How to pitch your parenting skills to prospective employers

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:

  • Negotiation
  • Resourcefulness
  • Agility
  • 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.

Post written by Abbie Boulter for Business Chicks. See original article here.

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