Blog From coding to motherhood: Milica’s empl...

From coding to motherhood: Milica’s employee story

Milica Kadic moved up the career ladder from front-end developer to team-lead, all with a newborn baby in the middle. In this employee story we find out a little more about how expectations of motherhood and maternity leave manage to work with, not against, career growth at Adjust.

In 2014 I wanted to make a move abroad, aiming for somewhere like the Netherlands, or Germany. In my search I found the right position for me, as a front-end developer at Adjust. I wanted to work with Angular, and the role included using it. Within a month, from first Skype interview to meeting in person, I got an offer. In fact, they told me right at the end of my interview, and right there I accepted. Then, I moved to Germany as soon as I could — I had no idea what to expect from my life to come, namely a sudden promotion just before a new arrival in my life.

Two years later, I had a baby on the way — after three months of pregnancy I began talks with my team and HR to see how maternal leave would be covered. In Germany you receive a year of maternity leave — but I talked with HR to figure out a balance which worked best for me.

Since I was a one-(wo)man-band in my sub-team of the larger dashboard team, we had to start looking for someone to replace me (or rather, extend) the frontend team. That happened quickly, and then I could prepare for my own leave. It was exciting to onboard new people and bring new features online right up until I went on maternity leave.

Even though I was about to leave, Adjust promoted me — as team lead of a newly-formed team of frontend developers — and they let me enjoy the role for a little before I left. This was amazing, and I felt appreciated and valuable to the company even more and the experience motivated me to help with onboarding as much as possible.

In a way, I was already preparing the ground for my eventual return. Near the end of my pregnancy I had to leave and prepare for the delivery, which included a bunch of paperwork.

I stayed in touch with the team during maternity leave, and we met a couple of times. It felt really good that everything went so smoothly and that the new team members integrated perfectly.

I decided to start working part-time remotely with occasional trips to the office for meetings with the team. My baby still needs me full time, but since he is almost six months old now, he has a more stable and predictable rhythm. This meant I felt like I could start working a bit and speed up slowly for my return to full time in December. Adjust and I agreed on gradual involvement — working on what are pretty much independent projects so the stress is at its lowest.

In case there are hard moments I can always retreat for a bit, which means staying transparent. There’s a lot of flexibility, openness, a possibility to progress really fast, the possibility to influence the product directly and I can be a part of the decision-making process — and not just receive tasks as they come.

I feel excited about my new challenges at work and a more dynamic life with my little family.

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