I always knew that being a parent would be a wonderful compliment to my professional career, no matter what my career was at the given time. What I didn’t realize, but now fully understand, is that being a parent actually develops key professional skills! I spent the last 8 years working in a small education company heavily focused on identifying and attracting top talent for all types of positions. In my role, much of my day to day was focused on reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, as well as selling top candidates on the opportunities available. As a result of these countless numbers of hours, I consider myself an expert on the topic of what is a professional skill and whether or not it is as strong as you say it is in your resume or interview.
Today, as I reflect back on some of my most memorable experiences interviewing candidates and being a parent, I came to the realization that I can effortlessly translate my parenting experiences (ahem, failures) into what corporate companies seek out as necessary professional skills. Here are some of those failures…I mean experiences…from “parenting” Little Miss and my “professional skill” translation:
- Keeping your cool when your toddler is screaming at the top of her lungs because she is tired and hungry and dinner is not ready at that VERY SECOND translates to “Works well under tight deadlines and/or high-pressure situations”.
- Identifying the source of your toddlers temper tantrum and then repeating/modifying that identification process a minimum of 10 times a day translates to “Excellent problem solving skills and capability to think on one’s feet”.
- Putting together a toy that has 50+ components and have it actually work as described on the box translates to “Highly skilled in executing directives to achieve a desired goal”.
- Improvising how to put together said 50+ component toy (AND have it still work as described!) because your toddler was trying to “help” and ended up losing some key components translates to “Expertise in thinking outside the box to achieve a desired goal”.
- Redirecting your toddler back to the activity or task at hand such as actually finishing the story you have read through page 10 at least 20 times within the last 2 hours or putting the 100 Legos back in the basket so no one goes through the excruciating experience of stepping on them translates to “Proven track record of motivating and leading team members through challenging projects while ensuring the projects success within the timeline assigned”.
- Using any and all tactics to keep your exhausted toddler awake on the 15 minute ride home from wherever because you know if she falls asleep in the car now, she will not take her afternoon nap when she gets home (and will be cranky as all hell) translates to “Ability to influence employees across the organization”.
Of course, these are just snippets of my experiences. I do miss the working world and interacting with adults on a regular, daily basis (actually, let me be real, I just miss wearing the cute work clothes and shoes), but I wouldn’t trade my opportunity to stay home with Little Miss for the world. Instead of my days being filled with meetings, reviews, interviews, and visa paperwork, they are now filled with Dr. Seuss, diapers, tears (mostly Little Miss’), and the joy of watching my daughter grow into the person I can only wish to be.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share some of your parenting “experiences”, I’d love to help you translate them into professional skills you can actually use in your resume or interviews. 🙂