How to Use Your Parent Experience to Find a Job
Becoming a parent is an amazing life changing experience. There is nothing quite like it and it is something I highly recommend to everyone, that is like another kind of career coaching based on real practice and leading by your child. However, taking time off work to look after your brood can undoubtedly leave you feeling that you are behind your peers when it comes to finding a job after time out. Your confidence can take a knock and you may feel that you are lacking some skills when filling out that job application.
What you may not have considered, is the arsenal of skills and experiences that you will have built up since becoming a parent, that will go on to serve you well in any job. When applying for roles, don’t just turn to work experience when looking for examples, there are many other areas that will contribute to skill development and becoming a parent is one of them.
You may have thought you were good at managing your time before. Your job may have required you to prioritise work-loads, manage the timings of others and work to strict deadlines. Since becoming a parent, you have managed your time to ensure that you are able to get out of the house in time with toddlers in tow (not an easy task), managed multiple meal times, nap times, school runs and bedtime schedules to ensure minimal meltdowns, whilst co-ordinating monumental washing loads on top of all of your everyday tasks. Don’t under-estimate this.
Patience is taken to a whole new level when you’re a parent. Dealing with toddler tantrums, crying through the night and meals you’ve spent ages preparing to be shunted by your little darlings takes an enormous amount of patience. Patience may not seem like a skill but if you can deal with the things that children throw at you and take it in your stride, you will have developed the skill of becoming more tolerant and accepting of others.
Managing conflict may be key in some job roles and as a parent, you will have had plenty of experience of this. You will have developed ways to stop your children fighting but also ways of navigating through potentially hostile situations with other parents. There are a number of things you may be able to draw on here.
Multi-tasking becomes such an every-day occurrence when you’re a parent that you might not consider it a skill. However, if you are able to sculpt Play-Doh masterpieces whilst holding a baby and making the dinner, any job role which requires you to do more than one thing at a time will seem like a breeze.
Having a young child requires you to adopt alternative means of communication. You have to adapt the way you speak so that they can understand and you will be relying much more heavily on body language, facial expressions and gestures to communicate with your baby. You may even learn baby sign. Becoming a parent also often means starting a whole different life socially. You will be getting out and meeting new people at various groups. All of these things are a fantastic way to improve your communication skills.
You might be lucky enough not to have to worry about money but chances are, your finances will take a knock if you’re not working or are on maternity/paternity leave. This will require you to be much stricter financially and to set budgets. This is the sort of skill that will serve you well in many jobs.
Examples of problem solving abilities don’t just have to be from work. There are going to be countless times when as a parent, you have had to solve a problem to make your family happy. Whether it was a question of finances, childcare arrangements or ways to get fruit and vegetables into your children, you will have a whole wealth of examples.