it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I’ve been meaning to write in with this good news — my household has benefited from AAM twice in the past year! First, last fall my husband’s manager took a new job, and after some deliberation my husband decided to throw his proverbial hat in the ring for the position. He wasn’t sure where to start with his cover letter, so I sent him a list of your most popular posts, including the cover letter template (he commented multiple times about how useful that was the weekend he was working on his application!). Lo and behold, a couple of months later he was offered the position, and the pay bump was much higher than he intended to ask for. Again, using advice from this site, he decided to go back and negotiate for more PTO, which was way more valuable for him, and he got it! He’s learning a lot about being a manager in the new position, and we are already making travel plans to take advantage of the increased time off.

For me, I had a long, frustrating eight-month job hunt when I decided to leave academia and education behind. Changing industries is hard, but I drew on your advice for cover letter writing and interviewing, trying to draw direct lines between my previous working experience and what I could bring to the newer roles. I finally got a great offer a couple of months ago, and I’ve been really happy with the new role. I got a 25% pay bump, much better benefits, and am reaching something like work-life balance after years of it being heavily skewed towards the former.”

2.  “A few years ago, I was pretty fed up with the politics in my field and was desperate for a way out. Like most people, I couldn’t leave my industry without retraining and new experiences to add to my resume as I have worked in the same field my entire professional life and have only worked at two companies over the last 15 years. I was pretty stuck.

I decided to pursue a national certification for a mostly unrelated field that I was barely dabbling in but had a lot of transferable skills. I took a course from the local college to see if I was even interested in moving forward and after having a great experience, I took another course and then the National Certification Preparation Course. In total, it took me a year and a half, three classes, and $6,000 to gain the certification.

While I have never used the certification in a professional capacity, I have been able to use the certificate as a way to leverage more money and title changes at my current job. I quite literally do an entirely different job than I was doing before, with skills I already had. I simply needed a piece of paper to prove I could handle it. My salary is now 48% higher yearly and have an entirely new title. While there are still political issues, they are on the periphery vs front and center in my daily tasks and duties.

I know many people may not be able to drop $6k on retraining but my investment in myself paid off the first year and has steadily grown to a salary that allowed me to auto-pay my bills for the first time in my life. I would encourage your readers, even if it takes longer than a year and a half, to invest in themselves and try for new opportunities.”

3.  “A small but meaningful update: I had a phone screen for a job this past Friday and I got the HR rep to name the salary range first! (Unfortunately a little lower than I’d like but I could work with it depending on benefits.) I have a second round interview later this week.”

4.  “I was part of the first batch of Friday good news and things have changed in the last 3 years. I changed jobs twice since then and while I have been a bit anxious about the perceived job hopping, its been ok!

I switched from my agency role to corporate and then followed my partner in a bicoastal move! It was hectic to say the least with a lot of stress on interviewing with the recent work history. I had hoped to remain remote at the previous job in order to get the time in for my resume but it wasn’t approved by HR and leadership. With your advice and a revamped resume, I managed to go from $35k to $120k across all those jobs. (Holy flipping shitballs, that’s a significant change.)

I’m now settling in as a contract to hire and loving the company I’m assigned to, with praise from leadership on my work. Everyone is looking at budget to get headcount and I’m currently sitting at 1 number spot to get flipped. While things could change, I feel confident that I have the skills to get another job without the significant amount of stress involved.

I’ve been reading your blog since college, and when I was stuck so many years ago as an assistant manager in retail and thinking I would never get out, your advice helped me stay sane and keep striving to leave for better pastures. Thank you thank you thank you.”

{ 11 comments… read them below }

        1. Heather*

          I’ve had two friends that also added certification. One added National HR and another added IT support via google Coursera. Both changed jobs into adjacent fields.

  1. Engineer*

    35k to 120k in less than 4 years is beyond impressive! Alison’s advice helped, but don’t sell your own efforts short, LW4! You put in the time and effort needed to show you could make that change and do it well. I hope your currrnt company will be able to flip your contract and you’ll be able to enjoy several more years with them.

    1. 2 Cents*

      Congrats, OP4!

      I have a similar experience going from agency to contract-for-hire to corporate. I was $60k –>$80k (and then given a $5k raise 3 months in), then hired full time at $100k. And I just got a raise so now I’m at $106k. I have more vacation, a better work-life balance (old agency expected a LOT of unpaid hours), and more freedom (old agency is in office, we’re mostly remote). I couldn’t have gotten this job without the agency, but I should’ve left sooner.

  2. Jess*

    re#2: If anyone is interested in exploring short term training like the op, WIOA and the new infrastructure bill are pouring money into state workforce training. look up your local workforce training agency and go from there. They will fund your credit AND non credit, and even apprenticeship programs, and assist you with every aspect of changing or modifying career trajectory. More than once, as well, so go for it, you can’t lose. You don’t even have to know what you want to do, the guidance and career coaching is built into the programs.

    1. WLP*

      This is great information. I had no idea this was available. I’m transitioning right now myself.

      Went from working in the office of a small family business for the last 12 years where there is no movement, prospects, vacation, health insurance, and only 5 bank holidays paid out. Changed up to a seasonal position outdoors in a state park to get a break and sense of normalcy again at a slightly higher pay rate. I have to make some decisions at the end of the season come Sept./Oct.

      Can you point me to the name of the program (if it has one) or something specific for independent research? I’ve been to our local workforce office and I don’t fully trust government lifers to provide me with full/good information.

  3. John Smith*

    re #2. I’ve seen this situation so many times (and currently with one colleague who flat out refuses to do most of his role). It’s been the case that each time, the employee wanted to do what they thought their role should be or had ideas above their station. They would have applied for any position just so they can get their foot in the door. One person in particular thought acting like an authoritative jerk of a manager would impress people – he walked past me with a project file, threw it on my desk saying “sort that out by tomorrow”). The whys here are obviously not necessarily those of LW’s colleague, but the actions needed probably are – a stern talking with a copy of the disciplinary process highlighted and, if necessary, dismissal.

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