How to transition from parental leave back into the workplace


Some tips and tricks helping you transition into back into the workplace following a period of parental leave

Grace Papers has all the tools and step-by-step support you need to help you successfully transition into parenthood without sacrificing your career, your identity and your values. By properly preparing yourself and those around you, and by considering who you are and what you want, you can smoothly transition in and out of the workforce while building a family.

Tip 1: Don’t doubt the data.

One in two women experience pregnancy related discrimination either while pregnant, while on maternity leave, or upon their return to work. But most women don’t believe it can or will happen to them.

Tip 2: Know thy stakeholder – both internal and external.

Take some time to contemplate their potential biases and how you might respond. That will give you a chance to address it in the moment, and reduce the risk of it manifesting as discrimination.

Tip 3: Have a transition plan.

Develop a professional vision – and then, communicate it to your stakeholders. A professional vision is your career navigation system. It keeps you focused on where your career is heading, even if the world – manager, team, sponsor – around you is changing rapidly.

Tip 4: Talk to your partner about expectations.

What do you believe? Do you believe that fathers can do everything mothers can? Do you (or does your partner, parents or parents-in-law) believe that a father’s primary responsibility is to provide financially? Unlocking the gendered expectations is the key to ensuring that you can both, equally, fulfil your career and parenting aspirations.

Tip 5: Know your value.

Know your value and how to sell it. At Grace Papers we call this your individual employee value proposition, and it is the best tool to help your return to work conversation. It also gives you the confidence to negotiate flexibility (including part time that is really part time, not five days a week crammed into three), and to set boundaries about what is and isn’t up for negotiation.