If you’ve had a career break to spend time with your children then the thought of returning to work or having an interview might be pretty daunting.

That’s why I want to shift the conversation from “parent skills to personal skills”. The skills that you’ve acquired through all your walks of life.

Since becoming a Mum myself to two fiercely independent girls I’ve always said “I feel very well equipped to lead an army into battle. I foresee the next danger, I’m quick to respond to sudden outbursts and I can navigate conflict like an expert.”

Becoming a parent gives you skills that you didn’t even know you needed — it’s literally a minefield you’re navigating every day. Skills like:

  • Negotiation
  • Resourcefulness
  • Agility
  • And oh so much stakeholder management!

So if you’re thinking about a return to work here are a couple of things to think about.

Your past work experience still counts!

Even if you feel a little rusty on some of your knowledge, you’ll pick it up again and remember there was a lot more to you as a professional that the “technical know how” How about all the amazing personal attributes that played a major role in your success? If you were a great people person then, then you’re still going to be a great people person now!

And then let’s come back to those new found skills you’ve been honing as a parent.

It is now time to start thinking about them in business terms and how you’d talk to them in interview — unapologetically!

Let’s do that now…

As a parent you are constantly thinking on your feet. Constantly. So let’s take this and apply it to the value you bring to a business…

  • I’m comfortable with ambiguity and change
  • I’m a fast thinker — able to quickly assess a situation, foresee probable outcomes and mitigate risk

Or how about the thousands of tasks you juggle every day. Let’s move this into a conversation about value to business…

  • I’m a strong multi-tasker
  • Able to prioritise and re-prioritise
  • I get multiple balls rolling so I hit my deadlines and keep things moving forward
  • I enjoy making an impact and seeing results

So it’s about shifting your own mindset from “parent skills” to “personal skills” — they are not mutually exclusive. They are what makes you, you. And what make you great talent that someone needs in their business.

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