By Prodigy Labs on Jun 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM
We asked Geraldo Hounkpatin, QA Analyst at Prodigy, to share his experience requesting, going through and coming back from paternity leave. Continue reading to see how he felt sharing his news, how the process of requesting paternity leave was, and what it felt like coming back to work at the onset of COVID-19.
- Q: How long have you been working at Prodigy and in what capacity?
A: I have been working at Prodigy as a Quality Assurance Analyst for almost 2 years.
- Q: How did you feel about sharing your plans with your colleagues about taking parental leave?
A: Honestly, I had mixed feelings. I was on a project we had been working on for almost a year at one of our clients', and one of my colleagues announced her maternity leave a few months before I did. I wanted to share my good news, but at the same time I was about to leave a great team and project I had been working on, just a few weeks before going to production. I thought carefully about how and when to announce my desire to take parental leave to give enough time to the client and the team to prepare and reorganize accordingly.
- Q: How did you feel about the process of requesting parental leave? Was it easy, hard, long, etc.?
A: Once I shared my plans of taking parental leave with my manager, the process was quite easy and straightforward. I was directly in touch with HR and all my questions were answered. I simply needed to follow the different steps I was given. It took me just a few emails.
- Q: How did you feel as a father being able to take parental leave to spend it with your spouse and new child?
A: I was thrilled. It was really important for me to spend a few months after birth with my family, not only as a first time father but also as someone without any relatives in Toronto. Being able to help my wife and share a few months with her and our newborn daughter was invaluable.
- Q: How did you feel about the process of returning from parental leave? Was it easy, hard, long, etc.?
A: Well, let’s say that it was a unique return to work! My parental leave ended maybe one week after the work from home order was given by the Canadian government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The transition was definitely easier than expected but also raised new challenges like working at home with a crying baby or having to put her to sleep 5 minutes before the daily scrum!
- Q: Did you feel secure in knowing you would be returning to your job after parental leave?
A: Yes and no. Before leaving I knew and was reassured not to worry, but I had just finished my contract with our client and the pandemic definitely casted some uncertainty on the continuity of some projects, so I didn’t know what to expect before speaking to our Director of Professional Services, who manages placing employees on new projects.
Q: How has been your experience at Prodigy since your return? Were they able to place you on a new project? What are you currently working on?
A: Apart from the concerns I had before my return, coming back to work went smoothly. I knew which project I was going to work on and what I should expect, even before my return. I ended up joining the Identity team working on ID Verifact, Prodigy’s tool to help accelerate the adoption of digital identity in Canada, and I continue to work on that.
- Q: What were some of the highlights while you were on Parental Leave?
A: Obviously assisting on the birth of my daughter, which was actually a few days before my parental leave. Having some family from France and Quebec spend the holidays with us to see my newborn, and last but not least, my first almost full night of sleep.
At Prodigy we value work-life balance and are happy to hear Geraldo enjoyed his time during paternity leave. He is a great addition to our team, and we can't wait to see what the future holds for him, both in his personal and professional life.