This is my back to work week, and after much thought, I decided to write a post on my 10 dos and don'ts for returning to work after maternity leave
- DO Perception Management. I'm not talking being fake. When I worked as an intern for one of the top 5 global accounting firms, they made it a point to teach all their staff perception management. It is exactly what it sounds like - managing how you are perceived in the workplace. This
means making sure your appearance matches the professional image you want to portray. Do you want your colleagues to see you and think "my fellow professional" or do you want them to see you and think "got milk?!"
- DO Evaluate the fit of your clothes. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight but the distribution is not quite the same. The boobies lost some luggage and the tummy found it. This means button-down shirts are now strained and threatening to pop buttons. Some long-sleeves are cutting off my circulation too. I'm still the same size but have had to rethink some of my pre-pregnancy favorites.
- DO Get refitted for a bra. Most Victoria's Secret stores will do this for free. Well-fitting underwear is the foundation of any good wardrobe. If breastfeeding and the girls are a little better, support if key. Plus don't forget the breast pads
- DO Dress for new body shape. Pre-pregnancy I had what the fashion-experts fondly refer to as a boyish shape. Post-pregnancy I still have the same boyish shape with a few extra inches at the waist. This means form-fitting lycra is out, tops that lightly skim the body are in.
- DO Invest in a comfortable pair of heeled shoes. You know what they say about high-heels - the improve posture and automatically add some "hello baby!" to your walk. Clarks are my go-to brand for comfortable, pretty heels
- DON'T Show up for work with unidentifiable wet marks on your clothes. It screams pee or breast milk, even if it's not
- DON'T Show up for work smelling like regurgitated breastmilk or formula
- DO have a change of clothes in the car... because anything can happen between the doorway and the daycare
- DON'T be afraid to negotiate for work conditions that will make your life as a mother easier for example a private room and time to pump breastmilk or flexible hours to drop off and pick up baby.
- DON'T lose sight of the big picture. What's in the big picture? It's whatever you want it to be.