it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “For the past few years I’d been at a job that, for the most part, was fine. It was easy and low-stress and I had a great relationship with my direct manager, but the pandemic definitely brought out the ugliness in upper management. While all my friends’ organizations jumped to figure out how to accommodate WFH in March 2020, my CEO basically stuck his fingers in his ears and pretended nothing was happening. He eventually had to give in, but we all had to work from our own personal computers and we were forced back into the office as soon as vaccines were available with no flexibility or hybrid schedule.

I’d really thrived working from home, but I returned to the office when asked, even though I wasn’t happy about it. I grumbled about the lack of flexibility for a year and a half and thought a lot about leaving but didn’t do any real job searching. Then, two things happened in quick succession: the manager I adored put in their two weeks notice, and I was told by my grandboss that I would not be getting a raise despite stellar performance reviews for the THIRD YEAR in a row.

It really kicked my ass into high gear to find a new job. I started searching for remote-only positions, and immediately I was getting a ton of interest. Within a month of my manager leaving, I’d secured a fully remote position with an interesting/dynamic workload and a 60% (!!!!!) salary increase. I’ve been here a few months now and I am so glad I didn’t settle for ‘fine’ when ‘great’ was waiting just around the corner.”

2.  “This good news is for people who are going through what I went through: I was a final candidate three times in searches where they ended up hiring internal candidates. It was so disheartening. And I saw it happen at my own institution too: we made external people go through the wringer even when we had wonderful internal candidates. It was hard to keep applying knowing the whole thing might be futile. It was from this place of borderline despair that I applied for a job that only checked half the boxes on my wishlist. I had been looking for more responsibility, better pay, a more populous place to live (I am not made for rural college towns), and I wanted to work in a team (instead of being a one-person ‘center’).

I applied for a role that was exactly the job I already had for more money and in a large town near a city I love. I figured I would apply and see what happened. They offered me the job and a salary near the top of their listed range which was almost 30% more than I had been making. I took it. And a few months later I got a market rate adjustment of 5%. Then everyone got a cost of living adjustment of 5%. I’ve been here for one year and things are going strong. While it would be nice to work in a team and to climb the career ladder, living in a place that suits me and being well compensated for my skills makes those concerns much less pressing.
This blog has been a wonderful help in my professional life! Thank you!”

3.  “I’ve commented a few times in the open threads, talking about my manager’s efforts to create an FTE position on our team, so that I can move from temp to permanent. Well, his efforts and mine have finally come to fruition! The position was approved, an opening was posted on our intranet, and I applied and interviewed for it. I got a little more nervous as the interview went on and the questions diverged slightly from the ones I had tried to prepare for, but it helped that the interviewers were my manager and his manager, who I obviously already knew. And clearly my nerves didn’t completely prevent me from making a good impression, because I got the offer just two days after my interview! When I start, I’m getting three weeks of vacation, two of sick leave, a 401k, and a whopping 123% raise. I can hardly believe it, but I couldn’t be happier. Thank you for all the advice you’ve put out over the years. It was absolutely vital to my preparations.”

4.  “I came to my current company a few years ago because my career was stagnating at my old job. They shut down the product line I was working on. I had to constantly fight for promotions and recognition. As much as I liked my coworkers, it just felt like I was not valued. So I changed jobs and switched to my current company.

Fast forward a couple of years and one of my peers takes another internal role. My boss approached me with the opportunity to expand my scope of work and take on her team in addition to my own. I thought about it and agreed because while change is scary, it felt like a great opportunity to learn something new. My next 1×1, I said yes. And then the difficult part for me, I asked for the chance to discuss an increase in salary to go with the increased responsibilities. My boss’s reaction was great — ‘Well, obviously you’ll be getting more salary, HR has to sign off on my proposal and as soon as that is done we can talk about if that works for you.’

It was just such a drastic change to go from a place where I constantly felt overlooked to come to a place where I am sought out for growth opportunities and don’t have to fight for appropriate compensation. I guess that lesson is that if you feel like your work is not valued, it probably is not you, it may just be the company.”

5.  “My service job became unbearably stressful in March 2020, and I ended up quitting in order to pursue a new career. I joined an 18 month, entirely virtual community college program. I was extremely motivated, but something was off. I finally got diagnosed with ADHD as a 30+ year old adult, even though it runs in my family and I had been tested before. I can’t explain how much therapy and medication has helped me, but I can tell you that I made the Dean’s list every semester and have passed certification exams in my new field (compared to taking an actual, literal decade to finish my BA).

I started reading AAM because of the buckwild office stories, but I kept coming back to it for the extremely helpful advice. I wrote and rewrote my resume until it clearly and explicitly highlighted my past performance and my new skill set (and I ignored my career center’s advice to list my class projects in the skills section).

I wasn’t really ready to start job hunting, but I read a job description that matched my interests perfectly. I submitted my application and I absolutely crushed my cover letter, tailoring it to the job. Then I prepared and practiced interviewing using your site as a guide.

I’m delighted to share that I got the job! It’s been amazing to work toward a long term goal and achieve it. I feel so lucky! I was hired with a 50% salary increase compared to my old job, but in my end of the year review I got a bonus and a raise! Thank you for all of the tangible, relevant advice.”

{ 19 comments… read them below }

  1. Abogado Avocado*

    These are all terrifically inspiring, but I have to say that #5 is extra special as it shows all the good that can flow from an accurate diagnosis and learning from this website. Hooray!

  2. Goldenrod*

    These are all amazing, congrats!!!

    LW#1: I continue to be amazed at how weirdly rigid managers are about the new paradigm of work from home. After years of insisting on the importance of being “nimble” and “thinking outside the box,” it turns out a lot of CEOs and other leaders are very bad at that!! Well done. :)

    LW#4: This really resonates for me – “I had to constantly fight for promotions and recognition. As much as I liked my coworkers, it just felt like I was not valued.” So relatable!! That was my exact reason for leaving my last job – that feeling of not being valued. Congrats!!

    LW#5: I’m wondering if you would feel comfortable sharing what the general subject of your certification was in? If not, no worries.


  3. We still use so much paper!*

    #1 – I’m stealing that. “I’m glad I didn’t settle for “fine” when great was just around the corner!”

  4. Unrestricted Clause*

    #5 – “Buckwild office stories” is my new favorite expression. And congrats!

  5. tw1968*

    LW1, I’d love to hear an update of your bad boss’s reaction when you turned in notice. Where you ask him why your leaving is a surprise, when you get no raises despite stellar performance?

    1. LW1*

      He was not at all surprised that I was leaving. I’d been pretty open about my discontent with the lack of flexibility and raises, and when my direct manager left, grandboss tried to promote me into the position and I declined, so I’m sure he saw the writing on the wall. I do think he was pretty shocked at just how much more the new company was paying me, though!

  6. Gato Blanco*

    #3…123% raise? That’s insane for doing the exact same job going temp to perm! Like 50k to 112k? How did you manage that? Did you get more hours as a permanent employee? Were they severely underpaying you as a temp?

    1. Jessica Ganschen (OP 3)*

      The raise ended up being less than I was initially told (I think the HR person who called me misread it or misspoke), but it was still around 105%. I’m actually salaried instead of hourly now, though my manager has emphasized that he doesn’t want my work/life balance to get out of whack just because they no longer have to worry about paying me overtime. Essentially, I would say yeah, they were underpaying me by a lot as a temp. It makes the previous one dollar raise I got simultaneously maddening but also a little funny.

  7. Mopsy*

    OP 4 — I resonate with your situation so hard!! It’s honestly insane how much of a esteem and quality of life boost it is to truly be valued and thought about by your team and leadership. I went through a similar change recently and I can’t speak enough to how much it changed my work life.

  8. Chaordic One*

    These are all wonderful to read. I note the comments of OP #2. It sounds like things still aren’t perfect, but your new job is a big improvement from where you were before. Good for you!

  9. JoAnna*

    I was called for a second round interview today (initial interview was Wednesday, second round one is Tuesday)! Really hoping that I’ll have some good news to share next Friday!

  10. DivergentStitches*

    Just want to add extra congrats to #5, I went through a similar journey and it’s very tough. Keep going!

    1. allathian*

      Yes, definitely. Even though I’m very happy in my current job, I love reading other people’s success stories.

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