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Preparing for My Maternity Leave at Work: A 13-Step Process

Alyssa Greenfield

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I lead content and social media at a global tech company. I also happen to be the only employee focused solely on these two things. I’m going on maternity leave in less than 80 days.

I lead content and social media at a global tech company. I also happen to be the only employee focused solely on these two things. I’m going on maternity leave in less than 80 days.

To set the scene, I’m the type of person who leaves detailed out-of-office notes for a five-day vacation. It started when I worked at an agency and everyone did it. Often, each note was color-coded based on which team member would be responsible in your absence. Didn’t matter if you were leaving for two days or 10.

Today I do it only if I’ll be gone for more than a couple days. Also because I’m the only one in my role, because I love my team and don’t want to feel like I left them in the dark and flew to Europe, and because it gives me such a sense of calm to sign off before a vacation knowing everything is either taken care of or recorded.

I had pre-vacation planning down to a science. Then came a new challenge: maternity leave.

Is it even possible to plan ahead for months away from the office? Especially when your company isn’t hiring a temp? And when there’s a 50/50 chance that things will either be exactly the same or dramatically different when you return? That’s how businesses work, right? Absolutely no change or all the things happening at once.

I didn’t know the answers, but I wanted my transition away from the office and back to be as easy as possible for all involved — including myself. At the very least, I wanted to give it my best try.

Here’s what I was working with:

  1. A handful of responsibilities that aren’t shared with anyone else at my company.
  2. Plenty of responsibilities that are shared with others on the team.
  3. An equally large handful of tools and platforms I use on a daily basis.
  4. The ability to hire two freelance writers to write one blog post each from now until October.
  5. The knowledge that I’ll likely be returning from leave less than two months…

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Alyssa Greenfield

Thought leadership strategist and ghostwriter for startup founders | Sharing content that supports fundraising, team building and customer acquisition