Maternity Leave Transition Question
July 21, 2011 at 11:56 am #23535
I have only weeks to go before my due date and plan to work right up until the end. Does anyone have any tips for making the transition to maternity leave as smooth as possible? I want to make sure my team is prepared should I need to leave early but also don’t want to transition projects too early and leave myself with nothing to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated!July 22, 2011 at 8:44 am #23537
It has been a long time since I went off on maternity leave but this is what I remember: I created a big status report of all projects in play , what had to happen next and who was assigned to pick them up while I was out. On occassion I had to do conference calls while I was out but I actually liked keeping in touch wih the office.July 22, 2011 at 9:51 am #23538
With both my children, I did a significant amount of documenting what I did and inviting those covering me to calls before I left. I worked up until the day I delivered both children (literally with my first I worked until 11:00am and delivered at 6pm and my 2nd I put in a full day because I went into labor at night). The week of my due date though, I did have a lighter workload but saved the stuff that wasn’t as critical for that week – like file sharing. I knew that if I did go early and didn’t go through my folders and share what was needed, I could do that post delivery pretty easy. Any emails I sent the weeks leading up, I also copied the person who was covering for me so if I did go out she had what she needed to take over. Honestly, coming back is harder than going out. It’s amazing what you miss in 2-4 months (depending on how long you are going out) and how left out you feel when you come back.August 7, 2011 at 10:00 am #23539
I am The Founder of Beyond the Boardroom, http://www.beyondboardroom.com. We are a consultancy whose niche is the maternity transition – we work with individuals to help them during all stages of the maternity transition, (pre-leave, during leave and post leave); we also help organizations who are interested in retaining top female talent.
My advice is to take charge and to err on the side of organization pre maternity leave. By working right up until the end, you are demonstrating commitment to your team. This will be further enhanced by your taking the organizational steps to assign your work in advance of your maternity leave, even at the risk of your having little to do right before you take leave.
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