5 Parenting Skills that Helps you Succeed at Work
If you have been taking care of children, there are many skills that you have developed along the way that can help you succeed in your workplace. You too can relate these skills and present them in the right way to the world through your CV, resume, and interview.
In an interview to Microsoft in 2006, Katherine Hays, the co-founder of Massive Inc. – an in-game advertising company said that being a mother has helped her in many aspects of her career including in her latest venture Vivoom Inc.
She comments “kids look at everything with fresh eyes: for them everything is a first”. She claims that this allowed her to become more efficient with her time and effort and lead to an enhanced strategic thinking as she tried to juggle parenthood with her demanding work.
For a young child, even a small scrape on the finger is a big deal. And as a parent you have to constantly find solutions to even the smallest problems your children face.
Jennifer Owens, the editorial director of Working Mother Media believes that being a parent improves your leadership qualities. Multi-tasking became a breeze for her as she organized activities for her children and juggled the responsibilities of her job at the same time.
According to Jennifer Owens, the skills that have really helped nurture her career that she learnt along the road of parenthood are:
Making a feeding timetable, coordinating doctor’s appointments and finding a bathroom for a potty-training toddler – parents are always on foot at solving one problem or another. She comments that as a partner you become more trained to find solutions to different problems. A family also works together as a team to get things done similar to a workforce.
Helping the minor to major problems of kids are helpful at work. Owens says “as a parent, you have to set up an environment where the cost of the error is not too good”. The same applies in business. As a director, she also has to foresee many situations and come up with answers to them that solve the problems from its roots without taking any significant risk.
Owens believes that she and other fellow parents have to focus on the big picture and analyze what gets to be done and who will do it. For example, you have to go for an outing. You have to visualize what will happen there and arrange the supplies needed such as foods, diapers, water, medicine, etc. The same skills are useful at work. In the workforce, you have to foresee all the challenges that you might face during a project. “You have to think ahead”. Says Owens.
• Team Work:
Team management and motivations are one of the primary skills that you can transfer from home to the workplace. A home as well as a company can’t be managed alone and you can’t expect everyone to go along your way. You have to include others on board as well.
“Of course”, she says “you can’t treat your spouse the same way you treat your children. And the same is applicable for the people in your workplace.”
• Being in the moment:
Owens with three kids of her own has learnt that she has to be fully present in whatever she’s doing. Her children force her to be with them each moment of the day and same goes for the workforce.
Being in the moment is important for a thriving business. A business can’t grow successfully without the employees being present and attentive on the tasks at hand.
Kids – when they finally start talking are always chatting about one thing or another. Their day at school, their friends, and the lunch they had, and even their future plans. When they start talking, parents have to be quiet and listen to them. Owens comments that as soon as her almost teenager child starts talking; I give her an undivided attention and prompts her with open-ended questions.
The communication skill has helped her in the business world as well. She has gained a better understanding on what her employees need and negotiate them if they encounter an “adult temper tantrum”. We all vent sometimes or the other. We have to get it out of our system and Owens believes that with the parenting skills, she is able to guide them and offer other points of view.
The skills that you apply with your children are similar to that you use for your colleagues. The situations are just a bit different.