Hello, I am probably getting a bit ahead of myself here as I am newly pregnant, but it is worrying me slightly! I work in a very specialised role, running a department in a medium sized business. I love my job but it has got very stressful and demanding over the last two years as I have lost two staff members. They were both also professional roles - one that I was qualified to do, although not particularly experienced in, and the other a related profession that I have learnt to do on the job.
I have absorbed both of these roles into my job over the last 2 years. It's been tough and of course I don't do it all perfectly, but have coped by making sure that my bosses are aware of the limitations of having no staff. Having worked in the job for several years I know it inside out - it is complex , and I do get a bit stressed sometimes, which can make me more disorganised, but generally I do a good job (or the best I can do under the circumstances) and my employers are happy with me. In fact I have convinced them to replace one of the roles we lost, albeit part time.
I am very worried about maternity cover. I know technically it is their duty to sort out and not mine, but there is no-one that has a clue about my profession and I am largely left to my own devices 99% of the time. It will be very unlikely to find someone with the two areas of expertise, plus it would take someone 6 months to find their feet in the role. I think if I started now I could write a manual for them before I go on leave!
Has anyone been in this position and could give me some advice? I know I could just advise, handover then leave it, but I don't want to come back to complete chaos and I also don't want to leave my cover in a position that causes them a lot of stress.
Recruit ahead of time (in case you have the baby earlier than expected). A longer handover will help if the business will support it.
Would there be a creative way around it eg two part-timers?
You can start to ensure that you file things in a logical place etc. Think ahead on projects etc.
I think you can be helpful (as you have been by doing the work of 3!) but don't volunteer to take on the responsibility of sorting it all out. It might do your employers good to realise all that you do for them when they try to replace you.