it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “For nine years I worked for a large nonprofit with a good team but a not so good upper management. I moved into a new home slightly further away and started job hunting to make my commute better. Nothing panned out. My manager left, new manager asked me to go from working 30 hours per week with work from home privileges to a full 5 days a week in the office. I negotiated a 30% raise and bump in title. Two months later and the pandemic sent us working from home for 6 months. New manager only lasted a year, but I managed to crush a few projects during all of the above. CEO offered me a promotion to lead the team and I negotiated a 68% raise.

My plan was to survive one year with my difficult CEO and then to get something else. This site really helped me hold up in a toxic environment. I also used the interview tips. I wanted something closer to home without taking a pay cut. Took a little longer than a year, but last December I started working in C-Level management for an even larger nonprofit – only 10 minutes from my house, with flexibility to work from home whenever I chose, a great team, and 35% raise. In four years my salary has gone up 203%!!!

I want to add a little more nuance to those fellow working mothers out there. I wanted to work part time when my kids were young. I was very, very lucky to finish an MBA while pregnant and was hired into a part-time position. Pay sucked, but I was able to grow the role and 13 years later I have a great job. Looking back, I am glad I stuck with working even when I wondered if it was worth the expense of daycare. ”

2.  “I’ve been reading Ask a Manager for years now and I finally have some good news to share! I began a letter a few years ago when I was going through a really uncomfortable hiring process with my former intern placement, where the manager ultimately refused to hire me because my husband worked there too (me interning was apparently fine). I was very upset because the interview felt very perfunctory up until they asked me, ‘What if you get divorced?’ It dragged on for months until I got another job, at which point they told me they were never going to hire me because he worked there. Could have saved me months of stress and told me that when I submitted my application!

Anyway, my good news is that I am leaving the backup job years later to join my husband’s new workplace. I realize it isn’t ideal that we are in the same very narrow specialized niche, but this workplace addressed the relationship and expressed their trust in us as professionals right from the start, and then focused the hiring process on my actual qualifications. I am so excited to get back to my preferred practice area, with management that will address awkward issues head-on. And I used your ‘magic question’ at the end of my interviews (because I had very few actual questions, given my inside scoop on the workplace) and got great insight into the interviewers’ goals for the organization and my position. They loved answering it! Thank you for the resources, amusement and much-needed perspective that you provide here.”

3.  “I was laid off in August last year due to the company going into liquidation. I had a recruiter get in touch with a role that was similar to what I’d been doing but in an adjacent industry (for clarity: I’d been working as a project accountant in property development and the role was finance manager in construction). I interviewed and wanted the role. BADLY. Given I’d been laid off, I was desperate in more ways than one, so didn’t negotiate at all on salary which obviously was silly; negotiating on salary when we literally work to get paid wasn’t going to cause them to rescind the offer! But anyway, I started in September and it’s been everything I was hoping for, plus more.

The company recently changed the performance review process so that while performance reviews still occur on applicable anniversaries, remuneration reviews are all aligned for July. Initially, it was inferred I’d miss out on any review of remuneration because I hadn’t been there 12 months yet. As it was, I did get a raise, but not as much as I’d been hoping for. So, I dived into the archives of AAM and drafted a case study to support my reasons for deserving more. A meeting was booked to discuss it which worried me a little because I struggle to verbalize/remember my points when in the moment, without reading directly from the document (which I fear makes me sound robotic/unprofessional). As it turned out, we had an issue come up that needed prompt attention so the meeting was brief. I told my boss I had my support for a higher raise written down and given we were limited on time, I could just email that to her to address in her own time and come back to me. She agreed this was a fantastic idea.

Along with my reasons, I named a figure that was a 14.5% increase on my starting salary. The original increase offered was 4.7% , and I was expecting that they’d negotiate down to the middle, or a 9.5% increase.

My boss was so impressed with my case study support that there was no negotiation. They agreed to my named figure. I also got an email thanking me for taking the time to provide concise, quantifiable support and how it really made clear the value I add to the company. I also found out from the people and culture manager afterwards that management want anyone who wants to negotiate an increase higher than that offered to do a case study just like mine to support their request.

It’s made a substantial difference in these tough economic times and makes me even more motivated to do well here, since I now have proof they will recognize the effort.”

{ 29 comments… read them below }

    1. TG*

      Ditto especially the last one! How cool is that you’re helping transform the process! All of these are amazing!

  1. kat*

    I was just about to write the exact same thing. I LOVE that there are so many of these stories to share as well.

  2. Wow, really?*

    Holy Hannah! A 203% raise is amazing! I am so happy for all three of you, though! Thank you for giving me hope thaty circumstances can change as well, if I apply myself.

      1. Frickityfrack*

        Right? I just applied for a promotion of sorts that would be about a 25% raise, and that would be amazing. Like, life changing because it would allow me to afford to stay in my home state. I don’t even know what I’d do with 200%.

      2. All Het Up About It*

        This made me do math about my salary increase over the past 7 years. Not nearly as impressive as the OP’s 4 year jump. But comparing the percentages from the first 7 years of my career to the last seven…. Mind boggling for me!

        Happy Good News Friday!!

  3. Effin finally Friday, friends!*

    I’m stuck on LW2’s interviewers asking ‘What if you get divorced?’


    1. pope suburban*

      Yeah, that seems very much…not the kind of thing that is okay? Discriminatory? I’m not a lawyer or anything but the question gives me the ick because it feels like the kind of thing you’re not really allowed to ask about during hiring.

      1. Clisby*

        If this is in the US, I’m not sure there’s anything interviewers “can’t” ask in hiring. There are some questions that aren’t advisable to ask, but I wouldn’t think raising the issue of a spouse working at the same company would be one of those. There are companies that just wouldn’t hire spouses and wouldn’t bother asking about it.

        1. North American Couch Wizard Society Member*

          well…discrimination on the basis of marital status is illegal, so it’s not okay to not hire OP on the basis that she’s married and might conceivably get divorced someday, but it would be OK to have a company policy that they don’t hire spouses (or even good to have that policy if it’s a small company where people would inevitably be in contact).

          Basically, they seem to have gone about this completely wrong–they should either have told OP that they wouldn’t consider hiring the spouse of an existing employee, or they should have had policies in place for avoiding conflicts of interest if they do, but letting her get into a protracted hiring process and then essentially asking her borderline discriminatory questions about the health of her marriage is just…wrong. I’m going to assume that it was a situation where it had never come up before and the question bounced up and down the management chain a little until finally someone was like “we can’t do this”. I guess this is how policies come into being though.

    2. LW2*

      It was definitely a WTF question. The organization had a precedent for hiring spouses and no policy against it, so I expected a conversation but not one that started like that! I beat myself up about my answer for weeks after, thinking that’s what lost me what I considered my “dream job” (yeah… there is no such thing). It was both helpful and frustrating to learn I’d had no chance.

      1. Wow, really?*

        I am glad you wound up in a job where they respect you, your professionalism AND your relationship!

        It’s amazing what I would just feel weird about during an interview when I was younger and still try to get the job anyway.

  4. Vin Packer*

    My favorite thing about #3 is that this LW not only made things better for herself, but everyone else who might ever want to ask for a raise at her organization — there’s now a specific system, with a template/example, so folks in the future will know exactly what they need to do instead of having to guess based on vague ideas of what constitutes “professionalism.” Great work, #3!

  5. Boof*

    Great news everyone!!!
    LW3 and Allison, if it’s reasonable/OK, I’d love to see the actual case study that you presented.

    I am in a field that I feel like it’s hard to know exactly what other people are making, and even if you do, what confounders there might be. For clarity, I am a physician and “RVUs” Are supposed to be how we are rated. But it’s very hard to get a clear picture of salary per RV you in your specialty, practice type, and region. Supposedly these benchmarks exist, but they seem to be behind some kind of pay wall.

    1. a good mouse*


      I always find it difficult to benchmark since I’m in a very niche industry (themed entertainment design/engineering, i.e. theme parks, museums, etc), so even though I now have a title that’s more easily compared to others out there as a Technical Project Manager, it’s hard to know how to compare to others inside/outside the field to make arguments for increased pay.

    2. Anna3*

      I love LW#3 news! I came here to say I want to see study too. Perhaps AAM can write a separate oost on ghis topic next week?

    3. LW#3*

      I can certainly share it though only in plain text format! Some caveats; the new bonus structure was discussed as a potential “peace maker” for my disappointment with the raise offered. I also work 4 days a week (7.6 hours a day) which in my country is of 0.8 full time equivalent of a 38 hour week.

      “I feel I have brought value to the company and there is continued potential for growth. I believe that a higher increase would not only reflect my accomplishments but also serve as a strong motivator to further excel in my role.
      In my mind the responsibilities of the role, which include *listed tasks that were either not on my original PD, or had evolved substantially* are worth more than the current offer. Largely because the time spent to do this job well has invariably been more than the 30.4 hours per week I am employed for, as I confirmed with *our employee management software* data. This showed I am working an average of 33.4 hours a week (or 0.88 FTE). This doesn’t consider the tasks I complete of an evening or on a Friday, nor the extra time I work on a Wednesday when I am normally commuting to/from the office.
      Additionally, a review of current roles on LinkedIn and Seek lists the following roles:
      – listed 3 advertised roles here that has transparent salary

      The roles aren’t dissimilar from this one in its scope or “level” within management, and I have the required education, employment history, and background that these roles are looking for.

      I appreciate you sharing the details about the new bonus structure that is in development. I recognise the company’s effort to reward employees based on their performance and align it with their base salary. I do think it important to distinguish between the bonus, which is typically tied to specific performance metrics, and the base salary, which reflects the ongoing responsibilities and contributions I make to the company. The base salary is an essential part of my compensation package that recognises the value I bring to my role on a day-to-day basis.
      I’m hesitant to name a specific number to counter with, but in the interest of transparency, *detailed my number and basis for it* “

      That was basically it! I guess it called it a case study purely because I didn’t know what else to call it. It was more professionally laid out obviously with titles and headings etc.

  6. BoatsX3*

    Letter Writer #3, I cannot thank you enough for writing about struggling to remember/verbalize points in the moment. I have the same issue and it’s reassuring that I’m not alone in this world with it. Congrats on the success!

  7. Bill and Heather's Excellent Adventure*

    Congratulations to all! LW2, really glad that you and your husband are in a better place. I’m flabbergasted that the old job made you jump through so many hoops when they never intended to give you a chance, especially when they had no official policy against hiring couples and had done so before!

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