it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I’ve been reading your blog for the last year solidly and learnt a huge amount. With that in mind, I recently interviewed for an IT support role supporting over 200 users as a team of 2 people. The initial interview went well enough that I was offered the job, and then the 2nd interview with the HR rep began. The stated range was 30 to 35k GBP, and I was offered 27,900, with an end of year bonus that would bring it back up to the bottom of that range.

I would have accepted this offer before reading your blog, but I thought I’d take a chance and try and negotiate somewhat. Stating that the advert made it sound like the salary range was for basic salary, not for salary plus a bonus, I restated my own experience in the kind of roles they were asking for 7 to 10 years experience in, the fact that the scope of the job meant it would be hard to find other candidates, and that whilst I wouldn’t have any direct reports, the fact that I’d be responsible for so many users essentially meant that I wouldn’t be able to consider the role without them coming to at least the middle of their range for the basic salary. They responded positively, increasing the offer to 32k gbp, and 3k end of year bonus, netting me an approximate 25% raise over my previous role.

Thank you for being a wonderful source of information, and for giving the various templates to model the negotiations after. As I said before, even a year or two ago, I wouldn’t have had the courage to negotiate at all, and would have just accepted the first offer without trying to advocate for myself.”

2.  “The going-away party I wrote to you about a year ago (#4 at the link) proved to be a moot problem because my manager never followed up on the party planning. Instead, he brought just bought in a box of doughnuts on my last day.

During the job hunt that allowed to me to transition out of that company, I spent significant time and effort figuring out what kind of culture I was looking for (welcoming, progressive) in my next role, and I ended up turning down two roles where the DEI efforts they touted didn’t hold up under questioning. (One company talked a big game about diversity in their job description, but could only offer ‘multicultural potlucks’ as a concrete example of their efforts in that area.)

I job searched on and off for about a year (while still employed in my previous role) before I found a role that was a good fit. It’s been amazing. I feel completely comfortable being myself at this company and I’ve also been receiving really great feedback about my performance. My manager receives feedback without retaliation and sincerely apologizes for microaggressions on the rare occasion when they happen.

It’s funny, because I’m doing the same type and quality of work here that I did at my laat company, and the response to that work is totally different. The response at my last job to my work was so dismissive that I really had to consciously unpair my ‘good work = positive feedback’ expectations and just do my best with no expectation of reward or acceptance. Having to do that has made it hard for me to accept the praise I’m receiving in this role, because it feels like the responses to my work have been essentially arbitrary over the course of the last four years. That’s been a difficult thing to overcome. But being unable to accept positive feedback from a manager I trust and have a good relationship with — that’s a good problem to have!”

3.  “I’m a long time reader and have really seen some of my thinking shift thanks to you. So thank you.

One of the topics you’ve taught me about is about asking for more money. I recently shifted jobs and I knew, for a variety of reasons, that asking for more money would be a non-starter. But I did it anyway.

The answer was still no but the feedback I got from my new supervisor was positive and supportive and it was a great experience. It prepares me for other things including future salary requests and I really appreciate everything I’ve learned from you. Thank you!”

{ 15 comments… read them below }

  1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    LW 1, well done you. 7-10 years’ experience and they are going to pay you almost what you are worth after a year? They fooled around and found out. But, as I hope you do as well, attribute that to idiocy and not malice and see where you are in a year.
    Good luck on your new job!

    1. BubbleTea*

      I was boggling at that. The offer was for less than the average salary in the UK but they wanted a decade of experience?! They’d included a salary range but offered below it?! Wow. Bad show. Well done LW for pushing back!

      1. Paulina*

        And what’s the bonus supposed to be based on, for an IT support position? If what they’re saying is that they withhold a significant part of the salary until the end of year, then that’s dodgy.

        1. Excel-sior*

          In the (admittedly very few) jobs I’ve worked in that have had bonuses, the bonus would be based on the company’s overall performance, with performance reviews playing a part as well.

  2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    LW2: the DEI is to have a potluck? Wow. Buy, prepare and serve food while telling us about your culture. You want a Powerpoint with that? Good god.

    1. DivergentStitches*

      DEI is becoming such a candidate talking point these days. I interviewed with a company that had just old white guys on their board of directors (per their website) and when I asked about their DEI, they admitted they could do better. When I turned down the offer to move forward in the interview process, I let them know that was why.

    2. Mark*

      #2 would probably not like working for me. Personally, in my entire 45-year working career, I have never had what #2 referred to as “good work = positive feedback expectations”. When I do a great job, I know it, and when I do a good job, I know it. I’ve never sought or desired anyone’s confirmation of what I already know. And when I do a bad job or not-so-good job, nothing anyone can say could make me feel worse about it than I already feel, because I am very well aware of those performances, too.

      Where this turns into a weakness is trying to remember that more people are like #2 than me. I have to remind myself to compliment or thank people regularly, because it doesn’t come naturally. For me, doing good work is one of the most basic of expectations, not something needing positive feedback, but it took me a long time to realize that’s not the opinion of most others.

      I continue to work on it, though!

  3. SimpleAutie*

    Lw 3, thank you so much for sharing a positive story that didn’t have the outcome “I got what I was asking for”- a great reminder that even a no can be a positive outcome in the right context!

    1. Cubicle monkey manager*

      Agree!!! Especially with something as fraught as asking for money, it’s so helpful to hear an example of when the answer was no but it was still worth asking.

  4. Goldenrod*

    Congrats to you both!!

    LW 1, this really resonated for me: “It’s funny, because I’m doing the same type and quality of work here that I did at my last company, and the response to that work is totally different.”

    I’ve had that same experience and it is so disorienting! A close friend of mine did too – she went from allegedly being “unapproachable” and flawed in so many ways, to instantly being the best thing since sliced bread in her new job!

    When you know you are doing the same work – and are the same person – but you go from being barely acceptable to wonderful….It really is an adjustment. You’re in a much better situation now, but the mind f*ck messes you up for a while…

    1. straws*

      Same here! I left my prior job for a role that focused on just one piece of what I used to do, and the reaction to my work is so positive that it’s almost disconcerting. My prior boss basically treated that part of my job as a hobby I happened to use to the benefit of the company and very nearly implied that it was “cute” that I could do so much! It’s such an adjustment to work with a boss and coworkers that don’t just respect and value my work, but praise me for it.

      1. Goldenrod*

        “It’s such an adjustment to work with a boss and coworkers that don’t just respect and value my work, but praise me for it.”

        Yep! Like LW 1 said, it’s a good problem to have – I also went from a boss who *maybe* thanked me 5 times over the course of 3 years, to a boss who effusively thanks me every day! It’s great….! But at first, it’s also jarring, in a way, after having adjusted to zero positive feedback.

  5. SJ (they/them)*

    oh wow, something LW #2 said here is really hitting me hard! I have so much trouble accepting praise for anything (work or personal) and it never occurred to me that that could be the flip side of a survival mechanism developed in the face of long-term criticism/indifference in the past.

    Huh. Huuuuuuh. My therapist is going to be interested to chat about this I think. Neat.

  6. Bookworm*

    YAY! It’s been a long and hard week for me, so it was great to read all of these. I’m sorry you didn’t get more money, LW3, but glad you still got something out of it!

  7. Kendra Hobbs*

    LW3 you made me smile so hard. I’m proud of you for doing the hard work of asking for what you’re worth, and I hope it gets easier to do with time–and that you get more yeses in the future!

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