A Friday Chat About Good Managers

NICOLE: Happy Friday!

MARISA: Happy Friday! Things are insane here at work, this is my last day because I start a new job on Monday!

NICOLE: Wow! Congrats!

MARISA: Thank you!

NICOLE: Are you excited?

MARISA: Yes, mostly. This is the first time I’ve left a job I actually really like, but it’s a title bump AND a salary bump. So definitely the right move.

NICOLE: For sure. But it’s hard to leave a job you like! You always wonder if you’ll ever have it this good again.

MARISA: In particular my manager, she’s helped me grow so much, and was even very understanding when I told her I was leaving. Well, actually she knew before I told her, because I’m just moving to a different department at the same university and the new people were not too discreet about my application.

NICOLE: Well, I guess it’s all in the family, as it were. Hard to keep that kind of thing secret.

MARISA: My first time making that kind of move, so I guess.

NICOLE: So you’ll be changing jobs, but not, like, commutes?

MARISA: Yep! Lots of positives, because I’m already familiar with a lot of the systems. That was actually some of the leverage I used when negotiating. That, and raiding Ask A Manager for scripts 😉

NICOLE: HAHAHA! Ask A Manager is so great.

MARISA: THE BEST. The negotiation process went a lot smoother. This is my third time negotiating, but the first time I felt like *I* was the cool, calm one.

NICOLE: What was the first time like? Sweaty mess? 😉

MARISA: OH YEAH. My first job out of college was with a private construction firm. They made me an offer and I psyched myself up so much, asked for $8,000 more than offered.


MARISA: The recruiter just told me she’d have to check on it and call me back. I was so ready for her to come back with a lower number, so then I would counter with a middle number, etc. But she just called me back the next day and said “Yep, we can do that.”

NICOLE: WOW. I am so impressed!

MARISA: Thanks! My parents thought I had super powers.

NICOLE: I also think you have super powers. I’ve negotiated before, but never on that scale.

MARISA: I think I just got lucky, had a lot of great female managers at previous jobs/internships who gave me lots of advice and pressure. I remember one made me do a whole mock interview before I left for the summer, just so I could practice. She also told me to drink tequila because it’s fewer calories than beer. I loved her.

NICOLE: I have never gotten that lucky with a manager. One manager at a temp job asked me to do her kid’s homework. I said no.

MARISA: OMG. How did she react?

NICOLE: “Figured you’d say that.”

MARISA: *headdesk*

NICOLE: At the end of our time together she said “when my boss hired you she told me we probably wouldn’t get along, and she was right, but you’re a hard worker.” Which I think was a compliment.

MARISA: Probably?? But also super weird.

NICOLE: It made sense. She and I had very different interests and came from different backgrounds and we were never going to be “friends.” Also I was a brand-new college grad which came with its own baggage. But I was a hard worker. I stuffed so many envelopes.

MARISA: I believe it! 😀  I never really appreciate how much my manager’s temperament affected how much I enjoyed the job until after I leave. I get very foxhole while I’m there.

NICOLE: Oh, agreed. It took a few jobs until I had a manager I really liked, and then everything was different. Also, totally foxhole. Is there a world outside the job? No. What is that? How could there be?

MARISA: The job I’m leaving was the time I was was like “I really like my manager!” Maybe I feel totally different in a few months, but right now I just feel bad I’m leaving her in the lurch. But as Allison says all the time, that’s just part of doing business!

NICOLE: There’s always a lurch. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be jobs. And I think your manager will understand.

MARISA: She will because she’s great.

Support The Billfold on Patreon

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by supporting us on Patreon.

Become a Patron!