Very few women give their careers any attention in the lead up to taking parental leave. And why would you? It is such an exciting (and tiring) time awaiting the arrival of your first child. However, The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing and the gift of experience is being able to share it with others about to embark on the same journey.
1. Talk to your manager about flexible work options before going on parental leave. Review the flexible work policy and the parental leave policy.
2. Write down your 5 year plan and discuss this with your manager.
3. Have a game plan for keeping your skills up to date while on leave. This will help to maintain your confidence when it is time to return. For example, attend work meetings once each month, have lunch with colleagues, ask to be emailed any internal newsletters and other company information.
4. Talk to other employees at your work who are return-to-work parents.
5. Start talking to your partner about how you will share parental responsibilities.
6. Know that in over 65% of families, both parents work. You are not alone.