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Maternity leave cover - will it be a mistake?

(13 Posts)
Stevie77 Mon 08-Jun-15 19:30:56

So I've applied for and been offered a maternity leave cover role, it's for 12 months. I'm returning from maternity leave myself after being made redundant.

It's a good role, in a local authority, in my profession and at a good pay. It's also a not very far commute. It's a very small, "lean" as the recruiting manager put it, department and realistically I don't think there will be scope for a role for me if the person I'll be replacing will return.

On one hand, the one year contract will be useful for finding my work feet again after being off for 18 months with my second DC. I will be committed and will want to be successful in the role but knowing it's temporary will make a difference to my attitude if that makes sense. I won't feel I'll have to prove myself as much if it were a permanent role.

I'm worried that a year down the line I won't be in any better position and will have wasted a year on a dead-end role. It's hard to know how it'll affect my future employability. It is a bit of a step up both in terms of responsibility and pay.

I'm really torn. Any advice would be welcome, thanks.

tribpot Mon 08-Jun-15 19:42:23

It doesn't really sound like a dead-end role, given it will give you both more dosh and more responsibility. I think the fact it's fixed term could be very useful, in terms of keeping you focused on your targets without getting dragged into office politics.

Who knows what might happen in the course of a year - the boss' job might come up, the mat leave person may not return. It sounds like a great opportunity to me. The real question is whether something better is likely to come along.

PrincessOfChina Mon 08-Jun-15 19:47:01

How safe would any job be? I never think you can guarantee more than a years security in any organisation nowadays.

murasaki Mon 08-Jun-15 19:56:43

The step up bit is what's important. Given it's hard to get a management role without experience, I found maternity covers gave me that as people were happier to take a risk on a fixed term contract, I did two at different times, which then allowed me to to apply for perm jobs having got something at that level on my cv.

Go for it. Also, they may decide not to come back...

Stevie77 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:04:39

Thank you all for your kind replies.

That is a valid argument about how safe are jobs anyway. I only know too well having been made redundant 10 months into a new role. I guess I am thinking long term,about lost pension contributions etc. Also in terms of job safety, it is with my local authority and they have just been through a huge budget cutting exercise with a further one due next year. So in terms of job safety even if there was one, who knows...

The role is not a huge step up, but it is a bit of one. It is not in terms of title so much but it is in terms of responsibility and whilst I will have no direct reports there is an Assistant in the dept. so I will have the opportunity to oversee that person if and when they will work for me.

I feel like I'm talking myself out of it sad

flowery Tue 09-Jun-15 13:44:18

I have to say I don't see the dilemma. Unless you're weighing it up against a similar, permanent offer? It sounds like you are currently not working.

Of course you'll be in a better position. You'll have a year's worth of experience at a higher level of responsibility than you have had previously, and will be looking for your next role from already being in a role. Both of those things are good for your employability prospects.

Unexpected Tue 09-Jun-15 23:13:14

How can a position which is in your profession, pays well and is a step up be a "dead-end role"? Unless you have some fantastic alternative to choose from, surely this is an ideal return to the workplace for you? If you feel you will not be committed that says more about your attitude to your return to work than anything else - do you actually want to go back to work? It sounds as if you are in two minds which is another reason why a fixed term contract could be ideal. Far better to work for a year and make a decision on further work then, rather than accept a permanent role and decide three months in that it is a mistake?

Stevie77 Wed 10-Jun-15 13:43:58

Ooh harsh. But yes, I think you're right in a way. I've worries about going back to work - because I got badly burnt last time, because this time I'm going back to a new job and with two children.

I've done a lot of thinking over the last coue of days. Some things that have been highlighted here, and by family and friends in RL, have been really useful.

Thanks you ladies (and/or poss gents)!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 10-Jun-15 14:08:23

You would be mad not to take it imo.

Plus it's a good opportunity to establish whether a FT role with two children is for you? There might be an opportunity to job share with the returning person, who knows what the next year will bring but it's better than continuing to have a gap on your CV.

JeanSeberg Wed 10-Jun-15 14:12:05

You can leave at any point if something else comes up - presumably it will be a months notice period?

YonicScrewdriver Wed 10-Jun-15 16:41:36

I think you should definitely go for it!

Stevie77 Wed 10-Jun-15 16:51:47

Yes, I could leave at any point although I'm not sure what the notice period would be as I've had no details in writing yet. I'd imagine it's one month, especially with a fixed-term contract.

It'd be something pretty shitty to do, being a mat-leave cover, but if something really good came along then I'd look after my own interests.

maybetomorrow22 Wed 10-Jun-15 22:41:24

There would also be the potential to apply for internal vacancies whilst employed by local authority, which may open other doors

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