Do I have to share what’s happening in my personal life?

Do I have to share what’s happening in my personal life?

My parents are elderly and have had recent health challenges. As an only child it falls on me to manage their care and I’d prefer to keep this part of my life private. What am I obligated to share with my boss? B.D., Boston, MA

You have no “obligation” to share anything with anyone. However, it’s likely that you’ll need flexibility in your work schedule so it would probably benefit you to speak with your manager.

There’s no need to go into detail, your goal is to give him/her a heads up that you may have to take time, whether an entire day or longer lunch hours, to handle your personal responsibilities. Reassure your supervisor that you will make sure your work gets done with no balls dropped. Since it’s so important to you, ask for their discretion so that they don’t inadvertently disclose your situation.

That’s it. Just three thoughts that you need to communicate, which will reduce some of the pressure you’re under during this stressful time.

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