Returning to Work After Maternity Leave
The transition of getting back into work mode after having a baby can be very challenging. Not to mention brings with it a lot of mixed emotions. From worrying about childcare; to whether you will remember what to do in your old role. You are not alone, and these thoughts are completely normal (and to be expected after being on maternity leave for so long). We have put this blog together to give you some help and support if you are returning to work after maternity leave.
Don’t Rush Things
Taking your time is key when going back to work. If you aren’t ready, then don’t force yourself. It is rare that you will be jumping straight back into the same role. So, you may even need to spend some time doing extra learning or training to get you up to speed. This can make you both physically and mentally exhausted so prepare yourself!
If you can, try and transition back to work at reduced hours to begin with. Whether you can use any accrued holidays or just start with part-time hours, you need to ease yourself into work again otherwise you will quickly feel overwhelmed. This is also a great way to manage childcare with your other half – you can always tag-team which days you both work.
Communicate With Your Employer
Keeping an open relationship with your employer is incredibly important when returning to work after maternity leave. They need to be made aware of any problems you are having or any additional support that you require. By opening up that dialogue from the start you can manage their expectations early on. You need to put your well-being first, so don’t be afraid to be honest with any help you need.
If your situation changes and you decide to return to work earlier than planned, or if you extend your leave then your employer needs to know well in advance. It is also worth knowing that childcare can be a difficult thing in its own right. Sometimes babysitters may not turn up, or your child may be ill. If this is likely to happen with you then let your employer know so they can be mindful of your situation and give you added flexibility within your role.
Working From Home
Now with the option of working from home, this can be very helpful for those returning to work after maternity leave. Although it can also be a curse; you may want to escape the world of babies for a bit by going to the office! Setting good boundaries is key to begin with. Plus, remember to have a flexible mindset. Your baby isn’t going to know that they need to be quiet because you have an important meeting. Just make sure you get used to using the mute button!
Step Into Assessing
If you really aren’t sure whether you want to return to your old job after maternity leave then you could always consider a complete career move and start your journey to becoming an Assessor. With the freedom of being able to work the hours you choose, and the opportunity for career progression you might wish you had made the switch sooner! For more information about how to start your Assessor journey, give us a call on 01205 805155.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.