Preparing for Maternity Leave: Reflections from Hannah Hemsley, Head of People at Quad

3 mins

“You’ve got NINE months off work- you’re so lucky!” How many times have you heard this in an...

Hannah Hemsley

By Hannah Hemsley

“You’ve got NINE months off work- you’re so lucky!” How many times have you heard this in and out of your workplace over the last nine months? Let’s be real, it’s terrifying to leave work when you have lots of responsibilities. Below you’ll hear my inner thoughts about leaving a role and business I love dearly (call me sad- but I love my job and I adore the team). Hopefully, my thought process could help you manage the emotions of leaving a workplace for your maternity leave. 

As the Head of People at Quad Recruitment for nearly six incredible years, the prospect of stepping away for a nine-month maternity leave fills me with a mix of emotions. The journey that lies ahead is undoubtedly exciting, but it's hard not to feel a touch of apprehension about leaving behind the role I've nurtured for so long. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to the growth and development that will unfold within the office during my absence, with the anticipation of returning in July adding an extra layer of excitement.

I think this opens up to a whole network of expectant mothers who are feeling the anxiety of leaving a role. This is inclusive of every type of working environment. Whether you’re a Pharmacist, Pharmacy Professional or someone who works in recruitment. Below I’ve outlined some ways that I’m making the transition to being a second time mum for nine months easier for my brain to comprehend. Hopefully, you could mutate these thoughts and methods to your industry to make for an easier departure.

Reflecting on My Journey

The past six years have been a whirlwind of growth, accomplishments, and challenges. I've poured my heart and soul into cultivating a workplace culture at Quad Recruitment that prioritises people, fosters growth, and encourages collaboration. As I prepare to step away temporarily, I'm taking a moment to reflect on the milestones we've collectively as a team produced and what individually I’ve contributed to Quad Recruitment. I'm immensely proud of my impact on the organisation, and while the road ahead might seem uncertain, I'm confident in the strong foundation I've helped build.

Anticipating Growth and Development

While it's natural to have reservations about leaving, I'm choosing to focus on the opportunities that await both me and the company. My absence will provide a chance for others to step into leadership roles, make decisions, and contribute their perspectives. I have complete faith in the capable hands I've nurtured within the team. I'm excited to see how they'll rise to the occasion, bringing fresh ideas and insights that will drive Quad Recruitment's continued success.

Preparing for a Smooth Transition

To ensure a seamless transition, I've taken the following steps:

Delegating Responsibility

We sought to recruit my assistant who could take over full marketing responsibilities whilst I’m away from the office. We luckily found Kate, a phenomenal and aspiring marketeer who has a fresh and powerful take on where our marketing strategy should go, to elevate us further. I've been empowering Kate by gradually entrusting her with my responsibilities. This process involves clear communication and thorough training to facilitate a smooth handover. (Hopefully, Kate can agree that I’ve done this….)

Documenting Processes

I've created comprehensive guides and documentation for key processes and procedures. These resources will be invaluable for the team and anyone who steps in temporarily.

Maintaining Open Communication

I'm committed to keeping communication lines open with the team before and during my leave. Regular check-ins, virtual meetings, and updates will help me feel connected and involved. I simply cannot switch off for nine months- it’s not in my capabilities. (I’m too nosey) Allowing for check-ins will make for a smoother transition back into work come July.

Setting Boundaries

I understand the importance of setting clear boundaries during my maternity leave. While I'll stay informed, I'm prioritising rest, recovery, and bonding with my new addition. Hard to write, but ultimately if I don’t do this I may regret the time I’d miss with our new addition.

Embracing Change and Transformation

Just as I've guided the company through transformations, my own maternity leave represents a period of personal growth and change. I'm embracing this transformation with an open heart, recognising that the experiences and insights gained during this time will enrich my abilities when I return. This is my chance to recharge, gain new perspectives, and fully immerse myself in the incredible journey of motherhood for the second time.

Looking Forward to the Future

As I visualise my return in July, I'm filled with excitement. The office will have evolved, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of the team. By stepping back and giving my colleagues the space to shine, I'm fostering an environment that can thrive even without my constant presence.

My journey into welcoming a second child into the world aligns with the growth and development I've nurtured at Quad Recruitment. This change is a chance for new beginnings, a testament to the solid foundation I've helped build and the capable team I've cultivated with James over the years. As I eagerly anticipate my return, I'm excited to reunite with a team that has grown even stronger and more empowered, ready to conquer new challenges and celebrate fresh successes together.

Expectant mothers- you’re not alone! Most women feel the same- truly! Gather your thoughts, plan your departure and mostly prioritise yourself and your newest addition.

James, I’m 99.9% sure this is my last pregnancy…..which you’ll be very glad to hear! Thank you so much for allowing me (for the second time) to raise a family with flexibility and care. Here’s to the Quad baby #2.