Summary: I just started a new job, and there is now a serious medical issue in my family. How can I ask my boss to allow me to work remotely some of the time so I can help with care, when I haven't been there long enough to be established yet?

I started working at my first job as a software development engineer at a large company and it is my first week. My little sister had a relapse of cancer. Recently, the cancer has spread to more parts. I am very stressed right now and I think this is the most difficult part of my life.

How do I approach my manager to talk to him about this?

My manager is not here this week and will be back next week. My thought process is that when he comes on Monday to talk about to him one on one about my problem to see if he accommodate me in any way.

I was thinking that it would it good idea to come to the office 3 days and work from home the other 2 days. Working from home would alleviate some of the stress I'm feeling, and would allow me to help my family with my sister's care.

I worked very hard to achieve this position, just started, and don't want to damage my career. However, I'm having trouble focusing on my job in the office while all of this is going on at home.

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    Dan, my entire family cares for her. However, part of me is inclined to give moral support to my parents. From my perspective, it’s very hard to prioritize work over my sister. – user81420 Jan 5 '18 at 17:10
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    I would just directly talk to your boss in the same way you typed here. Just keep in mind, your boss has obligations to ensure work is done, so be prepared for any changes. – Dan Jan 5 '18 at 17:13
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    I made some edits based on comments and to make the question more clear. Please edit further if I misunderstood anything. Location might matter; where are you? – Monica Cellio Jan 5 '18 at 17:20
  • If you state your sister's situation, and then everything after "My manager is not here this week and will be back next week" - you should have it covered in a reasonable, professional and human manner. If they can't accommodate that or come up with an alternative that works for you, you'll have some choices to make, I'd think. – PoloHoleSet Jan 5 '18 at 17:35

How should I approach my manager with a family problem I’m facing?

I would approach your manager in an open and honest way, just like you are here. Since you have some time, come up with a proposal as to how you can do your job while working remote.

It will be much easier for you and your manager if you come to the discussions with what your needs are ( to help your sister ) and how those needs can be met while still fulfilling your work commitments.

Also, be prepared to compromise if necessary on what your manager is able to do for you in this difficult time. In most cases in a health care company such as Aetna, some level of accommodations can be made.

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  • Yes, I think the problem that is present is that I just started work. I only met with my manager during when he interviewed for 30 minutes. So, I will take your advice and be completely honest with my situation. – user81420 Jan 5 '18 at 17:14
  • Your manager is a human being though. I would be amazed if they did not understand, and if some level of accommodations could not be met. – Neo Jan 5 '18 at 17:15
  • I agree with you. I will approach him on Monday. Hopefully, he will understand my situation and we can come up with an accommodation for the time being. – user81420 Jan 5 '18 at 17:18

I would handle my family issues without involving work at all unless there was an emergency. Or if I was really physically needed, cease working and focus on healthcare.

Plenty of families have and do face similar terrible situations but continue to live their lives around it. You deal with these things among the family and don't involve work and careers unless absolutely necessary.

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  • Does this answer the question "How do I approach my manager to talk to him about this?" – Roijan says reinstate Monica Jan 6 '18 at 16:06
  • I am downvoting because it does not address the OP problems. It also excludes possibilities like working remotely, reducing working hours while keeping the job, taking unpaid vacations. – Adam Smith Jan 6 '18 at 17:42
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    Upvoted... This is OP should do even this does not address the OP problems. – I am the Most Stupid Person Jan 9 '18 at 11:49
  • @AdamSmith The OP just walked in the door and you advocate he turns his workplace into a drama scene? If it was a valuable employee with a good work history at the place that would be different. Still best they handle it themselves though. – Kilisi Jan 9 '18 at 23:42

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