As a parent, you’ve played the role of teacher, negotiator, chef, manager, activities director, fashion consultant, and chauffeur to your children. For example: If your child has a screaming fit at the grocery store over not getting the candy desired, you negotiate with your child to avoid a public display; if your child wants to wear a tutu and cowboy hat to kindergarten, you help your child to select clothing that will be more functional for the day ahead.
The variety of roles that you play help to make you the great parent that you are, but they also can help to make you valuable to employers. So if you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad looking to enter or re-enter in the workforce soon, don’t fret. You may have more going for you than you realize.
Here are six typical traits that parents acquire, and that you can leverage in your job search:
- Effective time management: Out of necessity, parents become good multi-taskers. After having managed your family’s diverse schedule, you’ll hardly break a sweat when you compile reports, plan team meetings, put together client presentations, and tackle other tasks virtually all at once. If you shine under pressure, consider seeking employment at a high-energy workplace, such as a public relations or advertising firm or a daily online newspaper or other deadline-oriented business.
- Ability to Persuade: As a parent, you’ve learned to become so persuasive that you even may have convinced your children that washing the dishes after dinner was – in fact their idea. You’ve had to clearly articulate your ideas and pitch them to others in order to get their buy-in. Negotiation skills lend themselves well to a wide range of careers in sales, or as a purchaser for a store, or any occupation that involves getting different parties to agree.
- Leadership skills: From the moment you awake, your children look to you as an example of how they should act, talk and interact with others. Parents are no stranger to being in the spotlight and taking charge. If you excel at managing projects and getting others to enthusiastically participate, consider a role in management.
- Collaborating well with others: Both at home and at work, having an idea come to fruition often requires teamwork. Your ability to work well with family members, as well as coworkers, can help build unity and enable participants to work together toward a shared goal. If you love interacting with people, you could be a perfect candidate for a role in the hospitality industry, such as an activities director, or in public relations or special events.
- Creativity: Have you designed a child’s Halloween costume, baked a birthday cake worthy of a professional bakery, or painted custom artwork on your children’s bedroom wall? If you have a knack for creative tasks such as these, and an eye for color, you may want to consider a career in graphic design, interior design or fashion.
- Passion for the job: It’s easy to distinguish between employees who show up just for the paycheck and those who are committed to results. As a parent, you’re likely very passionate about your children, their overall well-being, and helping them work toward success and learn from failure. You could be a perfect candidate for a job that requires a great deal of heart, such as a teacher or coach or nurse or other medical practitioner.
What skills have you developed or perfected as a parent that best equip you for the workforce? Share them with us in the “Comments” section below.