30. January 2023

Parental Leave at Personio: How Product Manager & New Dad John is Making it Work

John Conneely with baby and wife

At Personio we rarely do things half way, and our people tend to move at the same speed. John Conneely, a Product Manager based in our Dublin office, joined Personio 8 months ago. And 4 months ago, John and his partner welcomed their first child, baby Dominic! For John, it was a time of excitement and joy, but also some stress and nervousness.

“When I joined Personio, we already knew that we had a baby on the way. And even though I had mentioned this to my recruiter, I was still a little worried about letting my manager know. But I should have known that I had nothing to worry about!” As John discovered, our PersonioCares benefits, which include parental leave, child support, and personal sabbatical options, are available to every Personio from day one of their employment – not just after they’ve passed probation. 

“My manager was so excited and supportive, it wiped all of my concerns away. We got right down to discussing the best options for me to take my parental leave so I could support my partner and child in those key first months of life.” The flexibility of parental leave gives Personios a wide variety of options, which John took full advantage of. “Since I had just joined a new team and had a lot of projects, I opted to take full leave for the first month and then 50/50 leave for the following 16 weeks. I’m in the middle of those 16 weeks now, and work 3 days one week, 2 days the next – however it works best for me.” That flexibility has been key for John and his family. “It means that I can support my partner with all of the different appointments, which is so important to me.”

Of course, with a new baby comes a whole new way of life. To navigate the change, John has focused on ruthlessly prioritising his work, ensuring he’s doing the things that are most important while delegating or letting the rest wait until he returns to full-time work. “My manager and team have been so supportive, really helping me balance everything when the workload becomes too much. They’re so understanding, and I’ve never felt any pressure to do more than what I can do in the days I’m online.”   

And while he does his best, sometimes John can’t help but check Slack on his off days. “But my team always tells me off for being online!” 

John Conneely portrait shot with DAAC team duck brand

As John settles into a solid paternity leave cadence, he and his team continue their work on the Personio product. The DAAC team – Data, Attributes, Audit Log, and Compliance – provides the modularized building blocks that form the data architecture for Product and Engineering, ensuring the access, consistency, and correctness of data across Personio. John is the lead Project Manager for two of DAAC’s three sub-teams. “We’re about to see both of my teams release an MVP of their greenfield solutions in the coming months. It’s pretty exciting!” 

Aside from getting to ship interesting new features, being on the DAAC team has additional perks: notably, some fun internal branding for the team. After all, who doesn’t want to join the DAAC side?

John also has a blog series called Support Driven Development, which focuses on making errors easier to debug and support when something breaks on a platform, among other things. “One key aspect of this is correlation IDs and getting them presented to the user when an error happens. This means they can forward the ID to the support team and the developers can quickly debug the issue.” (You can read about this in more detail on John’s blog.) 

When John reached out to the Personio team responsible for topics like this, they were excited about the opportunity to improve. “They loved the idea! I even ran a competition across the entire Engineering department to encourage adoption of these IDs. It was a big success, and I might even be seeing a proof of concept of my E2E solution in the next couple of months!”    

John Conneely's baby with santa at holiday party
Baby Dominic with Santa in the Personio Dublin office.

It’s yet another example of the way that Personios come together to improve, innovate, and support each other every day. “It’s made all the difference to have Personio’s support, and to experience how thoughtful our people are.” And as he’s experienced, the small details can have just as much of an impact as the big ones. “Obviously the benefits for families are so important, and Personio provides this in a big way. But I’ve also really appreciated the smaller stuff, like the €75 babysitting allowance for the holiday party. I found this to be a really nice touch and very thoughtful.” 

Of course, even with all of the support in the world, welcoming a baby can be a challenge. “One thing we’ve learned so far is to not try to give the working parent the good night's sleep on the nights before they are working. Caring for a newborn all day is tough– equally as tough as a day's work, especially when you’re exhausted. Take turns at nighttime whenever you can.”

And that's not the only thing John has learned: “Coffee. Drink all the coffee.”  

Are you ready to join the DAAC side? Our Product, Design, and Engineering teams are hiring for multiple roles in our seven offices across Europe. Check out our careers page to find the right job for you!

Interested in joining Personio? Explore our open roles and find the right job for you!

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