Going back to a paid job – professional considerations
You’re at the point where you’re weighing the decision about whether to be a mother who works in the home, or to undertake some form of paid work. The next few posts will look at some things to consider in making your decision…
a) I love my job.
b) I’m on the brink of promotion.
c) I’m passionate about my company.
d) I’m proud of what I do.
e) All of the above.
Okay, so this is not a magazine quiz that’s going to assign you an easy stereotype of motherhood (are you the “domestic goddess”, the “harried housewife”, the “part-time parent”, or perhaps just the “confused cogitator”). But if any of the above options apply to you, you may be feeling torn about spending time at home with your baby. It is okay to love your job and want to go back to it. It’s also okay to hate your job and be glad you get to stay home and never go back! If you want a bit of both worlds, the professional and familial, have a think about how flexibility might work for you.
There are a whole raft of options open to mums (and dads) these days in terms of workplace flexibility. If you think it will work for you, sit down and talk to your boss about options – flexible hours, part-time hours, working from home… Currently in New Zealand, your workplace is legally obliged to at least consider a request for flexibility on a return from parental leave, although this is no gurantee that it will be agreed to. As a starter, check in with your manager or HR (in a larger organisation). It can help your case immensely if you can show your value to the organisation and the benefit to the company (starting with the fact that they get to retain your knowledge and skills in house). There are heaps of international studies that have shown the financial benefit to employers of retaining staff after parental leave so educate your employer and hopefully they’ll come to the party!