Consulting

I’m 28 and working at ATK . Yesterday I got a news from my mom that my dad has just diagnosed stage 4 cancer. I’m away from my hometown but fortunately, project that I am assigned will end next week

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My dad was in the final stage when i was 24, i told my manager immediately, left the project 60min later, drove 5h to the hospital and spent the last 2 days with him. Best decision ever, everyone understood, no negative impact on my career. My advice: Take a LoA and spend as much time as possible with him!

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You went through a lot, too. Thank you so much, yes I’ll spend time with him as possible for having no regrets

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What kind? Yes my dad had cancer during my time at PwC and they made me miss his death to teach some idiot something he should have learned 20 years before he joined that job. Set expectations with this firm WAY in advance or just go on leave now. Stage four can last a couple weeks or sometimes a year, so the variability makes this hard. To focus literally go back to tangible pockets of work. Open up a notebook and with your hands write down your meta tasks and break them into tiny parts. Each time you finish, cross one out. You’ll start working in tiny units to circumvent your waning attention span. Don’t weigh work over family dying. It’s more than a year later and I’m haunted every day by how my dad went and where I was when he did.

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One more thing. Depending on what type he has there are signs that the end is coming closer like extreme weight loss, memory going, etc. You’ll want to research what these are for his cancer. My dad’s stage four lasted for almost eight months and he couldn’t recognize me the last few times I did go to meet him. I didn’t understand the time markers, so I wasn’t effectively managing my time to free up towards the end of his illness. If you get these and there is no suitable option for leave this long, you can watch for signs in your dad and time normal leave around his symptoms. It sounds odd to map things like that, but the variability across the time range is high.

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I had this happen to me a few years ago. I told my manager and office leadership immediately and rolled off the project almost instantly. You shouldn’t be expected to work when you have something this critical going on in your family. Then I took some time off and finally switched career tracks to balance working and taking care of my mom, who was also stage 4 but lived for 14 months or so. Then I took more time off after she passed away before coming back to work. It was the right thing to do and I don’t regret a thing. I’m still very grateful BCG offered me so much support and flexibility as I went through this. I also saw a therapist through out the process and would recommend it. But for me it was more complicated because I lost my dad when I was young and was the only child. My mom was also severely depressed prior to her diagnosis. Sorry you’re going through this. It could feel lonely sometimes, but you are not alone.

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Be strong. I recommend to take off immediately. Your time with your Dad and provide support to your mom are more important. This is the time they need you the most.

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For all the times you have flexed to help clients, ATK will flex to help you! Go home, find out what you need to do for your self and your family, and communicate your needs clearly and honestly to your leadership. Take the time you need to be with your family. Ping me if you’re new to firm or uncertain- happy to put you in touch with a few leaders who would support your decisions and help you discuss with your project leadership etc..

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@CC. What a champion

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OP, I’m at ATK too, and last year my dad was in a car accident. It originally sounded serious but not fatal, so I was vacillating between staying with the team or flying home; ultimately the partner was adamant that I fly home, because nothing, absolutely nothing (certainly not in consulting), is more important than family. My dad ultimately passed away later that night, but I was able to be there in time to wait with my family in the hospital after taking the first flight I could get that night. I recommend taking a Leave of Absence immediately; I took one shortly after my bereavement ended (which ATK was gracious enough to extend well beyond the provided 5 days), since I was certainly not able to focus nor cope with the stress of consulting. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s condition, and please do everything you can to be with him and support your family. Sending my prayers, A fellow ATK’er

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Had an associate with similar situation. He insisted to stay for the week as it was a key workshop week. I was adamant and sent him home / dad’s place. Got a text two days later that his dad passed away and thanking me for advocating to go home. The workshop suffered but the senior client understood. Please do what is right. Work can wait. Best wishes .

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Thank you so much,my manager and principal will definitely understand this situation so I’ll consult with them as soon as they come from client’s

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I would reach out to your project manager, roll off, and take LOA. Spend time with your dad and family

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OP, go home ASAP. You don’t need the stress of the project and being away. You can transition things on your project - clients understand.

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Go home. Your work is irrelevant right now - and your work will know that too. There will be no ramifications. Your team and client will fully understand.

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Thank you so much, I’ll definitely consult with my managers

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Go home and take care of ur family! Your family comes first... then everything else. The firm understands. 🙏🏻

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I’m so sorry. Stage 4 is serious, so please do not delay going to see him. Not because you might miss it, but because sooner than you wish, there will be no more time. Spend time with him, thank him for the things he did, let him know that he did a good job and however corny it feels, tell him you love him. This is not the time to beat around the bush on things. I wish this was a happier event. I lost my father 7 years ago and sometimes it still feels like yesterday. You never really get over it, but you do learn to go on. People are here if you need us.

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Thank you so much for your comment. Yeah I’ll tell him that you wrote and wanna make him feel happy or relieved. I’ll cherish the rest of time with him.

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Took a 2 months LOA when we stopped chemo for my mom. Take as much time as you need; don't underestimate the time it takes to recover and manage the aftermath.

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Thank you for your advice based on your own experience. Yes I’ll be sure to take time to spend with my dad

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I’ll go home and get more information about my dad’s condition. But until then, I don’t know how to deal with this situation or focus on my work. Did anyone have similar experience?

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ATK has been very supportive in these unfortunate situations from what I have heard. Take the time, the firm will be there when you’re ready to come back

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Lost my dad a few weeks after I graduated. Had landed a job before graduation and was already working. I didn’t understand the full scope of it and continued to try and juggle both work school and flying across the country to go home and see him. I barely got to see him and will never live that up. This year in Jan my mom was diagnosed. I immediately called my boss and worked remote through her treatment. Currently shes ok but ready to take a leave of absence if anything changes. Take it from me you job is not worth it. Do whatever you can to spend as much time and you can always find another job down the road. Dm if you need anything. Good luck. Stay strong

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Thank you so much for your comment and also sorry to hear about your parents. I wish your mom’s condition turn around. I’ll definitely cherish my time with my dad

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Also remember that you are protected by the Family Medical Leave Act. You probably also want to call HR and figure out what your options are. I’ve lost both my parents and my oldest brother so I know what you’re going through

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Ok I didn’t know that act. I’ll consult HR. I’m really sorry for your family but the same time, I really appreciate that you share your situation and tell me what to do next.

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I have stage IV cancer. Not all stage IVs are guaranteed death sentence these days. Cancer is also typically quite a slow death. Depending on type your dad may still expect to live a few years.

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C2. Im sorry you had to bear that burden. Please remember that you did the right thing. I’m sure your dad was proud of you taking the lead in the family and making the difficult calls. *In my post above autocorrect “jealousy” to “jeopardy”.

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When I was younger I felt so trapped in such decisions. But now in my 30s, as a mother, it’s crystal clear - family ALWAYS first. No decision u ever make at work will impact you forever. So always put family first! Don’t be afraid.

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Please go home to your family. My dad passed away from cancer 2 months ago and I was fortunate enough to take a leave of absence for a month to travel home (to Australia). I got one last week with him and a few weeks after with my mum to help her with the funeral arrangements and getting things more in order. I’m so grateful to my leaders for supporting this decision. Note - I don’t work for pwc anymore, it’s just in my settings

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Fish fam here for you

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If you’re struggling with the decision today, play it forward 10 years. Sometimes the immediacy of today clouds our judgment. In 10 years, you won’t remember what the client needed this week or likely even which client you were on. In 10 years, if you don’t go home and see your dad, you will remember and ask yourself why it was so important to be at your client. Frankly, this isn’t your employer’s decision to make. It’s yours. Follow your heart.

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likeuplifting
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Dealing with a similar situation at the moment and also live in another state than my family - best decision was to communicate early and honestly with leadership (personally will never forget the level of understanding and flexibility). Used time away from work to travel home and 1) just be there for the family to help them deal with the initial shock and range of emotions and 2) attend all critical doctor appts to understand the best path forward to ensure we had the best possible medical team. In the weeks since, many doctors will also let you join from afar via conference call to eliminate some of the travel. Honestly, it’s tough and suggest you have someone you can talk with (family, friend, professional). Thoughts are with you during this time.

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Hope everything works out for you and your family!

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My grandfather was battling a super aggressive form of dementia that switched to Alzheimer’s. I was on an international assignment and would come home every 3-4 weeks. No issues with me taking a day or two to fly to see him. Was at a conference when things went south. Was able to change flights take two days and was there when he passed. Moral of the story: Speak up and tell someone. You’d be surprised how easily your Manager/Director/Partner will work with you on this

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Note - Lost my Mom at 24 and I was the healthcare power of attorney for my grandfather as my mom was his only child

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