If you’ve had a career break to spend time with your children then the thought of returning to work or having an interview might be pretty daunting.
That’s why I want to shift the conversation from “parenting skills to personal skills”. The skills that you’ve acquired through all your walks of life.
Since becoming a Mum myself to two fiercely independent girls I’ve always said “I feel very well equipped to lead an army into battle. I foresee the next danger, I’m quick to respond to sudden outbursts and I can navigate conflict like an expert.”
Becoming a parent gives you skills that you didn’t even know you needed — it’s literally a minefield you’re navigating every day. Skills like:
- And oh so much stakeholder management!
So if you’re thinking about a return to work here are a couple of things to think about:
Your past work experience still counts!
Even if you feel a little rusty on some of your knowledge, you’ll pick it up again and remember there was a lot more to you as a professional that the “technical know how” How about all the amazing personal attributes that played a major role in your success? If you were a great people person then, then you’re still going to be a great people person now!
And then let’s come back to those new found skills you’ve been honing as a parent.
It is now time to start thinking about them in business terms and how you’d talk to them in interview — unapologetically!
Let’s do that now…
As a parent you are constantly thinking on your feet. Constantly. So let’s take this and apply it to the value you bring to a business…
- I’m comfortable with ambiguity and change
- I’m a fast thinker — able to quickly assess a situation, foresee probable outcomes and mitigate risk
Or how about the thousands of tasks you juggle every day. Let’s move this into a conversation about value to business…
- I’m a strong multi-tasker
- Able to prioritise and re-prioritise
- I get multiple balls rolling so I hit my deadlines and keep things moving forward
- I enjoy making an impact and seeing results
So it’s about shifting your own mindset from “parenting skills” to “personal skills” — they are not mutually exclusive. They are what makes you, you. And what make you great talent that someone needs in their business.