Most mums (and dads) who go on parental leave after the birth of a child often find that they feel detached and daunted by the thought of going back to work. Most will feel their confidence wane when it comes to their skills after a few months of being out of the loop.
There are however steps that can be taken to keep your skills sharp and your confidence high even when on parental leave. This does not mean though that you should shift a large part of your focus from your newborn baby, but that you simply take a bit of time to ensure your skills are maintained or even improved.
By honing your skills while on parental leave you’ll find that it’ll be way easier to transition back to work when it’s time to go back to the workplace:
- Keep your presence in the email distribution list at work. This will ensure you’re kept in the loop when it comes to emails that are pertinent to your department.
- Subscribe to newsletters or forums that are pertinent to your organisation and your industry and read magazines and newspapers. This will keep you up to date when it comes to the latest trends and topics.
- Enrol in external online courses or even courses recommended by your human resources personnel that you can participate in from home.
- Try to attend team meetings from time to time or even join by dialling in to a meeting or joining the team meeting through a webinar. This will help you get the most recent updates for your team.
- Keep your technical skills updated and continue using MS excel and other office programs even while at home. You can even create a family budget in MS excel and present it to your partner through PowerPoint. This will help make you feel confident in your technical skills even while at home.
- If you can access your office email from home then try to read through a few that look important. But be warned, remind yourself you’re still on leave and keep yourself from the temptation of replying to all emails.
Lastly, keep in mind that your parental leave time is for your new baby. While it’s great to be kept in the loop for work updates, do this when there’s time and make the time to bond with your family the priority.
Have you ever been in this situation? Did you do anything special to make your return to the workplace any easier?
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