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:
- 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!
- 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
- 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
- Put your own health & wellbeing at the top of the to-do list!
- 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
- Create a handover plan early on to give to your manager and maternity cover
- 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
- 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
- Have a final meeting with your manager in your last week to discuss any outstanding issues and to confirm your keeping in touch plans
- Don’t forget to celebrate your departure – you are, after all, embarking on a wonderful new adventure!