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I’m thrilled to be beginning this blog by announcing that my other half recently gave birth to our first child, a beautiful baby boy whom we’ve named Daniel Isaac Robinson and we are both absolutely delighted.
Danny arrived one week earlier than his due date and, whilst I’d been preparing to be out of the office on paternity leave anyway, him starting to put in an early appearance late on a Sunday night meant that my time out of the office began the preceding Friday.
I hastily updated my handover note in the early hours of Monday morning whilst also timing contractions (I’ve had a fair bit of ribbing for this) before e-mailing this to my manager and that was that. I was out of the office on paternity leave doing all things parent based with work the last thing on my mind.
How well I was looked after by my colleagues is testament to the core values of BCL Legal and I say this not to win any brownie points but to highlight how important it is to consider the intangible benefit of working in a supportive and collaborative environment. This applies to clients whom, for example, might be seeing an increase in staff leaving for competitors, or for candidates who are looking for that extra magic when considering a move, particularly if that move might arguably be a sideways one in terms of hierarchical status or salary.
Whilst I was away my e-mails were actioned, my diary kept up to date, my clients and candidates were contacted and my “to do” list was kept tidy. When my paternity leave ended and I returned to the office (in a sleep deprived state which has yet to end) I came back not to an abundance of e-mails and a long list of calls that needed returning, but to a desk that was in tip top condition with it being like I’d never been away.
Whilst I take this opportunity to express my thanks to my colleagues in print, particularly for the lovely gifts which were delivered whilst I was off as well waiting for me at my desk on my return (Danny’s been very spoilt!), this evidences just how important it is to consider the unquantifiable benefits of working in a united team that has a strong ethos towards looking after the collective.
It just goes to show that whilst salary, training and progression prospects are all valid factors to take into account when looking for a new role, the working environment, the team spirit and a firms’ general overall philosophy is priceless, especially given the amount of time you send in the office (or not as in my case).