Posted on February 2020 By Speller International
On today's blog Kate Mumme, Speller's Project Coordinator, shares with us her transition back into work after maternity leave.
I’ve been very lucky with my return to work after the birth of my daughter, Lola in January 2019. The whole Speller team have been very supportive of my time off and the transition back into the office.
Every situation is different and there will always be the stress and anxiety of the unknown, however I have a few tips and suggestions to help make the transition back into work after maternity leave a little easier.
Start the conversation with your employer early
Have a coffee with your boss before you’re due back to work. Discuss how your role can be adapted, work out if flexible working arrangements are possible, or if you need to go back full time. By having these tough conversations at an early stage, you give both yourself and your employer time to negotiate, plan and feel comfortable with any changes
Are you a contractor? Speak to a recruiter early. See if they have any part-time roles, short contract roles or a job role close to home to limit your time travelling. Recruiters will keep you in mind for these types of roles if you’re proactive about when and how you want to re-join the contract world
Go in to the office, introduce your baby and have a coffee. It’ll keep you in touch with what’s going on in the office, such as big changes, new management or new projects
Is there a conference or team building day scheduled during your time off? The Government parental leave allows for 10 ‘in touch’ days. Find out more here.
Flexible working arrangements
Many companies have flexible work arrangements if you ask. The obvious ones?
Work from home (I’ve tried working when Lola is home and awake and it’s tricky. Many companies will need you to ensure you’ve got sufficient childcare) Read our blog about the pros and cons about working from home
Flexible working hours (early start, early finish or vice versa)
5 days work across 4 days
Lola’s bag, lunch, outfit and toys are packed, laid out and ready to go the night before I go into work. The mornings are a military operation
Sometimes the best laid plans fall in a heap – kid’s are unpredictable. So I make sure I let the team know if I’m going to be late and realistically when I’ll be there. I also make sure I make up the time when I can
Make a ‘To Do List’, prioritise the list, meet with other people in your team to see if and where they can help
My work load has changed. During my chats with Judy before my return to work we set out my tasks, projects and where my day to day focus should be
Saying no is ok. Make use of your to do list – is it a priority or can you push back and say no?
Social outing, late nights and after work drinks might not happen as frequently as you once did but try not to miss them all. It’s important to still be an active and social member of the team
Be honest with your employer and yourself – it’s a juggle and one you may not have gone through before. Admitting when you’re struggling or need extra help will make the juggle slightly easier on everyone
Re-joining the work force has been great! It’s also been challenging, emotional, exciting and very different to what I thought it would be like. The team at Speller have been very supportive, as well as my husband and extended family. The joy of having some adult conversation also makes the incoherent babbling Lola and I have even more special.
If you have recently re-joined the workforce after maternity leave and would like to leave feedback about your experience, feel free to comment on LinkedIn.
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