Turning Mom Skills into Job Skills
Stay-at-home moms are often concerned about re-entering the workforce. They may worry about the gaps in their resumes, the advances in technology, or the skills they are lacking. But many employers report that moms are among the most qualified of all workers – even if they’ve been outside the workforce for several years. That’s because moms possess a large set of versatile skills. Their talents and know-how can translate from the playground to the boardroom, and their maturity outshines much of the competition.
The following parenting-based skills represent just a few of the core competencies that would be valued by any hiring firm or employer.
Research and Problem Solving
There’s a science to parenting that isn’t taught in most schools or colleges. Consequently, new parents need to do their own research. New moms need to sift through the parenting guides, and seek out answers to the unique problems they encounter. Moms can apply their amazing research skills to just about any career position. After all, learning how to launch a marketing campaign is not completely unlike learning how to potty train a toddler. If you have the ability to understand your child, then you’re qualified to collaborate with clients and partners. Compared to teething, job projects are a breeze.
Who can accomplish 28 hours of work in a 24-hour-day? Moms can! Moms are 100% responsible for the care of their children, and they’re often outnumbered. Combine this with the unpredictable nature of life with kids, and moms are forced to learn some advanced time management skills. When things go wrong, moms can reevaluate and regroup very quickly. They’re go-getters, but they’re also realistic. Employers are always on the lookout for new hires with these skills. Instead of downplaying their recent experiences, job-seeking moms should highlight the ways in which their kids have taught them to multitask.
The home of a busy family is like the home office of a busy company. Moms are the managers of their homes, and they have to make sure that all of its departments are functioning properly. Moms oversee meal plans, household maintenance and cleaning, kids’ activities, education, and much more. Keeping all of these balls in the air is no different than juggling a roster of clients or coordinating a company event. At a moment’s notice, a mom needs to be able to locate her son’s library book, retrieve her husband’s running shoes, and find the gas bill that needs to be paid. As a mom, you might take this ability for granted. But many people have never had to organize on behalf of other people.
Communication skills are in very high demand. Year after year, employers are disappointed with the droves of young college graduates, who can’t write a coherent email or digest key points from a department meeting. Moms, on the other hand, are expert communicators. They can transition from very simple topics (explaining a storybook) to very complex topics (discussing a child’s progress with a teacher.) Moms understand the importance of clear instructions, and they don’t leave their thoughts open for interpretation.
If there’s one person on earth who knows how to compromise, it’s a mother. Moms can’t get past breakfast without some form of collaboration and negotiation. Kids have plenty of ideas and suggestions. Some of them are good; most of them need some tweaking. The office environment is no different. Although moms aren’t necessarily more knowledgeable than their colleagues, moms are more inclined to examine an issue from all sides. Moms don’t mind sharing a project, and reshaping it to fit everyone’s needs.
Teaching, Supervising, Managing People
Kids are like coworkers. They can follow instructions, but they also like to goof off. After years of practice, moms have learned how to steer kids back towards good behavior and productive exercises. Moms also know that different kids need different levels of guidance. Have you ever taught a preschooler to tie his shoes, helped an 8th-grader with his Algebra, or given driving lessons to a teen? Moms do this stuff all of the time. They have to teach, supervise, and motivate people of all ages. This kind of negotiation is an invaluable skill. Employers are glad to hear real life examples of people management.
Dedication and Reliability
In today’s job market, there’s a lot of talk about “ownership.” Employers want to hire people who will be dedicated to the job at hand, and take pride in its outcome. Moms are the perfect candidates for this challenge. Moms understand accountability better than anyone. Their time is too valuable to waste on subpar efforts. Besides that, most single parents are moms. They especially have mastered what it means to be reliable. That’s not to say that men do not possess these traits, but single-parent statistics demonstrate that moms are most often shouldering a heavy set of responsibilities.
Jennifer Applin is a freelance writer and will soon be the mother of six young children born within a 5-year span. Her writing focuses on strategies for busy parents to juggle it all.