Top 10 Mum Skills for the Workplace You Never Knew You Had
Heading back into the working world after spending years caring for the kids can seem overwhelming. With most jobs wanting experience and skills related to the workplace, where do you even begin if you’ve been out of employment for the past few years or more?
In a recent study detailed in the Telegraph, not only do 70% of women fear taking a career break, but 1/3 of mothers returning to work reported experiencing discrimination. One of the key reasons that employers may pass over mothers returning to work, is this perceived gap in skills and employment.
However, whether you have taken a break from work or have been a stay at home mum for as long as you can remember; there are many skills highly desired in the workplace which you have likely acquired without even knowing it. From practical skills to people skills, the knowledge and experience that parents pick up whilst caring for their little ones is often overlooked.
So, if you are looking to expand on your C.V. Make sure to include these top 10 skills you never knew you had.
of women fear taking a career break
This is probably one of the most common skills every parent quickly acquires, and one of the most useful in everyday life. From ensuring your child is happy and safe to keeping the house in order, attending appointments and completing everyday tasks such as shopping; the ability to multitask is vital as a parent. Even having a shower or using the bathroom comes with the responsibility of a small human you need to care for at the same time. Of course, in the workplace, this skill is always in demand; from juggling a variety of admin tasks to dealing with customers whilst helping your new colleague work the tills.
Another key life skill which all employers look for is good time management skills. Having a reliable employee who can be trusted to meet deadlines and arrive on time is essential to running a good business; and parents are more than likely to be experts in this field. Being responsible for another person not only means making sure they arrive to school or nursery on time but ensuring they have a good routine in place for everyday activities such as eating, washing and sleeping, at every age.
From a broken toy and a crying toddler to a patient in need and a busy hospital ward; problem solving skills are in demand in every workplace. Caring for children of any age comes with the need to develop problem solving skills from minor issues to major problems, and these skills are always adaptable to the workplace; no matter which industry you are working in. The ability to keep calm under pressure also comes into play here, as a calm head makes the best problem-solving decisions.
Organisation and Administrative Skills
Keeping things in order not only comes in handy for life with the little ones but also the working world. IT and admin skills are necessary whether you are working directly in the admin field or not, especially with many businesses adapting to modern technology in areas such as employee pay and patient appointment systems. Whether it’s making doctor’s appointments or helping with homework; parent’s pick up plenty of admin and organisational skills during parenthood.
It’s no secret that being a parent can be stressful, and although it can take a while to cope with the stress of parenting; when you do, you achieve skills for life. Every job can have stressful days whether it’s a busy Christmas period in a shop or a hectic weekend at the salon. Transferring your expert stress management skills to the workplace not only benefits you but also your colleagues and of course your employer; making you a valuable asset to the company.
Conflict Resolution & Communication
If you have more than one child; you certainly know a thing or two about good conflict resolution. Even if you have one child, effectively communicating with children and working out disagreements develops excellent conflict resolution and communication skills. In fact, working with children who are still developing language, interpersonal and life skills can often be more challenging than communicating with adults; who are already equipped with at least basic communication skills. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the most important ability employers look for in new employees is communication skills. With a variety of mediation techniques and an abundance of communication skills under your belt, you are in good stead (particularly for person-facing roles).
Empathy & People Skills
It’s not all about sorting out disagreements when you are a parent, or indeed an employee. Having empathy for others and general interpersonal skills gives you the ability to connect with others and understand where they are coming from. Listening to grievances, developing rapport and become a supportive team player in any environment is as important as practical skill.
Supervising & Management
Supervising and managing people is a deceptively hard skill to master. Having the ability to teach and support people in a way which helps them maximise their potential is invaluable when it comes to both parenting and managing employees. With parenthood, comes years of practice supervising and teaching all sorts of skills to ensure your child grows up self-sufficient and confident. Balancing the skills of being supportive without being either overpowering or without leaving them to it can be a challenge, whether it’s a child, colleague or employee.
Looking to get into a more creative role? Well when it comes to caring for children, having fun and getting creative is a big part of it. Working with kids to be creative can help them not only express themselves but develop art skills, musical talent and an innovative mind. Whether it’s a puppet or a painting, developing and enhancing children’s creative skills is a valuable ability to have.
Ability to Teach Others
Finally, when it comes to working with kids; parents of course have a whole lot of experience. Just being around children and knowing how to interact and build rapport with them puts you ahead of many wishing to get into the childcare industry. Alongside the experience, you have knowledge of the practical side of working with children; whether in a nursery, pre-school or school setting.