So I’ve gotten myself into a pickle. This would happen to me though. I love challenges. I want to do everything all. at. once.
Three months ago, in the duration of a week, I found out the following:
1. I was pregnant (BIG SHOCK)
2. I was offered a shiny new position as Digital Marketing Manager at an amazing company! (BIG BIG SHOCK)
3. I received a letter from Kingston University offering me a spot on the Masters course for Behavioural Economics (TRIPLE BIG SHOCK)
Hmmm should I stay at my current job and receive 6 months full paid maternity leave? Double hmmm should I post-pone my Masters degree for another time? Triple hmmmm should I even be having a baby at this point in my life?
Guess what I decided to do?
Them.Hence why I am here now, writing this post about maternity leave. I started my new job two weeks ago. Unfortunately as I will only be with the company for four months until baby is due, I will not get paid maternity leave. I’ve researched this and found I am still able to apply for Maternity Allowance. This leaves me with the task of having to speak to my new manager about how long I will be taking maternity leave.
It’s strange that this is even something I have to think about.
I would have never thought that I would be questioning……
How much time do I need to take off?
Is 4 months enough time? Should I do 6 months? (UK standard is about 6 months to a year, in the US it’s 3 months?)
Should I do part-time when I return?
What hours do I want to work when I return?
Should I ask to work from 8am to 4pm instead of the typical 9am to 5:30pm?
Should I try and work from home one day a week?
My main worry is that my manager will think poorly of me if I take a long maternity leave. As I am still very new and trying to prove myself, this is somewhat difficult. I want my manager to believe in me and my work, and to understand that I am committed and hard-working. I didn’t decide to take this position to chill out, have a baby (as if that’s chilling out), and leave them for a year. I am extremely dedicated to my work and have big dreams to be very successful!
So to compromise, instead of taking 6 months/a year (UK standard), I’m looking to take 4 months. With option 1, working full time right when I get back but with one day working from home a week, or option 2, more gradual progression back into work, taking part-time on the 5th and maybe 6th month.
This would be my plan. Option 1 shows that I mean business with my new manager, option 2 gives me more time to adjust.
Option 1 – working straight away
- Take 4 months maternity leave.
- Normal schedule, ask to work from 8-4pm
Option 2 – more gradual progress back into work
- Take 4 months maternity leave
- Upon return, gradual work load
- For first month back: 2 days off a week
- Following months: 1 day working from home
I’ll let you know how it goes. Obviously, this isn’t really something that can be planned as things might change when the baby is here, but I guess this is more of a guideline to follow and to discuss with my manager.
If anyone has any ideas or experience on how to approach maternity leave or how long is ideal time to take off, it would be really helpful to hear from you!