The reality is, regardless how good your manager or your parental leave policy is, without a plan in place for your career to be managed while you’re on parental leave, the career you’ve worked so hard to build is likely to be left unmanaged.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Grace Papers Way is tried and tested to ensure your transition feels supported. Here are our tips:
1. Confidence & Clarity: build your confidence by taking time to reflect on your achievements to date, and integrate them into your professional vision so you have clarity as to what you want from your career moving forward, and can articulate it to your stakeholders with ease.
2. Bias: map your stakeholders’ potential biases about your parental leave so you can ensure you overcome them in your communication strategies.
3. Handover: create a mind map of EVERYTHING you currently do. Then look at it against your role description. Are they aligned? Not sharing everything you do (read: withholding information because it makes you look better than your replacement) can actually reinforce bias and discrimination.
4. How the work gets done: building on your handover, use your knowledge to drive input into how the work is going to get done in your absence (and beyond). Are there elements that don’t align to your professional vision? Find a way to hand them off permanently.
5. Keeping In Touch Plan: this one is the game-changer. Whether you’re embarking on parental leave or already there, you need a KIT that aligns to your professional vision, and that is supported by your manager and your sponsors.