It’s your good news for Friday!
1. The company I (30s, she / she) work for was hit hard by the “big layoff” earlier this year and the hiring went through a losing streak and we both had a pretty bad gender gap that we pretty even made up for too predominantly led men.
As part of a panel of representatives from employee resource groups, we addressed the lack of competitive wages and the poor way we handled internal promotions and job changes. For example, someone who has entered an entry-level position in a department may end up with a significantly lower salary after being transferred and promoted due to a lower starting salary, and the employees most affected have been women and those without a college degree.
The executive team took the concerns seriously and spent time reorganizing our salary bands, assessing the pay differentials, comparing them to market rates, etc.
In all honesty, I wasn’t thinking of myself when I talked about it: even though I knew my salary was on the low end relative to market value, I was always on the high end of% increases and was satisfied enough knowing my colleagues and Job.
But I just got a 30% raise as a compensation adjustment (which means it doesn’t affect my annual performance rating), which puts me at a competitive market price for the first time in a while, and I didn’t realize it until I got it that it actually bothered me.
Since our new hires tend to be men, we’ve seen women who have moved up from internal jobs to the same position earn significantly less, and I’m so relieved that (1) they are correcting this and (2) they are finally making more competitive.
I hope it will help us attract and retain more employees again and, personally, I feel more valued and my concerns have been heard. And it is very sad to see that some of my colleagues left last year, but I thank them for telling the company “Sorry, you actually have to pay us what we are worth”.
Cross your fingers as more and more companies are starting to reassess the real cost of underpaid employees and address their wage inequality issues!
2. I wanted to share a success story with counter-offers! I’ve been a long-time reader of your website and 2 years ago, after negotiating a salary correction that almost, but not quite, got me to catch up with others in my role, I decided to put out feelers to see what else gets out there. I received a job offer for a similar position in the same organization (but in a different company, I am a government contractor) in February 2020 with an almost 30% raise! Knowing that the government was not interested in increasing my quota in my old position and there was no other similar position in my current company, I didn’t think they would be interested in taking action. Well I was wrong. When my big boss found out I’d quit, he called me for a meeting and flat-out offered to pay the new salary, plus $ 5,000 signing bonus and parking fees (which equates to an additional $ 2,000 per year) and they created a new one Position for me in the company that would give me more flexibility and allow me to expand my skills beyond the roles of Chief of Staff, which I have been doing for 5 years and what the new position offers me.
After a lot of reading, thinking and discussing, I decided to accept the counter offer. Part of my bill was that I just got out of maternity leave and now have 3 children, so guaranteed flexibility was important. Additionally, the fact that they specifically wanted me to grow and branch out and seek certification / training was enormous as I was great at what I was doing but I don’t have any formal training or certification in my field. I really liked my company, they listened as I talked about some terrible policies and benefits and made changes that would benefit employees, and I had a good relationship with executives and colleagues. Eventually the company had tripled in size from less than 100 to nearly 300 in my 3.5 years and they were on their way to keep growing so there was plenty of potential for internal career growth. The other company also had a good reputation, but the position would have been more similar, only with a higher paycheck.
And it was a great thing that I accepted the counter offer. I started my new job on March 2nd, 2020, which was my first day after maternity leave. The world has closed and all 3 children suddenly came home from school 2 weeks later. 2 weeks later my marriage imploded pretty spectacularly and I and the kids had to move 2 weeks later. My company was incredible during all of the initial upheaval and has continued to support me. I think the fact that I had high quality performance and a solid reputation as a team player (and straight shooter) for almost 4 years from doing research and presenting evidence of how the previous crappy policies and benefits hampered company growth when I spoke) really helped my boss give me the grace and flexibility I needed when I became a single parent with children dealing with trauma. That flexibility allowed me to get the job done, despite the fact that I also taught at home and went through a divorce that turned out to be incredibly bitter. For the past 18 months, I’ve actually tackled a title change that’s essentially a promotion and received a performance bonus. Now that I have stepped out of personal crisis management mode, my boss and I look forward to getting some of these certifications and formal training so that I can really move forward.
All of this would not have been possible if I hadn’t had the skills to negotiate the offers, advice to clearly evaluate both offers, and the ability (and confidence) to communicate clearly with my leadership about what I can and cannot deliver . The reputation I’ve built at the company was partly due to the advice here on how to stand up for yourself and the general “This is what a healthy workplace” stories are like. Most of my working life felt like I was swimming with everything that happens. It was amazing to take control and come up with a plan for what lies ahead of me. Thanks very much!
3rd This saga begins in May 2019 when my husband was transferred to a new boss. The new boss was someone who should never have led people. After nearly 25 years, my husband was done and he was seriously looking for goodbye.
A position opened up in July 2019 for which a friend who used to work at the new position strongly encouraged my husband to apply. My husband hadn’t written a résumé in years, so he asked me for help. I had him write down what he thought it should look like, and then I used Alison’s résumé-writing advice to go from mediocre at best to really good. I convinced him to focus on accomplishments because after 25 years in college IT there have been a lot of them. He also wrote a really meaningful cover letter explaining why he would be a good fit for the job.
The combination of cover letter and résumé brought him the interview in mid-August. I bought him a new suit and persuaded him to go to my hairdresser for a good haircut. That, along with the interview practice I gave him with his friend, helped him pass the interview. Four days later he had an offer for more than he asked for. He started in the new position in October of this year.
I knew that if he got the job, I would have to look for a new job because it was unreasonable for him to commute 100 miles each way indefinitely. I took the resume that had given me two promotions at the hospital where I had worked for 25 years and updated it to reflect the latest accomplishments.
I applied for a position at the nearby academic medical center and was asked almost immediately to do a phone screening with the recruiter. That was on Monday. On Thursday I interviewed the manager and team leader for the position. A week later I had a second interview with the manager and her director in which they told me that I should expect an offer within 48 hours. I accepted the offer as it was about a 25% increase over my offer.
I started the new position in December 2019. We kept commuting until March 2020 when we closed a new house. The shutdown orders started on the weekend we moved. Since then, my husband and I have been working from home.
I couldn’t ask for a better employer. The health system I work for prioritizes patient care, patient safety, and science in everything we do. We have an amazing team where the most common phrase is “I appreciate everything you do”. I know my work in computer science of the sales cycle makes a difference.
4th I started a new job last week after a few months of unemployment. I was fired after a takeover after only one year in the position. I was almost relieved to be fired as I fell deeper into the depression every day – I absolutely HATE my supervisor, my boss, and the company. I spent almost every day mustering up the courage to ask you a question, but couldn’t even begin to figure out what problem I was having that could be resolved by anything other than “leaving.” After crying a fair amount after being released, I took some time (with severance pay and unemployment, thank God) to visit friends and family I hadn’t seen since the pandemic. I’ve had a couple of interviews that made it to the final round and finally got the job I’m in now.
If I tell you this job is day and night from my last, I couldn’t be more serious. My bosses laugh with me, respect my opinion and are really happy with the company and their decision to hire me. (It certainly doesn’t hurt that the job came with a 16% raise!) I can feel my old confidence returning and I couldn’t be more grateful to you and your blog for helping me hold on to the scraps, When the walls feel like they’re attacking me I kept coming back to Ask A Manager for advice on how to stay professional and moral support.
I know that a new job won’t solve all of my problems, but I finally feel like I’m on the right track.