It’s a shame to say that for whatever warped reason, parents, and mothers more specifically, have to explain the gap in their employment history thanks to having children. This is because mothers are in no way ‘taking a break’ from the responsibilities of life when having kids, if anything they have to work harder, sacrifice more, and be constantly ‘on the job’ compared to those who can clock out at five.
Unfortunately, this impression can leave mothers feeling quite unsure of their footing when returning to work, perhaps not too long after taking maternity leave, or perhaps a decade and some years or so afterward when their child starts gaining a little more independence.
If you’re in this position, it’s important not to undervalue your skills in the job market. In this post, we hope to discuss why that is, and how you can come to a healthier assessment and evaluation of your oh-so-necessary skills. We’ll also suggest a few ways you can chase opportunities going forward. With that in mind, please consider:
As a mother, your time-keeping skills are not something you necessarily write down and track, but are thoroughly ingrained in you given how solidly you’ve had to stick to a routine over a number of years. This can help you become a shoo-in for taking care of large-scale organizational tasks, being able to manage your priorities, and understanding the scope of work you need to complete. With that kind of self-discipline, you know the value of getting the job done and understanding just how much time that process will take. Keeping that in mind can be tremendously healthy when selling yourself in an interview.
As a very basic necessity, mothers must have the ability to soothe, to listen, to care for others, and to think about the needs of those they’re caring for over their own. This is why jobs in the caring field, health coach jobs, or even social work jobs can be so worthwhile to focus on, because they demand an interpersonal skillset, as well as the ability to care for the wellbeing of someone else. This way, you can leverage your social potential trained by your motherly instincts.
As a parent, you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty. This means that in a salaried position, you’ll no doubt be able to take the initiative, to get work done, to work collaboratively, and you won’t be afraid to ask for guidance should you need it. These are the skills that employers look at fondly, and as you’ve been training them for years, don’t be afraid to sell yourself based on this premise. Taking care of a client with foresight, care and attention is nothing when you’ve already had to raise a brand new human being from scratch, and all that entails.
With this advice, we hope mothers avoid undervaluing their skills in the job marketplace, when they’re ready and able to interact with it.