As we rapidly approach the Autumn season, many stay-at-home parents are starting to plan their return to the workforce for the fall, when children will hopefully be back in school full-time. However, many parents may worry about how their time away from work will look to employers.
The good news is that unique skills from being a stay-at-home parent can be translated into job search success!
Transferable skills, which for parents usually include being detail-oriented, self-motivated, and a good communicator with strong collaboration and delegation skills, will benefit any employer, so it’s important to highlight them in job application materials. FlexJobs’ career coaches would be happy to discuss in greater detail, as well as how to answer tough questions about going back to work or the best ways to address gaps on resumes.
Here are 6 skills that you can easily transfer to the workplace:
Anyone with kids knows that the only certainty in raising children is uncertainty! With plans frequently changing on a dime, adaptability as a parent becomes a must-have skill in the home. The good news is that learning to be flexible and to expect the unexpected is also essential in the ever-changing world of work. Being able to adapt quickly and pivot will help you get the job done and stay positive, no matter what career you choose.
Few things make you realize the value of money like having to figure out how to stretch your money to care for another human being (or two!). As you learn to create budgets and prioritize saving as a parent, you’re also honing the financial management skills that can help you manage departmental budgets or take on financial tasks in the workplace.
As a parent, you’re constantly communicating with your children and have likely learned how to effectively persuade, negotiate, facilitate, and mediate. You also have to communicate with everyone in your children’s lives, from teachers and coaches to doctors and other parents. This ability to share ideas and information in a way that even kids will understand will serve you well in any job that requires you to communicate with others (which is nearly every job!).
Just as important as communicating is the ability to really listen to your team, whether that’s your toddler in the middle of a grocery store meltdown or your coworkers working through the kinks in a project. As a parent, you listen to your kids so they feel respected and acknowledged. In the workforce, being able to not only listen but hear what the other person is saying is crucial for success as a manager or if you’re working with clients.
Prioritizing and Time Management
At every age, raising kids necessitates that parents work through countless daily tasks. Getting them dressed, driving them to and from school, helping with homework, cooking them meals, caring for them when they’re sick, and so much more—it all has to be done. Moms and dads are uniquely suited for prioritizing all of these tasks throughout the day and managing their time to get everything finished. Employers value employees who can take a full workload and figure out how to tackle it all in the order of importance. Fortunately, parents often have this skill in spades.
When you’re a parent, problem-solving is one of the most important transferable skills in your toolkit. Your kids need you to either solve or guide them through solving a variety of problems in their lives—sometimes on a daily basis. This ability to anticipate, identify, and solve problems is key to success in any career and at every level of employment.