Jay Schliker is a Senior Project Engineer with CPB Contractors in Melbourne, Victoria.
After more than 8 years in construction, Jay and his wife recently entered into their biggest journey yet, parenthood.
In this interview, Jay shares his insights on how CPB Contractors’ paid parental leave program has enriched his and his wife's journey into parenthood.
How did taking parental leave benefit you and your family?
It allowed me to provide support to my partner and newborn, as we were figuring out how to be parents for the first time in our lives. It also allowed me to assist my wife during her recovery from childbirth, as it took a few weeks to recover.
How did your manager support you before, during and after leave?
My manager supported me quite well. He had previously taken parental leave the year before and provided quite a lot of information and advice during this period.
How did taking parental leave affect your work-life balance and overall well-being?
The time off allowed me and our new family to settle into being new parents and giving us the flexibility to support each other. It took around 4-6 weeks to start feeling more confident with having a newborn so knowing that I had a bit of time to get used to this new routine before I had to return to work, helped during this period.
What advice or insights would you offer to others considering taking parental leave? Is there anything you wish you had known before taking your leave?
My advice to other first-time parents and secondary caregivers, is not to be afraid to take time away from work if you can so that you have the opportunity to settle in and start enjoying being a parent prior to returning to work. My suggestion would be to combine it with annual leave to get the most out of it, and to feel comfortable leaving your partner with the sole responsibility of raising a child when returning to work.
I was relatively well informed prior to taking leave, as one of my managers had taken parental leave the year before, and took around 8 weeks off also.