Low expectations but glad I was patient

General Details
Network:
Working mother
Profession:
Professional Services
Type of leave:
Maternity
Number of years professional experience:
11-15 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Positive
Work pattern on return:
Part-time
Message I returned to considerable internal reorganisation and restructure (covering several hundred people). This meant that 80% of the work I did no longer existed. The remaining 20% of my role was kept by the person covering my maternity leave who never handed this back to me. She managed to develop that 20% into a full time role which I would have been doing if I hadn’t left to have my daughter. With nothing to do I ended up passing the days by picking up adhoc admin tasks (beneath my pay grade). I chose to ‘wait it out’ and made use of this ‘dead’ time by catching up with all my admin at work and home like reading old newsletters, booking courses, and reading school profiles on Ofsted. I have a very supportive boss which helped make it easier to stay. He is responsible for sorting the reorganisation so was aware of my situation. He gave me what work he could and always made time for me if I needed illumination (on a new business process for example). He made sure when I came back to work I sat next to him as he knew I wouldn’t know anyone in the area I used to sit. I had low expectations from him as a white, male, middle-class boss (with a stay-at-home wife) but was surprised by his thoughtful and reassuring attitude. I was prepared to ‘do battle’ to get a suitable flexible working arrangement as my 1st request was rejected 2 years ago when I had my son by my then (female) boss. Instead he approved my flexible working request without batting an eyelid and said I could work from home whenever needed. He's supportive of my goal for promotion so I'm confident for the future.
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