From Supervisor to Mother: Lessons from RareJob Mentors

by Rennie Ann Salandanan | May 27, 2021

Employee Journals

Five years with RareJob and I’ve made my way from a rank-and-file writer to a Material Supervisor. Since then, I’ve been given bigger responsibilities from editing writers’ outputs to leading projects and being the left hand of program development leaders. But working cross-border and handling a team of five to six members didn’t quite prepare me to be a first-time mother.

Still, the years spent on the job and the learning under great leaders proved to be quite useful in life in general.

One of our core principles in our division is to always think ahead. When I found out I was having a baby, I knew—as with anyone handling a project would do—I had to make an Excel file. When should I file my maternity leave? If I need to undergo emergency CS, do I have a contingency plan for the tasks I’m leaving? To whom am I passing the responsibility of watching over my teammates? This was two months into the pregnancy and six months ahead of my maternity leave, so I really appreciate the forward thinking mindset that the division imparted to me. It made the transition of tasks easy, and it made budgeting and preparing for a life with a kid manageable.

During pregnancy, at the back of my mind, I was laughing at the thought of “a project manager is someone who thinks that nine pregnant women can create a baby in one month.” If only that project manager knew it was more difficult to care for a newborn.


Babies don’t really have a schedule—they sleep when they need to; they cry when they want to. Another mantra we value in the division is to accept changes with flexibility. That definitely helped me manage my stress and anxieties of sleeping at midnight and waking up before the rooster crows. Now that our baby has a more regular routine, taking care of him is becoming easier to manage. I can be the one to feed him before work starts, during my lunch break, and after work. My husband then takes night time as play time so I can sleep early. But changes still happen, and we are lucky to have people around us to help.

Some career-driven women probably think that having a baby is life-changing to the point that it’s a career-ender or “life”-ender. (By “life,” what I mean here is getting to do the things you want to do when you want to do them.) It will feel that way at first, and there’s not enough comforting words that can soothe that feeling. Only time can. (And, sometimes, a supportive husband.)


I’m glad that I learned kaizen while working in RareJob. Roughly translated as “continuous improvement,” the kaizen mindset helped me overcome that prejudicial idea of kids as career-enders or “life”-enders. With that thinking, I took the challenges of feeding our newborn early mornings and late nights, getting peed on, and enduring unexplained tantrums and colic-driven cries as catalysts for me to improve as a person.


Now that things have gotten better (My kid rarely pees on me now. Hooray!), I am able to draw one-page comics for myself and play the guitar for him. Now, who’s to say that having a baby is a “life”-ender? Just think kaizen. Things can get better.