The top 10 must-do’s before going on maternity leave

Leaving your job for a period of maternity leave can be truly daunting, and most of us dread that our maternity cover will do an even better job than we did!  Worry not.  Making a professional exit and doing a great handover may well help to protect your future career potential.  Follow our proven 10-steps:

  1.  Make the announcement positively.  This is a happy occasion and should be treated as such!  Don’t feel worried or embarrassed or guilty about announcing your pregnancy – be proud and happy!
  2. Understand your benefits and entitlements.  Don’t rely on anyone else;  read what you can about your company’s maternity/parental leave, flexible working policies; print them off to take on your maternity leave; and book an appointment with HR to answer all the questions you have
  3. Build relationships – make more effort to build the relationships with your manager, your team and anyone else who may be able to support you on your return
  4. Put your own health & wellbeing at the top of the to-do list!
  5. Most companies have pretty good Health and Safety Managers – book an appointment with one of them – they will help make sure you stay safe at work during your pregnancy
  6. Create a handover plan early on to give to your manager and maternity cover
  7. Manage your image – working through pregnancy can be really tough.  Find a trusted individual you can off-load to.  Flag issues to your manager if they arise, but maintain a solutions-focused attitude
  8. Put together a Keeping in Touch plan – make use of some or all of your 10 Keeping in Touch days to keep your confidence and network intact
  9. Have a final meeting with your manager in your last week to discuss any outstanding issues and to confirm your keeping in touch plans
  10. Don’t forget to celebrate your departure – you are, after all, embarking on a wonderful new adventure!

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