Life plans and transparency at work

(15 Posts)
SavannahKT Sun 13-Oct-19 08:21:07

Hi Everyone, I hope the below doesn’t sound too confusing. I apologise for the lenght of the OP.

I am currently in a job I quite like, with a boss that has a very high esteem of me and pushed for my promotion. Recently, she has been talking to me about growing into my role further, taking other responsibilities, and basically made me understand that she wants me to somehow became her “vice”. She praised the fact that I am always transparent and understanding, that I work hard and set the example for the other colleagues.

Unfortunately, she really hit a soft spot for me when she mentioned the word “transparent”. The truth is that my partner and I have decided to try to have a baby, and then move back to our home country after that. This is something that I haven’t mentioned to anybody, not even to my family, let alone people at work.
I don’t even know how long it will take for us to have a baby (or if, for what I know) and to move back, hopefully we’ll finalise that by late summer 2020.

Now, after what my boss told me, I feel extremely guilty for not making her aware of my plans. She trusts me and she’s probably thinking I will be in the company for many years to come. When she asked me if I was into marriage and kids, I told her that I am not interested in getting married, but that if I look at myself in 10 years’ time, I can see myself with a family. I am aware that this might be a bit misleading, as she probably thinks I don’t have plans for my near future.

However, by telling her now, I am afraid that she will then change her attitude towards me (it’s a running joke that she’s terrified of one of the ladies getting pregnant) and that I might be forced or brought to quit. This way, I might have to be pressured into finding a new job for the last months of my stay in the country, which is not ideal (especially if I’ll fall pregnant). As you can see, I always look at the worst case scenario smile

On the other hand, I really like my boss, I owe a lot to her for my professional growth, and I would like to be open to her as much as possible and minimise the impact of me leaving the company (not that I am irreplaceable anyway).

What would you do? Would you be transparent and tell her everything now, or maybe wait untill my timeline will be clearer?

Thanks a lot

OP’s posts: |
ILikTheBred Sun 13-Oct-19 08:29:26

Don’t tell her anything. This may be your plan but life has a way of throwing curveballs and it’s possible that the plan may not work out the way you want or may take longer to come to fruition. Do not as actively forego career growth for something which is just a plan right now.

If you’re worried about the impact of leaving on the business - that’s what notice periods are for. If you’re worried she won’t like you if you leave after she has “invested” in you - remember this is a job, not a relationship.

Yeahnahyeah1 Sun 13-Oct-19 08:33:15

Don’t tell her. It’s your business, and while she may think a lot of you etc, you are at the end of the day just there to make money for the company. Don’t rock the boat, just see how it all pans out.

GnomeDePlume Sun 13-Oct-19 08:36:56

Remember that the loyalty and transparency is only professional. She doesn't have a right to know your personal plans.

If she knew about business changes which could affect you she would have a professional responsibility to say nothing to you until given permission.

SunnySomer Sun 13-Oct-19 08:39:19

Don’t tell her. If and when you become pregnant she will cope without you - but until you do, you need to be treated like the professional that you are.
I had a boss who assumed I would not have children (I was getting on a bit and I think she assumed it was an active choice to be childless); she gave me interesting projects, responsibilities, put trust in me - but literally never said a single word to me after I said I was pregnant. As though she’d been betrayed. I think there are bosses who assume an unreasonable level of ownership of their staff’s lives and futures.

SavannahKT Sun 13-Oct-19 16:14:10

Thank you all for the enlightening replies.

@ILikTheBred thank you, you are right when you say it’s not a relationship, therefore I should act as normal until possible.

@Yeahnahyeah1 and @GnomeDePlume I can see you are on the same page, and rightfully so. Business is one thing, private life is another. It’s just that I have always given my very best at work, and I would be very upset to be treated badly for the last bit of my stay with the company.

@SunnySomer that’s my fear exactly. But you all made me understand that I would not improve my position if I tell her now. There is also no point, because plans might change and I might have to amend/retract later on.

Would you suggest to wait until I’ll have a much clearer idea of what the timing will be (e.g. if I’ll get pregnant), and then take it from there?

Thanks a million to all of you, you really reassured me a lot! smile

OP’s posts: |
PrincessRaven Sun 13-Oct-19 16:16:50

keep it quiet - you have no idea what will happen in the future

Frenchfancy Sun 13-Oct-19 16:19:41

Don't tell her. And when you do get pregnant tell her it wasn't planned

SunnySomer Sun 13-Oct-19 16:43:42

Yes, exactly what Frenchfancy said.

SavannahKT Sun 13-Oct-19 17:48:38

Thank you all, I am very grateful.
@Frenchfancy and @SunnySomer do you really think that when (and if) the time comes I should say it’s an “accident”?

OP’s posts: |
GnomeDePlume Sun 13-Oct-19 18:02:26

I wouldnt talk about pregnancy with her until/if it happens. Dont say it was an accident. It isnt her business and it may not work in your favour.

If/when it happens just dont make it the topic of every conversation. If she asks how you are then keep replies brief and to the point. I am guessing that she doesnt have children and you dont necessarily know why that is. Whether it is a secret sorrow or an active choice then you detailing every aspect might come across very badly.

Wecanworkitout Sun 13-Oct-19 18:02:33

Don’t tell her, she is not your friend and will have the business as her first priority. I’d had one child (aged about 18 months at the time) when DH and I married. I was working reduced hours on a rolling monthly basis, all going along quite nicely when my female boss who I’d gotten along with really well up until that point asked me when I was alone in the office one day whether after the wedding we’d be planning any more children. I innocently answered yes and the following week I was called into her office to be told my reduced hours arrangement was stopping as ‘she had a department to run.
I immediately went to HR and made a complaint which they upheld and it ruined our previously good relationship. I was repeatedly overlooked for promotion for the following 14 years even when I’d made it clear that I could come back full time once both children were in school full time. If I’d known better I’d have kept my cards much closer to my chest all along.

Mummybares Sun 13-Oct-19 18:04:17

Stay schtum! Absolutely do not say anything.
No loyalties in work! Just smile and nod.

stealthbanana Sun 13-Oct-19 18:08:46

As a slightly different perspective, if you are a professional and this is a succession type situation then I would be tempted to say something - not so much about the babies but about the moving country / not being around.

If it’s just a normal job then crack on and definitely don’t say anything. Remember, as well, that even if you do have a baby you don’t know how you’ll feel afterwards - you may actually decide you like being at work and want to keep going as you are.

Dizzywizz Sun 13-Oct-19 20:20:14

I don’t think you should say it was an accident - why should you lie about something like this?!

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