RE-ENTERING the workforce can seem daunting for stay-at-home parents who can worry about gaps in their resume.
But now is the time to translate those skills learnt in the playground to the boardroom as you tackle the fierce jobs market.
Hiring managers are reporting that stay-at-home mums and dads are among the most qualified of all workers, boasting a large set of new skills that would be valued by any employer.
- Time management
Parents are the masters of working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are on call all night, every night and 100 per cent responsible for the care of their children. Without proper time management skills, family life can spin out of control. Children can be unpredictable so when things go wrong, parents can re-evaluate and regroup quickly to prevent disaster. Parents are hard workers with realistic goals. Don’t underestimate the value in your new skill-set. Job-seeking parents should highlight the ways in which their children have helped them to learn how to multitask.
- Research and problem solving
Babies do not come with an instruction manual and therefore, most new parents need to do their own research. Reading countless parenting guides to find answers to problems they encounter means parents can apply their research skills to just about any career position. Compared to teething, solid foods and toilet training, job projects will be a breeze.
- Organised and efficient
Parents run their homes like a busy company in peak hour. Overseeing healthy meals, house maintenance, after-school activities and education are just some of the departments that need to be kept running smoothly. Parents’ ability to multi-task will make juggling company rosters and planning events seem like a breeze. Do not take this ability for granted. Many people have never had to organise the lives of other people that are depending on you.
Communication skills are always on top of a hiring manager’s list. While university graduates may find it hard to write a concise email, parents are expert communicators. They have mastered the art of explaining the world to their children in a simple way and also mastered the parent-teacher interview to communicate much more complex issues. Parents understand the need for simple and clear instructions to get the best outcome.
Parents cannot get their children to school each morning without having to collaborate and negotiate. Children come into the world with a strong personality and quickly form their own opinions. These collaboration skills can greatly influence the office environment. Parents bring this valuable skill to the workplace and are more inclined to examine an issue from different perspectives to find the best outcome for everyone.
- Teaching, supervising, managing people
Kids are like co-workers. They can follow instructions, but they also like to waste time and lose focus. After years of practice, parents have learned how to steer kids back towards good behaviour and productive exercises. Parents also know that different kids need different levels of guidance. Teaching children to ride a bike or drive a car needs top-notch negotiation skills. Employers love to hear about real-life cases of people management and how the best outcome was attained.
Employers want to hire people who will be dedicated to the job at hand, and take pride in its outcome. Parents are the perfect candidates for this challenge. They understand accountability better than anyone. Their time is too valuable to waste on half-hearted efforts and recognise the time and commitment necessary to get a good result. Parents are there, rain, hail or shine, ready to make the best out of any situation.
If you’re returning to the workforce why don’t you find out your current worth in the market?