Maintaining work-family balance

I have been working for this company for past ten years now and I have been very happy with my work until now that I am pregnant. I am in my last month and I am still working full hours as my pregnancy was smooth sailing I could dedicate that many hours to work and on the contrary I like keeping myself busy with work as it took my mind away from anxiety related to being a new mother. My worry is that I get only three months’ maternity leave and after which I can resume, meanwhile I may feel very left out with my work and may not have it in me anymore to get back to work, especially with the same kind of commitment. Additionally, I worry that three months are too less for me to get used to the idea of handling a new born, along with that how will I remove enough time for my work post my leave. I don’t want to quit my job and nor want to be a bad mother what should I do.

Ans: With babies and especially the newborns, it is very unpredictable, and as a new mother you are bound to feel anxious as not only the changeable situation but also your fluctuating hormones will be to blame. Some sort planning is possible but hoping that things work out to the point is unrealistic, and the more compulsive you behave in such conditions the more anxious you’ll feel. Since you are in your last month, you may probably be experiencing a nestling period, it is generally defined as a strong need to keep everything ready for the baby, this causes anxiety too. Take one step at a time, since your mind is racing in too many directions at this moment you may feel overwhelmed, get your focus and prioritize. Now that the baby is on its way anytime, be ready for the baby and let your work take a backseat. Work on your motherhood and enjoy that phase well, once your maternity leave is going to finish, then you take a call at that time depending on how ready you feel for work. You can initially opt for fewer hours if that is possible. Prepare your baby accordingly, for instance giving him/her a bottle so you can express your milk and leave it for him/her to feed later. Ask for someone’s help at that time if needed, like a lactation consultant as to how you can go about feeding as well as working. And lastly is nothing works out maternity leaves are paid three months and if you require more time, you can opt for that to, just keeping in mind that hence forth it won’t be paid, which is fine if you are still not assured of leaving your baby all by itself. Your motherly instance will guide you.

Clash of opinions 

I am working at a senior level at my office. My colleague and I had joined at the same time a couple of years back and we are part of the upper management. Since we joined together, we have often been paired together on projects. The problem is that he never accepts any of my points. I have to fight tooth and nail for him to agree on something I said. I agree to his opinions when I see the logic in them but he refuses to even consider mine. Every time I offer my suggestion, he will listen, nod his head and then put his suggestion back on the table and expect me to agree with it. This behaviour is quite insulting and I don’t understand how to deal with it. Please help me.

Ans: What you can probably do is be a little assertive about your feelings and have a proper conversation about this situation. Next time when you have things to share with him on which you want him to agree, do some homework and find the facts where in you can give good example of how it has worked earlier, and with all details pointing towards a positive result there, you barely leave him any choice as he will have to agree that your decision is adaptable. Be polite but at the same time affirmative about your decision and if there is an option try to involve a third party, where their option mattes too and if the third person agrees with you too then again he would have to accept your idea. Also at time you may feel that your thoughts process are absolutely accurate, where as in practicality it may be possible that they could be difficult to implement and hence this man is probably not agreeing to it, with the third person involved you can get that highlighted too is that’s the scenario, or else you can follow your heart if there is no such problem of implication.

Ascent woes

I work in an international company and I often have to conduct meetings via Skype. I speak to a lot of people with varying accents and after the initial meeting; I don’t have a problem understanding them. But, there is this one client whose south Indian accent I have difficulty comprehending and as he is my senior, it does not look good if I keep asking him to repeat what he says. Most of the times, I just nod and base my answers on what little I can pick up from. I don’t have a problem when we have face to face meetings but when it is via Skype, I have a tough time. I cannot schedule many face to face meetings with him as he works from Chennai. Please help me as I don’t know what to do.

Ans: In this world of technological you need not worry about communication much, as usually there are plenty of options available to help you doing businesses overseas. It’s is definitely hampering your growth professionally if you avoid meetings and personal meetings, and hence you will have to think of some strategies that will aid you make these personal meetings via Skype more fruitful. What you can try probably is to record these meetings so instead of pardoning yourself time again for him to repeat, you can go back to the recording and also is possible ask an interpreter to help you as to what has been said by him. Another method can be over mails, what you can to do is possibly adjourn the meeting by sending a mail to him about a summary of the meeting, you can probably tell him that this is a new step you’ll have started to ensure the senior are involved for better result, and this way you get an assurance yourself of what he meant in the meeting and what is the objective of the whole meeting. You can even seek some professional help from your colleagues who can probably help you in friendly manner if they have been in a similar situation before. Think out of the box no this too will be conquered.