Coming back to work post mat leave, no matter how long you took off is hard to navigate for many reasons. Whether you’re looking forward to it or not, leaving your baby and getting back into the working world is tough, couple that with a workplace that may well have changed significantly since you were there and you could be dreading that first day.
After up to a year off, in today’s fast pace world you could conceivably encounter some or all of these changes;
Restructure of entire business/management structure/team.
Computer upgrades/new systems
New elements to your job
It could be an interesting time for you so make sure you do what you can to help your company help you.
Don’t ignore the fact that you’re going back, stay in touch with your managers and keep updated about what’s going on. You may have to do the chasing but some managers will let you know what’s happening as it happens, it’s all very well hearing gossip from colleagues you’re in touch with but if you want the facts then speak to the people who will know.
Know the score
It’s often the case that women returning from mat leave are left to it on the assumption that it’ll all come flooding back, this is simply not the case in most instances as often systems and processes have changed, make sure you know who to speak to, to answer any questions about new systems or things you’re no longer sure of, how to work the new timesheet system or who’s now responsible for payslips in finance for example, it may sound obvious but it’s easily forgotten and you don’t want to be faffing around still trying to figure out the new invoicing system in a few weeks time.
First month approach
Expect your first month to be a bit crazy, don’t put too many restrictions on yourself and don’t expect to be back in the swing of it on the first day, for one you won’t be expected to but for another how can you when you need to get used to your job again, even if nothing’s changed if you’re anything like me you’ll have forgotten how to type!!
If your role has changed or your team has changed and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, try to put a positive spin on things, change can be a great thing, even if you’re not a fan, it could mean new opportunities for you, it could mean new brilliant people to work with, it could be many more good things as opposed to bad, the more negative your view, the worse you’ll feel and as I’ve mentioned, going back to work will be hard enough without any extra worries.
Knowing about change, getting support to work through it and understand it’s effect on you will help you to accept and embrace it. It might be hard at first but approaching change in a positive light will help you feel better about this new chapter in your life & hopefully very soon you’ll have forgotten what you were worried about.