it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I’ve been at my current job for two full years and had my annual review recently. I wasn’t nervous for it — I get regular feedback so I went into it already knowing where I stood. But we all fill out our own yearly surveys about our jobs as part of the annual review process. Part of the survey is about our compensation and I made a big push on mine this year for a raise. That’s the part I was nervous about.

Turns out, not only did I get ‘exceeds expectations’ on the review, I got a 16.67% raise. (Yes, I calculated it exactly, and that .67 is important to me, haha.) I got nearly all of what I asked for — very technically, my annual salary is still a couple thousand under market, but the firm is less than 25 people total so I think it’s fair. I’m also getting trained on more difficult projects that involve a lot more research and writing, which is exactly what I asked for in my job survey!

I was helped by, well, partly being very good at my job and making a strong argument for myself, but also partly because some amazing coworkers cc’d my manager on some highly complimentary emails.

If I could give any advice, it would be this: get numbers from a variety of sources when working out what ‘market’ is for your job and don’t be afraid to argue for yourself. If you’re nervous talking about raises, write it all down first. I was lucky in that I was making my argument in writing only, but if I had to do it in person, I’d 100% be writing a script out and being ready with numbers. Oh, and if your coworkers are being awesome, put those compliments in writing and make sure everyone else knows! I already do this for my coworkers too, and I’m definitely going to keep paying it forward, especially now that I know our boss really does pay attention to it.”

2.  “At the start of Covid, I was working as a supervisor at a local public service institution that had just undergone a massive reorganization where people were unwillingly moved to different locations. The moves all finished the second week of March, right as the world shut down and we were all sent home.

When we returned to work, we all had to navigate this new world together, despite working with entirely new coworkers and in some cases, entirely new jobs, just due to the way the pandemic affected our profession. Things rapidly escalated further into toxic leadership from our administration, including beratements in meetings, references to insubordination when staff attempted to voice their opinions, lack of communication, and more.

While the non-management staff successfully unionized (yay! – but also another added stress due to the way our administration handled it), the more time I spent there, the more I realized it was not the place for me. It was one of my first professional jobs and, while I learned so much there, reading your site religiously over the last six years made me realize how unhealthy it had gotten for me.

Eventually, I began applying to jobs. I religiously read every single part of your job hunting, application, and interviewing advice and saw the results fairly quickly, landing a number of interviews and two job offers over the course of a couple months. Using your advice, I was able to determine that the first offer was not right for me and full of many orange flags. The second offer, however, I accepted and have been there for almost a year now.

My new company is lovely. I work remotely, I’m not a manager, it’s not stressful, the benefits and vacation are great, and I’m making over 25% more than I was in my previous job. It’s challenging without being overwhelming and I’m able to work fairly independently on projects that I enjoy. It’s also given me the room to start focusing on myself, through playing sports again, starting antidepressants, and taking time to reinvest in my relationship and friendships.

I could not have done this without AAM. Your site is a wonderful resource and I have recommended it as a resource to countless people in all stages of their career. This site made me a better manager, coworker, job applicant, friend, and person.”

3.  “I was doing my self-assessment in late December in addition to being swamped with my regular duties. I’ve been taking this process a lot more seriously in recent years especially after I started reading your site. After the holidays passed I started reflecting on my review and hoping I got more than the standard 3-6% increase. I then realized that I didn’t have to simply hope. I could ASK!

It was early January, so I knew that my timing was right. I read every post on your site about how to ask for a raise. I did the best research that I could on what salaries were available for new jobs at my position and experience. I even did math on the inflation rate, and did the math on how it relates to my salary from a few years ago. I looked up every work metric available to me so that I could lay out my productivity to this point. After I did all my research, I sent my boss a calendar invite to have the talk with her (I had previously told her I wanted to have this conversation so she wasn’t blindsided).

I was very nervous, but it went great. My boss was incredibly receptive. She said that I laid out a great case, and that she would do everything to see that I got what I wanted.

Well I found out yesterday that my raise came through. I got the 20% increase I asked for! All because I recognized my worth and asked for it!”

4.  “I’m writing to you on one of my last days at a job that I’ve had for five years and hated for the past 2 years. I have a colleague who is a giant bully, and everyone knows this yet no one stops her. I have bosses who don’t appreciate that I can do so much more than the menial work that they swear they’re not making me do more than my share of…until they need something important done urgently and correctly, and suddenly I’m the only one who can do it.

I had been casually job searching for a while and ramped it up about six months ago. I have read Ask a Manager ever since I was applying for my first job out of college (quite a while ago!), so I was using your tips and tricks. But I wasn’t getting many responses of any kind and was feeling discouraged and hopeless. Finally, FINALLY, I found a job posting that sounded like it had been written just for me, applied online with no ‘in’ at the company, and ended up getting the job! My current bosses took the news really poorly – suddenly I’m essential to my team’s functioning! – but I’m wrapping up my work at OldJob and couldn’t be more excited to start NewJob.

Also awesome: NewJob had stated a salary ($X) in the job ad, which I said worked for me during the first screening. But when they made me the offer, it was $X + $5k!

A note to readers: If you’re reading this and you’re thinking, ‘These stories sound too good to be true’ or ‘That would never happen to me,’ I was where you are. All it takes is one yes, no matter how many rejections you get. Don’t give up hope – you are worth a great new job, and you are worth having coworkers who truly appreciate you.”

5.  “I’ve been a regular reader of Ask a Manager for a few years, and would like to thank you and contributors for your sound advice! Like many, I was laid off during the pandemic. Unfortunately the job I was working at was the only one relevant to my industry in the area, so I had to move.

Eventually I was hired back at the original company but at a different location. I recently met up with a former coworker who told me the company had finally restored salaries after two years of pandemic-related pay cuts, but it’s a high cost of living area. I was surprised to learn she was making thousands of dollars less than I am, despite having worked with the company for several years longer, and she had not received a raise for at least three years. I told her the salary I was making — as well as what the company offered me to return to the job I was laid off from. My former coworker used that information to negotiate a raise that was more than $5,000! Thanks for sharing your views on salary transparency and negotiation tips — it has helped me time and again, and helped me help someone else.”

{ 17 comments… read them below }

  1. still hopeful*

    “All it takes is one yes, no matter how many rejections you get.”
    Thank you, I needed to hear that today.

    1. Addison DeWitt*

      Important words that apply in so much of life. (My mom said my house was weird– lots of paint colors– and I said I’m not selling a product at Target, I just need one buyer to love it. Anyway, I still live there so who cares? I like it!)

      1. Former_Employee*

        One of my favorites from All About Eve:

        Addison DeWitt : Claudia, come here.

        [takes her aside]

        Addison DeWitt : You see that man, that’s Max Fabian, the producer. Now, go do yourself some good.

        Miss Casswell : Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?

        Addison DeWitt : Because that’s what they are.

        [taking her coat]

        Addison DeWitt : Now, go and make him happy.

  2. Katherine*

    #5 kudos to you for sharing your knowledge with your coworker! We need more people who are willing to do that.

  3. Bookworm*

    Thanks to all for sharing their good news! Nice to go into a holiday weekend with some nice news.

  4. cheap-ass bananapants*

    I love to see all these fellow AAMers asking for what they need, it’s inspiring! And thank you Alison, for being the inspiration.

  5. Anna Crusis*

    Congrats, everyone! Friday good news always gives me hope, especially with news like LW #4’s. I’m working to get out of a similar situation and needed to read this.

  6. Molly*

    Alison, I hope you know how important you are to so many people who read your blog. Thank you!

  7. Former_Employee*

    I’m so happy for OP#4. I had something similar happen when I was young. No bullying, just under appreciated. Left the job. Manager expressed his regrets that he didn’t step in.

  8. Seeking Second Childhood*

    OP5, If you’re here … I find myself wondering if you’re both women. Because if you’re not, this company’s lawyers are heaving a sigh of relief that the discrepancy was fixable with a raise not a lawsuit.

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