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How/when should Significant Others tell their employers?


jprufrock

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For those of us with significant others (SOs), I think we should all take a minute to thank them, love them and support them as they support us. Some of them sacrifice a lot when we make the decision to go to grad school, so I want to applaud them for staying through thick and thin.

My SO, however, has a dilemma: now that I've been accepted (which we initially considered a longshot), she has the difficult task of telling her employer/boss. How should she go about this?

Some details: I have not yet decided where I am going. She has only been in her position for 3 months (in fact, her 90 day review is coming up in the next few weeks), but her boss has strongly hinted at promotions and building her career. She loves her job and has already made friendships in her office. This is a career track job and she already has signs that she has a long-term future available for her there. She says that the nature of her work is such that telecommuting is definitely possible and she would be more than willing to do everything possible to make it happen, but her boss might not go along with the idea. She is afraid that she will be fired, or that her boss will feel betrayed. We currently plan on moving sometime in July and she would like to remain employed until we leave.

Right now, we've made this game plan: She will tell her boss that I got into grad school on her 90-day review just to be upfront, honest and relieve her of the stress of secrecy. She will say that nothing has been decided and I am currently torn between going to grad school and staying at my current job, where my boss has offered me a promotion and more money in a desperate attempt to keep me from going (which is true to an extent). She will say that nothing is certain until April 15th, but she wants to keep everything on good terms either way and is willing to work until the end of June and cross-train her replacement (or discuss the possibility of telecommuting from where-ever we end up).

What other options do we have? Has anyone else been through this, and if so, how did you handle it? If she does get fired, what then? Search for another job? Or...?

Edited by jprufrock
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I told my boss when my husband got his first acceptance. Unofficially, they'll have around five months to replace me. Officially, I'll give a month or so notice.

It all depends on your significant other's relationship with their superiors.

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If she plans to continue working in the same field, even with a different company, and hopes to be successful, it is very important that she doesn't burn any bridges. Networking is a vital component of professional development even outside academia, so her plan to tell her boss that change is in the air is very considerate. She might also want to practice how she will tell her boss. To say that she is likely moving because you got into grad school means that she knew this was a possibility before she was hired 3 months ago, and her boss might feel somewhat misled. Instead, she could honestly say that you have been offered an opportunity for career development/advancement in a different city and, together, you are deciding what the best decision would be. If the boss presses for details, she shouldn't lie, but there usually isn't a need to start with a life story. She could offer solutions, such as telecommuting, as well as assure the boss that she will keep him informed as you guys decide. In addition, she should reiterate that she values her position, and ask what she can do to make sure that any transition is as seamless for the company as possible.

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These situations usually pan out far better than they do in our minds. Being upfront and honest is key, which you seem to realize.

Of course it ultimately depends on the field and this particular workplace, but given what you've relayed in terms of her performance/social interactions, unless she has extremely insidious and malicious bosses everything should be fine. Shit happens and the vast majority of employers realize this.

Congrats on getting in btw!

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No hard feelings. It's okay - thanks for the D, Fingers. In times like these, everyone's wounded up more tightly usual. If it helps with the stress and anxiety in any way, I'm glad to provide the outlet.

Hey guys, I think this is a joke. Don't be so quick to hit the minus sign.

Edited by jergensultrahealing
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Not to sound like a pain, but in my opinion, unless you're married to the person, moving is not worth it if you have your dream job.

That said, on the other side, I agree with people about the honesty thing. If it's something your wife/husband can do somewhere else, just being upfront with their boss is the best way to go. It's not the easiest way to to, but it's the best.

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