10 Skills every parent can put on their CV
As the expense of childcare took its toll on many families, one or other parent may have opted to be a full time home maker. Running a home and taking care of a child is a full time job. A worthy, thankless, rewarding and tiring role, which has as many down sides as it has upsides. Alongside this time consuming and responsible job, there is the added worry that returning to the work force might be problematic. The prospect of returning to full time employment, may fill a homemaker with dread. They may be concerned that they have forgotten the nuances of adult interaction or the skills that once made them employable. That ‘gap’ in the CV that employers might not fully appreciate may weigh heavily on the mind. Nonsense! The so called ‘gap’ was a training ground for new skills. Your new improved resume should show off your new talents and expertise and enhance any professional career.
Here are a list of ten skills, gained during parenthood to add to your CV:
1.Multi -tasking: Parents are the masters of multitasking. They regularly complete household tasks with a child on the hip, a teacher on the phone and a toddler on the loo. Not only can the super-parent successfully complete multiple tasks, they can think ahead to the next action while completing this one. Juggle, juggle, juggle
2.Extremely organised: A household needs to run like a military operation if everyone is to get to their daily jobs, schools, sports events etc. with the right clean clothes, money and lunches. Skilled schedulers, they can the time shared lifts, appointments and play dates with ease. Smooth organisation of the household is essential. Running out of milk on a Monday before school can throw a real spanner in the production line of family life. Stay at home parents learn to be organised the hard way until it becomes second nature
3.Excels under Pressure: The stay at home parent is competent at operating at a high level of energy, despite very little sleep, a cranky baby, a wild toddler and a sick dog. There is no choice really.
4.Team player: Running a home is a complex operation requiring many collaborations and partnerships. Home makers are skilled at working well with partners to get the tasks done. (other parent, family members, childcare workers, babysitters)
5.A Negotiating Ninja: Every parent becomes an expert in trade negotiations and compromise. Just try and get an argumentative four year old into bed at sleep time. Negotiating techniques are honed over the months and all homemakers become adept in the use of diversion and distraction to gain an advantage and minimize ongoing arbitration (e.g. Give mommy the knife and you can play with this cool wooden spoon!)
6.Decisiveness: Parents are accomplished in the art of making snap decisions and in problem solving on the spot. Decisions made in the moment can avoid difficult situations (let’s stop the child eating coal, there is no real merit in it.) or may enhance lifestyle (let’s leave the child tackling the stairs unaided as they are coping and learning a new skill)
7.Tactfulness: Knowing just what to say at the right time, saves many an argument. Likewise, knowing when to say nothing is a really useful acquired skill. Expert homemakers know when to admire that drawing of Nana riding a purple cow and when to say nothing to the moody teenager.
8.Flexible: No two days are the same with small children and most plans can be scuppered, abandoned or altered at a moment’s notice. Parents learn to adapt and flexibility is their saviour in an uncertain world
9.Maturity: Oh yes, you are not the person you were in those heady, crazy pre-children days. The new level of maturity can only be a bonus to any perspective employer. In fact, it’s a wonder that previous employers put up with singletons and their clubbing hangovers and relationship melt-downs. The back to work parent is just happy to have a relatively organised adult space to work in. Maturity rocks.
10.Commitment: Total commitment to the team has already been proven. Anyone who took stay at home option as the best solution for your family has already shown their level of commitment. The same level of loyalty to your new job is still in your make-up.
Re-joining the workforce after a child care gap might not be easy, but never apologise for having taken time out to do this important work. The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world. Remember, you were not ‘unemployed’ but rather, shaping the next generation. In developing that special parental-child bond and teaching life skills you were also gathering a whole new skill set to add to the CV. You survived child raising, you can take on the world.