Friday, June 14, 2024
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it’s your Friday good news — Ask a Manager

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.”

 

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