Back in the swing of it
As one of our most senior account managers servicing one of our biggest clients, when Lisa went on maternity leave she knew she’d be missed at Sense. But she didn’t expect we’d make it so easy for her to return, when the time was right.
Returning to work after maternity leave
I was about a month shy of my 5 year anniversary at Sense when I stood in the communal kitchen area on a Friday evening and had a huge ugly sob in front of everyone whilst trying to make a farewell speech before venturing out into the world of maternity leave.
Yes, I was sad to be leaving people I considered family. But there was also an element of fear and uncertainty, not only of the major change about to occur in my life, but of what my future working life would look like.
Would I be able to come back? If so, what would that role look like? Not many clients would stick their hand up for a part-time account manager. It’s a fast paced, high demand world and I’d heard many accounts of women leaving the industry after having babies.
“It’s too demanding,” was a common theme. Too hard to meet client and employer expectations, when you want to work a reduced number of days and be out the door at 5pm sharp, in order to navigate the chaos that is childcare pick up, dinner, bath and bed time.
Well, clearly, I’m back. And I needn’t have worried.
Finding the balance
Sense has been amazing at reassuring me along the way and welcoming me back with open arms. By slightly tweaking the way we run things in the client service department, I’ve been able to step back on to the account I was managing before I left.
What’s more, I’m in a position where I can contribute in a positive way directing a major account, and mentoring other account managers three days a week. We negotiated my hours so I can start earlier (babies wake early you guys!), and finish earlier so that I can manage the daily care of my son.
Things are certainly different though and it can take some getting used to. I’ve never worked part-time before, and had to adjust to not having complete control over the client that I used to live and breathe. I have to delegate more and be more organised (actually let’s be real, I was always super organised).
Coffee with (slightly less) chaos
Sometimes I have to work off not much sleep, and unfortunately it’s not because I was at a fancy event the night before.
But you know what?
I get to sit at my desk with a coffee without someone crawling all over me. I don’t have to feed anyone but myself all day. I don’t have to think about nap times (ok sometimes I think about nap time – we really need another meeting room here) and I am genuinely surprised by how much I enjoy getting stuck into work even on those days that I’m SUPER tired.
I look forward to coming here. I love that I have been able to keep the elements of working life I loved, and combine it with my new role of being a mum. And I’m extremely grateful.
Sense has made it clear they value me, my career, and retaining women in the workplace. Agencies need to be nimble and open-minded so that more women can return to work and not be put off by demanding client service roles in the first place.
But my experience is proof: with the right support, it is possible to return to agency life post baby.Back to Posts