How Mom skills translate to work skills
If you’ve ever taken a long time off work to stay with your kids, you know that getting back into the workforce is not an easy matter. While there are many articles on the subject of getting back to work, few address the new skills you’ve acquired as a mother. How do mom skills translate to the workplace? I decided to list the amazing qualifications that I now possess courtesy of two wonderful kids, and I hope they will help me shine a little brighter at a future interview.
Being a mom teaches you to communicate the most complicated thoughts in a simple fashion and be convincing at it. Whether it’s your curious first-grader who keeps peppering you with the variety of why questions, or your toddler who simply won’t take no for an answer, you need to make your case, and make it quick. You can’t use long-winded answers. It has to be clear, concise and brief. There is no need for details that are not important at this moment. If you are stuck, you can Google your answer or ask someone who knows. Even better, if you can’t, a simple “I don’t know but I will check on it” is enough. Sadly, this kind of brevity and precision is often lacking in the business world, so mothers can teach a thing or two here!
One quality you need a lot as a mom is patience. This is directly connected to your ability to handle stress. You can choose to get wired and impatient or you can choose to solve the problem calmly – which is contagious by the way – and suggest to your current co-workers a few steps they need to take to fix the problem. The mothers I often admire are the ones that can handle the wildest outbursts from their kids, while staying cool and collected. Not only their offspring start to calm down sensing their calm, but even the surrounding moms feel inspired to be more patient with their kids. Staying calm when things get out of control is an invaluable skill moms bring to the workforce.
Juggling multiple projects at the same time is what happens when you become a mom. Take this skill to the workplace and you will succeed. It really all comes down to excellent scheduling and time management. Whether it’s the use of various digital devices or an old-fashioned multi-person Wall Calendar, mom has a system of staying in control of family’s schedule. So add managing a complicated schedule and getting everything (well, most things!) done to the “mom as a career woman” resume. Besides scheduling, prioritizing and rapid response to what’s important are key mom qualities any job would be lucky to have.
If you want to get promoted and rise in the ranks, you need to learn how to delegate work wisely. Isn’t this what we call chores? Kids do chores, so everything at home functions better and you are not stuck doing all the work. They learn how to do things around the house and you get extra time for other work. Selecting and assigning chores is not unlike delegating projects at work. It’s a matter of understanding the person’s abilities and having the trust in getting the tasks done, so you can prioritize your time for other projects.
Ability to inspire kids and being their biggest fan is perhaps the skill your child loves of you as a mom. From encouraging them to take the first steps, to later cheering on the sidelines of a soccer field or a skating rink, watching one performance after another… it teaches you to encourage your little one’s efforts and shows them you appreciate their hard work. If you know how to inspire people to do better and show appreciation in the work accomplished, they will work even harder. Add motivational skills to your resume, you got them once you became a mom.
While the work day may go 9 to 5, your day as a mom starts early and ends after the kids are in bed, as you finish laundry or get the next day’s lunches ready. You keep going and going, and that kind of energy and perseverance is a wonderful gift.