Forbes: All bosses worry about two things when they hear someone is pregnant: Is she going to slack off? Is she going to come back? If you expect to keep working while pregnant and intend to return after maternity leave (or at least want to keep that door open), three things will show your boss that you remain serious about your career.
Address the main concerns directly. Prepare a realistic plan for your absence and be up-front about what you can handle before and after the baby — if you know your birthing class will conflict with your community meetings, find a backup now. Present your solutions in a way that shows that you’re thinking about the organization’s needs, not just your own.
Keep your commitments. While work does not need to be the center of your universe, it does need to be the center of your attention while you’re there. As tempting as it is to surf the web for nursery ideas, focus on your job and bank goodwill as long as you’re able.
Be honest if your plans change. If you learn that you need to stop working earlier than planned or realize you don’t want to come back, let your boss know sooner rather than later. Be remembered as the person who helped her avoid a crisis, not the one who left her in the lurch.
What the judges had to say:
Carolyn Hax: Pro: The advice, particularly in the turnabout (and quick treatment) on the “God bless” question, and in the good catches in the maternity answer — 1. Stay focused, don’t nursery-surf, and 2. Plans you make now are subject to change. Con: This isn’t the liveliest prose.
Eric Peterson: Very solid advice, delivered in a clear and relatable style. As the competition continues, she might be sidelined by those with a more vivid style.
Douglas LaBier: Good, solid responses. Overall, would be even better for readers with more liveliness and tighter replies.
Sydney Trent: Smart and succinct presentation of choices to the “God Bless You” writer and insightful suggestion to resist the temptation to surf for nursery ideas. Her writing could use more verve and humor.
Lynn Medford: Principles! Practical principles. Moira offers good medicine, but could it have more flavor?
Meet the @Work Advice Contest’s 10 finalists
Leslie Anderson | Dean Buckley | Cindy Coe | Moira Forbes | Rachel Homer | Abbey Kos | Karla Miller | Nikki Stevens | Richard Wong | Michele Woodward