It can be a particularly daunting time for any new mum. No, not looking after your newborn (although, that was an extreme learning curve, to say the least!) but returning to work. If you make the choice to return to your role – whether that’s in a full- or part-time position – it can feel scary and uncertain.
Who has been taking on your workload whilst you’ve been off? What new systems have the business brought in? Has there been a lot of staff turnover? What is your password? What happens if you come back and they realised they coped just fine without you?
It’s a whirlwind of questions and emotions – none of which can be answered when you’re chasing after your baby who has suddenly discovered the stairs or the TV unit.
I did as much reading as I could. Online articles offered advice about leaving your baby with a nursery or family; how easy it is for guilt to creep in; how to fit in to a new routine. For me, all of these were completely applicable, particularly about routine and time management. I was fortunate enough to come back to work on a four-day basis which enables me to get a good balance between working and being a parent.
But it did leave me wondering how I would fit the five days of work that I previously completed into four …
A big help was the HRC “Keeping In Touch” days, where I was able to come in to the business and (attempt to) pick up where I left off. I even managed to attend our company away day – a Subcrawl round Glasgow!
It put my mind at ease to get re-familiarise myself with our systems and my colleagues. I was really looking forward to coming back, and this definitely helped. It also enabled me to get back into the swing of diary management – absolutely crucial for a successful recruiter.
My first full day back after maternity leave was hard. I knew that I’d be saying goodbye to Eve not just for that morning, but every morning until the weekend. It was emotional but, at the same time, I feel like I’m setting a good example for my daughter as to what it means to be a busy working mum with an income.
The flexibility that HRC offers me is brilliant. As a first-time mum, in particular, I was really worried about striking the balance between hitting my targets and being there for my daughter.
Equally, in the market in which I recruit, many Accountancy firms are now recognising that offering benefits such as being able to work from home, or even part-time hours, is a real draw for talented candidates who need a bit more flexibility in their schedule.
I’m glad to be back at my desk – if still in a little flurry of trying to catch up – and I am looking forward to speaking with my clients and candidates once again.
If you are in the Accountancy Practice market (Audit and Tax, in particular) and would like a confidential chat about your career plans or talent pipeline, I’d be delighted to help. Click here to get in touch.