What I’ve Learned: Chanduni Wijesinghe on returning to work as a first-time parent


Chanduni shares her experience as a first time Mum returning to work and the positive impact of on demand coaching on her career confidence.

What challenged you the most whilst you have been going through your parental leave?

From a work perspective, before I went on parental leave I knew I wanted to return around the 6-month mark and while on parental leave I felt the same because I wanted some variety of tasks in my day. I love to plan but given I was a first-time parent I did not know how to go about planning for a return to work with a newborn or where to start the returning to work journey.

The Grace Papers program provided me with guidance on when and how to get started with work so I did not have to figure it all out on my own.

Why did you book an “On Demand” coaching call?

I first reached out for a coaching call when I started parental leave as I wanted to understand how people started the return to work journey so I could be prepared before Nealan was born and would not have to think about work in the first few months.

After that, at about the 2-month mark, I set up another session to discuss how best my keeping in touch days can be utilised, to weigh up the pros and cons of a few different roles I had the option of taking upon my return to work and finally to discuss how flexible working could work when I return to work.

What has been the impact for you & what tools in the Grace Papers program did you find helpful?

The on-demand calls have been great as Tegan was able to provide independent, non-judgemental coaching on the topics I wanted to discuss and also provide advice and reassurance based on what many other parents have gone through while on this same journey.

They are only 15 minutes long, which is just perfect for each topic I wanted to cover and if I didn’t have anyone to babysit I could take the baby with me to the call as it was only a short period of time.

The parenting legacy tool gave me the insight to think about and discuss with my partner what is important for us as parents as well as the Keeping in Touch days plans were also very helpful

I would highly recommend the Grace Papers program and On-Demand coaching sessions.