How becoming a mom made me a better professional
When I found out I was pregnant last July, I had just started a new job as a privacy analyst. It was right after I had the pleasure of failing the Quebec Bar (which I still plan to conquer eventually) and as you can imagine, I thanked the employment Gods for keeping an eye on me and keeping me employed. Having just started this job, I panicked about how I would tell my employer. I was due in February and although my position was contractual, I was hoping they would keep me around beyond the life of my contract.
As September came along, I began to tell family and friends about my good news. Everyone was excited! Weeks went by and I avoided the subject at work but my clothes were starting to tell a different story. I finally mustered up the courage to tell my manager. He was ecstatic! I was showered with congratulatory hugs and gifts. In October, my position was cut. There I was now jobless and pregnant with 4 months to go before baby arrived.
I thought, I will find some temporary contract to keep me busy until my due date. I interviewed left and right with no success. The larger my belly got the less confidence I had in landing anything at all. I was right, I landed nothing. Sometime in November, I was approached by a prominent firm that was interested in hiring me to help spruce up their social media and work alongside their business development team. I was excited! Finally, I thought. We discussed the future and where I wanted to be in 5 years. I certainly saw myself on that team and genuinely pictured myself leading the business development team in 5 years time. And then the elephant in the room came barging in. They asked me if I was willing to cut my mat leave short. And by short, they asked me if I was willing to come back 3 months in. I said yes. Absolutely! Of course I could cut it short. This was a dream job! We shook hands and they said they would call me.
When they finally called me, I had already decided that I definitely did not want to cut my mat leave short and I certainly wasn’t going to do it for 1 year contract. I politely declined the offer and then I cried. I was so confused. Would anyone want me after my mat leave? Would I still be sharp? Is it true what they say about mommy brain? What if no one ever wanted to hire me again?
The truth is, these were all legitimate concerns but I had no way of knowing what the future would bring. Obsessing over what could or may be achieved nothing else but cause me stress. I decided to focus on my son and take it one day at a time. In August of this year I started LJX Legal Recruitment Inc, Law Job Exchange‘s recruiting cousin. I created my own opportunity. Nothing like starting your own business while on mat leave right? But you know what I realized? I am not only the Queen of multitasking (i.e.: I once took a client call while going around the block over 60 times with my baby in the stroller), but I have also become an expert at time management, something I struggled with in the past. Becoming a parent changed me for the better and if and when I choose to go back to the “traditional” work force once my mat leave is up, I know I will come back stronger and better than ever.
Evan (8 months)