A to-be working mom recently asked on a Fairygodboss discussion board how to leave for maternity leave on a good note. This great question reflects someone who cares about her job, her teammates as well as her clients or projects. Here are four suggestions:
Get Control Over the Things Within Your Control
The end of your pregnancy can be unpredictable. The good news is that your work life doesn’t have to be. You know how to do your job best. So take stock of what work tasks you have control over and resolve to manage them well.
Once you have things under control, start documenting how you manage your workload. Since you know how your client best, or what the next step of a project is, you need to write this down as clearly as possible. Keep a procedure sheet for each project or client. When the inevitable hand-off occurs, your co-workers and your clients will be thankful. Your concise preparation will make everyone involved informed and thus competent to continue working on your projects without a hiccup.
Instead of Taking Sick Days Work From Home
There may be days at the end of your pregnancy when you don’t feel well. Before these days come, have an honest conversation with your manager about working from home. Explain that although your body may be unwilling to go to work, your brain is still in the game and you want to work.
If working from home is possible, decide how this will pan out. Do you have the right equipment and software to do your job at home? Is your home quiet enough that you can take client calls or participate on conference calls? If you reach an agreement, make the arrangements and test out equipment ahead of time, so when the day comes when you want to work from home, it goes without a hitch.
Begin to Grow Your Workplace Support System
Business philosopher Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. Examine your work relationships and how they are helping you succeed at work. Then pick the five people at work you want in your workplace support system.
Before you depart on your maternity leave, let those people know you consider them one of your five people. They’ll feel special to know they are part of your inner circle, and when you return from maternity leave you’ll feel OK about leaning on them more than you have before.
Sit Down With Your Manager
Keeping your manager in the know about your health and your workload is super important to leaving on a good note. He/she will ultimately be responsible for your workload and the delegation of it once you leave. If you intend to return to work after your baby is born, make sure that's clear.
If you want them to contact you during your leave, set expectations before you go. If it’s important for you to keep in touch while you’re out, that's fine - but don't overdo it.
With these tips, you’ll feel confident that you’re leaving for maternity leave on a good note. The people in your work life will appreciate your extra effort! And, if you still need some help, check out our maternity leave checklist before you check out.
Liz McGrory is a certified professional coach supporting working moms make audacious choices about their work life balance. She's a speaker, author, the Working Mom Expert on About.com and a working mom coach at The Maven Clinic.
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