Taking extended parental leave is often associated with the idea that it will automatically result in a major setback for your career. Being away from the office quickly induces the fear of being replaced or forgotten. In addition, returning to work could be problematic and, in the worst case, you start further out of the loop than when you left. Fears such as these, or fears like them, are widespread when it comes to taking parental leave.

In my blog post, I’ll show you that there’s another way to go about the situation and summarise what I’ve experienced during my year of parental leave so far. This is, of course, about my personal situation, which certainly cannot be applied to every other adessi – that’s what we call ourselves at adesso. It’s more of a list of activities that have helped me make my new everyday life more diverse – mind you, parental leave is and remains the time for you to spend with your children.

What adesso does

Upon taking parental leave, the employment relationship with adesso is put to rest. No additional processes are initiated beyond this legal formality. This may seem like a pity at first, as there are no other explicit frills to parental leave – but there are one or two for the children. Even what adesso doesn’t do has – at least for me – already been helpful. For example, there’s no off-boarding, which means you can keep your hardware, laptop and smartphone and continue to use them. This may sound trivial, but this isn’t a matter of course and can be quite helpful for some people.

adesso, the CC and the other adessi

During parental leave, you’re still by and large just as much an adessi at adesso and in your CC as you were before. This means you continue to receive every invitation to (online) appointments, such as staff breakfasts, (tech) talks or CC meetings/events. At least in the current Covid-19 situation, virtually every event takes place online, which makes it easy to get involved. This allows you to always stay up to date, and besides that, in some appointments it can be fun to take your child with you. This, however, does not mean that you’re expected to attend appointments.

Every adessi knows other adessi with whom they get on well; and they’re also just a Teams call away. What used to be the occasional chat around the coffee machine can now be the substituted with a Teams call. This is another way to stay up to speed if you want to return to your old position and project after your parental leave has ended. Even the regular project meetings that may have been boring before can be refreshing if you either attend as a silent participant or you want to contribute your brain power and actively join in the discussion.

Everyone on parental leave knows that you desperately yearn for something to do. So why not take a trip to the office and visit your colleagues in person? It has been my experience that seeing a baby in the office brightens everyone’s day – just be prepared for your co-workers to call your baby something along the lines of a ‘young new adessi’ every time you bring them.

There’s also a nappy changing room – at least in the Dortmund office – so you don’t have to do this on a desk.

A brief word on adesso’s recent digitalisation

adesso has always given special priority to fostering interpersonal relationships among adessi. This was achieved in particular via a multitude of face-to-face meetings and events, which have shaped the adesso spirit. However, the pandemic created a new form of everyday life that’s much more digital and has shifted many appointments and events into online and/or hybrid mode. This development may be viewed as good or bad, but adessi going on parental leave benefit without reservation. As mentioned above, attending many events online is easy now. In the time before Covid-19, many of these appointments would have still been in person, which would have been a big hurdle for adessi on parental leave.

Start collecting bonuses

adesso offers a wide catalogue of potential bonuses. You can consider the possibility of tackling a few tasks while you’re on parental leave to earn a little extra money. Of course, it’s important to note here that this can have an impact on your parental allowance. Everyone should look into this on their own and find out what exactly it entails.

Bonuses can be a good incentive to keep yourself a little up to date, keep in touch and not be forgotten. I’d like to highlight the following possibilities in particular:

  • Write a blog post: Just take a seat and write blog posts for the adesso blog. It’s actually not that difficult once you set your mind to it. You should briefly discuss the topic with management first, and then you can get down to writing. Writing a blog article gives you an additional opportunity to reflect, and it increases your visibility.
  • Review dissertations: Reviewing dissertations certainly involves a lot of effort. The advantage is that you are in control of when you do the review. However, this requires a certain degree of both planning ability and reliability in order to be fair to the graduate.
  • Lead training courses and/or give lectures: Dates for training courses or lectures can be planned easily. Appointments such as these offer a good opportunity to stay in touch. Of course, you have to arrange for someone to watch your child, but maybe your partner is willing to take a day off and fill in for you.

adesso’s bonus catalogue is long and definitely worth taking a look at.

Staying up to date

In the IT world, it’s always good to keep learning. As soon as the initial excitement about your baby wears off and the routine sets back in, it can happen that you start wanting to stimulate your mind with other things again. These days, you can use every type of media to stay up to date. There are many everyday situations during parental leave that lend themselves to feeding your hungry brain:

  • Reading blog posts or specialist articles out loud: It doesn’t always have to be children’s books. Especially in the first months, it doesn’t really matter what you read to your child; the main thing is that they hear mum or dad’s voice. So why not just pick up an IT magazine and read interesting specialist articles out loud? An additional benefit is that reading out loud is purported to help you read more consciously.
  • Topic-based Teams channels: At adesso, a lot of topic-based channels have been established on Teams. These range everywhere from specialised to technical or even sports-related topics. Here, too, you can either simply read along as a silent participant or occasionally join in the discussion or share content yourself. Perhaps there’s a certain topic that isn’t already covered, and you want to take it upon yourself to establish a channel on it. Teams works very well on mobile devices, by the way, so it’s really easy to find opportunities to have a look at what’s happening.
  • Watching educational videos at night: This is admittedly where it becomes a bit more demanding. You typically already have enough on your plate at night when tending to a baby. So, how are you supposed to learn something technical? Well, even nights eventually become routine, and there can be times when you’re awake and you might need something to do – for example, while you’re waiting for your baby to fall back into a deep sleep. Watching an informative video on a popular video platform can be a way to pass the time.

Conclusion

Parental leave is a very special time that was created with the main purpose of enabling you to fully dedicate yourself to looking after your new family members. Therefore, this blog post should in no way be taken to mean that you have to stay on the job in person in any way during this time. All of the possibilities I described in this blog post enable you to simply stay up to date and unforgotten. These tips are meant to inspire you, but by no means should they be understood as a to-do list without which you’ll lose touch while you’re on parental leave.

In my opinion, you can take a full year of parental leave at adesso and then seamlessly resume your job without having done any particular harm to your career. Are you curious about all the other things adesso does to help you reconcile your family and working life? For more information and offers, visit our family@adesso website.

Would you like to learn more about exciting adesso topics? Then check out our latest blog posts.

Picture Thorben  Schiller

Author Thorben Schiller

Thorben Schiller has been with adesso since 2013 and has made his way from student to software architect. His focus is on the Java backend

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Inside adesso

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