it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I’m writing to share a good news story on behalf of my cousin. My cousin was working part-time starting in 2018 for financial reasons (her husband earned more money, so it made sense that she have fewer hours and be able to pick up the kids from school, take them to appointments, etc), but after having her hours reduced to almost nothing during the pandemic, she decided it was time to get back into the work world full-time.

In 2022 she started searching for jobs, particularly targeting state government jobs (with my help, as I was already a state employee), and was hired at one of our state agencies starting in late August.

However, a few months in she began to realize it was not a good culture fit, with lack of organization, an absent boss who had basically checked out due to pending retirement and just general chaos. It didn’t get better once he retired — really, it was just the same crap, different day!

With my encouragement, she began applying for jobs at other state agencies, and she managed to land two interviews. Both went well (thanks to your interview guide that I passed along!) and yesterday she accepted an offer! It’s a lateral move but has more opportunities for growth and promotions. I also gave her tips on following up with the other agency she interviewed with about their timeline, using your advice on asking about next steps now that she was considering another offer, which she was more than happy to utilize!

Thank you so much for your targeted, thoughtful, wise, practical advice that has helped both of us to advance in our (later in life) careers in state government!”

2.  “I’m a newly graduated student who’s spent the last year bemoaning that there was no intersection between my niche field and my smallish city and I was going to have to significantly compromise my desired career path. Then a few months ago, a single company relocated their [my field] division to [my town], starting with one new entry-level hire. Thanks to a lot of reliance on your cover letter and interview advice, that new hire is me, and I am over the moon! As a bonus, you also helped me the courage to successfully negotiate my offer. Here’s looking forward to my very first cubicle!”

3.  “In 2011 I was hired into the trade association field in a low level position and fell in love. I decided to make associations my career — sadly leaving that initial association in 2013 as I needed more experience/money and wanted to move up. But in my exit interview I told the CEO that whenever they left, I wanted to come back into their job.

Fast forward to 2021 and the CEO announced they were leaving. I was starting to look for a new job, had all the experience/certifications they wanted and thought, ‘This is my moment.’ I leveraged every resource I had; my friend in HR spent three hours doing a practice interview, a friend who does makeup took me shopping to up my makeup game so I’d look older and more polished (I’m very young for my role so wanted to nip any of that thinking in the bud!), I scoured your site for resume and cover letter advice, and I had friends in the association world look at my application package before I applied. I had to write a three-page cover letter, reformat my resume to their specifications, and for the final interview was one of three candidates to present a presentation to the board that I spent a whole weekend on. If there was every anything approaching a dream job, this was it, and I did everything in my power to nail every step.

Two and a half months from applying, I found out I was the second choice. The board chairman called me personally to deliver the news and while my voice was steady, tears were pouring down my face. I have never wanted a job for so long and tried so hard, and it was devastating. I saw on Facebook when they welcomed the new person, and since I had kept in loose touch with some old board members, when asked I explained that while obviously disappointed, I wanted the best for the organization and if that wasn’t me, I understood. I kept job hunting and would be the second or the third choice every time, but nothing cut quite as deep as that rejection had. I turned down a couple jobs that wouldn’t have been a good fit and just kept applying.

In early summer 2022, I got a weird email on a Friday night from one of the board members saying, ‘Hey, can we catch up this weekend?’ Thinking nothing of it, I said sure, gave them a ring and found out … the person they hired had been a terrible fit, and the board was not only moving ahead with a separation from the individual, but wanted to talk to me and find out if I was still interested and available. I had to interview with the executive committee a few weeks later (using lots of advice from your site) and got an offer letter a few hours later. Almost a year to the day I got rejected, I signed my three-year contract. I’ve been here just over a year and I have never been happier at work. I got a 68% raise, I get to travel all over the world, I have built an amazing team, and I have had so many people tell me how glad they are they ended up hiring me. Friends and family all remark how happy I am since I have taken this job (the company I left deserves a post all on it’s own — I didn’t understand the term gaslighting fully until that job). While that initial rejection was devastating, I am so glad that I was second, so I was able to step into this role. Thanks to all your interviewing and resume advice — it was invaluable!”

{ 19 comments… read them below }

    1. ferrina*

      Yes! This one made me so happy. The way that LW handled the rejection so professionally speaks volumes!

  1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    I love the Friday good news! It’s so inspiring to see how many people AAM has helped.

  2. Someone Else's Boss*

    Friday good news is always great to hear, but this week has been incredibly stressful for me professionally, and I’m all the more pleased to hear such great outcomes!

  3. OP #3*

    OP #3 here – in the time since I submitted this and it getting posted I had my annual review. My Exec committee voted unanimously to give me the max annual bonus allowed under my contract (10%) and the board gave me a literal round of applause. I have never been happier at work – I literally start Mondays excited now – and I genuinely credit reading this site for YEARS in one of the many factors that helped me finally land this job.

    1. Someone Else's Boss*

      That’s amazing! Congratulations on that really fantastic outcome. It’s great to hear how things can turn around.

    2. Throwaway Account*

      So happy for you!!

      I’m really curious though, do you have any insight into why the other candidate was their first choice and how/what they got wrong? Was there something that they thought the candidate had that they were wrong about, did they think you were lacking something? How did they get it so wrong?!

      Totally understand if you cannot answer!

      1. OP #3*

        Oddly enough, it apparently mostly came down to perceived political affiliation/connections. Turns out we shared the same political affiliation, but because of some things on my resume, it was assumed I was the other party (I’m a big believer that a CEO has to be nonpartisan, so I don’t go out of the way to advertise my personal beliefs.) There was also the assumption that the other person had deep political connections due to some previous experience (although that did not translate into much once they were onboarded) and my decade+ as a lobbyist has actually advanced our priorities way beyond what that person even thought about accomplishing. Finding all this out was fairly frustrating, as IMO, hiring someone based on their political party is generally not the best idea for so very many different reasons. And extra ironic since we ended up sharing the same political affiliation! I’m hopeful that whenever any of them ever have to hire again, they remember that picking someone based on perceived political party/connections is not some surefire path to success.

        1. misspiggy*

          Sounds like they really needed you to help the organisation develop better political thinking.

        2. Throwaway Account*

          Thanks for answering! I guess the silver lining is that they really appreciate you now!

    3. Not my coffee*

      I am so very happy for you! I was recently the number 2 choice for my dream job. I am still navigating the my feelings. I got the dream interview once, I can get it again.

      Since then, the dream company has gone through restructuring and all my contacts are at new employers, but I still wonder what if.

    4. Miss C.*

      So wonderful to hear all of this! Thanks for sharing your good news and update – it’s nice when things work out so well.

  4. HA2*

    #3 – excellent story!

    Also a good reminder of why it’s useful to be gracious and understanding even when rejected! I bet they all remembered how you had been courteous and professional even though you weren’t chosen (and even if they didn’t, they WOULD HAVE remembered if you’d burned bridges in anger and frustration).

  5. No Yelling on the Bus*

    More Good News! I have learned SO MUCH from reading this blog over the years. I had an ex-colleague call to ask me for advice on an underperforming team member, and I was so proud of the advice I was able to share based on what I have learned here. I am ALSO very proud because I am so much more comfortable setting boundaries for myself in my work. My boss routinely misses our check ins and then wants to catch up at another (less convenient) time. I try to flex as much as possible but today I can’t so I just sent a message with the items to sync on and bullets on next steps. We’ll talk next week, and I’m not going to stress about it or rearrange my day today. (Again, I’m happy to flex most days but today I just can’t). Thanks AAM :-)

  6. Bookworm*

    Yay to all the LWs! Especially #3: that’s really awesome. I really appreciate you sharing because I’ve been rejected and sometimes another position (not as high as CEO!) opens up. I’ve reapplied but have never had a positive outcome. Your story gives me some hope. Thanks.

  7. Kristen*

    Congratulations to all. If you have any good juju left please share, I’m waiting on a job I’d really like. Interview went great, they called for my references the same day. Contacted my references, but 2 weeks later no word. It’s chewing me up.

  8. Happily Retired*

    I always get a bit of the sads on Fridays, due to having fewer blog entries to read, but the Friday Good News always helps make up for it!

    Congratulations to all the posters – climbing up through the bizarro world of local government, nailing that first job, wow!, and coming back so triumphantly after an original “we loved you, but…”

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