I have a job that I love at a great company. I’m not a high powered executive, but I am proud of my career at a fairly young age. I’m especially proud that I’ve accomplished what I have without having completed a degree, although I did attend a few years of university. I’ve achieved what I have because the CEO of my company recognized my natural talent and drive, and gave me the opportunity to take on more responsibility. From there, I’ve taken on a lot on my own, and have continued to progress in my role within the organization. I love that I’ve got a corner office with a nice view. I take pride in my work and my achievements. So – it was a bit disturbing when I saw the job postings for people to take over for while I am on mat leave. Two positions are being filled to cover for me while I’m gone.
I know there will be work for me when I come off maternity leave. Legally, of course, I am entitled to my job (or something similar) with the same level of seniority and pay. I get a year of maternity leave, plus I still accrue vacation time while I’m off, so I will actually have a year and 5 weeks before I go back to work. That takes me to the end of September, 2011. With the way my company is growing, it’s very unlikely that things will be the same when I come back at that time, so it was decided that I would discuss what opportunities exist and what I would be interested in so that we could decide what my job will entail. I am satisfied with that arrangement and have no real worries that I’ll be able to take on a role that I’ll be happy with. But still – seeing my job being posted on job sites, being talked about on Twitter and on LinkedIn – it’s strange and unsettling. I feel oddly protective of my job, like I don’t want anyone else to have it because I like what I do. What if they don’t do it as well as I did, or even just the way that I think it should be done? I am definitely the type of person who likes things to be in order, to be done in a particular way. It bothers me when things are unorganized, if items are missed because they weren’t thought through, and I especially hate it when things fail or need additional work or re-work. Sometimes I can’t help but wish that I had been consulted so that my feedback could have been considered and maybe some of those missed items would have been planned for and avoided.
We have now hired for both positions that will be covering my areas. It might sound impressive that we’ve hired two people to do one person’s job, but it’s not really like that. The two areas I manage are very different from each other, and honestly it’s not something one person would usually do. We’re taking each half of what I do an expanding each to cover more. It makes sense to split them up. I’ve been training one person for a few weeks now, and will start training the other person next week. Looking at my work calendar, I don’t have a lot of time left to make sure they are both ready. I plan on starting maternity leave in 5 to 6 weeks, but I want to fully hand off all of my duties to these new people in 3 weeks. This will allow them time to have full ownership while I am still available to consult and help with any issues that arise when they really sink their teeth into things. Plus, who knows how I will feel as I approach my due date.
Although I’ve felt really good, things may change, I may be too tired or too uncomfortable to work. Maybe the heat will get to me. Maybe I’ll be at risk for preterm delivery and I’ll need to go on bedrest. I do hope to have at least a couple of weeks off before the baby comes to relax and have some time to myself. I plan to work until either August 13 or 19, and I’m due September 2nd. That leaves me with 2-3 weeks off before the baby, assuming baby is on time. I hope to stretch it to the 19th, as I’d much rather have the time off afterwards than before. Besides, I have a feeling baby may be late anyway.