Tag Archives: control

Lady with a baby coming through…

Having just come off the back of two maternity leave roles, it gave me pause to reflect on my maternity leave experiences.

I’d had ownership of my job for three successful years when it was time for me to go on maternity leave. I soon realised that I must let go of control and pass on my knowledge as much as possible because once you’re gone, there’s nothing you can do.

Honestly, after I left, I was too busy keeping a small human alive to even think about what was happening back at work, let alone worry who was organising the next conference.

When I came back from maternity leave, I realised that the world had kept spinning without me and my replacement had actually improved some of the processes. My worry about not having a job to go back to was quickly allayed when she went on maternity leave herself.

But then I discovered that I actually didn’t want me old job back anyway. In a strange twist of fate, having a child actually gave me the ambition to have a career, not just a job. I figured that if I was spending time away from my daughter, I better be doing something that was worth it.

And so I made moves towards loftier career goals and took a maternity leave contract role in a company that would expand on the skills in the areas I wanted to work in. I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of other strong career women there who supported me through my learning process and taught me that confidence is not a dirty word.

I learnt that self-belief is not arrogance, but ego can be weak and a sign of insecurity. I was also taught that it’s ok to be selfish and not selfless in order to get where you want to go.

Once my maternity leave contract ended when the mother returned, I took another maternity leave role from someone who had been in her job for over a decade and I think was freaking out, trying to control the only thing she could with the uncertainty of her first child on the horizon- her job.

And we all know better than that now don’t we?

Both the maternity roles I took gave me different opportunities and experiences, but I can honestly say that I am now done with stepping into someone else’s shoes, no matter how shiny they are. I’m ready to have this job of my own again in a new role that is mine for the taking.

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Adventurous vs Risk Taker

I consider myself quite an adventurous person. I like to travel to new places, try new food and will put my hand up for most new experiences even if they are out of my comfort zone, like stand up paddle boarding or zip lining.

But I am not a risk taker.

As much as I am adventurous, my OCD nature towards list making also suggests I like planning. Risk takers don’t plan.

They make big philosophical leaps that leave all us average people in the dust. They take chances, think outside the box, get promoted and become entrepreneurs.

As much as I hate the idea of routine, I actually find myself comfortable in my weekly routine with the little milestones and rewards along the way.

Risk takers don’t do routine. It would inhibit the possibilities.

The definition of one who is adventurous is someone who is willing to take risks or to try out new methods, ideas, or experiences.

But the definition of a risk taker is someone who risks loss or injury in the hope of gain or excitement.

And therein lies the rub- I am happy to take on new experiences, but I won’t risk loss or injury in the pursuit of excitement.

Which explains why I would love to try hot air ballooning, but would never jump out of a plane.

I also like to be in control of new experiences to some degree. Which is also why I will never be a good skier.

Risk takers are gamblers of sorts. And I don’t gamble either. I come from the school of you don’t get something for nothing and have to work hard for great rewards.

But with great risk comes great rewards. But only if it’s the right risk right?!

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