Returning to work following parental leave

Posted by : Shaye on May 6, 2019 9:00 am


Nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent – not to mention the challenge of returning to work following parental leave. No previous generation has applied more effort in creating harmonious co-existence between work life and home life, writes Shaye Radford, Asset Recruitment’s Administration & Recruitment Coordinator.

I know for me, the idea of leaving my daughter in day-care when she was only six months old was extremely daunting.

It was a huge adjustment to go back to full-time work. Like most working mums I was overcome with “mum guilt” because I couldn’t spend as much time with my daughter. But the reality for us (and most kiwi families) is that once your parental leave payments come to an end – it’s time to get back into the workforce. We all have mortgages or rent to pay and groceries to buy.

But rather than coming back to work after having “time off”, you could say I’d been doing another job for six months which I believe has given me a kind of resilience I didn’t have before and a new range of skills. For example, my time management and organisational skills (although pretty good before) have gone to a different level. Not to mention problem-solving and crisis management.

My partner and I were lucky to find a suitable situation that worked well for us. We are also very fortunate to have Asset and their supportive work environment. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you’re comfortable with when returning to the workforce, or whether you choose to return at all. We’re all different and all have different circumstances. There’s no rule book on how you might feel.

So, here are my top tips for new working parents

  • Remind yourself why you are going to work – by doing so you are helping to provide a better life for your child.
  • Accept that some grief and guilt is natural when you return to work.
  • Allow a transition period for yourself and your child to help everyone to settle into a new routine. Maybe tee up some extra help (if you’re able to) during this time until you have your routine down-pact.
  • Be flexible – sometimes you will need to work outside of your agreed hours and have to make alternative childcare arrangements.
  • Although it’s hard at first, don’t worry about your child being in day-care. They will eventually adjust to their new environment and thrive there.
  • Be an advocate for your family. Make it clear to your colleagues, suppliers and other business contacts what your working hours are if you are not working full time.
  • Finally, remember that sometimes you can’t do it all. Some things will have to slip – even if that means the washing piles up until the weekend!

If you’re looking to get back into work after a period of extended leave, make sure you get in touch with our team at Asset Recruitment today. We really do understand the importance of family time and a focus on the right work/life balance. Our team would look to find the right fit for you – whatever your circumstances.

You also might want to check out our 7-top tips for returning to the workforce.

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