It can be so daunting getting ready for your first day back at work following maternity leave; you don’t know what to fully expect! Your job role may have changed slightly, you may have new colleagues or managers even and, of course, you are also battling with the emotions of leaving your little baby and returning to normality. Parents everywhere can relate!
I returned to the office last Friday – so I have just finished my first full week back in the wonderful (and crazy!) world of recruitment, following the birth of my daughter last year. The above statements are all true; I was nervous, my team had changed/adapted with some new colleagues that had joined and I was also feeling sad that the quality time of just my daughter and I had come to an end – it really does fly by!
Here are some things I put in place before returning that have made things easier:
Communication throughout my leave with my manager – This ensured I still felt part of the team and felt supported through my MAT leave.
‘Keeping in touch’ (KIT) days– This isn’t compulsory, but I wanted to ensure I still had my foot in the door to make the transition from not working to returning to the office as seamless as possible.
Career conversations – During my KIT days, my manager and I would sit down and discuss how I saw my career going forward. I was always completely honest in these conversations, which has led us to creating a plan for my career going forward and for me to continue progressing up the ladder.
Here are my thoughts on how my first week back has gone:
I have LOVED it! I have really enjoyed being back within the team environment and putting plans in place to continue progressing within my career. I have enjoyed catching back up with the team and honestly, it’s felt like I was never even gone (I had nothing to be nervous about!).
I started the week with lots of meetings to catch me back up to speed, had a careers meeting with our MD and have got exciting plans in place going forward! I have also tried to just jump two feet into everything and challenge myself straight away.
I am so grateful to my manager Ben and colleagues Cara and Sam for supporting my transition back into the office – I am really excited to get going!