28 September 2009

Last week or work!

I’m not entirely sure whether to laugh or cry. While most women seem excited by the prospect of being at home with baby for a year, I have to admit that I’m feeling more than just a tad apprehensive. I have been fortunate enough to work with my organization since early days back in University. Over the years I have grown not only enjoy my career and colleagues, but also to become quite confident in what I do. Of course, this was a particularly fruitful year where I learned a ton and finally started to feel as though I was really on top of my job. Just as things get exciting and interesting, I’ll be leaving for an entire year.

I realize that I’m “extremely” fortunate to have the maternity benefits and top up that I do. I’m blessed to be able to stay home with my baby during the first year of his life - the crucial early development stage - and to also have the financial freedom to move into a new home at the same time. I guess I’m just afraid that I’ll feel like a fish out of water or go a little batty staying cooped up at home when I’m used to being at work, challenging my brain and being around adult company. It will be hard at first to resist the temptation of logging into my work email and “checking up” on things all the time.

I also have to gripe about the fact that taking a year off has resulted in a metric ton of extra work and preparations at the office. Because a recent organization-wide moratorium on external hiring came into effect, this has delayed the lengthy and complicated HR process in finding a term replacement for my position. I was supposed to have someone to train by now, but they still haven’t found a suitable replacement. All of our successful applicants were external and now we can’t even call them in for interviews because of the freeze. As a result, I have had to write out an instruction manual and communications plan, should an internal candidate eventually be hired. I realize that it is out of my hands but I find it frustrating nonetheless, given the fact that folks had ages to act on my job competition. I can only cross my fingers and hope that I won’t be returning in 2010 to an epic “poop storm” because of things that might have fallen through the cracks while I was away.

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