it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I’m the letter writer who wrote in about the board games group with the problematic member and then with a happy update about that situation. The games group continues to thrive, with about 18 people every session now, and we’ve been able to reduce the cost per session to use the surplus to give back to the group. Based on this month’s numbers, we’ll be able to have the lower cost for at least the next few months if the current numbers continue!

I’m now writing in about my own job search, which I started in October 2022. I was never planning to stay in my current role forever, but a change was made to my workload that meant that I started job hunting earlier than planned.

It was a long job search, mostly due to lots of people job hunting just now. A lot of the positions I applied to received so many applications that the automatic response noted that they wouldn’t be giving anyone any feedback due to the volume of applications.

I had some bad luck along the way and I was feeling pretty fed up about things. However, I kept going, putting in high quality applications and joining a few agencies as well, and things began to look up. I was successful in joining an admin pool for a local university (a way to be told about possible jobs and be put forward for them), and I had an interview yesterday for a job which I was successful in getting! It’s an administrator for a new team, and it will be setting up their systems and processes from the ground up (one of my strengths and something I enjoy), and we got on really well during the interview and were on the same wavelength about ways of working and so on.

The process of being added to their HR is long, convoluted and full of possible delays, so I haven’t handed in my notice yet, as I’m waiting for the contract to come through, which could take anything from two to four weeks. I’m delighted with the new job though – the organizing, planning, and setting up processes, procedures and systems is right up my street, and there’s scope for developing the role further and potentially managing staff. It’s also a pay bump, which is what I was looking for as well.

Thank you so much for this site and for all the resources available for free as well: the information on here is invaluable. I used your interview preparation guide and advice for interviewing and the articles about the reality of job hunting, how long it can take, employer time vs. candidate time and much more were some of what kept me going through the long job search. Your questions to ask the interviewer have also really impressed every interviewer so far!

Your advice that interviews are a two-way street really helped when I had an interview for a job which I realized I didn’t want (as opposed to taking it just to have a new job), and I was also able to say no to several jobs from the admin pool which didn’t offer what I wanted, with your advice in mind.

2.  “I will soon be starting a new job in a new field after years of being a stay at home parent. Having a gap in my resume and changing fields made me worry that I would struggle to get a job. After reading your advice for so long, I went to interviews with the approach that I wanted to see if it was a fit for me and that I was there to make valuable contributions to the company. Previously, I had the view that I was only there to answer questions about myself and had to be very deferential to my interviewers and any job offers. The quality of interviews was like night and day with this new approach. I’m not particularly extroverted, but the conversations were actually enjoyable. Asking questions around work culture/job fit made it really easy to show interest in the position. Thanks so much!”

3.  “I’ve always kind of glossed over the Friday Good News posts, because I genuinely didn’t think anything like that was realistic or would ever happen to me … and yet, here I am writing in to share my own Friday good news :) My career has been turbulent since the pandemic — I dealt with a 2020 layoff like so many people did, and had to jump to a new industry to survive, which included a massive drop in pay and title. I was feeling a bit stuck — I was lucky enough to make my way to a very stable company with a great culture, but I was doing work that didn’t excite me and was still making way less than I did pre-Covid. I occasionally applied to new roles, but didn’t make it to the interview stage for whatever reason.

I really want to emphasize the importance of networking. A former colleague who I’ve kept in contact with reached out about a month ago to let me know about a role at his company that he thought I’d be a great fit for. On paper, it looked like a major stretch, but I decided to go for it because it was work I’d be really excited to do. I retooled my resume using tips from your website and was asked to do a phone screen. Using your advice, I prepared for this interview like I’ve never prepared before, and completely knocked it out of the ballpark. Same thing happened with my subsequent interviews with the hiring manager, and the director over the department. Within two weeks of applying, I was offered the role and it came with a hefty 65% pay increase (so I’m now making way more than I did even before the pandemic).

I’ve been in the role for about a month now, and I’m so happy and excited. For the first time in a long time, I feel engaged and challenged in my job. I love the people I work with, and I feel passionate for the work I do. I absolutely would not be here without networking, and I will never take for granted the power of maintaining professional relationships ever again. I also absolutely would not be here without your advice — these interviews were on a whole different level from anything I’ve done before, and I was able to approach them strategically and well prepared.”

{ 9 comments… read them below }

  1. Chilipepper Attitude*

    Yay to all, but especially #3. I was the same, never thought it would happen for me! But I wrote my own good news Friday post a year or two(?) ago and I’m still really happy here.

    Thanks so much to Alison for continuing these good Friday posts!

  2. Desiree*

    Congrats to everyone! I want to add on to #3, because a similar thing happened to me (pre-covid actually): I had a reasonably well-paying job I liked and had climbed a few rungs of the ladder at, but then got laid off and ended up needing to take a less-interesting and much-lower-paying job, though at a solid organization.

    I was so worried I’d tanked by career. But after about a year in that not-great jobs, I ended up in super interesting role paying more than I’d made before the layoff. I got there ultimately through networking after putting out tons of applications and exploring fields/role I’d never previously considered. The uncertainty in that year sucked! But wanted to share another story to emphasize that it is possible to rebound from what feels like (maybe even objectively is) a step down due to circumstance.

  3. Momma Bear*

    Loving these updates, especially the parent returning to work. Been there. Glad you were able to make the jump back.

    1. TurnedMeIntoANewt*

      Thanks! That was me. I’ve been there a month and it feels like a great fit. The wild thing is that the company sought me out. It turns out my unusual combo of experiences was somebody’s ideal mix of skills. It has been tough transitioning from grad student/SAHM to commuting to work daily but we’re managing.

      1. aloepupmayhem*

        Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing your good news! I am just starting my SAHM back-to-work journey, and it was so inspiring to see your happy success story. Wishing you all the best!

  4. Hlao-roo*

    Congratulations on the job front #1! Also happy to hear the board game group is still doing well!

  5. I can do this*

    Dear no. 3, you’ve done exactly what I’ve been trying to do for 2 years. You have motivated me not to give up!

  6. BlueKat*

    Congratulations to all the LWs! For #3, I’d be interested to know how people keep in touch with former colleagues who they aren’t also personal friends with – actively interacting on LinkedIn? on personal social media? emailing or texting about relevant professional things? Meeting up in person?

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