve got this!!

    LW2, Wonderful that you can follow that dream!

    LW3, You rock!

  2. Chilipepper Attitude*

    Congrats to all and thanks for writing in!

    I don’t want to bring up old cr*p, but I long to know what the hell happened for #1 and the odd firing! I hate that “out of the blue” stuff! I have some from old job and it still gets space in my head from time to time.

    1. ChrisZ*

      What happened? Just my theory… OP was “a top performer on my team, was well-liked across teams, and had been discussing future moves with my interim manager”. Aaaand gets fired the first week manager is back from leave. Too likeable, too promotable was my first (admittedly cynical) thought :(

      1. Trawna*

        Mine, too.

        Quoting a favourite cousin: “If you aren’t cynical by the time you’re 30, you have not been paying attention!”

      2. RunShaker*

        @ChrisZ that was my first thought as well. I also wondered what kind of manager she was in general. Firing someone & not give a reason is beyond horrible. But OP1’s getting 50% pay increase is the best news. Too bad old manager won’t know about great pay raise OP1 got.

      3. Ama*

        Yup, that very much struck me as an insecure returning manager interpreting the interim manager’s positive comments about OP as “OP is trying to get my job behind my back,” or “OP’s going to leave anyway because they are so good at this job so I might as well go ahead and replace them” (that second one was literally the rationale given to my high-performing brother when he was fired out of the blue once).

      4. LW #1*

        For the sake of brevity, I left out that I was replaced by a former employee who had expressed interest in returning to the team. I have no proof, but it seems like pretty direct correlation.

        I was also sort of the team spokesperson for a bunch of changes that were negatively impacting our work; we were all in agreement but I was the most willing to speak up for us. The teams driving the changes didn’t have a problem with my feedback (I was always professional, and members of those teams reached out after my firing), but I think that manager did.

        Finally: when the manager returned, I vocally complimented the interim manager on what a great job he had done (because he had). I think all these factors added up.

  3. Observer**

    #3 – You are a hero.

    But my jaw is also dropping that someone actually told you straight up that they were considering penalizing you for engaging in explicitly legal behavior – which punishment is explicitly illegal!

    I suspect that the raise was probably also partially due to someone realizing that the last they needed was a complain to the DOL or NLRB that you had been denied a raise / promotion because (“but for”) you engaged in pay discussions!

    1. Random Dice*


      Oh crap there’s a law against the illegal thing I just said out loud instead of hinting at? Guess we need to give that raise after all.

    2. LW 3*

      The interview was also recorded, so I was able to go back and verify that the interviewer had in fact said that the salary conversation knocked me out of the running

      Yes, I did download and save the video.

  4. Chaos*

    I can see the concren as if she is a manager, she no longer has a protected right when talking about pay. But her response is golden and brings it back to what she did was protected.

    1. Goldenrod*

      “I can see the concern as if she is a manager, she no longer has a protected right when talking about pay.”

      Is that true? Managers aren’t legally allowed to share their own salaries? (I am genuinely asking.) I would think that this law would protect everyone…

      1. Snow Globe*

        The National Labor Relations Act specifically states that non-managers have the right to discuss working conditions (including pay). It does not specifically give this right to managers.

          1. fhqwhgads*

            Which doesn’t meant managers are not legally allowed to share. It just means it is legal for an employer to tell a manager not to discuss their pay/retaliate if one does.

        1. Random Dice*

          The National Labor Relations Board guidance:

          “Protected conversations about wages may take on many forms, including having conversations about how much you and your colleagues **and managers** make, presenting joint requests concerning pay to your employer; organizing a union to raise your wages; approaching an outside union for help in bargaining with your employer over pay”

          1. D'Arcy*

            That’s saying that *workers* are allowed to talk about what manager salaries are. It is correct that managers and supervisors have no rights under the NLRA, because NLRA is a union law; managers and supervisors are considered to be on the “company” side rather than the union side.

  5. LW #1*

    It feels like extra-good fortune that this was published a year to the day from that crappy firing, and the day after I got recognized by leadership at my new company for finding *one million dollars* in annual costs savings.

    Sometimes it all works out.

  6. collateral damage*

    LW3, your response to the ‘salary discussion’ interview question was *chef’s kiss*!

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