it’s your Friday good news — Ask a Manager

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “After sending a question to you in May (which you didn’t publish, no worries), I realized that writing to an advice column might be a sign that it was time to look for a new job. I identified a large organization that I would like to work for that was posting lots of remote positions. I subscribed to their weekly job postings and kept my eyes peeled. The first one I was keen on closed before I could apply (why say ‘open until filled’ but only leave it up for a week?) so I pounced on the next one, using all the resume tips from your site. There were several hurdles to clear but I am thrilled to say I will be starting my new gig in January: One with total flexibility in terms of hours/location, better pay, more vacation, and that will give me a year of maternity/parental leave at close to full salary if I have a baby.

Ironically – or perhaps not – it was some of the qualities that I wrote to you about in my current manager (the hyperbolic praise and intensity) that helped me secure the new job. My current boss is so super supportive and enthusiastic about me, she had no problem being a reference and talked me up to the moon. My new boss has mentioned several times what a glowing reference it was and I think I’ve already earned some credibility going into this job because of it. It was a gift to realize that now was the perfect moment to leave: The longer I stayed in the over-managed situation, the less confident I felt in finding something else. But I also valued my boss’ appreciation and I’m glad to have found a way to channel it into a new opportunity.

Thanks for your site, it is absolutely my favorite thing to read and I check it first thing every morning!”

2.  “I wanted to write in to thank you and your readers for the incredible gift you gave my family! My husband is an attorney and has practiced in a couple of different areas of the law during his 7-year career. He is very underpaid in his current job and is bullied and frozen out by one of the partners at his small firm. So needless to say, he has been considering a change.

I read your reader’s suggestion about the data privacy field and shared this with my husband. He obtained the certification, updated his resume, leveraged connections, and now will be starting a job in the field of privacy law next week! He is more than doubling his pay in salary alone (not including bonus) and is extremely excited about the role and the people on his new team. We are so grateful for your blog and your reader who gave us this idea. This is truly life changing for our family!”

3.  “I have spent the last two covid years at deputy director level, struggling with an unmanageable workload and an unreasonable director. Between the Covid pressures, the struggle to deliver all our normal workload, all of the additional projects he would come up with, and his apparent belief that all of these things could be top priority simultaneously, by September 2020 I was in tears every time I spoke to him. I kept saying we shouldn’t take on more projects while we couldn’t resource the ones we already had, and kept getting told off for being ‘negative.’

I kept forcing myself to work and ignoring my sypmtoms, but by summer 2021 I reallly could not cope, at which time I got ‘why didn’t you tell me earlier?’ (Apparently tears 3 times a week and regularly telling him I couldn’t cope didn’t register at all.)

Our occupational health diagnosed me with burnout at a level amounting to a protected disability, and backfill was arranged so that I only had one person’s high workload rather than three, but I still had ridiculous and impossible deliverables on top of 70 meetings a week (no exaggeration), plus vendor failures etc. So I was struggling on but not recovering.

Throughout this he was planning a restructure, and all of the drafts had my role in them. But this turned out to be fake documents he produced specifically to mislead me, and my job was removed from the new structure. (I suspect this is targeted because he doesn’t want to deal with my mental health issues, but can’t prove anything.)

This was the last straw and I gave up trying to fake being well, and accepted I just couldn’t go back there. I luckily live in a country/industry where I get a lot of sick leave, so I have been using that, and applied for voluntary severance.

I suspected that the jobs in the new structure were paid significantly below market rate, and that has turned out to be quite true.

I have just been offered a 1-year contract role at 12% pay rise, doing essentially exactly the same duties. This is perfect because I am looking to make a big move in a year or two anyway, and in the mean time I can put the extra money and the severance payment directly into savings to help fund it. And laugh all the way to my leaving do, where I intend to make him make a speech about how great I am.

So there really is light at the end of the tunnel. :)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *