By: Paula Parfitt
For new mums – and dads making use of shared paternity laws –
returning to work after parental leave can be a daunting experience.Taking this step requires support and understanding from partners,
employers and colleagues, as well as pragmatism and courage from the
person returning. Re-entering working life is a very different
experience for each individual, and many find it understandably
challenging. I have two children, but each time I returned to work
following maternity leave couldn’t have been more different.
Inevitably, a long period of absence means that the business moves
on. What I saw was that people change, priorities shift and team
dynamics alter. Re-entering the workplace can often cause angst or
confusion among colleagues – understandably, it’s difficult to have to
pick up responsibilities from mums-and-dads-to-be, then hand them back
once they return from parental leave. All this is incredibly unnerving
for the person returning.
Over an extended period of time certain tasks become an integral part
of a person’s job role, and it isn’t always a relief to hand them back.
So I made it my mission to find out what had happened while I was away
and where the main frustrations lay, so I could integrate back into the
business and rebuild my team. Never is emotional intelligence as vital
as when you are navigating your own complex feelings about work, as well
as trying to understand how your return affects those around you.
Read more here.