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  • MyCollective Team

#40 Life hacks from our peers: the importance of Real World Role Models

Updated: May 16

We’ve been running Real World Role Models sessions at MyCollective for over two years now, and it’s one of my favourite formats - modelled on our Get Inspired podcast series, but featuring speakers who may still be less well known, but are closer to our participants in terms of where their lives are at the moment. 

Our podcast guests tend to be board members, professors, book authors - experts who speak eloquently on our core topics, most of whom had children themselves 10, 15, sometimes 20 years ago. But the world was different then; we’ve seen a real shift happen in the past few years, with COVID and the quota and the lack of skilled labour all changing perceptions both of what’s possible and what’s necessary. That’s resulted in a power shift in the labour market which means that if you’re coming back from parental leave now, you’re coming back to a different situation than previous generations. 

That’s why Real World Role Models is so important to me. Usually we don’t publish these sessions, but the speakers at our most recent session - Dr. Dagmar SchaeferMaria Ostrowski and Dr. Nele Pollmann - very graciously allowed us to record the first part our conversation, so that we can share some of their wisdom. Their advice broadly fell into three categories - 

👉 for people about to go on parental leave: prepare your next career step before you go. For example, you could find someone to replace your current role permanently, with a view to taking a higher position when you come back (armed with all those parental skills which are of course also leadership skills!) Instead of creating more work for your manager, create a solution - and then make it happen. 

👉 for people in the process of returning from parental leave: set up the space and time that you need to be able to breastfeed / parent in your workplace, so that it becomes manageable and not a constant source of stress. 

👉 for people back at work properly: you’re in the efficiency zone! You will notice that you are more effective at work than you’ve ever been, but the hack here is to make time to network and to keep that connection to your group and peers. Working parents tend to be very efficient at home too - but here it’s important to delegate, and to share the entire responsibility package with co-caregivers, not just individual tasks. 

There was much more in our conversation - if you’d like to listen to it, it’s now on Spotify, Youtube and iTunes. 

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