I have recently returned to work after 6 months maternity leave and speak from experience when I say it can be traumatic particularly if it’s your first child. The organisation that must go into that first day is huge, and that’s before you even get to your desk! Keep in touch days are brilliant but nothing can really prepare you for that first day back in the office, but there are a few ways to make your first day back a happy and stress free experience as Joanne Lack, a manager at BCL Legal in Birmingham, discusses.
• Change. Expect a lot of it but don’t be fazed by it
• Re-learning the ropes. Processes may have changed and you may well have forgotten some of them too! Ask questions, lots of them, rather than sitting there in a state of panic. Ask for training if you are really struggling
• Personnel. There will no doubt be new faces and internal movement. Take the initiative and introduce yourself
• Guilt. It comes with the territory. Even if staying at home was never an option (either for your own sanity or for financial reasons), the most rational of mothers can still feel overcome with it. Don’t beat yourself up over this. Talk to your employer about flexible working arrangements if necessary
Remember, there is only ever one first day and one first week. Whilst this may sound obvious we often don’t see things this clearly. By the time you’ve come to the end of your first week and definitely by the end of the first month, you’ll hopefully be wondering why you were so anxious about returning to work in the first place! There are exceptions of course. Prior to maternity leave, you may have had a long commute or worked 7am – 7pm Monday – Friday but with childcare constraints or just wanting to be home to do bath time, it could prove to be really problematic and not sustainable long term. If you haven’t settled back in or you are unable to get the right balance between work and home, it may be time for you to think about changing jobs. Unlike many legal recruitment companies, consultants at BCL Legal are specialists in specific legal disciplines as well as locations and can provide advice on market trends and job opportunities. Based in Birmingham, I manage a team of consultants specialising solely in residential conveyancing roles across the Midlands and the South and are being instructed on a daily basis with new roles, some offering a step into management as well as straight forward fee earning.
For a confidential discussion please contact Joanne Lack, or call 0121 236 2623 to be directed to an experienced consultant specialising in your area of law.