DEAR HARRIETTE: I work remotely. I’m about 4 months pregnant, and the only person I work with who knows about my pregnancy is my boss.
I’m not particularly close with any of my co-workers. My colleagues can see me on Zoom, but only from the shoulders up. Should I tell my co-workers about my pregnancy?
There’s no reason they need to know, but I have no reason to hide it from them either.
DEAR EXPECTING: One of the benefits of working remotely and seeing your co-workers only through a box on a screen is that you can protect your privacy much longer.
In the case of your pregnancy, you have the right to keep it to yourself for as long as you desire. It would be inappropriate for your boss to tell anyone.
As you get closer to your due date — especially if you plan to take time off — you should let your co-workers in on your news. If they ask why you kept it to yourself, say that you are a private person, and you didn’t want to interrupt the workflow.
A downside of being isolated from one another physically is that you will miss out on the joy that you can share with co-workers as you experience your pregnancy. Whatever time you are able to share your journey with them can be rewarding. People genuinely revel at knowing that someone is pregnant. Enjoy the connections you make when you include them on your journey.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve had my current job for about three weeks. It isn’t particularly my dream job, but I’ve enjoyed it so far. There is a huge chance that I’ll be leaving soon for a new opportunity that just presented itself to me.
At a holiday party, my new co-workers were telling me all about how much they like me and how much easier I’ve made their lives since I’ve been with the company. Do you think they will feel betrayed when I leave? I was hoping to maintain friendships with them even after I move on.
DEAR NEW JOB: You haven’t been on the job long enough for your co-workers to harbor strong feelings of betrayal. Will they be disappointed? Yes. Will some of them think you are noncommittal? Yes.
The bigger concern, I believe, is that you will not be considered a reliable employee if you jump ship so quickly. But if this isn’t the right fit and you have found something that is, go for it. It would be too soon for you to request a recommendation from anyone there anyway. Three or four weeks is hardly a full probationary period.
In terms of the people who have become your friends, explain why you are leaving and tell them that you hope that the connections you have made with them will last. After that, it will be up to all of you to keep the bond alive.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.