Find out why taking advantage of the agency’s extended paternity leave policy helped Senior Video Editor Ibs Ajayi forge a special bond with his new son, changed his approach to work life and taught him there’s no point stressing.
Firstly, tell us about your role and what a typical day looks like…
I edit the amazing content we produce for our clients. No two days are the same at TVC – on Monday I could be in the office cutting a brand ad for one client and by Wednesday I could be in New York editing an event wrap up film for another client. I really do enjoy this part of the job as the pace and energy keep me on my toes – both figuratively and literally speaking.
You recently took advantage of TVC’s generous paternity leave policy by spending eight weeks with your newborn son – what did it mean to have this special time bonding with your little one?
It’s interesting because the new policy was introduced months after his birth but I was still able to take the time off which I really appreciated. It was the first time that I have had such a lengthy period away from work or education since school so it took a bit of adjusting to initially.
Being able to see the full day to day development of my son, Amari, non-stop for two months was invaluable. We made the most of it and went to Australia for three weeks to introduce him to family there, so I had so many incredible first time moments with him. We were also able to get him into a solid routine which is great as that can be very difficult when one parent is trying to manage that solo.
Did you learn anything from the time with your son that you were able to bring back to your working life?
Surprisingly, I discovered there are a lot of parallels between looking after a baby and agency life.
The biggest one is patience! Seeing how much work goes into looking after Amari day in and day out has given me a new level of patience when it comes to client and colleague demands.
My role is very demanding and fast paced – again, a lot like dealing with Amari, and things can easily become overwhelming, but becoming a Dad has also made me realise that there’s no point getting stressed.
It’s worked the other way too. Speed and efficiency are a big part of my job and I’ve been able to make the most of those skills to look after the little one.
Have all the sleepless nights and nappy changes influenced how you approach certain situations at work?
I appreciate even more the importance of sticking to deadlines and planning my day. I Iike to keep healthy by going to the gym in the morning before work a few times a week and at first I was worried about having time to fit it in. But having Amari has made me more efficient with my time and so far I’m managing to juggle everything.
Were there any surprises from your paternity leave stint?
The number of hours sleep I am able to actually function on! Joking aside, the biggest surprise was how quickly the days passed and how much Amari grew and changed. I felt lucky to be able to take the time out and just focus on my son.
And finally, what would you say to anyone considering taking paternity leave?
Enjoy every moment as the time flies by. If you’re lucky enough to have longer than two weeks, I’d definitely suggest a trip away with your new family.