Being a mom is the most difficult yet rewarding role I’ve ever had. Motherhood came with so many learning curves: some are steep ones, others are less daunting, but also what I fondly refer to as superpowers — otherwise known as skills-you-developed-by-the-virtue-of-being-an- awesome-mom, like you are! Most of those skills are readily transferable to the workplace so working moms, and parents, don’t hesitate to talk up your working moms strengths during your 1:1, career change, elevator pitch, or whenever and wherever you have to tell someone else how invaluable you are or make the magic happen. Here are my top skills that, with real examples to boot, can help you change the game in the workplace. Here are the 7 transferable mom skills you can use at work!
1. Problem-solving with applied creativity:
This is one of the major transferable mom skills! When you become a parent — especially during the recent pandemic — you are constantly problem solving, and if you have more than one child, you become the de facto referee. And you learn to solve problems that you didn’t know were problems at all with a touch of creativity! Comforting a child that lost a staring contest with his siblings for example, or transforming a very badly drawn plate into a brightly colored sun! And now you have some breathing space till the next drama! If you perfected the skill of when to step in to help your child problem-solve and/or how to provide him/her with the tools to do it themselves, that’s at the core of being a people leader, right there.
2. Strategic Thinking:
I call it the thinking ahead power aka plan A, B, and even C. It can involve bringing that extra pair of clothes in case your little one pours water/paint or whatever sticky and messy mixture they encounter during a mere walk in the park, planning everyone’s schedules, and having a solution for potential problems that may arise. Think about how you can apply this one to your current job or career in general and be the extra pair of eyes/ears on projects for example.
3. People + team management:
Do you remember how uncooperative your toddler once was /is? Being charming one minute and super moody or even angry the next. And you managed those phases; don’t start me on the terrible twos or troublesome threes, so now when you think of the worst colleague you ever worked with, does it even come close to that You smoothed out crises, extinguished fires, settled conflicts, and still had some room for growth and lessons learned. Another familiar example was more prevalent during the pandemic. Managing your work, homeschooling that may have included a pre-schooler and older siblings, and keeping everyone focused and in relative harmony. With all of my experiences, I am fairly certain that there is no one at work with whom you cannot collaborate or reach an agreement.
I call it the ultimate mom-super power/skill. I mean, as a mother you have convinced more often than one stubborn, uncooperative, very determined, often unreasonable, and unrealistic child. Or you have dealt with the principal/teachers to align them to the vision you have for your little one(s). Negotiating is a learned art but a very present and core skill for a mom. As a working mom, bringing that particular skill to work would help you create more win-win situations with people and businesses.
As a mother, you work hard in creating good citizens and useful members of society. You have to strike a delicate balance between lessons to learn from their own experiences, as well as yours, and teach them fundamental skills like confidence and independence. All that whilst finding the right methodology to convey those based on the
character/personality of each child. After all, what worked for one won’t necessarily work for the other, so it’s constant adaptation to whatever resonates best for the child. Mentoring is definitely used both in and out of the workplace to bring the best out of people.
6. Having tough conversations:
I bet that as a parent, you’ve had situations where you had to say no to your child if anything for the sake of health and/or safety reasons. It might not have been the most pleasant conversation, but you had to make those tough
choices and decisions as you knew it will end up paying back in the long run. Saying no/ having difficult conversations in the workplace isn’t equally pleasant, but then again, it’s an important skill to have for any leader. Having honed that skill as a working mom will show that you are confident in making those difficult decisions that the business sometimes has to make.
There’s always an ecosystem of partners associated with each child. It involves the spouse, teachers, educators, grandparents/extended family, etc. As a mom, you effortlessly ensure that everyone in that ecosystem is delivering on the expectations set and have most likely created a system that allows for seamless transitions from one system to the next — school to home, Saturday ballet classes to grandparents — so that every stakeholder has their fair share of being a part of that wonderful journey you are on with your child(ren). Being able to collaborate with different teams in the workplace and hold everyone accountable to deliver against a common vision or goals is definitely a sought-after skill in the workplace!
Being a working mama is no easy task. So there you have it, my top transferable skills that will help you be on top of your game at home, and in the workplace. If you need further help in identifying your own superpowers and apply them to live your own BIG life — in and outside of work — hop on the couch at www.mylifecouch.com Until then, you are an awesome (working) mum!
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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