Offered promotion, but not sure if I'm coming back after baby--advice?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Third Trimester' started by MarylandGirl, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. MarylandGirl

    MarylandGirl Well-Known Member

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    I work full-time and plan to take the typical US 12-week maternity leave after the baby is born (half paid, half unpaid). However, I've been unsure for a while now whether I want to go back full-time, part-time, or at all after that (hoping I can work out some sort of part-time from home arrangement like a coworker did). I've been told not to let anyone at work know I am considering anything other than coming back full-time (since I don't know for sure).

    However, earlier this week, I was offered a promotion (nothing too major--title and pay bump, with some extra duties). Instead of being happy/excited, I was like "Oh, no." I'm concerned that if I accept the promotion, I won't have the same potential options (like work at home or part-time) that I might have in my current position. Also, I don't know if it would be sort of bad faith/deceptive to accept a promotion, then not come back full-time.

    I'm meeting with my boss tomorrow (we work in different locations) to discuss the new position. I'm debating whether to mention to her that I'm not sure about taking the promotion because I can't say with 100% certainty whether I'll come back full-time after mat leave. I would tell her that my current plan is to come back full-time, but friends have told me that I might feel differently after having the baby, so I just wanted to see what my options were.

    Is this a horrible idea? I worry that if I don't say anything and just take the promotion, it will eat at me during the maternity leave, and I think I'll have enough things to worry about then! I'm also a terrible liar, so she might see right through me anyway! My boss and I have a good relationship and have talked quite a bit about the pregnancy (she has two young kids), if that makes any difference. Opinions? Has anyone else been open with their boss about plans post-baby? Thanks for listening!
     
  2. countryrider

    countryrider Well-Known Member

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    I've never been in your position, and it is kinda a toughy. I would personally take another couple of days before I decided to tell your boss about anything. You said that you've talked to your boss about pregnancy...has she mentioned if she took extra time off or not when she had her babies? If so, she can relate to where you're coming from.

    Good luck in what you decide!
     
  3. lisaf

    lisaf Super tired new mom

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    Tough call. I think its really up to your relationship with the company and with your boss. I know I could be honest with my boss (his wife just had a baby a couple weeks ago) because I know he understands.

    I know that I would probably mention it the way you said... that friends have told you that you'll feel differently and you just want to know what accepting this promotion will do to your options about coming back part-time. (you could even mention a transition of coming back part-time for a few months then going back to full-time as an option you'd like to ask about as a possibility... or maybe working 10-4hr days instead of 5-8hr days if your state allows that etc).

    On the other hand, if you did accept the promotion and wanted to come back at the lower position, would that be the end of the world? Would they have hired someone for the lower position or just given you extra duties with the promotion that can then be offered to someone else etc?

    And do you REALLY have to accept the promotion before your maternity leave? Could you ask to have this offer put on hold until you get back?
     
  4. MarylandGirl

    MarylandGirl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice! That's a good idea about asking if I could do sort of a transition period. I suspect I'd be able to come back at my current position instead of the promotion if I wanted, but I'm not entirely sure. The problem is, if I ask too many questions, it might sound like I've already made up my mind! (Though the fact that I didn't feel happy about the promotion probably suggests I may already have made it up!) Another thought I had is that if I'm just coming back from having a baby and probably am not getting much sleep, is that the best time to be taking on additional responsibility? Hm, maybe I could try putting it that way, that I'm concerned about that...

    When my boss' kids were babies, I think she was working as a contractor, so doing work from home. The youngest was preschool-age when she came to work full-time at her current job. So it was kind of different for her.

    Before I got pregnant, I had always assumed I'd be the type who'd definitely go back to work full-time if I had a baby--funny what hormones and carrying a baby inside you for 9 months can do!
     
  5. Tiffa130

    Tiffa130 first time mom

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    As a boss & a pregnant woman I suggest being honest. Explain that your plan is to come back full time but you'd like to keep your options open. Tell her you'd love to take the promotion but if it wrecks your chances of being flexible post pregnancy you'll turn it down. Your boss & the company will appreciate the honesty & won't feel blindsided or taken advantage of if you do decide you aren't ready to jump back into fulltime immediately.

    Good luck & congrats on the promotion.
     
  6. MarylandGirl

    MarylandGirl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Tiffa130! Helps to get the perspective of a boss!
     
  7. riokayak

    riokayak Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Tiffa130. Just be honest, that you are definiatley interested in the promotion, but concerned about the flexibility. I just took a bit of a promotion, but I think it will increase my flexibility so it wasn't such an issue. Plus my boss really doesn't want people working from home so that wasn't even brought up. Good luck in your decision!
     
  8. MarylandGirl

    MarylandGirl Well-Known Member

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    Update: I ended up bringing it up to her, and it went quite well! She's giving me another week to decide about the promotion and said if I ended up taking it but not coming back full-time, there wouldn't be any ill will or repercussions. She seemed to really appreciate me being honest--I have to wonder if she already suspected I might change my mind about coming back full-time, especially since she has kids herself (and lots of people at our company have had kids in the past couple years--some coming back after, some not). Sounds like she's open to various work arrangements when I come back, though some of it would depend on what HR will approve. We're meeting again next week to further discuss (today's talk ended up being by phone because she had car problems).

    Thanks again for the advice--I'm glad I ended up talking to her!
     
  9. MarylandGirl

    MarylandGirl Well-Known Member

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    And congrats on your promotion, riokayak!
     
  10. riokayak

    riokayak Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Today is my last day in the office!

    I'm glad it went well with your boss, it can be a pretty tough talk to have especially if others have not returned after having babies.
     

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