Whether you’ve had your first child or your third, lots of moms experience mixed feelings about going back to work when maternity leave is over. There are so many things to take care of on the home front, and so many unknowns in the workplace. Here are a few ideas to help you get back into the swing of things after being on maternity leave. Even if you’re going back to the same job at the same company, it’s time to ask some new questions and look at things through a different lens.
- Are there options for working from home? Depending on the type of job you have, you might want to look into the possibility of a flexible schedule such as working remotely one or two days a week, or even a half a day. Many companies are making this available as an option to their employees since technology has advanced to such an extent that it’s possible to keep things moving smoothly even if employees are based off site.
- If you’re looking to reduce your hours, explore work-share as an option. Also known as job share, it might be possible to set things up so that you split responsibilities with a co-worker and each of you gets paid half of the full-time salary. This way of creating a work-life balance has become a desirable option for employees who want to continue their careers without sacrificing their entire life to their company.
- Will staggering your hours make your work more manageable? It’s a hectic world out there and a constant juggling of work, errands, chores, meal prep, and taking care of a baby. Find out if you’re able to vary your hours when necessary. For example how can you arrange to drop off your child at daycare with the time you need to be at the office? The same thing holds true for after work hours and the window of time you have to pick your child up. A flexible schedule before and after work might be fine as long as your job isn’t time sensitive, like a store manager who must open and close the store at specific times, unless you can arrange with a colleague to cover for you. You should also be open to making up for these hours some other way during the week.
- Re-visit your healthcare plan. Talk to HR and make sure that you are up to date on all of your paperwork, including your health care program. Find out of there are any changes or other options you need to be aware of now that you have little ones at home.
- Connect with your manager. Schedule a meeting with your boss before you get back to work so that you are up to speed on any changes. Being aware of any leadership or policy changes that happened while you were out can make your life so much easier once you return. Also, discuss priorities so you can hit the ground running and focus in on important tasks from day one.
When it’s time to go back to work after a pregnancy, it’s bound to be challenging at first, but can also be an exciting change. But nothing can help you more than being prepared. The more you can set things up in advance and know what you’re going back to, the easier the transition will be.
If you left your last job to be with your newborn and are now ready to return to work but need to brush up on some skills, or obtain assistance with your job search, call MassHire Cape and Islands Career Center at 508- 771-JOBS (5627). We’re here to help.