You might feel you’ve wasted your time in terms of career progression whilst looking after your children, that once you get back in the rat race you’ll be at the bottom of the pile. But don’t worry, there are plenty of skills you can demonstrate from your time off work and it’s essential that you don’t overlook them.
Here are some essential ones for you to consider for your revised CV:
Time Management & Planning
I’m sure we don’t have to inform you about how good you are at time management! You’re the one who understands how many tasks have to be completed before your partner walks through the door and dinner needs to be served. There’s children to be fed, baths to be run, nursery to attend, groceries to be bought. And there’s only so many hours in the day!
Negotiation & Persuasion
Being a parent is primarily about negotiation and persuasion. Not giving in to your children wanting sweets every day all day or not wanting to eat their vegetables is a hard task. There are only so many ways you can explain why you are most definitely correct.
Flexibility & Adaptability
When you’re mentally planning and juggling all those tasks that need to be completed throughout the day, you’re also adeptly sorting out which ones HAVE to be done when, and which ones can possibly be relegated for later if needed. Making sure there’s clean clothes in the cupboard is a necessity, but perhaps the grass can survive another week without being cut.
Perhaps you might want to return to work because you miss adult conversation, and having kids has certainly taught you how to interact with them. You’ll learn how to communicate and converse with them at a level they understand, and you can use this new-found knowledge when going back into work.
You may think it’s a modest birthday party, however it’s a great way to show off your event management skills. There’s mouths to feed, entertainment to source, parents to inform, a venue to book and the chance that something might go wrong on the day at any moment!
Having a child makes you responsible overnight, and it’s easy to see how this responsibility, accountability and reliability can be brought into (and adored!) in the workplace.
There’s nothing like a long car journey to test your creativity. Once ‘I Spy’ is exhausted a few more made up games wouldn’t go amiss. Being a parent is all about creativity, whether it’s doing projects on a rainy day or making up bedtime stories to send you child to sleep.
As an adult, you’ve more experience than your children and are there for them when things go wrong. You use your experience every day to make sure that they are ok, whether they’ve fallen down and grazed their knee or whether they are being teased at school, you need to know what’s the best thing to say.
Research & Problem Solving
The fate of all new parents is an inordinate amount of time Googling ‘why is my baby…?’ You’ll encounter setbacks and need to seek out answers somewhere, and after a while, through all this research and problem solving you’ll soon know the ropes.
To help a child learn for themselves they need active supervision and support, or how else are they going to learn to tie their shoelaces or go to school. They need firm instructions and an understanding of the rules, but also the reassurance that mum and dad is there if everything goes wrong when they are taking their first steps into the world around them.
You child won’t eat or won’t sleep and you’ve got to drop everything your doing to either negotiate the situation or comfort your child. Being thick-skinned and being able to regroup after a set back is an invaluable skill in the workplace when you find that what you thought was a solution to a problem isn’t working so well, or that you’ve failed to gain that grant you so desperately wanted.