5 killer work skills you've honed as a mother

Parenting translates into worthwhile job skills. If you’re looking to get back into the workforce, you shouldn’t devalue the skills you’ve gained outside of work. Many transferable skills that parents learn such as time management, conflict resolution and event organisation are in high demand by employers.

Vodafone’s resourcing manager Gaynor Topham saw how her own transferable skills were boosted by becoming a mother.

Topham says her most beneficial skills honed as a working mother are her people skills, productivity, purpose and networking abilities.

Don’t devalue your time off work or fall into the imposter syndrome. It makes little difference whether you built these skills in paid work or at home in a parenting role, you can use them as the building blocks for a better resume.

Like Topham, mums everywhere need to learn how to talk to their new-found or improved skills.

Here are some of the top skills that you hone as a mother:

  1. Time management.
    Juggling a household and completing tasks to deadline at home is a real skill. You need to know how to manage school pick-ups and drop offs, after school activities and ensure dinner’s on the table before the children get grouchy.

    Employers such as Topham appreciate that returning parents are often better at squeezing more into their day than before children. So, talk to it.
  2. Communication.
    Have you learned to persuade, interview, listen better, write, facilitate group discussions or other essential communication skills? As a mother, you’re constantly mentoring, teaching and counselling your children. In addition to that, there are also the communication skills you hone through events and organisations you find yourself being part of when you’re a parent.
  3. People management.
    Managing a home and a pre-schooler or two at the same time can be harder than managing your colleagues. As a result, you’ve probably improved your negotiation skills, which are a learned art, especially when toddlers and teachers are involved. If you’ve organised teams for school events, set up a social group, this is relevant. Write down those achievements and spell them out in a SMART way. That’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.
  4. Problem solving.  
    Every industry needs problem solvers.  As a parent, you’ll come across problems you never knew existed. In fact, you’ll be hit with problems that need solving almost every day. You’ll learn when to step in to help children problem solve and how to provide them with the tools to do it themselves. That’s the fundamentals of being a manger.
  5. Organisational skills.
    Many a mum becomes a super organiser. She may project manage the family renovation, or the big round-the-world trip, as Topham did. Maybe you’ve planned, budgeted, and executed a school reunion or fundraising/sports event. Whatever it is you’ve done, document what you did and match the key skills against job advertisements.

Topham says to learn to talk to your “working mum super skills”.  In a resume or interview make sure you detail the skills you have honed as a mother and use real examples to highlight how they can apply in the workplace.