I am working in Continental Japan as one of the managers in the Business Unit, Hydraulic Brake Systems. I would like to share my personal story of before and after becoming a father. Since I have been blessed with a baby, I decided to take the parental leave for about a month because for both, me and my wife, have the same thought in terms of family responsibility for raising a child, and there is no different status and condition between men and women taking care of his/her own child, both should contribute to that. I think my following story can be a good example for fathers who would get the benefit of taking Parental Leave.
I was worried that my leave would give a negative impact to my supervisor, colleagues and team members, and my business itself. But in fact, all of them were very supportive after explaining my situation. I am especially grateful to my supervisor and colleagues who kindly accepted to take over my duties during my leave so that I could take the company’s benefit of Paternity Leave at ease.
Since I was in Paternity Leave, I realized how much effort is needed in order to manage all the housework. Cooking a healthy meal for my kid, letting my kid sleep well, etc. Every day I learned something new. The most challenging part of it all, was to find the way to calm down my baby when it cried at night... However, after all of that, I have all the „Know-how“, and also, a deeper understanding of my wife’s situation before I took the Paternity Leave. Therefore, it also helped to build a stronger relationship between me and my wife.
When I returned to work, I thought it would not be easy to catch up on all the work. But, thanks to the globally unified working process, the standardized business in Continental, and of course, the support of my supervisor, colleagues and team members, all went a lot smoother than I thought.
As a Manager, before the time of my paternity leave, I used to spend a lot of time supporting my team members, especially when they failed to get their work done. It’s probably because I thought I had a lot of spare time to take care of them and make all things done well. But, now I pay more attention to work-life balance with support of my team members‘ work and mine, and less overtime working. As a result, I have learned how to manage my work time better, and delegate most of my work responsibilities to the members in the smarter way. Getting used to this shift will be not so easy, but in the long term, it will be beneficial to both me and my team members. For me, I can focus more on the oversight and direction of my team members and team itself, and it will be possible for them to level up themselves faster through the process of solving problems by themselves.
In Continental Japan, we have a culture to promote work-life balance and flexible work style to each employee. With those, Continental Japan has supported me a lot during my Paternity Leave, and it has proved to be a meaningful experience for both my work and personal life.
This article was written by our employee