Becoming a Mother! How to Share the News at Work
You just confirmed your hunch with a doctor, and the news is official: you're expecting a baby. Congratulations! In the immediate glow of the moment, you may be thinking about your family, how your life will change, and where to set up the crib…But before long, you'll remember one of the many tasks that lies before you: you'll have to break this news to your boss. No matter how long you plan to leave the office after your birth, a pregnancy is one life event that you just can't keep to yourself. Of course, the details of your health are your own business, but in this case, your boss needs to know what's going on so she can plan around this event and keep the team on track in your absence.
Depending on your relationship, this announcement can be difficult. But whether you're working for a frosty, distant person, a warm-hearted friend, or even a tyrant who might try to fire you upon hearing this news, the job has to be done. Here are some moves that can make it easier.
1. Do some research.
Find out exactly how much leave time your company provides under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Talk to your HR manager before your boss if you need to, or if you need a clear breakdown of your rights.
2. Put your boss first.
With the single exception of your HR office, place your boss at the top of the list as you start to share your news. Don't be tempted to tell your coworkers, direct reports, or others in the company before your immediate supervisor knows. There's no law that governs how you share this detail or with whom, but consider this a professional courtesy. Give him or her an opportunity to process the information and think about how assignments will be distributed going forward.
3. Keep your expectations flexible.
If you expect your boss to be as excited and happy as you are, prepare for a surprise. People usually respond to news by thinking about themselves and their own needs first, so don't be shocked or dismayed if your boss reacts with shock and dismay. Just know your rights and stay level headed. If you don't want any special accommodations or a reduced schedule over the next nine months, say so. If you do, now is the time to make this clear.
4. Keep your work organized in a way that others can understand.
It's been said that looking into someone else's file sharing system is like looking into their brain…In other words, it can be a disorienting and bewildering experience. Spare others from this experience as they take over your work and projects in your absence. Organize your system and label your files in ways that can be sorted out quickly.
5. Get confirmation.
As your due date approaches, be very clear about who will take over which aspects of your work while you're gone. Make sure each of these people understand exactly what will be expected of them and how they'll accomplish these tasks. Let them know where to turn if they get into trouble.
When you've broken the news and clarified your expectations, you can move past this moment and start planning for the next one! Visit MyPerfectResume for guidance and career support.