Be clear about your ambitions

General Details
Working mother
Type of leave:
Number of years professional experience:
11-15 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Work pattern on return:
Message I've been on maternity leave twice whilst working for the same firm. Overall a positive experience both times. First time I wasn't sure I wanted to return to work but did on a four day week. No one contested this and I was always made to feel like a valued member of the team. Three years later with my second child, I was due promotion but went on mat leave in August, with promotions announced early the following year. I didn't plan to return until the following July. Before I left I sat down with HR, my line manager and chief of staff and made it clear that I was committed to returning to work , wanted the promotion and asked what I could do to remain front of mind during that promotion process. I took their advice and was promoted whilst on mat leave to a senior level. I'm often one of the last to arrive in the office and first to leave but I make an extra effort to be contactable on mobile and email in the evening/weekend if required. It works, but much of that is down to my team who understand the demands of being a working parent and restrictions on hours especially with a commute too. The main challenge for me now is that to progress and earn a decent bonus, I need to be bringing in new business and to do that I need to be networking. Not easy in the evenings but I try and do as much as I can during the working day (lunches/coffees etc). Its exhausting but somehow managing it. So far.
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