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With the changing nature of work and the rise of disruptive technologies, it is becoming increasingly clear that organisations need to be smarter about how they use their talent. No longer is it the norm for employees to be doing the same role day-in day-out for the lifetime of their career (25% of current roles are predicted to be replaced by automation in the next 20 years1 and the half-life of any particular skill is between 2.5 and 5 years). Instead, employees are finding that they need to continually reinvent themselves and, with the ease at which they can find new roles, job-hopping is fast becoming the new norm in a quest to find new challenges and develop new skills.
Four months into my second pregnancy, I informed my boss in the Tokyo office of the fact that I would soon need to go on maternity leave. The natural course of conversation continued, with a discussion around the timing of my leave and how and when I would transition my client accounts. The unexpected, and perhaps unconventional part of this meeting was when I requested to go on an international assignment immediately after my maternity leave, and started to brief him on the reasons for the request and why I believed the business should let me go.