Remember the last time your computer seemed to be acting up? How quickly did you decide to solve the problem by simply rebooting it? Guess what? It most likely worked. Rebooting devices is a time-proven way of getting things back into shape. Can the same be true for people?
Meet Shilpa Devgan, a new mom and a Delivery Manager from Nagarro. She has returned from her maternity break and shares with us some tips & tricks that are helping her reboot her career.
When a woman goes on a maternity break to deliver a new life; she has been gone for several months and out of the flow. She returns as a newer version of herself with new priorities and concerns. Today we will explore how to make the first few weeks as painless as possible for a new mother with Shilpa.
Sonam: Welcome Shilpa. How does it feel to be back to work, and how has the journey been so far?
Shilpa: Thank you. It has been a roller coaster. The first week in, feeling exhilarated and exhausted, excited, and apprehensive, willing and nervous. A few months away from work, and I feel like I have metamorphosed into a new person. 😊
Sonam: Haha! Thanks for being so honest. I completely understand. You are no longer the same person. You must have discovered a lot about your baby and a lot more about yourself. Would you mind telling us more about this transition phase? How are you dealing with it?
Shilpa: I am restarting my journey one day at a time. I am trying my best to cope with an infant, a 9-year-old, office work, housework, and family expectations. The very first thing I did was I came back in the middle of the week. A shorter week meant that I could pace myself to the demands of my work life and adjust my schedule without it being overwhelming. At the back of my mind, I also had the comfort of the upcoming weekend to get me through it.
Shilpa with both her kids
Sonam: That was indeed a good plan. What else was there in your plan?
Shilpa: I spoke to my manager and discussed a transition plan to help ease back to a regular workload. At Nagarro, our work timings have always been flexible, but I wanted to ensure that I was upfront about my position and check if my manager was okay with it. For example, I said that I might be unavailable during pockets of time during the day. I plan to manage my work in the early mornings or late evenings to ensure that my deliverables are not impacted. I did not expect less work or concessions, just flexibility and independence to work through my priorities. Happy to say that it worked for me.
Sonam: That’s amazing! Did you also connect with your other colleagues? If yes, was that of any help?
Shilpa: Oh yes. I reconnected with my colleagues and teams, catching up and seeking support. I met with my colleagues virtually. We had a lot of catching up to do, and still do 😊 I told them I am available on Teams and not to hesitate or feel uncomfortable to reach out to me at any time. In case I cannot respond immediately, I'll get back as soon as I can. I let them know that I would appreciate (when possible) if meetings could be set up in advance to plan my schedule accordingly. Being open about limitations helps.
Shilpa (extreme left) reconnecting with her team-mates
Sonam: What do you do exclusively for yourself that makes you happy? 😊
Shilpa: I work my schedule with my partner to find some “me” time, especially on the weekends, like stepping out for a salon appointment or pottering around my plants. These things are important because I feel motherhood is a joy, making you stronger, a better version of yourself. Yes, there will be times when we’ll make sacrifices, prioritizing a school game over a meet-up with old friends, but we should take in small joys wherever we can.
Sonam: So insightful. Self-love & self-care is essential. After all, a happy mother makes a happy family! It is a great pleasure to have you with us Shilpa, and I hope our discussion will certainly help new mothers reboot their careers.
Shilpa enjoying her ‘me’ time